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ES Lab

ES Lab ES-R10 Closed Back Dynamic Headphone

After years of engineering, material sourcing, and research, ES Lab presents their first ever closed dynamic headphone: the ES-R10, a complete replica of the legendary Sony MDR-R10. Offering the ultimate user experience, identical to the original MDR-R10 in terms of presentation, comfort, and aesthetic, making an all-time legend and pinnacle in the headphone industry within reach once again!

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“In our research roadmap, we measured every component in the original MDR-R10 and recreate each of them with modern technology and resources with minimal modification. Not only the signature wood housing, ES-R10 preserves most details that are on the driver, cable, earpads, headband and in the internal structures, making the assembly process delicate and precise.”

– ES Lab Founder & Head Engineer

Our Take

The ES Lab ES-R10 masterfully captures the magic, detail and naturalness of the original, while offering outstanding comfort an a unique timeless aesthetic. If your looking for a comfortable closed back headphone with an engaging presentation we recommend pairing the ES-R10 with our GS-X Mini amplifier and the Chord Qutest DAC for an incredible audio system.

Research Roadmap

There have been many controversial opinions regarding the original MDR-R10's performance and whether it can stand up to its reputation due to its 30 years of aging and material deterioration. Most of the remaining MDR-R10 still in existence suffer from degrading foam, stiffening of the earpads, and diaphragms that are losing structural integrity. Only a few lucky enough to own a well-preserved MDR-R10 can hear its true performance. What most people hear in the present time is often a presentation with weakened bass and pronounced treble.

Timeless Design Brought to Life with Modern Materials

ES Lab's only goal in tuning the ES-R10 is to replicate the original MDR-R10 without any bits of additional coloration. To achieve this, the ES-R10 was compared to multiple MDR-R10 with varying conditions and serial numbers, including one with a pair of brand-new original sound absorption foam installed. Through the ES-R10, people could hear how the MDR-R10 sounds as if it is straight out of the factory with the aging factors excluded: balanced and neutral. In fact, some have claimed the ES-R10 exceeds the original's performance, thanks in part to the results of fruitful research applied to execute a classic design with modern materials.

  • Suspension & Driver: ES-R10 features the same 3-point suspension system as the Sony MDR-R10, isolating the resonance of the wooden housing and quite literally turning the headphone into a musical instrument. Significant time and cost were put into plastic injection molding to recreate the complex rubber dampers, a well-designed mechanism that allows the ES-R10, like the MDR-R10, to achieve excellent imaging and a spacious soundstage. Like the original MDR-R10, a pair of 50mm bio-cellulose drivers are used in the ES-R10. Their high sensitivity and low impedance allow the ES-R10 to be powered by most portable devices.
  • Dampening Materials: Material sourcing was the greatest challenge in making the ES- R10. In the original MDR-R10, a great variety of materials with custom specifications are used. From foam to wool filter paper, a tremendous amount of effort is put into sourcing the same material with the same physical and acoustic properties. One by one, the ES Lab team painstakingly sampled and explored dozens of options until finding the ideal materials to create the most optimal and authentic sound.
  • Earcups: With cutting-edge optical 3D scanning technology, ES- R10 follows the signature wood housing with the identical contour, texture and acoustic properties as the original by breaking the surface geometry into millions of faces. Each piece of Japanese Zelkova Wood is hand-picked before going into a series of delicate finishing processes and becomes an essential component forming the ES-R10’s natural and euphonic tonality.
  • EarPad and HeadBand: No component alters the sound of a headphone as much as its earpad. So, to recreate the complex contour of the original earpads for the ES-R10, an original MDR-R10 earpad was dissected and reduced to individual projections for precise replication. ES Lab is one of the first in the industry to make perforations directly onto the internal foam, using a custom-made die tool to minimize the foam hardness to align with the original earpad. In the end, each of the more than 20+ individual components is meticulously hand-assembled for each pair. Wearing comfort and sound quality share the same importance. The earpad and headband of ES-R10 are made of lamb leather to eliminate any potential pressure points.
  • Cable and Connectors: ES-R10 utilizes a detachable cable design. Gold-plated connectors and custom-made Triple-C 4 core cables with layers of vibration-free cladding are used, all to minimize distortion and microphonics.

What's In the Box

• ES Lab R-10 Headphone

• Paulownia Carrying Case

• 2m Triple-C 4 Core Cable


Driver: 50mm Bio-Cellulose Dynamic Driver

• Less than 0.03% THD,ref. 1KHz at 94dB

Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz

Impendence: 36 Ohm

Sensitivity: 103dB/mW

Maximum Power Capacity: 1000mW

Weight with cable: 520g

ES R-10

About ES Lab

Originating in Hong Kong, ES Lab is a newly established brand specializing in high-end electrostatic audio products. After years of research, their accumulated know-how enables them to make outstanding products with uncompromising transparency, with an engaging and dynamic sound!