Posted on 16th June, 2018


Hi-Fi brands the world over are launching headphones to take part in the enormous growth of the Head-Fi market. The latest is QUAD, pioneers of Electrostatic Speakers who has now released the ERA-1 Planar Headphones.

The ERA-1 headphone is a brand-new over-ear design, and QUAD's engineers have developed a hair-thin planar magnetic drive film that is lighter than the air it displaces!

Extensive anti-vibration components in the structure keep the sound clean, and big soft earpads deliver long-term comfort.

QUAD boast of a fast, open and transparent sound, similar in quality to the famous ESL range of electrostatic loudspeakers.

A bold claim, but we hope they have succeeded. The ERA-1 could be a category killer, but we will have to wait until we get our ears on some.

Usefully, the headphone is both low-impedance and high-sensitivity which should allow the ERA-1 to work well with a wide range of components, from phones & personal players to headphone amplifiers. QUAD's valve-based PA-One headphone amp/DAC will undoubtedly be a good match.

The specified frequency range of 10Hz to 40,000Hz and low distortion bode well for the sound.

Robust construction and a premium finish deliver a suitably luxurious feel, and the headphones look to be comfortably lightweight compared to many planar magnetic designs.

Delivered in a complete package, The ERA-1 come with both soft leather and fleece-layered earpads for different tastes and slightly different sounds. A high-quality, detachable 2m cable is supplied, together with a 'luxurious' durable carrying case.

The pricing is competitive at £599.95 and they're available late July 2018.

QUAD says:

High-resolution sound, teeming with musical expression — the ERA-1 headphones submerge you in the performance of your favourite musicians with direct and engaging intimacy. Once again, QUAD delivers 'the closest approach to the original sound', bringing you up close and personal to the music you adore with beguiling clarity and definition.

For more information visit Quad.


  • Model – ERA-1
  • Type - Planar Diaphragm Headphone
  • Impedance – 20 Ohms ±15% (at: 1000Hz )
  • Sensitivity - 108 ±3 (dBNrms or 92dB/mW @1000Hz )
  • Frequency Response Range - 0-40,000Hz
  • THD - <0.2% (at: 1000Hz 1mW)
  • Rated Input Power - 100mW
  • Max Input Power - 300mW
  • Channel Balance - <2dB (at: 100Hz-5kHz)
  • Accessories - synthetic leather ear cushion, genuine sheep skin ear cushion, 2m Y cable, EVA carrying case
Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun national newspaper in Australia for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in the industry, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

Get the latest.

Sign up to discover the best news and reviews from StereoNET UK in our FREE Newsletter.

Posted in: Headphones
Tags: quad