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The following is an excerpt from an article, it only covers the critical evaluation of the Binom-ER. If you interested in reading the complete article which covers the story of the founder, Oleh Lizohub, the company and its difficulties, and how Binom-ER came to be, you can read Camerton Audio Binom-ER: The Full Story by voja.

Chapter 5 | Critical Evaluation
Disclaimer: I have not purchased the Binom-ER, thus my opinions and findings are limited to my experience and spent time with the Binom-ER. I share no affiliation with Camerton Audio, nor have I been paid to compose and write this article. All opinions, beliefs, and findings are my own and are freely expressed as such. No higher person has overlooked, moderated, or altered the article in any way. The entirety of this article is an original creation solely by myself. This includes but is not limited to: written content, formatting, creative direction, research.

Unboxing Experience

If you are a sucker for eye candy, then I have to say, you might feel let down. In this market, there are two types of people: those who couldn’t care less about the packaging and are only concerned with the listening experience, and those who are in it for the whole package. Personally, I understand and respect both folks. The unboxing experience certainly completes a luxury product, but at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily define it. Neither the Japanese nor the Swiss are famous for their packaging, but rather for their craftsmanship. In the headphones market, there is Meze, which includes an aluminum case with their flagship Empyrean, there is Abyss, which includes a wooden box with their flagship AB1266 Phi TC, there is RAAL, which gives you the option to get a Pelican case with their SR1a, even Kaldas Research offers a premium variant with a display box for their RR1 Conquest. Hell, if you can afford it, you can get the $60 000 Sennheiser HE-1 with a built-in display case… You get the point. Is it nice? Absolutely! Is it a necessity? No. The Binom-ER comes in a plain black cardboard box. Once you lift the lid, you will find the headphones sitting in precision-cut black foam. However, my favorite part is the metal piece on the inner side of the lid. Here you will find the model name, serial number, production date, and Oleh Lizohub’s signature, all laser-etched in gold. Just because of this part, I want to see these headphones in a display case. They deserve it!!


If online images are all you’ve seen of these headphones, then I doubt you will be able to appreciate their true form.

The Binom-ER you know today is far from the Binom-ER I first came across. I recall thinking it looked like nothing on the market—slim on-ear pads, carbon fiber back, shiny silver finish. If anything, it was closer to resembling a damn UFO than a headphone! The weird look, however, is what had me heavily drawn toward it. As a matter of fact, I was so eager to get the most recent updates that it became a daily routine for me to profusely refresh Camerton Audio’s website, Facebook page, and even 6moons’ developing coverage. And then, bam! Binom-ER went from the sleek silver headphone to a completely black headphone with thick pads. I can’t lie, the blackout colorway looks sexy, but it would be nice to see the return of that OG silver iteration.

Can I just start off by saying that the importance of headbands is largely overlooked? The headband on its own can make or break a headphone’s design. Say, the Sony MDR-Z1R—its ear-cups are futuristic and a work of art, but the headband and the headphone yoke don’t follow the same language. A lazily designed headband is all it takes to antiquate a well-designed headphone. Unfortunately, this is the case more often than not. However, one of the greatest challenges of designing a headphone with a fixed headband in particular is the dynamic proportions of the headphone. The designer must think ahead of time and visualize how the headphones will look at different levels of extension. Oleh executed this task in an impeccable manner!

Unlike other fixed headbands, which are oftentimes bland and boring, Binom-ER’s headband is particularly interesting because of its strongly defined lines. It visually segments the design into three distinct sections. Moreover, something that becomes immediately obvious once pointed out, but likely flew over your head, is that the headband is fully stitchless. This is the element that elevates the whole design from modern-looking to futuristic-looking, but in the same vein gives it a geometric appearance. However, the most brilliant design detail on this headphone is the metal piece on the ends of the headband, aka the center-piece. It’s where the headband abruptly goes from a soft, fabric surface to a solid, metal surface. The way the transition is so bold, yet so discreet, is masterful. From afar it doesn’t appear to be more than just a piece of metal, but take a closer look from below, and you’ll quickly understand why it’s my favorite part. Notice how perfectly it conforms to the headband’s figure (the edges on the outer side are sharp and strong, while the edges on the inner side are rounded and soft); or how there’s an all-around bottom bevel that gives the center-piece a three-dimensional appearance and makes it pop; or the three symmetrical screws at the bottom, which balance out the empty space—all details are connected to each other and are in harmony.

