In this review we check out the Abyss Headphones Diana TC headphone, selling for $4,495 USD or €5.595 Euro.
Disclaimer: JPS Labs sent us the Abyss Headphones Diana TC in exchange for this review as well as the dCS LINA review which will be posted soon. JPS Labs / Abyss is not related to Headfonia in any way
JPS Labs / Abyss Headphones
Abyss’ parent company, JPS Labs LLC, has been around since 1990 in the business making high performance digital and analogue cables. After many years they have started to dip their toes into the über high end headphone segment and started developing their own planar magnetic drivers and planar headphones. After years of research and development they have introduced the Abyss AB-1266.
Introduced in 2013 the original AB-1266 was unlike any other headphone on the market. I am sure many of you have seen them, and once you did, you could pick them out of hundreds of headphones and know for sure it’s the Abyss. Its looks are very uncanny and some say it resembles a medieval torture device. One thing is sure though, that’s the best brand marketing you can do. Everyone who loves headphones, like we do, immediately knows your name.
In 2017 Abyss introduced their second model – the Diana. Unlike the 1266 it’s much lighter and more compact. I never had a chance to try this one out, but I’m sure it sports the traditional immersive Abyss sound. Since then, Abyss has brought out new driver technologies and has upgraded their AB-1266 and Diana to Phi models. The AB-1266 has even seen some additional iterations, the latest being the AB-1266 Phi TC. Recently Abyss released the Diana TC, and it’s the unit we’ll be looking at today
Earlier in spring of 2019 we have checked out the Diana Phi in a comprehensive review. We looked at the Diana V2 headphones back in January of 2020. Check out their reviews here:
Review: Abyss Diana Phi – Flash Gordon
Abyss Diana V2 Review
In fact, it was Linus who reviewed both of these headphones, but as he is no longer with Headfonia, it’s me who’s the lucky one to review the Diana TC.
Let’s get started!
The Diana TC arrived here a few months ago, right after the dCS Lina was delivered for review. Our version is the dark bronze one, as you can see in the pictures. Here is JPS Labs’ / Abyss Headphones intro video for the Diana TC:
There also is another video in which they discuss the Diana TC, you can find that video here. You can find Abyss Headphones’ website here. The Diana TC dedicated site is here. You can buy it from their shop here.
Let’s first talk about the elephant in the room. If you just clicked the last link, you will have noticed that the Diana TC is a very high end headphone, witch a corresponding price tag. It is selling for $4,495 USD or €5.595 Euro. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive in further.
“A HIGH-PERFORMANCE HOME STEREO WHEREVER YOU GO”
JPS Labs and Abyss have created the Diana TC to relax and enjoy high resolution music at home, at work, while traveling or just for on-the go. The Diana TC now sports new European leathers and pillow top ear pads, for even greater comfort. The Diana TC also comes with the EMotion headband, which magnetically adjusts and contours your head for a comfortable fit. More on comfort in the next chapter. On the side of the headphone, you can find the Fibonacci side hole pattern. It is created for the new TC speaker driver to properly tune the sound while following the flow of nature.
The Diana TC sports large 63 mm patented TC planar drivers with ultra-low mass diaphragm. The planar speaker drivers in the DIANA TC headphone are modelled after their AB-1266 Phi TC and they’re patent pending. According to Abyss that means their drivers deliver extremely fast bass impact and subtle lifelike details to music, and that for any type of music. The Diana TC’s impedance is 69Ω nominal and it has a sensitivity of dB/mW. More on “amplification” later in this article.
Comfort, Design & Isolation
The Diana headphones have a unique and special design, and it of course depends on your personal preference if you like this typical design or not. I quite like it because it’s a rather unusual headphone, and the Dark Bronze finish of our sample is ah so classy. The Polymer ceramic finish of the Diana TC is stunning. Besides Dark Bronze, it also is available in a Titanium Gray version. JPS Labs / Abyss are calling it the thinnest boutique headphone in the world, and they actually might be right about that.
Designed for those who appreciate the finest, this timeless design by ABYSS offers fine music without the bulk of traditional headphones. The Ultimate in sophistication and refinement.
Comfort-wise this headphone is also special. It might not look like a comfortable headphone, but it certainly is. With its 390g, the Diana TC isn’t the lightest of headphones, but a lot of the higher end headphones are on the heavier side. The EMotion headband, a sporty European leather headband with soft Alcantara, does a really good job of evenly distributing the weight over the top of your head. At the same time, I, after multiple hours of nonstop listening have to say I am happy to take them off, as the top pressure does start to annoy.
When you start using the Dina TC, it’s probably more a matter of getting used to the typical shape of the spacious in-house made earpads. The earpads are built with a soft foam and a “pillow top” and adapt to the shape of your head over time. The pads are removable and that works with a magnetic system. The pads are deep enough not to have any side pressure on your ears, it’s quite well-designed system really. The pads might look a bit weird, but they work. For some reason they remind me of the Grado pads, though they’re very different.
I do want to come back to the headphone band, as my head is average in size, and I have the headband set at the smallest “position”. If you have a smaller head, the Diana TC just might be too big for you. Do test it before buying. The clamping force of the Diana TC is on the higher side, but that logically depends on the shape and size of your head. I would still describe the clamping impact as comfortable and the headphone stays perfectly in place when moving around. The clamping force bothers me less than the top of the head pressure after long listening sessions.
The 1.5m cable the Diana TC comes with, is flexible and not too heavy. It’s easy to use and comfortable, as it doesn’t drag the headphone down in any way.
The Diana TC is a fully open headphone so don’t expect anything special isolation-wise. Sound leaks out, noise leaks in, so a quiet environment is recommended. Not only to not disturb people close to you, but also to get the best possible sound-quality.
The article continues on the second page. Click here or use the jumps below.
Page 1: JPS Labs , Abyss, Diana TC, Comfort& Design & Isolation
Page 2: Build Quality, Price & Accessories, Sound Pt. 1
Page 3: Sound Pt. 2, Amplification, Comparisons, Conclusion