Japanese brand Stax invented the electrostatic overears (aka ‘earspeakers’), but now it has launched its first wireless and more affordable pair of headphones. The Spirit S3 still aren’t exactly cheap, but they are a lot more accessible than an electrostatic pair.
The Spirit S3 are aimed at audio professionals and enthusiasts (that’s us). They use Planar technology, which combines the benefits of a dynamic and balanced armature driver to deliver “exceedingly detailed lower frequencies and clearer, more consistent high-frequency performance,” according to Stax.
They are also certified to handle hi-res audio.
At a claimed 80 hours, the battery life is something special (and presumably helped by the fact there’s no active noise-cancelling on board). Not only that, but Stax also says that a 10-minute charge will give you a staggering 11 hours of runtime – in that charging time, a lot of headphones can manage only an hour or two’s playing time.
Bluetooth 5.2 comes as standard, giving you greater range and a more robust wireless connection than earlier versions. There is a dedicated app for tweaking the equalizer settings, aptX for higher-quality wireless playback, and a low-latency gaming mode for fragging with minimal delays.
The headphones are made from carbon fiber, which should be hardwearing and lightweight, and they have replaceable ear pads and cable, for extending their longevity.
At £399 ($399, about AU$700) they’re not cheap for wireless headphones; but they do look promising. Can they rival the Sony WH-1000XM5 and AirPods Max? Watch this space…
Read up on the Bluetooth 5 standard and all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound
See our pick of the best Bluetooth speakers 2022: portable speakers for every budget
Check out the best wireless headphones 2022