Abyss Diana V2 Review

Abyss Diana V2

In this review we’re taking a close-up look at the Diana V2 by Abyss Headphones. It sells for 2,995 USD and is one of the most portable high end headphones available.

 

 

Disclaimer: The Diana V2 was supplied to us free of charge by Abyss for the purpose of a review. Headfonia is in no way affiliated with Abyss or JPS Labs (their parent company). Abyss is not a site advertiser. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity!

About Abyss Headphones:

Abyss’ parent company, JPS Labs LLC, has been around since 1990 in the business making high performance digital and analogue cables. After many years they have started to dip their toes into the über high end headphone segment and started developing their own planar magnetic drivers and planar headphones. After years of research and development they have introduced the Abyss AB-1266.

Introduced in 2013 the original AB-1266 was unlike any other headphone on the market. I am sure many of you have seen them, and once you did, you could pick them out of hundreds of headphones and know for sure it’s the Abyss. Its looks are very uncanny and some say it resembles a medieval torture device. One thing is sure though, that’s the best brand marketing you can do. Everyone who loves headphones, like we do, immediately knows your name.

I had the incredible luck to have the original borrowed for a few months back in 2015, and it’s needless to say I was sad to give it back. The performance of the AB-1266 is incredible once it’s pushed to its limits.

In 2017 Abyss introduced their second model – the Diana. Unlike the 1266 it’s much lighter and more compact. I never had a chance to try this one out, but I’m sure it sports the traditional immersive Abyss sound. Since then Abyss has brought out new driver technologies and has upgraded their AB-1266 and Diana to Phi models. The AB-1266 has even seen some additional iterations in the AB-1266 Phi CC and the just launched AB-1266 Phi TC.

Recently Abyss pushed out some very interesting content on their YouTube Channel. You might want to check their videos out. I especially recommend watching and listening to this one:

Earlier in spring of 2019 we have checked out the Diana Phi in a comprehensive review. Today we’re looking at the Diana V2 headphones. Let’s find out how they sound and compare to other high end headphones.

About Diana V2:

Based on the original Diana, the Diana V2 was introduced last year in 2019. The V2 incorporates a 63 mm planar magnetic driver in a semi open-back design.

With an impedance of 42 Ohms and a sensitivity of 91dB per milliwatt the Diana V2 isn’t exactly an easy trait to drive. Yes, it can be powered by small electronics like the Lotoo PAW Gold Touch, but I see many people making the mistake of thinking it’s powered to the full potential of the headphones then. No, Diana V2 still asks for something bigger and more powerful.

Every pair of Diana V2 headphones is machined, finished and assembled by hand in the New York facilities of Abyss Headphones. When you order your pair from Abyss you can also select the termination of your cable. Options are 6.3 mm or 3.5 mm unbalanced, 4 Pin XLR, 4.4 mm balanced or 2.5 mm balanced. One set of Diana V2 headphones retails for 2,995$ US.

For everyone who wants to tickle even more performance out of their Diana V2, Abyss offers an upgrade cable by JPS Labs for the V2, called The Superconductor HP. Retail prices of the Superconductor HP begin at 1,400 USD. We will also find out what improvements it brings over the stock cable later.

Joe Skubinski was kind enough to give me some info on the Superconductor HP:

The Superconductor HP Diana is a hand-made from the inside out cable composed of a quad of finely stranded Alumiloy conductors per channel each in a very flexible soft vibration absorbing outer jacket with a cloth-like anti-static surface. The cable is designed to absorb vibration, friction, and external noise so as to not affect the sound of the headphone, in a nutshell it provides an ultimate clear signal path while maintaining comfort and fit of the thin lightweight profile of Diana.

The cable is hand-made from the inside out. We mold the custom 2.5 mm gold plated connectors onto the cables to perfectly fit inside Diana shell for proper strain relief to prevent damaging the jack. The cable can be ordered by length with choice of connector type.

The Diana V2 is available in different colour finishes. You can pick between Coffee, black and Arctic white. I have set on the Onyx Black version, as I find the colour to be best matching with my preferences.

Abyss Diana V2

Abyss Diana V2

Package:

The Diana V2 comes in a compact silver logo embossed black cardboard box that beholds the headphones, the selected cable and a canvas carry-case. There isn’t a lot of accessories in the package, but in the end, all you need is your headphones and the cable.

I think a second pair of cables would have been nice as standard. Maybe pack a 6.3 mm and a 4 Pin XLR cable in there to use with multiple amplifiers. This time I chose a 4.4 mm balanced cable as I already have the 4 Pin XLR cable from the Diana Phi review.

Personally, I think two pairs of cables would be good, to give customers a more complete package.

The review continues on page two!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.

    6 Comments

    • Reply February 10, 2020

      Devin

      Do you happen to have a pair of Focal Utopias & ZMF Verites on hand to compare the Diana v2 to? I know they aren’t planars but they’re both ridiculously fast dynamic drivers that seem to have a similar sound, so I’m curious how they’d match up. Thanks.

      • Reply February 10, 2020

        Linus

        Hi Devin,
        nope, sorry. I don’t have either the ZMF or the Utopia. If I ever get the chance to listen to them on an extended run, I’ll let you know how they fare up against the Diana V2.
        Cheers!

    • Reply May 25, 2020

      Alberto

      I’m curious to test Diana and Diana V2 with my Shanling M6 pro, I know isn’t a power monster but can deliver almost 0,7w on 32ohm.
      If LTPG can drive V2 maybe M6 Pro can handle it well.

      • Reply May 26, 2020

        Linus

        Hi Alberto,
        thanks for your comment.
        The V2 is well driven by the Lotoo, which “only” has 0.5W into 32 Ohms per channel. But it isn’t all about the output power. It’s more about the circuitry and amp layout. I can’t say how the M6 Pro performs with the Diana V2 as I unfortunately don’t have it. But if you have the chance, try to audition this combo somewhere. The Diana V2 does sound very nice out of the LPGT, but it shines with proper desktop gear. 🙂
        Hope that helps.

    • Reply July 21, 2020

      Ben

      Can you tell me which of the tested Diana V2, amp combos produced the most bass? Deepest, most pronounced…

    • […] headphone I rate very highly for its sound. Sadly I don’t have it anymore to play around, but the Diana range of headphones is with me and we will take a look later how the XI Audio x Abyss system […]

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.