Posted on 16th April, 2018


Stax’s domination of the electrostatic headphone market is deservedly comprehensive.

For more decades than we can count, Stax’s electrostatic models have stomped over those of its rivals. So convincingly, when audio buyers think of electrostatic headphones, they intone the word “Stax”.

As if on cue, this Japanese headphone specialist has unveiled a model that’s a little something special to celebrate the company’s 80th birthday.

It’s called the SR-L300 Limited Earspeaker, and it comes finished in black and carrying an 80th Anniversary gold plaque.

The SR-L300’s release includes a matching SRM-353-XBK driver that is also presented in black and given an 80th Anniversary gold plaque.

The point that needs to be made about this release is that it is indeed very limited. Take Stax at its word when it says only a small quantity of these headphones and drivers will be made for the world market.

To bolster their exclusivity, we can tell you only 800 SR-L300 headphones and just 300 SRM-353-XBK drivers will be made.

Pricing for the pair caught us by surprise. We were expecting price points way and beyond what Stax has managed to conjure up so delightfully.

In Australia, the SR-L300 will cost $999 RRP and the matching SRM-353-XBK driver, $1699 RRP. Pricing that makes either, or the pair affordable given this duo boasts impeccable high-end audio credentials.

Tote in their rarity value and you can see why collectors and savvy audiophiles are bound to snap them up in double quick time.

More so since global demand is so high, Stax was only able to allocate a limited quantity for the Aussie market.

Technically the 80th Anniversary models were always going to be a little bit special.

You don’t break out rounds of cider for a memorable birthday. Not when Penfold’s Grange or the best French Champagne is available.

So Stax has gone for the latter and built the SR-L300 with MLER ellipse sound elements found in the pricier SR-L700 model. MLER is Stax’s exclusive electrode structure that uses the unification of metal plates via heat diffusion to attain minimum levels of resonance.

Stax has also employed rugged fixed electrodes machined through stainless photo etching, a process said to endow the SR-L300 with a precise balance of a deep, taut, bass response, translucent midrange and an airy, delicate high frequency.

The SR-L300 is built for comfort. The headband assembly has an easy to adjust stepless slider mechanism to adjust the headpad height.

They are also fitted with a newly designed low-capacitance OFC Wide cable that uses high purity Oxygen Free Copper and a novel, wide parallel structure to get capacitance down to diminishing low levels between each wire strand.

Slip the slinky SR-L300 on your ears, and both will be treated to the sensuous feel of high-quality, flexible, artificial leather clad ear pads.

The SR-L300’s frequency response is 7-41,000Hz. Capacitance including cable is 110pF and impedance, 145K. Sensitivity is 101dB and bias voltage, 580V DC. Weight is 448 grams including cable.

As you’d expect, the partnering SRM-353-XBK driver is a sleek box chock full of the highest-grade electronic parts. At the rear are XLRs used to connect to the balanced output of audio components.

Internally Stax has gone with an all-stage, direct-coupling class-A DC amplifier design. The first stage uses an original low-noise dual FET while the output stage employs a brushed-up emitter follower.

Volume is by way of an in-house, custom made 2-Axis, 4-gang volume pot. The entire chassis, as is Stax’s way, is built using non-magnetic aluminium alloy.

The new Stax 80th Anniversary models are available now but you will need to be quick.

For more information visit Stax.

Further reading: Headphones Discussion


Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

Posted in: Headphones
Tags: stax  audio marketing 

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