MIM technology finds niche in audiophile headphone housings

March 4, 2015

MIM technology finds niche in audiophile headphone housings - MIM_headphones_1

Fig. 1 RHA Audio’s T10i

Metal Injection Moulding is being used by headphone manufacturers to create complex headphone housings that offer users significantly improved listening experiences. UK based headphone manufacturer RHA has introduced its flagship T10i headphone (Fig. 1), featuring the world’s first ergonomic, stainless steel driver housings for the mass market. The housing comprises two sections of injection moulded stainless steel (Fig. 2).

MIM technology finds niche in audiophile headphone housings - MIM_headphones_2

Fig. 2 T10i housings in the green (left) and sintered/polished state (right)

RHA states that MIM was the only way it could have achieved the ear contoured shape of the T10i in durable stainless steel. Not only is the T10i designed for comfort, but it is also has unique sonic and airflow properties ideal for functioning with the T10i’s handmade dynamic driver.

Following injection moulding, the parts are solvent and thermally debound prior to sintering. The combined housing pieces are then hand finished with a textured, brushed appearance to the stainless steel.

MIM technology finds niche in audiophile headphone housings - MIM_headphones_3

Fig. 3 Final Audio’s Heaven VIII headphone with MIM housing

Whilst the RHA headphones retail for around $200, audiophile headphones by Japan’s Final Audio Design can retail for up to $2500. In Final Audios’ products, MIM has enabled the freedom to design and manufacture internal forms that have considerable influence on sound quality, controlling elements such as resonance and air flow. The back of Final Audio’s Heaven VIII design, shown in Fig. 3, is reported to not only be for decoration, but resonance dispersion has also been factored into the design, making for a high-level balance between beauty and function.

In 2014 FloMet LLC, an ARCMIM Company, won an MPIF award for a group of MIM headphone components for US-based Sure Inc.

In the latest issue of PIM International…

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Extensive MIM, CIM industry and sinter-based AM industry news, plus the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Calling all product designers: Discover what Metal Injection Moulding could do for you through these award-winning parts
  • Binder Jetting of a dual-phase steel: Process insight and optimisation using the Master Sintering Curve
  • The rise of filament-based metal AM: New materials and machines present opportunities for MIM producers
  • Sinter-based Additive Manufacturing at the 20th Plansee Seminar on Refractory Metals and Hard Materials
  • Ceramitec 2022: Opportunities abound for producers of technical ceramics by CIM and AM

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