We’ve written about a few different 3D-printed audio projects, from 3D-printed headphones to gramophone-esque HTC One speakers. MrSpeakers may be the first to offer a production run line of 3D printed headphones for serious audiophiles.
The Alpha Dog is an upgrade to MrSpeakers’ previous Mad Dog line of high-end headphones. The new set relies on 3D printing to create a unique design that could not be manufactured by injection molding. MrSpeakers founder, Dan Clark, explains in the video below that the Alpha Dog headphones began to take shape when the audio engineer and his team were prototyping their new line. Upon realizing that 3D printing offered structural benefits, Clark opted for the technology to produce the new line. The manufacturer optimized the hexagonal infill, characteristic of 3D printing, to make the headphones more lightweight, but maintained their rigidity by designing a double wall for the shell. Ultimately, this design, as the website describes it, “dramatically expand[s] soundstage, [giving a] smoother frequency response and faster and more tuneful bass” and “improve[s] isolation”. What MrSpeakers is calling the Super-Cup design is said to have improved acoustics, thanks to the additive manufacturing process. The auto paint finish also gives it a glossy look that’s appealing to the eye.
The Alpha Dog also features a number of other characteristics that enhance the overall listening experience. The increased rigidity of the baffle, which blocks audio interference, improves the headphones’ overall clarity and accuracy. MrSpeakers uses a special Very-Bass™ tuning system, that allows users to increase or decrease the bass levels emitted by the headphones, as well as the ability to return them to factory tuning. The Alpha Dog headphones are specially designed for better comfort, too, due to the “twist to mount” ear pad attachment mechanism and the recessed cable jacks.
I try not to roll my eyes while I’m writing, as it leads to bad grammar, but I had no choice when I read the name of these headphones, my only issue with the headphones. Is the idea of anything being the alpha dog still appealing to anyone? I’d rather my products be a little kitty cat basking in a window than some macho dog constantly questioning his own masculinity and attempting to ensure dominance over the other dogs. Then again, I’m also not the type to pay $599 to listen to other people’s music when I could buy an Epiphone for the same price and make my own.
But HiFi Guy, in the video embedded above, seems to really dig his pair of Alpha Dogs and Dan Clark himself seems to be a nice fella, too. So, if you are the type to invest in a pair of high-end headphones for the ultimate listening experience, you might consider buying a pair of Alpha Dogs and letting us know how it goes. Meanwhile, I’ll be working on my own pair of Basky Cat headphones. They’re fifty cents and they don’t do anything.