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.
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!