Orpheus has risen again. Sennheiser just announced its next-generation Orpheus high-end electrostatic headphones, which the company says will be hand-crafted in Germany starting in 2016. SRP is given as
€ 50,000. The U.S. pricing equivalent and shipping timeframe are TBD.
Almost 25 years after introducing the original, iconic Orpheus ’phones, Sennheiser opens up a new chapter with the successor that shares its famous name. “With the new Orpheus, we once again push the boundaries and show that we can repeatedly set new benchmarks in excellence, and, with that, shape the future of the audio world,” says Sennheiser CEO Daniel Sennheiser. “It is able to deceive our senses in a completely unique way, creating the perfect illusion of being directly immersed in the sound.”
Alongside star producer Steve Levine, Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Gregory Porter was one of the first to be invited to an exclusive Orpheus listening trial. “When I record my own music, I always try to convey my emotions,” observes Porter. “I don’t know how exactly, but these headphones really do succeed in getting those emotions across.”
A team of Sennheiser experts spent almost a decade continuously working on the new-gen Orpheus, which combines the advantages of a tube amplifier with those of a transistor amplifier. “I am very proud of this absolutely exceptional product,” says Sennheiser CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. “The Orpheus stands for the innovative power of our company and our joint commitment to the pursuit of perfect sound.”
When the system is inactive, the components are all retracted, and the Orpheus is said to have the serene beauty of a sculpture. Gently pushing the on/off volume control brings it to life, as the control elements, each of which are crafted from a single piece of brass and then plated with chrome, slowly extend from the marble housing before the vacuum tubes enclosed in quartz glass bulbs rise from the base and start to glow. Finally, a glass cover is raised, allowing the headphones, its ear cups finished in genuine leather, to be removed.
Each of the more than 6,000 components that comprise the Orpheus was meticulously chosen, including gold-vaporized ceramic electrodes and platinum-vaporized diaphragms. The marble Sennheiser chose for the amplifier housing comes from Carrara, Italy, and it’s the same type of marble that Michelangelo used to create his sculptures. “The properties of the marble optimally protect the amplifier’s core, and its unique optics and structure turn each Orpheus into an individual work of art,” says Maurice Quarré, Director of Select & Audiophile at Sennheiser.
Adds Oliver Berger, Head of Global Design Management at Sennheiser, “Due to its technical superiority, the Orpheus has no need for an exaggerated design. Its beauty lies in its reduction to what is essential.”
For more on Orpheus, go here.
To watch an interview with jazz musician Gregory Porter, go here.
For more on Sennheiser, go here.