Flagship Electrostatic Headphones Review: Audeze CRBN & Stax SR-X9000

August 6, 2022 § Leave a comment


The CRBN builds on the DNA of Audeze’s headphones. It retains most of the excellent bass and dynamics of its planar magnetic cousins, then adds in the electrostatic magic of speed, resolution, and transparency. The CRBN really shines in genres like rock, jazz, and EDM, which benefit from its strengths in body and density. Throw in the fact that it is the most comfortable Audeze I’ve tried, and you have yourself a winning combination. 

The Stax SR-X9000 is billed as Stax’s new flagship. With a price tag to match, it has very high expectations to meet. Yet, that is exactly what it does. As amazed as I was at how great the SR-009S sounded in my system, the SR-X9000 comprehensively surpassed the SR-009S to an extent that more than justifies the increase in price. On classical symphonic music, the genre I listen to most, the SR-X9000’s was by far the best music reproduction I have ever heard on headphones. It has a vast soundstage, tonality that is spot on, and it reproduces instruments with such realism in texture and tone that it connected me to the music more emotionally than any other component. The only break from perfection is a tendency to sound ethereal, without quite the same dynamics as its sibling, or the best planar magnetics.

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