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Klipsch High End Over Ear-your input appreciated

post #1 of 136
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi,

 

My name is Steve, I am the VP and GM for Digital, Streaming and Portable Audio Solutions at Klipsch. 

 

We are working on a premium line of high end on and over ear HP.  Our current target is between $399-1199 retail.  

 

If you give us some help, we will give you some sneak peeks at what we plan to build and potentially some contests and more exciting stuff.  

 

So...lets start a discussion about what you would like to see in a premium selection from Klipsch.  What features, technology, and accessories are important to you? 

 

All the Best,

 

Steve

post #2 of 136

No replies yet to this thread? Seriously guys ... we have a Klipsch representative asking us to help with the development of future products. Sorry about that Steve.

 

I'm extremely interested in the Heritage HB1. I know some Headfiers would love to beta test this model and make some tuning recommendations, I certainly would. The units shown at CES look gorgeous by the way, no suggestions as far as aesthetics are concerned. 

 

The tuning is ultimately what will make or break these headphones as far as the hardcore headfi community is concerned. These days, there are a number of great sounding headphones in the $800-$1500 price bracket so you need to make sure that the tuning is spot on. Comfort is also huge. In my opinion, it is equally important. I have had a number of great sounding headphones that I ultimately sold because they just didn't feel right on my head. 

 

I think one other area that headphone manufacturers don't spend quite enough time on is the pads. Different pad materials, foams, shapes etc. can have a huge effect on a headphones tuning so please test different pads to see which sounds the best. I know the leather looks pretty but who knows, maybe a velour sounds the best. Be open to offering different pads to let users tune the sound to their preferences. Oh, a balanced cable would be a sweet accessory as well.

 

Other than that, you seem to be off to a great start. 

 

Community - Lets get some feedback going to make these some killer headphones.

 

 


Edited by Andrew Rieger - 1/9/17 at 11:39am
post #3 of 136
Thread Starter 

Thanks Andrew,

 

So...some details not releases at CES:

 

The ear pads will potentially be magnetic so you can swap them easily.  We will have multiple choices for ear pads, different materials, etc.

 

Balanced cables are also part of the plan.

 

If we get some excitement, I'm willing to make something special for the Headfi'ers

 

Steve

post #4 of 136

@Musiqlovr - From what I have seen so far, it looks like you are on the right track to creating a nice line of headphones.   I look forward to learning more about them and getting a chance of hearing them. The form factor and wood offerings look to be pretty nice and I hope the sound signature and technicalities follow with that!   Can you tell us more about the driver units and enclosure design? 

 

Cheers.

post #5 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3NTAL View Post
 

@Musiqlovr - From what I have seen so far, it looks like you are on the right track to creating a nice line of headphones.   I look forward to learning more about them and getting a chance of hearing them. The form factor and wood offerings look to be pretty nice and I hope the sound signature and technicalities follow with that!   Can you tell us more about the driver units and enclosure design? 

 

Cheers.


According to Klipsch, the 50mm drivers are biocellulose. It would be awesome of one of the Klipsch engineers could comment here on the design and specifications. 

post #6 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiqlovr View Post
 

If we get some excitement, I'm willing to make something special for the Headfi'ers

 

Steve

 

Color me excited. Please make this happen. 

post #7 of 136

I would be very happy to see some solid breakdown on the technology used and (at least indirectly explains) how that correlates to pricing, because those of us who've been around this community long enough and have done the rounds with testing for various brands are honestly getting very tired of seeing a new lineup come out with prices that are generally plopped down somewhat arbitrarily at the various market levels.

 

We get it, we do. A few years ago everyone was rushing to hit the $300 segment broken by Beats. Now the new "entry hi end" is about $600, and the next is $1k, and then it's into rich kids playground in the 2k+ zone... and it's like manufacturers feel like they need something expensive to be taken seriously... But the market has matured now, and consumers aren't that stupid anymore are more educated.

 

Don't arbitrary price your headphone lineup to create a sense of which is "better". Don't shove something into the $1k bracket just because you can. In fact, tell us why you're better than that. Believe me, we'll listen.

