February
2021

Country of Origin

Germany

Binom-ER

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Denafrips Terminator+ clock-synced to Soundaware D300Ref SD transport/USB reclocker; Preamp/headamp: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature w. WE VT52/300B, Elrog 50/300B or Linlai E-2A3; Headphone mono amps: Questyle CMA-800RCables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, LessLoss C-MARC Entropic cords between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; 2nd system: Source: Soundaware D100Pro SD transport; DAC/pre: Denafrips Terminator or COS Engineering D1; Headphone amplifier: Bakoon AMP-13R; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win7/64; USB bridge: Audiobyte Hydra X+; DAC/Headamp: COS Engineering H1; Upstairs headfi rig: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; Integrated amplifiers: Schiit Jotunheim R or Simon Audio i5; Headphones: Raal-Requisite SR1a, Audeze LCD-2, Final Sonorous X & D8000, HifiMan HE-1000 & Susvara
Review component retail: €5'800

Oleh Lizohub is an expert driver engineer. Having previously worked for a well-known Berlin speaker house, his own company in the same city is Camerton. That's Cyrillic for tuning fork. I had reviewed and awarded his Binom-1 in 2019. That was a shockingly compact piano-gloss monitor with a small ported wideband driver of his own design which really (!) did the 35Hz-25kHz business as claimed. Since then, that driver underwent MkII refinements to become the Binom-A1 Rev.2 at right. When Oleh sent me a press release to that effect, I naturally canvassed his website for potential further news. I saw that his isodynamic headphone driver had birthed a fully formed very elegant thin headphone called Binom-ER. Its driver uses a 6μm polyethelene terephthalate membrane covered nearly entirely by conductive aluminium not copper traces which would be too heavy. Those are driven by a super neodymium motor. The driver's support plates are carbon to minimize weight over aluminium. The specs for this thin driver are 8-20'000Hz bandwidth with 94dB/mW sensitivity, a ±5% impedance of 40Ω and weight of 105g.

For the resultant headphone which doubles as the driver's ideal proof of concept, "I designed its entire structure so as to provide maximum isolation of all elements from the sensitive thin diaphragm. This prevents it from reproducing ambient noise coming from the outer surfaces of the headphone. Hence the ear cushions divide into two acoustically isolated parts. The inner ring suspends on a thin rubber isolator. For this, the cable connects to the outer ring of the ear pads and then a special flexible cable connects to the driver. The rigid elements of the ear cups are anodized aluminum alloy and carbon fiber. There's also genuine leather and silicone rubber. Natural  pores in the material are used as an acoustic resistance panel on the driver's back. In addition to the acoustic function, the soft suspension of the ear cushions creates high wear comfort."

The impedance spike at 140Hz coincides with the membrane's resonant frequency.

Given the phenomenal loudspeaker preceding it, I just to hear for myself whether Oleh had managed to follow up with equally impressive on-ear speakers. The Binom-1 had been costly but finished impeccably to look the part. For his first headphones, Oleh once again reaches deep into our wallet but also pays back with luxury finishing that's fully expected from the established majors like Focal for Bentley but surprises with a far more underground operation. "The next headphones batch will be ready in a few weeks. I'll make sure you get one as well."