It is not being too generous to describe graphene as a 21st-century wonder material. First isolated in 2004, its incredible strength, stiffness and lightness means it has potentially groundbreaking applications across a tremendous range of industries.
Audiophiles have taken note, as strength, stiffness and lightness are key considerations when building speaker cones. Canadian startup Ora has developed its own graphene formulation, called GrapheneQ, specially designed for audio applications. The result is the world’s first graphene headphones. The Ora GrapheneQ Headphones were first crowdfunded last year through a Kickstarter that attracted over 2000 backers, and raised just under CA$800,000 (S$850,000).
The prototypes of Ora GrapheneQ Headphones have already wowed audio reviewers, with many noting their reduced distortion, better frequency response and clarity, and much-improved battery life. The rest also has the features you would expect from an upmarket set of cans — wireless and wired operation, gesture control touchpad, and premium leather ear cups on an ergonomic design.
It seems likely that Ora is only the tip of the iceberg, where graphene speakers are concerned. Perhaps one day speakers of all sorts will be made of graphene — from the tiny ones in a mobile phone or laptop, to full-size enclosures, or even hearing aids.
Should you want some in the immediate future, however, the Ora GrapheneQ Headphones have an expected delivery date of March 2018. The planned full retail price is CA$660 (S$700), though the piece is currently available for pre-order at CA$399 (S$423).