JPS Labs have made their name around their Abyss AB-1266 and their different iterations over the years. Then in February of 2018, JPS Labs released a lighter and smaller model dubbed the Abyss Diana. The Diana were a great departure from the big and heavy AB-1266 Phi. Diana were like a pair of portable headphones in size and fit, but with an open back design. The Diana were also not easy to drive so using them like a portable headphone wouldn’t work. And factoring in price ($3999CAD), it’s flagship level expensive. So people were confounded by the Diana. But once you tried them out and got over the initial unconventional fit (ear pads sit over the ears just hovering and not completely touch the jaw and back of the head) it sounded great. It wasn’t the type of sound that immediately grabbed you with bass slam or crazy treble extension. It was a sound reproduction that tried to be true to the source material. It was very easy to listen to with enough treble, mids, or bass when required by the music.
So who bought them? Customers who were looking for flagship level headphones they could use at home and take to the office or business trips using portable DAC/AMP (iFi micro iDSD, Chord Hugo2), and DAPs (A&ultima SP1000, Cayin N8). So it was definitely not for everyone when looking for flagship worthy headphones like the Focal Utopia. But from some including myself, it was better than the Utopia. My personal preference is for IEMs and wearing the Dianas felt easier on the head, very minimal.
1 year later, Jan 2019 we have the introduction of new Diana Phi with slightly longer headband and angling, and bigger ear pads that help in fit and comfort (still a gap at the bottom of the ears). The ear pads are also now about 1/2 the size of the headphones giving a more balanced look as a whole. You don’t get 3 colours to choose from, just dark grey.
Sound wise, you get the highs and and upper mids of the original Diana with more lower mids and bass. So it’s a more coloured headphone. The Diana Phi as the name suggests sounds more like the AB-1266 Phi. With a desktop setup, the best pairing have been out of the Viva Audio 2A3 amp. With a DAP, it’s been the Cayin N8 (4.4mm output). Stock cable is great as expected from JPS Labs.
Come in and try out a demo.