 

 

 

 

Back to the original question... features/technology/accessories:

tech and features: if you're talking bluetooth or active noise cancelling, each is a different niche... are you making headphones for purists or for casuals? or that fuzzy market segment in between

accessories: swappable pads is the main one, a case is nice but depends on the headphone (very nice for foldable headphones, not so much for fixed frame but then a solid easily opened box is desirable), replaceable cable options with standard connectors will also be a draw


Edited by Armaegis - 1/9/17 at 1:19pm
post #8 of 136

First of all thanks for not following this recent market trend of making your headphones extremely expensive. These all seem fairly priced!

 

Klipsch is a company with a great heritage (no pun intended) in audio, so these are definitely promising products. I´m sure there will be a lot of useful comments in this thread.

 

Some very, very early ideas just based on the pictures from CES:

 

- The importance of optimal weight distribution and clamping force cannot be overstated. Wearing comfort for many is (almost) as important as sound quality. From the pictures I am a little worried about the fairly narrow looking headband. The padding looks a bit light too. Would it be possible for you to test a few different headbands via the community here?

- Magnetic pads sound like a useful innovation. Easy to replace (many are still reluctant to "open" their headphones even if the pads are user replaceable; this makes it a non-issue) and allows for some fine tuning of the sound quality. In quite a few headphones major sound quality issues have been established as being due to the pads used. As a recent example, there are reports that using the Focal Utopia pads in the Elear would fix the upper midrange dip in the tuning that some are not fans of. Plus the legendary Sennheiser HD 650 started using different pads at some point which had a clear influence on the sound. It would be very interesting to see a few different pads included with the product so end users can tune the sound to their liking (for example: warm and neutral options)

- Bio cellulose drivers have a good track record in the industry. I and I think many others here would be interested in reading more on your project to develop these drivers. I am also wondering if you can comment on the tuning targets (warm, flat, slight V-curve, bass extension targets etc.) for each of the headphones in the lineup?


Edited by vrln - 1/9/17 at 1:49pm
post #9 of 136
I was a huge fan of the Klipsch X5 and X7i when they were on the market (more so than the X10 and its progeny). If the tuning of this ends up being along the same lines then I'll definitely be in the market for them.
post #10 of 136

Another thing you can consider Steve is that the pads material influence the tonality, for example AudioQuest Nighthawk with the stock leather pads have strong mid and upper bass, but when i put velours on them the sound is less bassy an cleaner and more spacious, the new models now have two types of pads for different tuning.

My point is that if you tune your headphones neutral with leather pads there is big possibility for them to sound bass light with velour pads.

My suggestion is to make them with lower bass lift with leather pads, and if you ad velours in the future they will not sound anemic with them.


Edited by FastAndClean - 1/9/17 at 2:00pm
post #11 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post
 

- The importance of optimal weight distribution and clamping force cannot be overstated. Wearing comfort for many is (almost) as important as sound quality. From the pictures I am a little worried about the fairly narrow looking headband. The padding looks a bit light too. Would it be possible for you to test a few different headbands via the community here?

 

 

I second this, the headband does look a bit too narrow and light on padding. 

post #12 of 136

Greats news.  Here's hope that Klipsch finds a way to miniaturize their horns into these.  Anybody thought of the physical resemblance to the Dharma?

post #13 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha421 View Post
 

Greats news.  Here's hope that Klipsch finds a way to miniaturize their horns into these.  Anybody thought of the physical resemblance to the Dharma?


Its Dharma, ZMF and Sony MDR-Z1R in a blender. I wondered if maybe Sony was involved in some way because the cable connections are identical to the Z1R. Is Sony building these for Klipsch? They do have experience building headphones with biocellulose drivers. Hmmm. 

 


Edited by Andrew Rieger - 1/9/17 at 3:20pm
post #14 of 136
Man these look gorgeous! Has anyone seen their new integrated amp? The. Powergate Max so beautiful.
post #15 of 136
Thread Starter 
Our clamping force target is around 450-500.

I will try to bring my HP engineer into the thread (not sure if he is on HeadFi). He will be able answer a lot of tech questions and he can give you some thoughts on his tuning profile.

I can tell you that when we started this project, we contacted every HP driver manufacturer we could find and my engineer (Andrew) went through over 50 drivers before he narrowed it down to our top 10 choices. I can also tell you that from an audio benchmarking standpoint, we have nearly every major HP on the market in the $300-$3000 price range in our lab and we frequently do listening tests as well as measurement tests. We also have all different types of amps to listen through...
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