The Rolls-Royce of headphones

February 1, 2017 | 06:12
The Rolls-Royce of headphones
The Rolls-Royce of headphones
You really can't call these just 'headphones' – these are definitely 'HEADPHONES' in all caps...

In 1991 Sennheiser built the best headphones in the world: the Orpeus. Only 350 where ever made – exclusivity at its best. To prove that they still have it, Sennheiser has now introduced the successor to the Orpheus: the HE-1. This is what could rightfully be called a piece of technology without any compromises – made from the most noble material, with a unique design and above all an unrivalled sound quality.

The HE-1 is supplied as a complete system: not only the headphones themselves, but also the accompanying amplifier. But this is not just any amplifier, but it unites the best of two worlds – valve technology and transistor technology. The enclosure for the amplifier is made from marble; the electronics has been suspended within, to exclude any possibility of microphonics. The specifications are remarkable: frequency range from 8 Hz to more than 100 kHz, at a distortion of 0.01% at 1 kHz @ 100 dB SPL.

The ear pieces of these electrostatic headphones contain integrated class-A high-voltage MOSFET amplifiers to neutralize the capacitive impedance of the cable. The membrane (with vapour-deposited platinum) is exactly 2.4 µm thick – to guarantee an optimal sound reproduction, according to Sennheiser.

And then we have to mention the price. The HE-1, of which only 250 will be built each year, will requires parting with EUR 50,000 – it costs a few pennies, but you really have something...

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