Your cart
Contact us
Close contact box
Connect ID #
503 257 712 4
Connect ID #
503 257 712 4
All finished with your chat session?

We’ll email you a transcript of this conversation for your records.

Our contact center is currently closed.

Please enter your name.  
Please enter a valid email address. Why is this required?

For Tech Support, call 1-888-292-2575

All web chat conversations are recorded. We use automated technology to connect you with an Advisor and to answer some common questions. If you do not consent, please do not continue with chat assistance.

Thank you, !
Our conversation will be emailed to
Chat Advisor Image

Your Advisor,

More about me
Please enter a question  
Don't wait on hold. We'll call you back when it's your turn to talk with the next available .
Please enter your name  
Please enter your phone number  
Please enter a message  

Calls may be recorded for training and quality control purposes.

We are located in Virginia USA.

AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon

Closed-back over-ear headphones

Item # 703NHTOWLC

California customers:
Please click here for your Proposition 65 warning.

Discontinued item
3 questions - 10 answers

Item # 703NHTOWLC

60-day price protection

We’ll reimburse you if the price drops.

Hands-on research

We double check the details on each item.

60-day returns

If you don't love it, send it back.

About the AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon

Closed-back version of AudioQuest's flagship 'phones

Audioquest's NightOwl Carbon headphones look and feel as luxurious as their open-back siblings, the Nighthawk Carbon headphones. But this closed-back version offers a bit more bass and better sound isolation. The earcups are made of liquefied wood and plant fibers, molded and solidified into the best shape for comfort and sound quality. This special "liquid wood" material glistens nicely in the light, and shares the same lively acoustic properties as real wood.

Product highlights:

  • over-the-ear headphones made of sustainable materials
  • closed-back design for better noise isolation and strong bass
  • hidden airflow port helps lower resonance
  • 50mm high-excursion drivers built to emulate the sound of free-standing loudspeakers
    • bio-cellulose diaphragm is extra-light and strong
    • driver's split-gap motor helps produce tightly-controlled, natural sound
  • we recommend using a headphone amp/DAC like the AudioQuest DragonFly Black v1.5 or DragonFly Red v1.0 for optimum performance
  • unique suspension system evenly distributes the headphones weight on your head for effortless fit
    • quickly and automatically adjusts to your head
  • oversized protein-leather earpads feel soft and comfortable
    • made from biodegradable protein powder
    • replacement cloth-covered earpads included
  • durable "liquid wood" earcups sculpted into acoustically optimized shape
  • 3D printed open-mesh grilles control airflow for purest sound
  • high-performance, durable detachable cable with 45-degree 3.5mm miniplug
    • length: 51 inches
    • high-purity copper conductors allow for optimal signal transfer with minimal distortion
  • 1/4" adapter with thick Direct-Silver plating
  • foam-padded carrying case
  • cleaning cloth
  • sensitivity: 99 dB
  • impedance: 25 ohms
  • weight: 12.2 ounces
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the box:

  • Over-ear headphones
  • Pair of Protein Leather earpads (installed)
  • Pair of Ultra Suede earpads
  • 51" Audio cable with 1-button remote (angled 3.5mm plug)
  • Screw-on 3.5mm-to-1/4" Plug adapter (installed)
  • Cloth storage pouch
  • Padded storage case
  • Silver polishing cloth
  • Black polishing cloth
  • Headphones Pre-Flight Guide
  • Manual
  • Limited Warranty Statement

Customer reviews

Loading reviews...

AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon reviews

Average review:

20 reviews

Thanks for submitting your review

Filter by rating

Customer photos

Sort reviews

Sort by:
Items per page:
View page:

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)



Crutchfield response

<< >>

More details on the AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon

Mark G.

Features & specs

Fit Style Over-the-ear
Earcup Type Closed
Earcup Width x Height 3.521" x 4.298"
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Bluetooth Version ---
Single-earbud Operation ---
Mic For Taking Calls No
Voice Assistant Access
Amazon Alexa No
Google Assistant No
Siri No
3.5mm No
1/4" Yes
Lightning No
4.4mm balanced No
XLR4 balanced No
2.5mm No
Other None
Frequency Response N/A
Sensitivity 99 dB
Impedance 25 Ohms
Weight 12.2 ounces
Cord Length 51"
Parts Warranty 1 Year (2 Yrs w/reg)
Labor Warranty 1 Year (2 Yrs w/reg)

Product Research


Overview: Like the Nighthawk, the AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon state-of-the-art over-ear headphones are designed with technology found in many of today's loudspeakers. These technologies have been applied to headphone listening, resulting in an immersive and emotional listening experience. NightOwl Carbon headphones come with two pairs of ear pads, a 51" straight cable, a 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter, two cleaning cloths, and a luxuriously-padded zippered storage case.

Ear Cups: The ear cups are shaped to follow the general contour of the human ear--rounder at the rear, wide at the top, narrowing toward the bottom. This design provides greater comfort and less stress on the listener's head and ears. It also helps isolate external sounds. The headband self-adjusts when you put them on, providing ultimate comfort for long listening sessions.

Ear Pads: Two sets of ear pads are included in the box. One pair of ear pads is made of Protein Leather, a bio-derived synthetic fabric that is durable, pliable, and soft. Protein Leather ear pads seal tighter for better isolation and improved treble clarity. The other set features an Ultra Suede covering which breathes freer for greater comfort and enhanced bass impact.

