How much would you pay for a good pair of headphones? How about $55,000? Back In 1991, Sennheiser created the Orpheus HE90, which became widely known as the best pair of headphones money can buy. They came with an amplifier, cost $16,000 and only 300 pairs were made. If you wanted them today, you’ll have to pay €50,000 (roughly $55,000). Actually, for that price you’ll get an updated version of the legendary Orpheus, which combine the electrostatic design and valve amplifier.
The new Orpheus headphones have been in development for over a decade. Hand-crafted in Germany using over 6,000 components including gold-vaporized ceramic electrodes, platinum-vaporized diaphragms, and Carrara marble amplifier housing from Italy – the same used by Michelangelo. Each of the amplifier’s controls are created using a single piece of brass, and once you turn the headphones on, the quartz glass vacuum tubes rise up from the marble enclosure and emit their characteristic glow.
The company claims all this results in an 8Hz to 100KHz frequency response.
“It is able to deceive our senses in a completely unique way, creating the perfect illusion of being directly immersed in the sound,” Sennheiser CEO Daniel Sennheiser said of the new Orpheus.