Audio-Technica build on rich audio heritage with the Kokutan and Asada Zakura Wooden headphones

Audio-Technica today reveal the newest additions to its long-running Wooden headphones series: the Kokutan and Asada Zakura.

Audio-Technica’s Wooden range has been delivering natural, rich home hi-fi sound for more than two decades, and the new closed back models have been designed and engineered to continue its lineage of superb quality in both construction and performance. These headphones are hand-assembled at our factory in Naruse, Tokyo, where all of our wooden headphones have been produced.

The company has used a variety of different woods in the creation of this series, from the alpine cherry of 1996’s ATH-W10VTG to the teak of 2016’s ATH-W1000Z – each type of wood chosen for both its acoustic and visual properties. This approach is reflected in the materials picked for the two new models: striped ebony for the Kokutan and ostrya japonica for the Asada Zaukura.

Audio-Technica Kokutan (RRP £1,699.99 inc. VAT)

The new flagship of the Wooden headphone range employs a striped ebony wood known in Japan as “kokutan” for its excellent tonal properties and striking black-brown colouring.

A high-density hardwood prized for its efficient acoustic damping, ebony’s dense ring structure reduces unwanted resonance and delivers a cleaner, purer sound – one reason it’s often used in the construction of pianos and woodwind instruments.

The Kokutan’s striped ebony housing has been hand-finished with half-gloss to accentuate the natural beauty of its grain, and its unique appearance will gradually change over time – a development to enjoy along with your music.

Speaking of music, the Kokutan has been engineered from the ground up for superior audio performance. In addition to its low-resonance qualities, it features Audio-Technica’s proprietary D.A.D.S. (Double Air Damping System), dividing the housing structure into two acoustic chambers for smooth bass reproduction.

Its 53mm driver uses powerful Permendur magnetic circuitry to create a wide sound field, and its responsive titanium flange allows the diaphragm to react to the audio signal with superb accuracy.

The Kokutan is supplied with durable detachable A2DC connectors to ensure a stable signal and secure connection, as well as two 3m cables: one with a 6.3mm plug and one with a balanced XLR connector. Its earpads and ergonomic headband are made from smooth, high-durability sheepskin to ensure a comfortable fit throughout long listening sessions.

The Kokutan is supplied in a paulownia wood box. Known as “kiri-bako” in Japan, these boxes have been used to store treasured belongings such as books, kimono, art, rare metals and pottery for over 300 years – and have become prized possessions in their own right.

Specifications

Type: Closed-back dynamic

Driver: 53 mm

Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW

Frequency response: 5 to 45,000 Hz

Maximum input power: 2,000 mW

Impedance: 48 ohms

Input jack: A2DC connector jack

Weight (without cable): Approx. 405 g (14.3 oz)

Included accessories: Cable (3.0 m (9.8′)/6.3 mm, 1/4”) gold-plated stereo plug), Balanced cable (3.0 m (9.8′)/XLR-M connector (4-pin))

Audio-Technica Asada Zakura (RRP £1,299.99 inc. VAT)

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These premium headphones use asada zakura (known as ostrya japonica outside of Japan), a rare and durable Japanese wood with a warm red colour, gentle grain and excellent acoustic properties.

In conjunction with the 53mm driver, which boasts powerful circuitry and a DLC (diamond-like coating) for improved high-frequency response, the asada zakura construction produces a rich sound with a gentle low range and crisper mids and highs.

The Asada Zakura features D.A.D.S and detachable A2DC connectors and is supplied with 6.3mm and balanced XLR cables both with a braided fabric outer shielding. It comes with smooth synthetic leather earcups and headband for a comfortable fit.

Specifications

Type: Closed-back dynamic

Driver: 53 mm

Sensitivity: 99 dB/mW

Frequency response: 5 to 42,000 Hz

Maximum input power: 2,000 mW

Impedance: 40 ohms

Input jack: A2DC connector jack

Weight (without cable): Approx. 395 g (13.9 oz)

Included accessories: Cable (3.0 m (9.8′)/6.3 mm (1/4″) gold-plated stereo plug),

Balanced cable (3.0 m (9.8′)/XLR-M connector (4-pin))

The Audio-Technica Kokutan (RRP £1,699.99 inc. VAT) and Audio-Technica Asada Zakura (RRP £1,299.99 inc. VAT) are available in March from eu.audio-technica.com

This headphone duo will be making its European debut at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show on 21st-23rd February 2020. Please visit Audio-Technica at Stand Bristol 8 on the Ground Floor, Marriott City Centre Hotel Bristol.

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Audio-Technica Kokutan

Audio-Technica Asada Zakura