The headphone yoke beautifully extends that shift to metal, and also carries over the minimalism elements from the center-piece throughout its design. All it’s comprised of is a thin, flat metal plate that is rectangular. In order to bring some excitement to this bare design, Oleh sculpted on top of it. On the inner side, there is a faceplate with the model name, serial number, and left/right indicator, all engraved. Much like the center-piece, it also features an all-around bevel. However, to make it more fashionable, it is arched in at the bottom, and arched out at the top. I think it adds some much-needed weight to the yoke, but I also like how it goes against the grain. On the exterior, the company’s sans-serif typeface logo is flush-set, and the silver mirror finish makes it the sole contrasting detail on the headphone.

Compared to the rest of the design, the ear-cups stand out the most. From the profile, you can see that they are circular and have a little “tab” at the top. There are three layers, with the outer one having the same finish as the center-piece and its faceplate, the middle one being thicker and having a glossy coat on top of it, and the grill, which serves as the inner layer. The ring with the glossy layer has a bevel around it, making it appear as though there is a gap between itself and the outer layer. However, the side view truly unveils the design philosophy for these headphones. We get to see that the ear-cups’ shell (the outer layer) has a 5 mm flat edge with an inner bevel, and that the “tab” sharply flows into the headphone yoke. The tab makes it look like the shell was a viscous liquid that was flowing toward the yoke, but solidified not long after. There is also a ring that’s screwed into the shell with 10 screws. This ring directs the flow to the headphone driver and the ear-pads. It serves an important role in Binom-ER’s design, as it is the element responsible for its slim appearance. Just as we’ve seen on other parts of this headphone, it makes use of a bevel at the bottom, a flat edge, and another angled flat edge. By using two opposing bevels, it replicates the gap that we’ve already seen on the grill ring. All in all, there are a lot of hidden intricate details.

You wouldn’t otherwise expect an engineer to be able to make such mature design decisions. If you know, you know. The awareness of negative space, the use of corners to define shapes, the understanding of form, these are the job of a professional designer. I do not remember ever seeing a center-piece complementing the headband this well, not on a fixed headband. Geometric shapes, straight lines, flat surfaces, and sharp, crisp angles, are all hallmarks of Bauhaus architecture and its design principles.


If there is one thing Oleh Lizohub is known for, it’s being an accomplished driver engineer. Despite having no prior experience with headphones, he introduced multiple interesting concepts in the Binom-ER.

Before we get into those, let’s get some basics out of the way. Binom-ER is an open-back headphone featuring Camerton’s in-house developed Binom-E 98 mm isodynamic driver. It uses a symmetrical dual-sided magnet array, but that’s about where the basics end. While the carbon fiber driver housing is eye-catching, what lies underneath is even more exciting. Let’s talk about magnets for a second. Neodymium magnets have been a long-standing industry standard in planar-magnetic headphones. If you have ever come across N50 or N52 in the specifications or marketing material, it refers to the use of neodymium magnets (the “N” stands for neodymium, and the number specifies its maximum energy product, i.e. strength). For the sake of keeping this article at an acceptable length, forgive me for leaving out scientific details. In short, the higher the grade (the number), the stronger the magnet is. As far as headphones go, N50 and N52 are the most commonly used grades, with the latter being the strongest commercially available neodymium magnet grade—up until recently, that is. Binom-ER uses the current strongest N54-grade magnets.

To get an isodynamic driver to work, you need the previously mentioned magnets, a thin dielectric film, in this case, polyethylene terephthalate [PET], and a conductive layer. The modern method of applying the conductive layer onto the diaphragm consists of sandwiching the PET film and aluminum foil, and then etching the excess aluminum foil away, leaving conductive tracks where necessary. As you can imagine, the specifications and properties of each component dictate the driver’s performance, so it should come as no surprise that Oleh went above and beyond to get the materials that met his demands. For one, the aluminum foil used in the Binom-E is made of the A999 aluminum alloy; an aluminum alloy that is neither in the European nor American classification systems. This material is manufactured in Ukraine for the aerospace industry. By definition, A999 is an ultra-pure aluminum alloy (≥99.999%), having fewer than 0.001% impurities. It takes several fine steps of purification to obtain it, which, of course, comes at an extra expense. According to Oleh, the closest commercially available alternative is EN-AW 1199 (99.99%), the purest aluminum alloy in the European classification system. For two, there is a layer of a special silicone compound between the PET film and aluminum foil. Not only does it act as an adhesive, but also as a dampening layer. “It makes the sound much smoother than without it.”

