I recently discovered a new brand (presumably from hearing aid origins) called Blue-Gear. I know very little about the brand, except that they’re based out of Minnesota, and that they only have two products, the CS-2 Stereo Headset and the Crescent PSAP.
While the PSAP looks to be an electronic earplug designed to amplify ambient noise (similar to Etymotic‘s electronic earplugs), the CS-2 is a dual balanced armature IEM with detachable cables (looks like they accept the standard JH/Westone CIEM cables). Sounds like nothing special? Well, maybe it’s more special than you might think — both the PSAP and the CS-2 utilize a crescent-shaped “C-Shell” that seems to tuck that C-shaped arm on top of the anti-helical fold of the ear. It’s certainly unique.
Because of its unique ergonomics, the CS-2 has caught the attention of Japanese specialty audio distributor zionote., as well as South Africa, Hong Kong, and UK-based audio and hearing-protection distributor CluisTROM.
CluisTROM plans to sell it under its own banner in the UK, and I’m told there’s also a single-driver CS-1 model.
Heir Audio readies the 5.0 — part of its universal-fit line, it’s a 5-driver, 3-way, dual-bore IEM with a sound signature intended to be similar to the flagship, custom model 8.A. There’s already a thread up about it on head-fi.
So, this isn’t exactly new for February, but lost in the shuffle of all the news at CES in January was the announcement that, after a few delays and redesigns, the Cardas Audio 5813 Model 1 will definitely be going on sale after April 1st of this year, for $425 USD.
It’s interesting that they’re no longer calling it the “Ear Mirror“, but rather “Ear Speakers“, so I wonder if they altered the curvature of the reverse acoustic horn since the last time they featured it. I’d originally been a little skeptical about the whole marketing spiel that George Cardas spewed about the shape of the body being the same “non-repeating tangent” style as the human cochlea and that the diaphragm was the same size as the tympanum, but I do respect George Cardas for his willingness to experiment with various modalities. He also makes excellent, excellent cables.
Dynamic driver IEMs are only getting better, and recent advances by Sony, HiFiMAN, and Sennheiser have all impressed me a lot in the past year. I really hope that the final versions of the 5813 will sound great.
At CES 2012, Head-Fi TV featured the old (pre-dating the redesign) Cardas 5813s: