The new Orpheus is here and it costs $55,000. Let’s see why it costs that much!
It is possible that all audiophiles have heard about the Orpheus headphones at least once. The legendary headphone was introduced in 1991 at the cost of $16,000. Sennheiser only produced 300 units of the model. It is pretty difficult to find one now. But audiophiles can now buy the next generation of Orpheus, if they can afford to pay $55,000.
Sennheiser unveiled the new Orpheus model on Nov 6, after 25 years. Its official name is HE 1060 / HEV 1060. The company promises “unique features and state-of-art technology” and to “transform music from something your listen to, into something you live in”, said in a post.
The headphone is handcrafted using specially picked luxury materials. It is said to have an audio range from 8Hz to 100kHz beyond what human ears are capable of hearing.
For details, the housing is made of glass and a solid block of Carrara marble. It is necessary to note that Michelangelo used the same luxurious stone in his Renaissance sculptures. It not only looks gorgeous but also prevents structure-borne noise. Each control dial is crafted from a single piece of brass, and then plated with chrome.
The amplifiers are the combinations of tube amplifiers and transistor amplifiers by the circuit design. The housing is actually spring-loaded, connecting to the vacuum tubes, which delivers “ultra-high impulse fidelity at an ultra-low distortion level.”
There are eight internal digital-to-analog converters (DACS), four channels for each stereo side. This results in enhanced accuracy and decreased distortion and noise level.
Ear cups are made from solid aluminum while the ear pads are made of finest leather and a soft, microfiber construction.
The headphone weighs 30kg so it’s not portable but for a headphones set like HE 1060 / HEV 1060, you’d better sit in a comfy chair to enjoy music.
Sennheiser has spent about 10 years to develop the second version of Orpheus that has total harmonic distortion of only 0.01 percent. Every detail is made to perfection to achieve highest result in audio quality and design.
Even the way it was turned on is special and artistic. When not in use, everything is hidden. Then just a push, the control dials in the front and the valves on top of the amplifier emerge from the marble housing. Finally, the headphones appear under the glass lid cover. As Manuel Ricke, product manager for Audiophile at Sennheiser put it, “He’s sleeping, then when you push the button you wake him”
The headphone consists of 6,000 components and many of them are handmade so the company can only build 250 units per year. Luckily, this time they do not limit the number of units available like the last time.
The new Orpheus headphone can be preordered at the beginning of next year and delivery is expected to begin in mid-2016. And from what we know it is worth what it cost.