Camerton even put its own spin on the conductive tracks. Most planar-magnetic headphone drivers use serpentine-patterned conductive tracks in horizontal orientation, but other designs, such as the circular pattern popularized by Yamaha in the early ’70s, also exist. Aside from the aforementioned, there have been some experimentations, but no breakthroughs. Oleh’s design is based on the serpentine pattern, but instead of leaving an empty space in between each line, there is an inverted square wave pattern. This area is directly exposed to the ear, i.e. offset from the magnets, hence why it’s visible when you remove the ear-pads. While conducting a thorough search for any other headphone or loudspeaker driver with a similar conductive track layout, to my surprise, came up what appeared like an identical Binom-E driver. Up until then, the Binom-E, to my knowledge, was Oleh’s original creation. I promptly reached out to him and directly asked whether the company selling the driver was Camerton’s OEM. Equally direct in his reply, Oleh called my question amusing and made it unequivocally clear that the developing and manufacturing of his drivers are done entirely by himself. You can’t fault him for taking some offense to my question—imagine how you would feel about some company taking credit for your hard work. As for the Binom-E’s copy, Oleh couldn’t have been less fazed. If anything, with all the unreturned samples he sent out in the world, he saw it coming.

Last but not least, an element that is not directly a part of the driver but is no less important role in shaping the sound—the grill. At first glance, it’s a very boring-looking part of the headphone, with a few exceptions like the Meze Empyrean, but once you understand how reliant a headphone’s sound performance is on the grill, you start to appreciate its role. While other headphones feature a simple perforated grill, Binom-ER features a unique and authentic design. I think Oleh explained it the best, “The peculiarity is that its cells, having the shape of an ellipse, have a horn section. This allows very efficient damping of the drivers.” Before receiving this answer, I found myself staring at the grill for 20 minutes on more than one occasion… It’s very easy to lose track of time by trying to comprehend its design. Consider that a warning! The grill uses a checkerboard pattern, with the hole “fields” being oddly shaped. It’s as if you took a needle and poked holes at an angle, that’s the best way I can put it. Moreover, there are only a few sections where the holes are clear (easily visible when shining a flashlight underneath). If I were to name this design, I’d call it abyss.

Build Quality

Materials are something that goes back to Camerton’s roots, so it goes without saying that there’s a serious amount of thought put behind the material choices.

When you hold the Binom-ER in your hands, you know you are holding an absolute unit of a headphone. In my opinion, one of the defining features is its buff physique—think Mike Tyson in his prime. It’s the real deal. By no means is it a large headphone, but it’s packed to the max for its size, that’s for sure. Mind you, it’s not the heaviest of headphones either, sitting in at around 429 g. The weight isn’t excessive; instead, it’s very fitting to the headphones’ form. Also, please don’t misinterpret “buff” for “bulky,” as the two have completely different meanings.

The material of choice for the headband is Alcantara. Regardless of being soft to the touch, the headband is rigid and sturdy in construction. Perhaps the 0.3 mm thickness of the material partially explains that. To ensure that headphones comfortably rest on your head, there is a padded area with a 1 mm thick foam lining. What’s noteworthy in particular is that everything from the center-piece down is made of metal. Oleh avoided the use of stainless steel at all costs, the primary reason being weight. Every metal piece on the Binom-ER is either made of aluminum or an aluminum alloy. However, that’s not all. Believe it or not, it’s the coating on the metal parts that steals the spotlight. Aside from Camerton Audio being one of the only companies in the headphone industry to be using PVD coating, it’s also the only company to be using titanium carbide (TiC) as the coating material. Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating is an advanced surface treatment technology that involves applying a thin layer of material to an object's surface. During this process, the object is placed in a vacuum chamber, and a solid material, such as a metal or ceramic, is heated until it turns into vapor. The vaporized material then condenses onto the surface of the object, forming a thin and even layer. The high temperature, coupled with the pressure, creates an environment in which the atoms of the coating material interdiffuse with the atoms of the surface material, creating a permanent molecular bond between the two. As for titanium carbide, it’s fascinating for many reasons, but let’s just say that it’s extremely hard. You might be wondering why there is an absence of PVD coatings in the headphones field, and the main reason is that it’s a costly method. The coating material is typically chosen for its thermodynamic, physical, mechanical, and chemical properties, but for headphones, it’s primarily chosen based on its appearance… which may explain why some manufacturers cannot justify the increased cost.


