They won’t fit a lot of budgets, but if you’re an audiophile who has long wished for a set of wireless headphones that can deliver truly lossless, hi-res audio, the Hed Unity are the first product that can grant your wish. The over-ear cans use Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth and can store hi-res music within their onboard storage for access to those hi-res tracks even when you’re not at home on your Wi-Fi network. The price for this ultimate level of wire-free listening? $2,199 and you can order them starting April 12 at getunity.com.
The Unity is the first set of
Hed says you’ll be able to listen to lossless hi-res tracks at up to 24-bit/96kHz via Wi-Fi, including peer-to-peer connections when a Wi-Fi access point isn’t available. Most wireless Bluetooth
The Unity launch comes just a few weeks after PSB Speakers announced that it would be the first to deliver hi-res capable headphones. However, PSB’s
At launch, you’ll be able to stream hi-res audio directly from Qobuz, and non-hi-res support includes both Soundcloud and Spotify. Tidal support is coming, according to the company but no word yet on Amazon Music or Apple Music.
Along with the Unity
If you want to take your music to go, the Unity’s onboard 16GB of storage is enough for about 100-267 songs that have been encoded as lossless FLAC at 24-bit/96kHz, depending on length, or about 600 CD-quality lossless tracks.
Strangely, despite offering playback compatibility with hi-res audio formats, the
The Unity are also active noise canceling (ANC)
Hed has also loaded the Unity with a 9-axis motion sensor (accelerometer, gyro, magnetometer) which will be used for head tracking and augmented reality. At launch, these features (plus Hed’d own version of
Though the Unity’s design won’t strike everyone as beautiful, Hed hasn’t spared any expense on the materials — as you would expect for a $2,199 set of
The Unity’s battery charges quickly — from empty to 100% in 1.5 hours — but it doesn’t last very long. The company says you only expect between six and eight hours of Bluetooth streaming or Hi-Res Wi-Fi streaming.
As exciting as it is to finally have the option to listen to lossless, hi-res audio on a wireless set of
Are they worth it? If we get an opportunity to put them through their paces in a full review, we’ll let you know.
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