Sennheiser’s $55,000 Headphones Sound Like Heaven On Earth

Megalith

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While I’m loving my pair of HD 650s, I wish I had these in my life as well.

The power amp is actually contained within the ear cups, These are electrostatic headphones, meaning they have no magnetic drivers inside them, and instead they produce sound by placing a static electric charge on an ultrathin diaphragm. In this case, it's platinum-coated, because of course it would be. The cables leading up the Orpheus headphones are made of silver-plated, oxygen-free copper. Using aluminum for the cooling fins on the outside of each ear cup feels almost pedestrian by comparison.
 

rezerekted

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$55,000? How much do they cost to actually manufacture? Probably only a couple of hundred bucks. Grossly overpriced but I am sure some sucker will pay that price.
 

Ocellaris

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$55,000? How much do they cost to actually manufacture? Probably only a couple of hundred bucks. Grossly overpriced but I am sure some sucker will pay that price.

You should probably click on the link, you can't make those for $200.
 

Reimu

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$55,000? How much do they cost to actually manufacture? Probably only a couple of hundred bucks. Grossly overpriced but I am sure some sucker will pay that price.

You should probably click on the link, you can't make those for $200.

Hey we got an expert cynic here.

The marble in itself would account for several hundred dollars at the very least, and that's extreme lowballing at that. Of course, rezerekted isn't getting at that.

This thing isn't equal to 50 pairs worth of HD800. That's not the point.
 

Grahamkracka

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$55,000? How much do they cost to actually manufacture? Probably only a couple of hundred bucks. Grossly overpriced but I am sure some sucker will pay that price.

Uh...materials and parts alone for this thing are easily several thousand dollars.
 

pxc

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If nothing else, the small manufacturing scale probably significantly increases costs. It's still probably insanely profitable, but won't contribute much to the company's overall bottom line.
 
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If nothing else, the small manufacturing scale probably significantly increases costs. It's still probably insanely profitable, but won't contribute much to the company's overall bottom line.

It's great for brand image though, getting your name out there.
 

jbltecnicspro

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Wow, they look gorgeous. I would love to sit in a room with those and just enjoy a full day's worth of listening.
 

foxhound2001

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Not worth it imho. For $55,000 Sennheiser should be allowed to shoot an elephant dead and use its tusk for a tube amp with an ivory base.:p
 

NickJames

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Can someone break down the value in parts? I can't see the $55,000.
 

kumquat

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$55,000? How much do they cost to actually manufacture? Probably only a couple of hundred bucks. Grossly overpriced but I am sure some sucker will pay that price.

One of my favorite things on the internet is when someone says they don't know anything about the topic itself, and then immediately pass judgment anyway.
 

jbltecnicspro

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Can someone break down the value in parts? I can't see the $55,000.

I would imagine that parts only make up a portion. I'll be every one of these sets is hand-calibrated to give audio perfection.

For $55,000 they fucking better be. :D
 

kumquat

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FYI, the amp they're using has eight 803 tubes, which can cost over $100 each for high quality units.
 

kumquat

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Can someone break down the value in parts? I can't see the $55,000.

It's impossible to say. Off-the-shelf planar transducers used in home speakers can cost a couple hundred bucks each, and those are not custom, miniaturized, or full-range units. A high quality tube preamp like the one here can easily retail for several thousand dollars by itself. More pedestrian electrostatic headphones start at around $1000.

There's a lot of engineering and a lot of expensive individual components here. You're certainly paying a "high-end audio" premium, but it's not like these cost $500 to manufacture.
 

NickJames

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It's impossible to say. Off-the-shelf planar transducers used in home speakers can cost a couple hundred bucks each, and those are not custom, miniaturized, or full-range units. A high quality tube preamp like the one here can easily retail for several thousand dollars by itself. More pedestrian electrostatic headphones start at around $1000.

There's a lot of engineering and a lot of expensive individual components here. You're certainly paying a "high-end audio" premium, but it's not like these cost $500 to manufacture.

Makes sense, I can see it costing $5K in parts based on engineering costs alone and then a lot of it on research and development since these are limited run so they're aiming for max profit margins. Still mind boggling.
 

kumquat

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Makes sense, I can see it costing $5K in parts based on engineering costs alone and then a lot of it on research and development since these are limited run so they're aiming for max profit margins. Still mind boggling.