Thanks to the thick, soft, perforated ear-pads and the Alcantara headband, I knew that the Binom-ER met the requirements for a comfortable headphone. I’ve had multiple listening sessions that lasted over 3 hours, and let me tell you, each one was a heavenly experience. There was no fatigue from the clamping force, the weight of the headphones, or the ear-pads. However, I can see how some people may complain about the size of the ear-pads, with them leaning toward the smaller side of the spectrum. Personally, my ears fit perfectly in there, but anyone with slightly larger ears might need to stretch them out. What prevents the Binom-ER from achieving top-tier comfort is the absence of two features: horizontal and vertical rotation of the ear-cups, and increased height adjustment. The only plausible way to make a pair of headphones adjust to everyone’s head is by allowing the ear-cups to freely rotate. Imagine just how silly it would be to lose out on a customer because the headphones didn’t fit them. Fortunately, Oleh was fast to recognize this as an issue. He’s working on adding rotation to the ear-cups, while the latest version of the Binom-ER already received a height adjustment extension. In addition, there are now two extra sets of ear-pads that you purchase.

There are three areas that Camerton can work on to improve Binom-ER’s comfort:
1. Introduce horizontal & vertical rotation of the ear-cups
2. Increase the size of the ear-pads lips
3. Increase height adjustment [currently 6 steps of height adjustment]
As far as the latter goes, it’s because my ear-pads have a very short lip, which causes them to fall off rather easily. I’ve been a big advocate for making horizontal and vertical rotation of the ear-cups an industry standard, and it’s because that’s the only way to make a pair of headphones a true one-size-fits-all. Can you imagine how silly it would be to lose a customer because your headphones don’t fit them? Whenever possible, you want to increase the versatility of your product, not cut it short of it.

There’s not much to it than that. Despite being a compact headphone, the Binom-ER stays comfortable all around.

PS: Oleh hinted that he’s already onto the first two points.

Sound Performance


With every headphone that I’ve had the opportunity to listen to, percussion was something I left to be written about in the treble section. The reason is that I never found it to sound remarkable enough in the low end. Sure, there were instances where it sounded pleasant and fun, but it wasn’t quite it. Camerton’s Binom-ER, however, has the most realistic drum reproduction I’ve heard to date, making it the first headphone whose percussion I find worthy of covering here. When I say “percussion,” what likely comes to your mind are bass drums, and though they sound fantastic, possessing both heft and voluminosity, they don’t impress me nearly as much as tom drums. Just like other analog instruments, tom-toms have a certain complexity that makes up their sound. This complexity consists of far more than just some frequencies. For example, if you’ve ever listened to acoustic instruments such as drums being played live, you would know that you not only hear but also feel them. Texture is defined as the distinctive physical composition of something, especially as perceived by the sense of touch. However, I propose that sound can have texture too, as it can have a tactile aspect that our ears feel. It’s this very physical sensation perceived by the ears that I would define as sound texture. The Binom-ER perfectly captures the fine nuances, both sonic and tactile, of tom drums, so much so that you can tell apart how the drums were hit, with what type of drumsticks, at which part of the drum, and even the type of a drum being played. Beyond that, it is its stupendous ability to replicate the drum’s tension, a physical characteristic, that left me speechless.

