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Zenph Studios Uses Ultrasone Headphones for Critical Listening

The engineers at Zenph Studios in Raleigh, N.C., known for making pristine new recordings of classic performances from across the continuum of recorded music, monitor every note through Ultrasone HFI 700 headphones. Ultrasone headphones feature the company’s patented S-Logic system, which reduces sound pressure to the eardrums by 40 percent while delivering a natural surround sound effect to the listener. At Zenph, the HFI 700 is required for monitoring every stage of their complex process.

“When pure accuracy is your aim, headphones are essential,” says John Q. Walker, president of Zenph Studios. “We get the best response in all frequency ranges from Ultrasone headphones. The original recordings we’re listening to have multiple layers of hiss and other artifacts, but lots of nuances and performance material are slightly buried in there that we can now enable the next generation of listeners to hear. Zenph has found that headphones eliminate any kind of extra reverberation that could come from listening through monitors in a resonating room.”   

“Our HFI 700s feel really good, which is important when you spend eight hours a day with them on your head,” notes Anatoly Larkin (pictured), a performance analyst who has presided over re-performances that have transformed old recordings of Alfred Cortot, Glenn Gould and Art Tatum. “It’s also extremely helpful that you can turn the volume down and still get crisp response. All the other headphones that we tried seemed to lose some precision with the volume reduced, but the Ultrasone 700s continue to be extremely accurate at very low levels.”

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