Since 2010, Tokyo-based Phonon has carefully built a range of audio products that now has a loyal following that swears by its reference-grade headphones. One of its most coveted models, the SMB-02, is a design that founder Isao Kumano felt couldn't be improved upon and for eight years Kumano had never planned a replacement. This all changed when he found Foster Electric's new MT050A driver, which is at the core of their upcoming model, the SMB-01L. This new model expands the lineup with a larger, high-end 50mm driver unit, building on the brand's signature bass-monitoring capabilities while also producing "flat" sound for accurate and crystal clear audio reproduction. It achieves this via what Foster calls a "Free Edge Structure," which combines bio-cellulose fiber and paper to create a sound profile that sounds more like a speaker and less like a headphone.
The SMB-02 will be available this June and Phonon is currently taking pledges to help fund the release on Kickstarter.