Moving away from acoustic instruments to the more controlled electric and digital instruments, I found the Binom-ER to possess the desired qualities. Since these instruments are somewhat sterile by nature, there isn’t as much texture and nuance to be captured. However, we can still judge their quality and quantity. In techno, bass punches hard with great tactility but does so without sounding dry or lacking fullness. The interesting thing about bass quantity is that it’s more balanced and lean than it is forward and aggressive. That’s what’s nice about the open-back design, it leaves plenty of room for bass to escape and spread around, never letting it become overwhelming. After juggling between different genres, I settled on the judgment that this is a mid-bass dominant headphone. Hold up, don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions! Camerton tuned the sub-bass in a way that is subtle yet not lacking in quantity. Rumble is something we usually find accompanied with great presence, but with these headphones, it’s as though the unnecessary weight has been dropped, leaving only rumble to remain. What this essentially means is that you get the best part of rumble—the underlying physical sensation—to fill the ambience. If you’re still doubtful about the tuning of the sub-bass, let me reassure you that it’s the very reason that sets these headphones apart. Feeling the physical sensation from the low end is a regular occurrence. You’d otherwise assume that the reduction of the sub-bass quantity would mean that it’s less frequent, but it turns out it’s the very opposite. The beauty is in the subtlety.
Where was I, again? There’s something I left off without finishing it. Mid-bass, right. Having established that it has an elegant fullness, I would now like to shift the focus to its quality. To say that the Binom-ER is the most responsive headphone I’ve heard would be anything but an exaggeration. When most people talk about transient speed and say that a headphone is fast, what they really mean is that it is capable of producing short attack. The source that determines the transient speed is the audio being played, while it’s up to the headphone’s transducer (driver) to keep up and reproduce it. In a picture-perfect scenario, a headphone would match the transient speed of the audio source. While I have no objective data or measurements to back up the following statement, at least from my perception, the Binom-ER has a near-instant transient response speed. It’s capable of producing lightning-fast attack and decay, and saying this is nothing more than stating the obvious. There’s much more to it.

Whether it’s striking a drum or plucking a guitar string, both produce sound by the vibration of an instrument element. In the physical world, we can describe how this sound changes over time with what we call an envelope. An acoustic envelope is simplified into three parts: attack, sustain, and decay. The initial attack portion is the time it takes for the sound to reach its max. amplitude (SPL, in this case). Sustain is the duration of time for which the sound remains nearly constant. Decay is the time it takes sound to return to silence. It’s the decay that I would like to further expand on. After being played, the instrument element doesn’t stop vibrating but rather continues doing so until it returns to its resting position. As this action is taking place, the frequency of its vibration decreases until it eventually drops to zero. It’s this very lingering sound after the instrument element is played that the Binom-ER captures both sonically and physically. The latter is the most fascinating, especially when you consider how fine those low-frequency nuances are. We are talking about details and parts of sound that are essential for it to be perceived as natural by our ears.

Though I put such a large emphasis on it, don’t be under the impression that texture is limited to percussion. As I mentioned above, stringed instruments also have it. Acoustic instruments in general have a texture. For instance, the piano has a distinct texture when the keys are played, especially when done intensely so. This abruptness and instancy of notes is audible on the Binom-ER. On headphones that lack this ability, the energy behind the notes is absent, thus causing them to sound off.


I’ve judged the sound of three dozen earphones and headphones, yet here I am discovering something new. It’s humbling, I admit, but it’s important to stay grounded and remember that you never stop learning! Up until this point, a recurring theme in my mid-range judgments was exploring the presence or absence of certain qualities in the mid-range. These qualities would be either positive or negative exaggerations that deviate from what would otherwise be perceived as natural-sounding. I find it necessary to remind you that our ears are so sensitive to the mid-range, that we will hear the slightest differences in this frequency range. With this in mind, the Binom-ER left me baffled after I failed to make a more prominent observation than that the mid-range sounds normal. That’s the only thing that was repeatedly going through my mind, “Yeah, it sounds very normal”. As a critic who chose to go down the path of more technical-focused reporting, my priority is to portray substance in its entirety without excessiveness. I want the reader to gain comprehension through my use of substantive details, accurate descriptions, and thorough explanations. If you’ve followed any of my rants on Head-Fi, you’ve heard me say, “If I don’t hear it, I don’t write about it.” It’s more of a journalistic approach that revolves around firmly established findings. This is why you won’t find me writing out of imagination or making stuff up for the sake of the reader’s entertainment—flowery language is the least of my concerns. How’s this rant relevant, anyway? Well, when I was presented with the difficulty of making observations, it was something I hadn’t encountered before. After a lot of thinking, I had an “A-ha!” moment, and that was when I realized that the answers I was looking for were to be found within my approach. The Binom-ER’s mid-range shares the qualities of sound in real life, so much so that my ears perceive the auditory sensation as real. This answers everything.

It can be concluded that the less there is to observe in the mid-range, the more natural it sounds. If you think about it, it’s very difficult to describe or explain why sound sounds normal to us. It just sounds normal. Since our ears are designed to hear the human voice clearly, we will detect the slightest variations made to it. So, when I say that vocals sound natural on the Binom-ER, it’s beyond a great achievement! I now also realize that normal=natural, meaning that there’s much more than the human voice that sounds natural through these headphones.


