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 Gaia/Avatar, Soundaware D100Pro SD card transport; Preamp: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with Elrog ER50; Power amps: LinnenberG Liszt monos; Headamp: Kinki Studio; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Aurai Audio M1 [on loan]; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room so no wall behind the listening chairs
2nd system: Source: Soundaware D300Ref SD transport; DAC: Denafrips Terminator; Preamp/filter: Passive Preamplifier icOn 4Pro SE w. custom 4th-order/40Hz hi-low pass;
Amplifier: Crayon CFA-1.2; Loudspeakers:sound|kaos Vox 3awf, Zu Submission sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan];  Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~4x6m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win7/64; USB bridge: Audiobyte Hydra X+; Headamp: Kinki Studio Vision THR-1; Phones: Audeze LCD-XC on Forza Audio Lab cable; Powered speakers: Fram Audio Midi 120
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; Integrated amplifiers: Schiit Jotunheim R or Bakoon AMP-13R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a, Audeze LCD-2, Final Sonorous X & D8000, HifiMan HE-1000; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model 1
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; DAC: Kinki Studio; Preamp: Wyred4Sound STP-SE II; Power amp: Pass Labs XA-30.8; Loudspeakers: German Physiks HRS-120; Room: ~6x4m

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 had 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."