Liquid Wood Enclosures: The NightOwl Carbon's ear cup enclosures are made from all-natural Liquid Wood. Liquid Wood is made of 100% renewable raw materials, including lignin, natural fibers, resins, and waxes, combined and treated so that it can be injection-molded. The enclosures have support beams that give them structural integrity, much like the internal bracing in a loudspeaker cabinet. Liquid Wood has far superior acoustic properties than plastic or other materials used in headphones, which gives the NightOwl Carbon a distinctive clear and warm sound.

Drive Units: The NightOwl Carbon utilizes 50mm dynamic drivers that resemble the high quality drive units found in the most sophisticated loudspeakers. The diaphragms are constructed of rigid bio-cellulose with a urethane rubber surround, which results in well-controlled bass, rich midrange, and natural highs, with low distortion.

Closed Design: The NightOwl Carbon is a true closed-back headphone to give you maximum isolation from the outside world. The earcups feature a vent that runs along the perimeter of each dome and exits through a hidden airflow-resistive port to relieve the buildup of air pressure and let the drivers breathe freely.

Audio Cable: The NightOwl Carbon comes with a 51" high-quality audio cable. Using technologies found in AudioQuest's loudspeaker cables, the larger 51" high-end NightOwl cable uses high-purity copper conductors with very little oxygen content. The cable's plugs feature Direct-Silver plating over a base metal of Tellurium Copper (TeCu). TeCu is known for it's purity and machinability, which results in better plating quality and contact mating for improved signal transmission. The cable has a 1-button remote on the yoke with controls for music playback and phone calls. The supplied, screw-on 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter features thick Direct-Silver plating over high-purity copper.

Break-in Period: Like other mechanical devices such as loudspeakers and phono cartridges, the NightOwl Carbon headphones require a "break-in" period in order to reach optimum performance. A suggested break-in period is approximately 150 hours listening to music at safe volumes. A similar "burn-in" period for the NightOwl cable is also recommended. This can be accomplished by leaving your components powered on, and the headphones plugged in, even when there is no music playing. This allows the molecules in the dielectric to gradually be arranged from a random order into a more uniform order. This process can take approximately 2 weeks.

Warranty: The AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon carries a 1-year warranty. An additional year warranty will be added when you register the headphones with the manufacturer.


  • Maximum Power Handling: 1.5 W
  • Impedance: 25Ω
  • Sensitivity: 99dB SPL/mW
  • Dimensions: Ear Cups: Width 3.592", Height 4.251", Depth 2.375"
  • Weight: 12.9 ounces

Loading accessories...

Customer Q&A

3 questions already asked

Crutchfield data says that this headphone and its cable can't be used for taking phone calls. Audioquest website indicates that cable has buttons and mic for use with a phone. Can you confirm whether this headphone/cable does or does not work as a headset for phones and/or computer software like Skype?
[ Craig  Aug 07, 2019 ]
5 answers
[ Eric  Aug 08, 2019 ]
I have used these headphones for Skype with the stock cable.
[ Michael  Aug 08, 2019 ]
I have an iPhone. I use a camera adapter and a dragonfly when I use them with my phone. I cannot make any phone calls through the headphones with this set up. However, if I remove the dragonfly dac, I am able to place calls through the headphones.
[ David  Aug 07, 2019 ]
Mine has no buttons. These are passive headphones that hold no charge. The headphone. Cords do unplug from the body, so there may be an option. Check with the maker.
[ sunye  Aug 07, 2019 ]
My set does not have a microphone. These are audiophile headphones. Maybe the new model does have a microphone, but mine does not.
[ larry  Aug 07, 2019 ]
how do these compare to the Nighthawk? I currently own the Nighthawks, but am considering the NightOwl for a change of pace.
[ Dominick  Nov 13, 2018 ]
4 answers
[ Eric  Aug 08, 2019 ]
I own Nightowl, not nighthawk. Based on Audioquest website, the former is closed back and the later a open-back design. So it comes down to whether or not you want to keep sound entirely to yourself. The Nightowl is decisively the best and the most comfortable headphone that I have ever owned despite its size. I bought mine for $400. But I have seen it is sold for $300 on Crutchfield website recently. If you are thinking about getting one and not in a hurry, I suggest that you bookmark the Nightowl page and monitor the price. After all, $100 can buy you other pleasures. By the way, Crutchfield is by far one of the best dealers in my experience. Another thing to consider is that when an audio piece is sold for a substantial discount (the list price is $700), it is usually a signal that the product is on the way out, most likely making room for a new model.
[ WU-HUANG  Nov 13, 2018 ]
I have both and although both are the best sounding headphones I have and I own many high end ones they are both different The nighthawk are more like sitting at a concert a bit more open I do prefer the tight sound of the night owl the separation of the bass mid and treble is amazing Go for the night owl you won't be disappointed!! Plus you have the amazing trial period offered by the best CUTCHFIELD !
[ Brian  Nov 13, 2018 ]
Hi. I am sorry but I cannot answer your question, as I haven't had a chance to try the nighthawks. What I can say about the nightowl is that I really like them. The sound is great and they are very comfortable.
[ Richard A. Pére  Nov 13, 2018 ]
would these headphones be good for airplane travel?
[ erik  Mar 12, 2018 ]
1 answer
No i don't think so, because they are too big and the case they come in is like a mini brief case. Nice headphones and actually thought about ?. I just the the Mrspeakers Aeon Flow closed, which sound better and are lighter and come with a nice little protective case. I just bought them the other day, so far so good.
[ JORDAN B  Mar 12, 2018 ]

Loading articles...

Compare the sound