Last week I was invited to audition the most expensive headphones in the world and, as not many people will ever get the opportunity to do this I accepted with real excitement.
With a hefty price tag of €50,000 (that’s about £39k) the new Sennheiser Orpheus HE1’s are a re-creation of the original headphones first launched in 1991 dubbed as ‘the best headphones in the world’. The German company wanted to mark their 70th anniversary with something special and developed a brand new version of the HE1 headphone system describing it as “the purest distillation of our knowledge and passion for the ultimate sound”.
The headphones are handcrafted in Germany and come with their own dedicated amplifier for optimal performance. The amplifier sits on a spring loaded housing crafted from glass and italian marble which is suspended to protect the vacuum tubes from structure borne noise and vibration.
The electrostatic headphones also have their own amplifier built into the leather ear cups.
The eight vacuum tubes enclosed in quartz-glass bulbs rise out from the base and glow invitingly when switched on and sink back down when shut off. This is real theatre.
When my allotted appointment time came around and with my chosen discs, I was more than interested to hear exactly what €50000 worth of headphone sounded like.
I can only describe it as an ‘extraordinary experience’ and one definitely worth having.
Technically and functionally outstanding, the music sounded incredible, rich, warm and clear. The Sennheiser Product Manager, Axel Grell, put it into words by saying; “Don’t listen to the headphones, listen to the music”.
I would quote Jessie J instead, “If you wanna make the world dance, forget about the price tag”!
The Sennheiser Orpheus HE1 headphone system isn’t portable nor is it particularly affordable but it is an experience and if anyone has the money to spend on it, then I would say it’s an experience worth owning.
Moss of Bath is proud to be a Sennheiser Orpheus premium retailer and we hope to bring the HE1 experience to the store in Bath later this year.
In the meantime, pre-orders can be taken now….we’d love to sell you a pair!