July 15, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Headphones

Abyss Diana DZ Review

Abyss is a boutique headphone brand known for its high-fidelity sound, popular appeal, and quality products. Some reviewers have touted the Diana line of headphones as the “best headphones” ever produced. Although high praise can be a great thing, this means that the brand must continue to innovate and push in order to compete with other high-end brands. The new version of Diana DZ is an update of its previous version, Diana MR. Located between TC and MR in terms of price, they will start at $3,995 and will vary depending on the termination and cable length selected. Let's find out if the Diana DZ is a real improvement in the Diana DZ review.

Look and feel – Diana DZ

As for aesthetics, this is a subjective opinion. Personally, I think the new purple abalone inlays on the driver housing are the best looking headphones on the market. The use of rare materials and colors selected by Abyss speaks to the level of detail with which these headphones are designed. I am sometimes amazed that headphones in this price range expand a company’s aesthetic template. Offering consumers products that look like their lower-end models isn’t necessarily a disadvantage if they are comfortable and useful. At the same time, these headphones look and feel as luxurious as they sound. While looks are subjective, I am confident that these headphones will turn heads.

The main complaint I heard about the Diana MR and TC was about their comfort. While the ear cushions were extremely soft, the sloping curves of the headbands didn't make much sense ergonomically. Simply put, if you didn't have a square head, they weren't that comfortable. The DZs have improved this greatly. The leather covering of the headband now contours to the listener's head. Add to this the fact that they've reduced the weight by 75g compared to the MRs, and they've become a much more comfortable and ergonomic design.

What is in the box?

  • Includes a high-quality headphone cable from JPS Labs with a choice of 3.5mm, 6.3mm (1/4″), 4-pin XLR or 4.4mm balanced connector.
  • Custom hard carrying case with velvet lined interior
  • Abyss Diana DZ Headphones

Technical specifications

  • 63mm Flat Abyss Driver
  • 50 Ω impedance
  • 92dB/mW
  • Frequency response 5Hz-65KHz
  • 315 grams
  • Optional accessories include an upgraded JPS Labs HP Superconducting cable and vegan eartip options.
  • 3.5mm, 6.3mm, 4.4mm and 4-pin XLR cable options
  • CNC milled aluminum frame
  • Designed and assembled in the USA.

Soundstage – Diana DZ

The Abyss DIANA DZ delivers an exceptional soundstage that sets it apart from many of its competitors. The spatial presentation is wide and accurate, creating an immersive listening environment that audiophiles and professionals will appreciate. I felt that the MR had a bit of distance supplementation, which becomes more intimate and realistic on the DZ. The distance of sounds feels more nuanced here, allowing me to perceive the 3 dimensions of the music. The recreation of sounds is unparalleled, with incredibly accurate stereo images that clearly define the position of each instrument in the soundscape.

One impressive aspect of the DIANA DZ is the lack of driver bleed. I had a great time listening to the clean, accurate audio presentation. Although sounds have a bit more reverb than a dry pair of reference headphones, I absolutely believe you can mix and master using the DZ. This separation certainly increases the headphones’ ability to recreate a realistic soundstage. If you’ve ever listened to the Audeze MM-500, imagine that accuracy on steroids. Everything blossoms a bit more, with sounds becoming louder and wider to the ear. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the DZ's soundstage is its height. This vertical expansion creates a sense of openness and air around music that is often missing from lesser quality headphones. It becomes apparent that there is no perceived “ceiling” to the sound, giving me that stage-like height that is often sought after.

The combination of spaciousness, precision and height in the DIANA DZ soundstage results in holographic audio that can make listeners feel as if they are in the same room as the performers. This immersive quality enhances the enjoyment of all musical genres, from intimate acoustic recordings to large orchestral pieces.

Audio Impressions – Diana DZ

Minima

The bass of the Abyss Diana DZ is round, full and warm. These headphones offer a low-end response that is both satisfying and refined. These are perfect headphones for audiophiles who appreciate accurate and musical bass reproduction. One of the strengths of the Diana DZ bass is its effectiveness with live tracks that often lack bass. The headphones manage to bring out the low end in these recordings without making them sound artificially boosted. Tracks mixed with vivid colors take on a much more balanced and natural quality.

