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Got $55,000 to burn? Give Sennheiser's new Orpheus headphones a try

By Shawn Knight
Nov 4, 2015
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  1. Sennheiser’s Orpheus HE90 are often regarded as the best set of headphones in the world. Created in 1991, the HE90s came with a dedicated amplifier and a staggering price tag of $16,000. Only 300 sets were ever made and if you want them today, be prepared to spend some serious cash.

    Or, you could simply wait until next year and pick up Sennheiser’s latest rendition of the legendary headphones.

    Described by the company as a rebirth of the original, the new headphones are an aesthetic work of art and may quite possibly be the best-sounding set of cans money can buy. They’re hand-crafted in Germany of more than 6,000 high-end components including 2.4-micrometer platinum-vaporised diaphragms, gold-vaporised ceramic transducers, Carrara marble from Italy and 99.9 percent silver-plated OFC cables.

    Sennheiser says the headphones feature an audio range from 8Hz to more than 100kHz with the lowest distortion ever measured in a sound reproduction system: 0.01 percent at 1kHz, 100 dB SPL.

    I’m no audiophile but I can tell you that it’d be a real shame to waste these on compressed MP3s and low quality streaming music. I suspect those with the money to afford this kit won’t be using it with such inferior media. If you want a better breakdown of the technology at work here, I’d point you over to this excellent write-up from Gizmodo.

    As you can imagine, something of this level that took nearly 10 years to craft won’t come cheap. Expect to pay $55,000 once they go on sale in mid-2016. That’s an insane amount of money by almost any standard although for the uber wealthy, it’d be no different than buying a $20 set of headphones from Walmart. It's all relative.

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  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +530

    Let's see, I could pay off my wife's car, her student loan, and my student loan with that much money.
     
  3. andrewdoyle88

    andrewdoyle88 TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +39

    Or you could put these on and never have to listen to her or anyone else again!
     
    jackal2687, Adhmuz, Puiu and 5 others like this.
  4. Setnom

    Setnom TS Member

    I like the way you think, my friend!
     
    jackal2687 and andrewdoyle88 like this.
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,202   +596

    And then some. You forgot these are going to need an expensive AMP + DAC to drive them.
     
  6. Perfect for my phone while I'm driving.
     
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,519   +2,062

    Let me guess... these are perfect for 56 Kbps pirated mp3's. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,519   +2,062

    Why are you wearing cans while driving?
     
  9. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 135   +67

    Because otherwise the sound of the horns honking and the crashes distract him.
     
    andrewdoyle88 and yRaz like this.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,519   +2,062

    I guess you're right, considering he's probably the one causing all the commotion in the 1st place so why would he want to see or hear it?
     
  11. Have you heard the taxi's running up and down the main road in the southern suburbs area?
     
  12. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +523

    Oh yeas, it's a huge problem in the "southern suburbs" of Generica, people have been complaining but the local law enforcement just don't seem to be able to locate this "southern suburbs area" perhaps you'll be able to point them in the right direction...

    That being said, what do the Taxis have to do with driving like a tool?
     
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +523

    Actually they come with it, if you re-read the article "the HE90s came with a dedicated amplifier" presumably these will also come with a dedicated amp especially made to make these cans sound as good as possible. And at $55 grand I'd certainly hope so, no standalone headphone could ever be worth that kind of money, regardless of what they were made out of, with exception to materials that won't affect the performance.
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  14. You obviously haven't seen local(South Africa) taxi drivers-
    and that doesn't include music that is so loud it doesn't matter how loud you turn up your own radio.
     
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,519   +2,062

    The taxis are one thing, they just respond to the drivers input but it's the drivers I'd love to string up from the nearest tree.
     
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,560   +2,901

    What happened to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day, Saint Patrick's Day, and Easter? This has got to be April 1.
     
  17. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +523

    Yeah, they're pretty bad, I'll give you that much. Funny thing is Taxi drivers do that around here too (Quebec), drive on the shoulder, drive erratically, blast their music, the cops do nothing to stop it either. This is why I'm a huge supporter of Uber or other solution to rid the earth of the scourge known as Taxis.
     
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,045   +276

    Without some sort of servo feedback, I would be highly surprised if they are able to hit 8Hz cleanly, but what on the human could perceive that frequency. You would literally only feel that frequency, and at the power level that these phones deliver, it certainly won't make your brains rattle.

    Seriously, this sounds like the Bose or Audioquest approach. Pile in lots of bling (since those with enough money to buy these lack the requisite BS detector) and you have a hit product on your hands that, like the article says, only the uber rich can afford and will buy just for bragging rights. The $20 Walmart headphones will like have better sound.
     
  19. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,210   +424

    Try out some nice headphones before making such sweeping judgements... especially a nice pair of Planar-Magnetics or Electrostats with good gear behind them. I've found that I'm absolutely in love with the PM sound but as with any other thing there will be diminishing returns. People who own Bugattis don't drive around at 250 mph but I guarantee that bottom 150 mph feels really good. It's the same kind of thing with audio - having specifications that go beyond any real world use can result in an ease when moving through the parts that do matter.

    Also, as with anything else, you will need to learn and be trained on what matters - and then decide for yourself if it's worth the money to you. There are people who go out and buy a new computer and expect that computer to do everything. It's not how it works - you have to research and buy to match your needs.
     

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