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The Beginning

In 2012, Iida, while working as a piano tuner at a major musical instrument manufacturer in Japan, found his passion not only in pianos but also in vintage headphones. Fascinated by the advanced technology of headphones developed by top Japanese electronics brands from the 1970s and 1980s, he was inspired to create his own. Using his background in instrument manufacturing, he began reverse-engineering his collection of vintage headphones to craft his first prototype.


The first prototype utilized unconventional materials, including a 9cm pulp cone unit typically used in speakers, and featured a roughly bent metal headband, highlighting Iida's DIY approach. Although rudimentary, this prototype introduced the core concept of full wood housings and a resonator board inspired by piano construction, laying the foundation for KuraDa's future designs.

Challenges in Development

The journey from concept to prototype in 2013 involved significant challenges, primarily due to the unavailability of components to individual consumers and the complexity of in-house production of dynamic units and sophisticated ear pads.  Iida sought collaborations with various manufacturers. This year also saw the addition of Iikura as a co-founder, who played a critical role in negotiations and adjustments with production companies.This year also saw the addition of Iikura as a co-founder, who played a critical role in negotiations and adjustments with production companies. The collaborative efforts between Iida and Iikura led to the establishment of "KuraDa," a name derived from their surnames. They secured partnerships with domestic microphone and speaker manufacturers and developed the P-10 prototype, featuring laminated wood plates sourced from Hokkaido for the headphone backs.


The end of 2013 marked KuraDa's first public appearance with the unveiling of the P-10 prototype at an industry exhibition. The event was a pivotal moment, with the prototype receiving both praise for its innovation and criticism for its lack of refinement, providing valuable feedback for further development.

Market Introduction and Product Evolution

The essential component of a headphone, beyond the driver unit and ear pads, is the headband. This element, absent in earphones and speakers, is unique to headphones. When we at KuraDa unveiled our initial prototype, the "P-10," we were unable to manufacture the headband ourselves and resorted to repurposing spare parts from major manufacturers. However, this makeshift solution did not satisfy the comfort requirements due to significant differences in dimensions between the original model of the headband and our housing design.


Faced with the challenge of finding a manufacturing facility willing to supply headbands as finished products and coming up short, we realized the importance of clamping force (the pressure that the headphone housing exerts on the head) in acoustic design. The need for precise adjustment of both the housing and the band's dimensions to ensure comfort made it clear that using off-the-shelf bands was impractical. Consequently, we decided to internally design and fabricate all components of the band. This led to the development of a new headband, drastically redesigned from the "P-10" prototype, culminating in the creation of the "FP10."


This second prototype, which could be considered as pre-production, was showcased in the spring of 2014. Despite closely resembling a market-ready product, there was room for improvement in its finish. Substantial revisions were made, including optimizing the interior shape of the housing and refining the external design and machining precision. These enhancements paved the way for the launch of KuraDa's first commercial product, the "KD-FP10," which debuted at the Autumn Headphone Festival in October 2014.

Advancing the Product Line

Following the debut of the FP10, KuraDa embarked on further innovation with the development of the KD-C10, a model that represented a significant evolution in their headphone design philosophy. Unlike the FP10, which almost resembled a single-piece construction in how the driver unit and headband were integrated, the KD-C10 introduced a novel structure. This new design concept involved separating the driver housing from the headband attachment, allowing for the use of different wood types in each component to optimize acoustic properties. Drawing inspiration from the construction of violins, the KD-C10 used maple for the front plate and walnut for the housing case. Initially, there was an intention to use spruce for the housing case due to its excellent resonant qualities, but it was ultimately deemed too delicate for structural purposes and was replaced with more durable walnut.

Metal Housing Exploration

commig soon


Comming soon

comming soon

Our History

Discover the milestones and innovations that have shaped our journey from a visionary prototype to leading-edge audio technology today.

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