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STAX SR-007A ELECTROSTATIC HEADPHONE REVIEW

Electrostatic headphones have always been looked at as the Holy Grail of headphone fidelity. Some upstart companies have jumped onto the Electrostatic bandwagon in recent years. STAX was there before any of them.

STAX SR-007A and Amplifiers with Headphones

STAX SR-007A Headphones Side View
STAX SR-007A

I got a chance to get up close and personal with various models of the STAX earspeaker line back at CanJam NYC earlier this year and each one of them had something interesting to offer. The SR-007A is the latest version of the SR-007 model which was introduced back in 1998 and updated in 2007. STAX sent along the SRM-700T (Tube) and SRM-700S (Solid State) earspeaker amplifiers for me to experience with the headphones and note any differences that I found.

Highlights

STAX SR-007A Electrostatic Headphone

  • Exceedingly Light and comfortable.
  • Rotating earcups are helpful to ensure good fit.
  • Sound quality was beautiful and completely effortless.
  • Bass was surprisingly deep and impactful.
  • Both amplifiers were of very high quality and they sounded different from one another.
  • They may ruin you for accepting anything else.
Introduction

Headband Close Up
Headband Close Up

When I was a teenager in Toronto I spent large portions of my summer free time hanging out in several of the city’s hi-fi shops. One of my regular audio haunts was Bay-Bloor Radio, and while I haven’t been back in years, at the time it was like the Grande dame of audio stores nestled right in the downtown core. I made a few of my formative audio purchases at that place; it just seemed to have everything that a budding audio-nerd could ever hope for. There was a variety of brands ranging from the attainable to the crazy obscure and expensive. And the staff graciously put up with, what to me, seemed like endless playtime in an audio candy store. In one corner I remember them having a dedicated headphone wall, laden with dozens of samples of audio ear wear for home hi-fi listening.

That is where I saw my first pair of STAX earspeakers. These were the rectangular shaped Lambda type and were unlike anything remotely resembling a headphone, at least to my limited understanding. I noticed they had their own separate amplifier, so you certainly couldn’t plug them into a Walkman. The thought of putting them on seemed dangerous. They seemed like some mad science experiment reserved only for the most serious of listeners. The fact that they weren’t even called headphones, but earspeakers was intimidating. I felt as if they were looking at me, sizing up my credentials and they concluded, “Don’t even bother kid, you’re not worthy yet”!

It wouldn’t be for another 5 years after that before I actually got to hear the old Lambda Electrostatics at an audio show. That’s when I really began to notice that, at the time, there were headphones and then there was STAX. Sure they were unwieldy, strange looking and power hungry. But nothing could seemingly touch the sound of a STAX electrostatic headset.

So, many moons later, here I now sit with a set of handsome looking STAX SR-007A ear speakers and a pair of almost identical new headphone amplifiers, one tube and one solid-state. And gadzooks, the headphones are round! No matter, I got a sample listen of these fine transducers earlier this year at CanJam NYC and I immediately knew that I wanted to spend some extended time with them. My first long term exposure to electrostatic ear speakers, starts now!

 

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