Sennheiser today announced the launch of the Orpheus, a high-end, electrostatic, Carrara marble-encased headphone system which will retail for around €50,000.
The new cans are the second product in the Orpheus series, updating the original design from 1990 (price: a paltry US$16,000). "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,” comments Sennheiser CEO Daniel Sennheiser.
The new Orpheus system "fulfils an ambition of audio specialists to build 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," says its manufactuer. It has already featured in limited listening sessions with star producer Steve Levine and Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Gregory Porter.
"When I record my own music, I always try to convey my emotions," says Porter. "I don’t know how exactly, but these headphones really do succeed in getting those emotions across."
The 'how' is the result of over 6,000 components, "meticulously chosen to ensure an outstanding acoustic performance", including gold-vaporised ceramic electrodes and platinum-vaporised diaphragms.
The marble housing for the Orpheus's valve amp is of the same type used by Michelangelo.
The headphones will be handcrafted in Germany starting next year. (Attempts by PSNEurope to request a pair for 'review' have so far been unsuccessful.)
UPDATE: PSNEurope will be sampling a pair on Friday 6 November in a posh London hotel. For a whole 15 minutes! We'll let you know if they're worth – LITERALLY – selling your granny for.