Very excited to be able to announce the Massdrop x E-MU Purpleheart.
Day One working at Massdrop, they knew I was coming. Throughout the day, I ended up gathering a row of headphone offerings on my desk wall. “Team Favorites” to try.
The E-MU Walnut “Wood Series” was one of them. Comfy, light, an easy sound signature (warm but detailed), beautiful wooden cups, portable, closed (but not super-isolating), plus drivable from my phone.
I immediately started wondering what we might try to change if we could do a collaboration project.
Maybe the wood type, the printing, colorway, cables, don’t need to change the sound much...
With this new version and Custom Product, in collaboration with E-MU Systems, we offer a portable companion to the E-MU Teak/Fostex TH-X00 Purpleheart/Fostex TH-900 headphones for seasoned audiophiles and an accessible headphone to new people entering the world of wood headphones, biocellulose drivers, and really good sound.
We wanted a headphone that was ready to use on the go and with portable devices, out in public or for home/office use. Not too flashy.
I’ll try to answer some potential questions here and will check in to answer others that you may have…
Wood Type: I learned a lot about making wood headphones with Chan Ming-Tat. From wood grain to finish to manufacturability, E-MU has been a great partner and shared their experience of working with different woods. We tried some different finishes and wood types before choosing the purpleheart. The source for these wooden cups is E-MU systems while the rest of the headphone is sourced and made by Foster (the same manufacturer of the E-MU Teak and Fostex TH-X00 headphones). The purpleheart cups have a natural color (there is no color added). I find these purpleheart cups to have a darker color than the Fostex TH-X00 Purplehearts that I have seen in the office. Lighting in some of the studio shots shows a good deal of color and grain detail in the cups while the variety of shots in different settings on the drop page should help with a sense of how these will look in different conditions.
Drivers: The new E-MU Purplehearts do have 40mm biocellulose drivers while the E-MU Teak and Fostex TH-X00/TH-900 use 50mm biocellulose drivers.
Finish: The purpleheart cups are a matte finish to match the luster of the rest of the headphone. We’ve designed these to be more understated than their bigger relatives so you can truly wear them out and about.
Plastic Cups: The chrome plating on the previous E-MU Walnut cups has been removed to showcase the wood and have a more stealthy look.
Headband: The printing on the outside of the headband has been removed compared to the Walnut and placed inside the headband so it is not visible when wearing.
Quantity: We’ve confirmed ahead of the drop that we have a <definite> maximum quantity of 3,000 units that we can sell during this drop.
Price/Shipping: The price is $74.99 including shipping within the U.S. An additional $10 to ship internationally, including Canada.