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Quad's first-ever headphones use planar magnetic technology to deliver an enthralling fast, open and natural sound in keeping with the sonic heritage of Britain’s original high-end audio company Cambridgeshire, England – ‘The closest approach to the original sound’ – these words have formed the cornerstone of Quad’s philosophy for many decades. More than just a slogan, it underlies the company’s commitment to producing the finest audio equipment, capable of reproducing all the elements and emotion of a live musical performance. Quad has been responsible for many landmark hi-fi products throughout its history, none more famous than successive generations of the ESL – the world’s most revered electrostatic panel loudspeaker, a technology invented by Quad’s founder, Peter Walker. To create the ERA-1 – the company’s first-ever headphones – Quad developed a planar magnetic driver delivering a fast, open and transparent performance. The resulting sonic realism and fidelity to the source is fully in keeping with the brand’s heritage, displaying qualities akin to the famous ESLs.



​No ordinary headphones 


Most headphones use mass-produced dynamic cone drivers, the limitations of which can hamper transient response and cause an uneven frequency response. Quad’s cutting-edge planar magnetic technology delivers a more natural and accurate sound, ensuring you hear every nuance of a recorded musical performance. The Quad ERA-1 incorporates an ultra-thin, electrically active diaphragm – thinner than a human hair yet extremely strong and highly elastic, weighing less than the volume of air it displaces. This is fused with a precisely arranged magnet system, designed to maximise sensitivity and consistency of the applied force over the driver area. Patented nonlinear vibration suppression technology allows the driver’s effortlessly extended frequency response to be heard unsullied, ensuring supreme clarity. The metal cavity behind the driver is specially designed for optimal acoustic performance, and the drivers themselves are closely matched to ensure spacious, three-dimensional stereo imaging.



Musical Magnetism 

When sound enters our ears, it has a planar wave front with all spectrum components in phase. A typical dynamic headphone driver disrupts this coherence with its phase irregularity, resulting in less than perfect signal peak reconstructions. Quad’s planar magnetic driver has much better phase coherency, since all parts of the diaphragm are vibrating in concert without break up and delayed resonance. The driver’s flat conductor pattern, with an absence of inductive components, eliminates inductance-related intermodulation distortion – this is especially common in dynamic drivers with high impedance and a high number of voice coil turns.



Superbly Compatible

Many planar magnetic headphones require high power amplifiers to drive them. Quad Era-1 combines high sensitivity with low impedance enabling them to perform well with a range of partnering devices, from high res portable players to high-quality headphone amps. Quad's valve-based PA-One headphone amp/DAC is a superb match for the Era-1 combining sonic clarity and fluidity to stunning effect.


Quad equals Quality 

Quad audio components combine the assurance of tradition with the buzz of innovation, and the ERA-1 headphones are a perfect example. Robust construction and a premium finish deliver a suitably luxurious feel, yet the headphones are comfortably lightweight compared to many planar magnetic designs. Two types of ear cushion are provided – one made of soft leather, the other of latex topped with a fleecy fabric – enabling a degree of personal tailoring according to the preferred feel and differing acoustic properties of the materials. A high-quality, detachable 215cm cable is also supplied, together with a durable carrying case.


Plug your ears into the music 

High-resolution sound, teeming with effortless musical expression – the ERA-1 headphones submerge you in the performance of your favorite musicians with direct and engaging intimacy. Once again, Quad delivers ‘the closest approach to the original sound’, bringing you up close and personal to the music you adore with beguiling clarity and definition. 

Tech Specs


Transducer: Dynamic
Diaphragm: Planar Magnetic
Wear: Over Ear Headphones
Impedance: 20Ω +/-15% (@1kHz)

Sensitivity: 108 +/-3dB/Vrms
Sensitivity @1000Hz: 92dB/mw
Frequency Response: 10-40,000Hz
THD: <0.2% (@1000Hz, 1mW)
In Power: 100/300mW (rated/max)
Channel balance: <2dB (@100-5k Hz)
Cable Length: 3m


Accessories : 
Synthetic leather earpads
Genuine sheepskin earpads
1-Y cable
Eva carry case


MAP  $799

Includes hard travel case, 3M cable, 2 sets of pads

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ERA-1 / PA-ONE Headphone Amplifier 

$ 2,340 [save $260]

"Instantly apparent was breathtaking speed, crisp transients being part-and-parcel of the appeal of a fast planar membrane... The sound via Quad’s own PA-One was admittedly warmer thanks to its all-tube nature."

Hi-Fi New Magazine Aug 2018

"Consistently vivid, regardless of headphone amp, the ERA-1 had the requisite amount of splash and effervescence for this instrument. It was more than enough of an indication of sonic authenticity to tell me that this headphone is clean and transparent, varying in behaviour according to source – as it should be."

Hi-Fi New Magazine Aug 2018

"Subtly, sneakily, instruments are added, and this occupies the head with a fullness one would be more likely to equate with a massive orchestra. Via the Quad ERA-1, levels build with the performance, but, should you not be swept away in the moment, the transparency allows you to wrest yourself from the wash of sound to focus on specific elements within it, and with great precision. That, put simply, is a sign of headphones that I feel would qualify as ‘of monitoring standards."

Hi-Fi New Magazine Aug 2018

"What a marvellous first effort! ...This is a superbly-conceived and nicely-finished product, undeniably a bargain at the price. It’s easy to drive, free of fatigue inducement (both audible and physical), so Quad can be proud."

Hi-Fi New Magazine Aug 2018


Quad’s first-ever headphones, the ERA-1 headphones use planar magnetic technology with patented nonlinear vibration suppression technology

QUAD ERA-1 Headphones Gallery
QUAD ERA-1 Headphones Gallery
QUAD ERA-1 Headphones Gallery
QUAD ERA-1 Headphones Gallery
QUAD ERA-1 Headphones Gallery


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