According to a company press release, Panasonic is introducing the high-performance RP-HJE900 ($230) in-ear headphones, featuring Zirconia sound chambers.
The release continues by saying that Zirconia, a white crystalline oxide of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), is extremely durable and can withstand extreme temperatures, which makes it ideal for use as a thermal barrier coating in jet turbines, diesel engines, and now headphones (the headphones, however, are made of solid Zirconia, not merely coated with it). Though an impressive trait that may be useful for some users, the predominant reason Panasonic employed Zirconia is for its properties of resonance. It is less resonant than plastic and aluminum—both popular materials for headphone construction—and provides sound reproduction with virtually no distortion.
The release adds that the RP-HJE900s feature Neodymium magnet voice coils and specify frequency response of 6Hz–26kHz, while offering a 26 Ohm load. They feature detachable wires and will be available in black or white beginning in May 2009.
For more information, visit www.panasonic.com.