In this review we’re taking a close-up look at the Diana Phi by Abyss Headphones. The thinnest boutique headphone in the market.
Disclaimer: The Diana Phi 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 2015 Abyss has announced 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.
Today we’re looking at their Diana Phi headphones.
About Diana Phi:
Based on the original Diana, the Diana Phi was introduced just late 2018 at RMAF. The major change of course was to go with the 63 millimetre Phi planar drivers. These coupled with the ultra low mass diaphragm are supposed to bring very fast bass impact and subtle but lifelike details to music, according to Abyss.
With an impedance of 32 Ohms and a sensitivity of 91dB per milliwatt the Diana Phi 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 Phi still asks for something bigger and more powerful.
Every pair of Diana Phi 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 Phi headphones retails for 3,995$ US.
For everyone who wants to tickle even more performance out of their Diana Phi, Abyss offers an upgrade cable by JPS Labs for the Phi, called The Superconductor HP. Retail begins at an eye-watering price of 1,400$. We won’t cover it in the review though as it’s not part of the review-package.
The review continues on page two!