This article will take you through the features and the technology used in making the most expensive headphone in the world, called ‘Orpheus’.
Most expensive headphone in the world is created by Sennheiser and it is called ‘Orpheus’. Sennheiser showcased Orpheus at the ‘Seoul International Audio Show’ from April 29, 2011 to May 1, 2011.
What is the price of the most expensive thing you have got or bought? Well, this question was only to compare its cost with the price of the most expensive headphone in the world. Orpheus was launched at $40,845.24 USD (30,000 Euros) and only 300 pieces have been produced and circulated in the market. Its looks are more conservative and antique like. Let’s look at its features to see the justification of the price charged.
Each headphone is hand-assembled and it comes in two parts.
I. Electrostatic Headphone (HE 90)
It’s weight without the cable is just 365 gms and the connection cable is 3 meters long which come with gold plated contacts. Its Connector is a 5-pin HV plug and the polarization voltage is 500. It is designed in a way that it can handle a output of 118dB, maximum.
II. Headphone Amplifier
The amplifier has outputs for the headphones and it weighs about 28 pounds (13 kg). Its frequency response is 10 – 20,000 Hz (- 0.25 dB) and its electrical resistance is 10 kΩ. It has six tubes covered which are covered with shields; it has a wooden console, and black accents. It has a small LED to indicate when the unit has been plugged in. It blinks when not ready and once it has warmed up it steadily glows.
It has a open-back electrostatic design and it is based on the technology of push-pull transducer. It has Sennheiser’s studio condenser microphones implanted in it. It’s elliptical shaped diaphragm has ultra-thin 1µm gold coated polymer foil which prevents the standing waves. The electrodes in it are made from very strong glass, and the perforations which are in the form of a honeycomb or mesh are gold plated on one side.
This structure is developed for high polarization and audio-frequency voltages and it facilitates extremely high maximum modulation level. This makes Orpheus’s design absolutely unique. The amplifier is made by incorporating the digital processing and traditional valve technology. This synthesis makes the act of listening- distortion-free, noise canceling and pleasureful.
The product has received mixed reviews; good and not so good. Good because most of those who got lucky to try them said that, this was the best audio experience they had with a headphone, and not so good because – others said that it has a few limitations. Let’s see them!
1. Overly Euphonic Outlook
2. Low Bass Impact
3. Defused Sound stage
4. Over priced
To each his own! As they say – grapes could be sour; or they actually are sour. Just to add a point, these headphones are not meant for those who are looking for a very good sound quality when listening to music, playing video games or while watching a movie. It is clearly meant for the audiophiles. So, based on my literature considering its price – it is the most expensive headphone but not really the best one.
I would definitely say that most of us would think- its too much of a price to pay only for a set of headphones. Yeah! True that. What more can I say about this product when only 300 or less people actually have it in the whole wide world. This is certainly not meant for the masses, but it is surely good to know about! To add pun, sarcasm and facts, we only need to wait till this product reaches china. I believe it will manufacture the same headphones in a way that in the next five years most of us will be able to afford it (without a guarantee!).
Coming back to the Orpheus, the Head of Consumer Business at Sennheiser Asia Electronic, Martin Low defined it as, “The Orpheus is a legendary headphone system that exemplifies the superior technology behind Sennheiser’s reputable premium sound quality“. It certainly is, and would have also remained as one only if you didn’t reveal its price!
The other headphones that come in the list of the expensive headphones are:
1. Ultrasone Edition 10 headphones
2. Ultrasone Edition 9 Limited Edition S-Logic Natural Surround Sound Headphones
3. Grado PS1000
4. Shure SE530
6. Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 Pro
7. Westone 3
8. UE-11 PRO
They all are expensive but none are as expensive as the ‘Orpheus’. So, you could think of checking out a few product reviews and actually buy them.