That's probably a reasonable assumption. I'd guess a little higher for limited-run custom parts and housings that are mostly probably handmade. Pretty much all of these parts will be custom produced on contract from a variety of independent manufacturers.
 

Ur_Mom

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Good stuff I can't possibly afford. And I'm a liberal.

Don't mention that around these parts! :)

I'd love to have a pair of these. But, even if I had millions of dollars, I couldn't do it. I'd buy some damn good cans, but I wouldn't spend that much. A couple grand, tops. And that's if I had more money than I knew what to do with. I'm a cheap bastard.

Still, I'd love to borrow a pair for a week or so, just to have the experience of listening to them.
 

Zepher

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While I’m loving my pair of HD 650s, I wish I had these in my life as well.

The power amp is actually contained within the ear cups, These are electrostatic headphones, meaning they have no magnetic drivers inside them, and instead they produce sound by placing a static electric charge on an ultrathin diaphragm. In this case, it's platinum-coated, because of course it would be. The cables leading up the Orpheus headphones are made of silver-plated, oxygen-free copper. Using aluminum for the cooling fins on the outside of each ear cup feels almost pedestrian by comparison.

I've got an extra set I am not using. $45K paypal gift only, we got a deal?
 

Zepher

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$55,000? How much do they cost to actually manufacture? Probably only a couple of hundred bucks. Grossly overpriced but I am sure some sucker will pay that price.

cost of manufacture is only part of the price, you have to pay for the R&D as well. Engineering and design doesn't just pop out of thin air.
 

Krenum

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Im in the market for new Senn's but I read $55.00 headphones sound like heaven on earth

:(
 

Hornet

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Damn. And I thought the Hifiman HE1000 was expensive at 3k :eek:
 

USMCGrunt

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Makes sense, I can see it costing $5K in parts based on engineering costs alone and then a lot of it on research and development since these are limited run so they're aiming for max profit margins. Still mind boggling.

Article says they're not a limited run but they ARE limited to 250/year due to the high level of labor involved in assembling them. In the comments section, the reviewer does say the audio isn't really distinguishable from HD800s.
 
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You do realize the value in any product isn't just the sum of the cost of it's parts right?

Exactly, there is an emergent property when all these select pieces are painstakingly assembled, imbued, and christened -- allowing for angels and saints themselves to sing directly into your ear canal.
 

gsilver

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And I thought my Audeze LCD-2 was pricey.



Well, Sennheiser is making a "Halo" product. It's insanely expensive, but it's mostly for bragging rights to say that it exists.
...And to sell it to 250 sods a year that can afford $55,000 headphones.
 

Reimu

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What this means is that Orpheus will finally go from stuff of legends to a tangible halo product that people can actually hope to audition with any realistic degree as a reference.

I don't think that my ears are that discerning to justify having them even if I have the million to afford such a thing. Personally, I will live with the several hundred dollars category.
 

Scythe

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Good stuff I can't possibly afford. And I'm a liberal.

Meaning...what? That liberals are stupid and therefore do not earn as much, or liberals are smart and earn a lot of money, but you can't afford them?

I'm really confused as to what the comment "And I'm a liberal" adds to your statement.
 

rezerekted

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One of my favorite things on the internet is when someone says they don't know anything about the topic itself, and then immediately pass judgment anyway.

I'm a member at headfi and own a few sets of headphones, including Sennheiser, so do know a thing or two. OK, I low balled the cost but the point still is correct. They ain't worth anything near $55,000.00.
 

Reimu

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I'm a member at headfi and own a few sets of headphones, including Sennheiser, so do know a thing or two. OK, I low balled the cost but the point still is correct. They ain't worth anything near $55,000.00.

Then you already know that it's diminishing return to the extreme when you go beyond the magical $200-$500 price point. $1000+ category that belongs to HD800, LCD-3 or the Stax is also a case where I can say the same that the materials "don't justify" the asking price.
 

DJS4000

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I'm a member at headfi and own a few sets of headphones, including Sennheiser, so do know a thing or two. OK, I low balled the cost but the point still is correct. They ain't worth anything near $55,000.00.

that's not for you to decide. if people pay 55k for these - and they will - then they're worth 55k. nothing more, nothing less.
 
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