Solitaire Headphones

It is not a coincidence that our first headphones bear the name Solitaire P. Back in 1983 our founder developed T+A’s first planar-electrostatic transducer: the mid-high range unit for the Solitaire OEC active loudspeaker, which remains a legend to this day. Since that time we have continued to exploit this principle for our High-End speakers. The current Solitaire CWT range employs a planar-electrostatic mid-range / treble unit whose frequency range extends up to and beyond 50,000 Hz, and which is capable of generating sound pressure levels above 120 dB. The diaphragm of these transducers consists of a special ultra-thin film, driven by a powerful electrical field.

This principle was the obvious choice for our first headphones, based on the exceptional qualities of this type of planar transducer and our thirty-five years of experience in the development and manufacture of film transducers. Planar-magnetic transducers are very similar to electrostatic devices, as their diaphragm also consists of a thin film driven by a strong magnetic field. For that reason it was therefore natural to develop an open planar system for our first headphones, and build them here in Herford. The decision to start by developing a planar-magnetostat, and only then an electrostatic device, was based on the realisation that a magnetostat has a wider field of application, since it does not require a power supply voltage – as is the case with an electrostatic device. Both fundamental designs are ideally suited to High-End headphones, and are inherently superior to dynamic alternatives.

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Design Philosophy

In every transducer – regardless of whether a loudspeaker or headphones – the diaphragm needs to be driven as evenly as possible. To a limited extent dynamic systems based on voice coils are partially successful in this, but planar systems – such as electrostatic or magnetostatic devices – are much more effective in this regard, since the driving force in both these processes is distributed over the whole of the diaphragm, rather than being localised at the coil position. In principle the actual transducer of our magnetostat consists of rod-shaped high-performance neodymium magnets of varying length, with an innovative pole geometry. These magnets are held in a precise, accurately manufactured mount which guarantees the positioning of the magnetic poles to an accuracy of a few hundredths of a millimetre. This design generates a totally linear magnetic field, in which the special ultra-lightweight diaphragm moves. The diaphragm itself is only a few µm thick, and consists of a structurally stable High-Tech polymer material; it also bears an array of very light conductors – also only µm thick – which are applied in a sophisticated, highly precise photo-chemical process. This unique technology ensures that the entire surface of the diaphragm is driven absolutely evenly, thereby eliminating the partial oscillations which are unavoidable with localised drive systems. The net result is a type of transducer with an enormously wide dynamic range, high peak sound pressures and extremely impressive linearity and freedom from distortion.

Technical Highlights

Solitaire P

Planar-magnetostatic headphones

80 Ohms
Frequency responce
5 Hz - 54 kHz
< 0,015 % @ 100 dB
Type of construction
open, over ear

HA 200

Headphone amplifier

PCM: Double-Differential-Quadruple Converter up to 32 Bit/768 kHz
DSD: T+A True 1-Bit Converter, native Bitstream up to DSD 1024 (49,2 MHz)
Digital Inputs
USB Audio Input, AES-EBU, BNC, Coax, TOS-Link, HDMI (optional)
USB Receiver conforming to UAC2 and UAC3 standards
Digital Section
Separate PCM und DSD signal paths and processing
Additional „Non Oversampling“ DAC mode (NOS-DAC)
Double Mono „State of the Art“ discrete HV Amp technology
Pure Class A power stage
3 separately switchable outputs (Pentaconn, XLR, 6.3 barrel socket)
Adjustable output impedance
Frequency response + 0 / − 3 dB
0,1 Hz – 200 kHz
Special Features
Complete galvanic isolation between digital and analog sections