Sennheiser Orpheus HE 1: A new Dimension of Sound

Sennheiser Orpheus HE 1: A new Dimension of Sound

It was 1991 when German audio experts Sennheiser first unveiled the Orpheus dubbed the ‘best headphones in the world’. These futuristic headphones transcended the conventions of price and practicality in the guise of an electrostatic headphone, conjoined with a valve amp crafted of glass, metal and wood. At a cost of £10,000, 300 units were created – and they all sold.

Sennheiser Ambeo Headphones full orpheus Art Basel

At the back end of last year as part of their 70th Anniversary celebrations they created the Sennheiser HE 1, a headphone system – the Orpheus reincarnate – which they are calling “the purest distillation of our knowledge and passion for the ultimate sound”.

Sennheiser Orpheus Amplifier Marble design

The project’s goal is to provide the listener with the purest translation of audio and goes through painstaking lengths to achieve that. For example, gold and platinum-plated ceramic are used throughout for maximum conductivity and the amplifier rests on a spring-based housing crafted from glass, and a solid block of Carrara marble hence preventing structure-borne noise. Each dial on the amplifier is milled from a single piece of brass before being plated with chrome.

Sennheiser Orpheus headphones and amplifier

“The vision to Shape the Future of Audio is in our company’s DNA, it is our mission. This is our art. And like the greatest art, it places you in a unique space where emotion and inspiration are possible – it can’t be easily explained, but has to be experienced and felt.”
~ Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO, Sennheiser

At a hefty price tag of £37,500 ($50,000) for what are essentially headphones, they would have to deliver on their promise and by all accounts they most certainly do; they don’t just deliver music, they induce emotion.

sennheiser orpheus system top view

Although they might not be viable for the everyday audiophile, the Sennheiser Orpheus HE 1 should not only be looked at as technology, but considered as art – looking at them like that, at $50k they are a snip.

Source: Luxurious Magazine
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