Sennheiser unveils €50,000 Orpheus headphones

Sennheiser has revealed Orpheus, its new headphone product which it claims is ‘the best in the world’.

According to the manufacturer, the electrostatic headphone system combines the most innovative technology, highest quality craftsmanship and luxurious materials including Italian Carrara marble.

Orpheus to deliver ‘a high-end headphone which sounds so brilliant that you feel that you are in a concert hall; creating acoustics that surpass anything that has been heard before’.

The new launch is the second in the Orpheus series, succeeding the original design created in 1990/1991. “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,” said CEO Daniel Sennheiser.

With the first few models only just being created, there have been a series of limited listening sessions and alongside producer Steve Levine, Grammy award-winner Gregory Porter was one of the first to be invited to an exclusive listening trial. “When I record my own music, I always try to convey my emotions. I don’t know how exactly, but these headphones really do succeed in getting those emotions across,” remarked the jazz musician on his listening experience with the Orpheus.

When the system is inactive, the components are all retracted, while pushing the on/off-volume control causes the chrome-plated brass control elements to 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 with genuine leather ear cups to be removed.

The Orpheus uses an amplifier concept designed to combine the advantages of a tube amplifier with those of a transistor amplifier. In production, Sennheiser used exclusive components including as gold-vaporised ceramic electrodes and platinum-vaporised diaphragms. The marble that Sennheiser chose for the amplifier housing comes from Carrara in Italy and is the same type of marble that Michelangelo used to create his sculptures.

The high-end headphones, which will be hand-crafted in Germany from next year onwards, will carry a price tag of around €50,000.