Front Runners December 2015: Thinning the Heard

Photo by Cordero Studios/

At less than 1 nanometer, the diaphragm of the HiFiMan HE1000 planar magnetic headphones ( is the thinnest ever made. An asymmetrical magnetic circuit powers the diaphragm and helps eliminate virtually all sonic distortion. The headphones, which are priced at $3,000, also feature an open-back design and ear-cup grilles made from lightweight alloy. They deliver a lifelike soundstage and an abundance of high-­frequency headroom capable of registering musical nuances lost by headphones with less-efficient designs. The comfortableness of the calfskin headband and velour-lined foam ear pads will invite long listening sessions.