An audiophile headphone with no treble has no place in my personal favorites, and this will come as no surprise to my regular readers. You know, after years of listening to different tunings, I am finally at peace to know that the so-called Japanese tuning fits my preference. For those unaware, audiophiles from the West often find the tuning of Japanese headphones to be too bright, which is how they came up with the term “Japanese tuning”. It’s funny, because whenever I read someone describe the tuning as such, more often than not, I end up liking it. However, with the Binom-ER, it’s more than just something I like; it’s where the second half of the magic comes from. You’ll have to excuse me for bringing up acoustic instruments again, but acoustic guitar strums are just—chef’s kiss. They let you enjoy the treble extension in its entirety. I get the same thrill when listening to percussion, which includes snares, cymbals, hi-hats, shakers, chimes, and others alike. Whichever way you look at it, this is an expertly tuned bright headphone that carries great treble energy without coming off as piercing or fatiguing. To paint a clearer picture of just how clean of an edge it has, I would compare it to an obsidian blade, having a perfectly polished edge that glides with unmatched smoothness.

Addressing the treble more formally, my assessment is as follows. In quantity, treble sits at the far end of the brightness spectrum, and in spite of this, it doesn’t cut through the mix. As for quality, treble possesses exceptional clarity, detail retrieval, and crispness. What's especially interesting is the parallel it shares with the lows; both possessing the ability to reproduce the complexity and physical sensation of sound. Just as the lows excel in this aspect, the highs mirror this sentiment, providing an immersive auditory experience that transcends the conventional headphone listening experience. To feel tactility and tickling in your ears from the treble really is a big deal, as this may very well be among the most challenging characteristics for a headphone to possess. It’s like catching nanoscale details in sound.

Soundstage and Imaging

The grill design used in the Binom-ER perfectly reflects the width of the soundstage, with it deviating from what you’d expect a pair of open-back headphones to sound like. While a good portion of people seek the widest soundstage from flagship open-backs, there is something beautiful about a manufacturer taking upon the challenge of going for something different. You’ve certainly seen discussions where a flagship headphone gets dismissed solely for not sounding “open enough,” and I find that ridiculous. Personal preference is one thing, but exempting a headphone from general consideration because it doesn’t meet one’s expectations or needs is not far from saying that nobody should eat a candy bar because it’s too sweet for one’s taste… I think you get the point I’m trying to make. To me, the Binom-ER stands out not for its soundstage per se, but rather for its ability to seamlessly blend the intimate headphone experience with the open sound that one might typically associate with loudspeakers. The center image remains dense and full-sounding, while the soundstage reaches the width of roughly 60 cm outside the ear-cups when elements are panned to the far ends of either channel. Do note that I am speaking about the soundstage width in a ‘normal’ music setting, meaning no binaural or artificially enhanced recordings (khm, khm, Yosi Horikawa “Bubbles”). It’s more important how a headphone utilizes the stage than how much stage estate it has, and you can bet that the Binom-ER makes use of every inch of it.

Regardless of not having the biggest stage out there, imaging stands as one of the strongest traits of this headphone. There is a plethora of specifications and elements in this headphone that I praise highly, but this is the one that keeps me coming back to it time and time again. The level of accuracy put together with the tactility makes it as though each note, each instrument, occupies its own distinct space within the sonic landscape. You can hear every minuscule movement, and my god, does drum panning sound H-E-A-V-E-N-L-Y.


Since the invention of headphones, fewer than two dozen companies have dared to venture into the summit-fi territory, with more than half of them coming from well-established and reputable industry giants. The ones for which this wasn’t the case still had great financial backing and labor power behind them. In addition to facing the challenge of being a small one-person business, Camerton’s out-of-the-blue entry into the luxury headphone market comes at a confusing time when the consumer market is ever so increasingly unwelcoming toward newcomers. There’s a certain level of expertise and experience that a manufacturer is expected to have before the community grants it a go at a top-of-the-line headphone. Oleh Lizohub, on the other hand, who quite literally had zero prior experience with headphones, was set up for failure all along. However, the tuning fork company lived up to its name.