The Diana DZ’s bass extension is impressive, reaching into the lowest levels to provide a solid foundation for the music. Sub-bass frequencies are present and felt, but not overly strong. This tuning allows listeners to experience the full range of bass frequencies without them overwhelming the rest of the mix. Clarity in the bass region is an issue for warm-sounding headphones, but it is not on the DZ. Low frequencies are well-defined and articulate, rarely muddying the overall sound. This clarity allows for easy differentiation between different instruments and bass notes.

The Diana DZ's bass performance contributes significantly to the headphones' overall timbre and resonant sound quality. Bass provides a sense of weight and authority to music without overpowering the layers of a song. This balance results in a rich and engaging listening experience across various musical genres. Whether reproducing the deep, resonant notes of a double bass in a jazz recording or the powerful electronic bass in modern pop and hip-hop tracks, the Diana DZ delivers a bass performance that is both palpable and enjoyable. This feels like an adult bass product. The level of refinement and control in the low range that justifies its position in the premium headphone market.

media

The Abyss Diana DZ’s midrange is a testament to the headphone’s well-thought-out tuning. One of the notable aspects of the Diana DZ’s midrange is its non-aggressive nature. The mids don’t jut out or pop out of the mix, but rather blend smoothly with the rest of the frequency spectrum. This tuning choice results in a natural, fatigue-free listening experience, even during extended sessions.

There is a slight roll-off from the low-mids which helps maintain a warm yet clean character. This smooth transition prevents any boxiness in the low-mid range, unless the track itself has a very mid-forward mix. The result is smooth and pleasing. A subtle boost around 800 Hz brings a powerful punch and fantastic force to sounds in this range. This is especially noticeable on drums, which sound concise yet powerful. Sadistic Intent’s track “Sinister” showcases this quality, with snares cutting through the mix with clarity and impact. This balance allows for excellent vocal reproduction and instrument separation, ensuring that complex mixes remain intelligible and engaging.

Despite not being the focal point of the Diana DZ’s sonic signature, midrange performance is crucial to unifying the headphone’s overall presentation. I really enjoyed the presence of instruments and vocals, which allowed the enhanced bass and highs to shine. This careful balance results in a cohesive and musically satisfying listening experience that sounds great on metal, pop, rock, and alternative music.

Triple

The most notable feature of the Diana DZ’s treble is the clarity and articulation it provides without introducing sibilance. This delicate balance is crucial for long-term listening comfort and makes these headphones excellent for any application. This careful voicing allows for the reproduction of the finest details and textures in music without being harsh or penetrating. As a result, the DIANA DZ can reveal the nuances of complex recordings while maintaining a smooth and pleasant treble character.

One of the strengths of the Diana DZ's treble performance is its ability to add brightness and lightness to vocals and other elements in the mix. This quality is beautifully demonstrated on tracks like Amaarae's “Sociopathic Dance Queen,” where the ethereal quality of the percussion and synths is enhanced by the headphones' excellent transient response in the high frequencies.

The overall frequency response of the Diana DZ could be described as pleasantly “V” shaped, with the treble less pronounced than the bass. However, this tuning does not compromise the timbre or overall balance of the sound. Instead, it results in a warm but shaped presentation that many listeners will find organic and complete. Rather than competing with the bass, the treble serves to support and complement the bass, resulting in a cohesive and well-integrated sound signature. Although I think a little more treble would make them absolutely wonderful, I am completely impressed with their performance.

While some listeners might prefer a slightly brighter tuning to further balance the sound, the Diana DZ's treble performance is overall excellent. It provides enough detail and air to meet critical listening needs, while maintaining a smooth, non-fatiguing character, allowing for extended listening sessions.

Summary

In conclusion, the treble performance of the Abyss Diana DZ shows the high-end pedigree of the headphones. It delivers a refined and detailed high-frequency presentation that complements powerful bass performance and well-tuned mids, resulting in a coherent and engaging listening experience across multiple music genres. The engaging and natural soundstage should please listeners of a wide variety of genres. Their multiple termination options and low weight make them comfortable and suitable for almost any listener. This product has been designed with consumers in mind and I have no doubt that the high price is justified by the performance of the Diana DZ.

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