The Binom-ER is a €5500 statement that redefines the limits of headphone listening. Music gains a completely new depth and life thanks to its unparalleled texture, naturalness, and timbre. This is not one of those headphones for which you have to bring out special tracks to force its qualities. No, instead, these qualities stay present in regular music. From the lows to the mids to the highs, the technicalities are leagues above anything I’ve come across. It’s how you can both hear and feel the contact between the drum stick and the batter head, the plucking of an acoustic guitar string, or the weight of a piano key being pressed. This headphone opens a portal to a different sound dimension, where real qualities, such as the physical movement and characteristics of the instrument’s sound-producing element, are authentically reproduced. To put it bluntly, sound has never sounded more real from a pair of headphones. Performance aside, the meticulous design choices and material selections on the Binom-ER broadcast an architect’s touch, a level of refinement not typically linked with an engineer’s realm. I find it endlessly intriguing how throughout the entirety of Oleh’s career, he has continued to build everything from A–Z by himself, whether that be headphones or loudspeakers.

What Oleh Lizohub did with the Binom-ER wasn’t an attempt, it was a milestone achievement. Such level of craftsmanship and expertise typically requires decades of combined experience, yet he did the impossible all by himself—it’s a story for the books! With a few minor tweaks, the Binom-ER has a shot at becoming one of the best-sounding headphones ever released.

Chapter 6 | The Setup
Oleh explicitly expressed to me that one of the main reasons why he didn’t make an electrostatic headphone was because the technology isn’t portable or modern, which made it clear to me just how important these two aspects were to him. I was highly considerate when picking which source I will pair the Binom-ER with. As a gesture of respect, I searched for a portable solution. I already had a number of iBasso players and amp modules to choose from, but as soon as I plugged it into the iBasso’s flagship DX320MAX player, I knew it was the one.

I have no intention to stir up drama, but this 626 g unit of a DAP is arguably the most advanced portable digital audio player to be ever released. It’s got class-leading build quality, SoC, RAM, DAC chips, battery life, and serviceability, alongside fully isolated digital/analog circuits, a true fully balanced line/phone out, use of discrete amplifier design with desktop-grade capacitors, and even analog volume control with iBasso’s in-house developed stepped attenuator. Reading Binom-ER’s on-paper specifications reveals that it’s quite easy to drive, with an impedance of only 42 Ω and a sensitivity of 98 dB/mW. In other words, there is no need for a flagship DAP that was specifically made for driving power-demanding headphones… in theory. I tend to listen to music with volume set between 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock; if it’s too loud in this range, I lower the gain, and if it’s too quiet, I increase the gain. While following this rule of thumb o’ mine, the gain was set between 3 and 4. However, one time I decided to try maxing out the stepped attenuator (volume wheel) while decreasing the gain until I reached the “desired” listening level. With 4 gain settings and a high sensitivity headphone, it meant I had very little flexibility to fine-tune this level, mostly staying at the lowest gain setting. Although some tracks were too loud even at the lowest setting, I was able to discover a hidden treasure. You see, because the DX320MAX is using analog volume control with the use of a stepped attenuator, it meant that when the volume wheel was maxed out, there was no active resistor in the signal path, i.e. achieving an unrestricted signal path. It’s at this exact setting that I feel like I’m listening to the Binom-ER at its full potential. The lows get more defined, the transient response becomes significantly more tactile and responsive over the whole frequency spectrum, and most notably, the trebly fully opens up. I couldn’t believe how much more sparkle there was and how much clarity it possessed. iBasso’s stepped attenuator is attributed for bringing out Binom-ER’s best qualities, as well as making the most of DX320MAX’s components. If you haven't done so alredy, I strongly suggest you read my iBasso DX320MAX Ti review. I promise it's a worthy read.

One issue I discovered with the Binom-ER is that there is present ringing across the frequency spectrum. This sound likely falls outside most people’s hearing, and the only way I can describe it is an audible ultrasound frequency of varying intensity. My best guess is that it’s caused due to the lack of acoustic dampening on the headphone driver, especially with that smooth carbon fiber driver housing. As of January 2024, the Binom-ER has already received an update and now features acoustic foam on the driver housing, which is more than likely Oleh addressing the complaints. Since I didn’t want to physically alter the driver in any way, I made use of iBasso’s brilliant parametric EQ. It’s so well engineered that it can serve the function of a tool, which is the way I used it. After many hours of trying to force the “peaks”, I found them all and decreased their level to the point where they were eliminated. In doing so, I managed to find a true solution that allowed me to form my thoughts and opinions in regard to the Binom-ER’s sound performance.