General Information

New materials, improved computer simulations, revolutionary measurement methods like psychoacoustics, artificial head (head and torso simulation), laser vibrometers and others opened new possibilities for the construction of acoustic devices. So the master minds behind the K1000, Ryback and Renner, decided to apply their experiences to the development of the ultimate headphone – the MYSPHERE 3.

  • Since the earphone is kind of levitating over the ear, the overall weight has been optimized to bit more than 320 g.
  • All highly stressed external parts are either made of milled and anodized aluminium or stainless steel. These materials are extremely durable and corrosion-resistant.
  • The internal materials and connectors are highly elastic and environmentally resistant, as well as attenuating body-borne noise. Durability was a main construction principle.
  • The transducers are protected against dust and contact by an open-pored splash-water proof fabric.
  • The electrical internal wiring is strictly symmetrical. Exact the same wire lengths no matter whether the cable is connected to the left or right side.
  • All cables and wires are designed in a lightweight version to avoid the microphonics effect and to minimize the overall weight.
Source: https://mysphere.at/philosophy/

Latest reviews

Pros: Outstanding speed, dynamics and imaging. The best for classical music. Selection of drivers and earpads. Direct support from Heinz Renner himself.
Cons: Uncomfortable to wear for long listening. Most suited to classical and acoustic and not good all-rounders. NEEDS speaker-grade amplification. Super-high sensitivity.

Some years ago, one of the original engineers of the famous AKG K1000 popped up on Head-Fi, Heinz Renner. The response to this pleasant surprise was, as well as discussion of the technical aspects and issues with the K1000 design, a desire that they be manufactured again.

The result has been the MYSPHERE, which comes in not one, but two variants, consisting of the 3.1 and 3.2 drivers. Like the K1000, the drivers hang on hinged system allowing them to be angled away from one’s ears to progressive degrees, resulting in an effect akin to speakers.

While that may seem straight-forward enough, the design and requirements are anything but. The drivers are completely unique, sharing only with conventional designs that the drivers themselves are dynamic.

MYSPHERE-D75_9493.jpg


Unlike a conventional driver, the MYSPHERE uses a quadrangular-shaped driver with a radial magnet system to avoid non-linearities in its movement. This driver has a large, 4mm range of movement, sufficient to move the amount of air required of a driver that is going to be far from the listener's ears, and not in an enclosed space.


The drivers themselves are held in a precision milled aluminium frame to which earpads are attached, themselves housed in their own, precision milled frames. That whole assembly connects magnetically to the main headphone frame, the magnets pressing contacts against conductive strips that are attached at either end of the frame to a 3.5mm, 4-pole socket.

Inner head-pad pieces can be readily popped out to facilitate changing the drivers, of which there are two types: The 15 Ohm 3.1 drivers, and the 110 Ohm 3.2 drivers. While those impedances may seem fairly conventional, the drivers themselves are extremely sensitive, in the order of 96 dB / 1 mW RMS or 115 dB SPL/V. This means that, while they require almost nothing in terms of actual power to get to high SPL levels, they absolutely need an amp with speaker-amp levels of driver control.

MYSPHERE-D75_9516.jpg


The pair of MYSPHERE sent to me came with cables for 6.3mm, 4-pin XLR, 2.5mm and 3.5mm. While the former two were rather long, and the latter two quite short, 4.4mm connections and desired lengths are available upon request. Being able to plug the cable in on ether side of the head, essentially behind one's ear turned out to be suitable, at least for me, for good comfort.

MYSPHERE-D75_9522.jpg


In use, the headband is placed at an angle on one's head, forward at top and going behind one's ears at the bottom. This places the drivers at the correct position relative to one's ears. The drivers slide up and down (hence the contact/track system internally) to allow perfect positioning. Marks on the side allow one to remember the set-up for the future.

This set-up has two disadvantages: Firstly, the thin headband is not as comfortable as regular headphones and isn't good for long listening sessions, pressing, as it does, on top of one's head. Secondly, like conventional speakers, the positioning must be pretty much perfect for the ideal sound to emerge. For the latter, MYSPHERE includes reference tracks for setting up the headphones.



Once set up, the drivers themselves can be tilted either in towards the ear, for a more "headphone" like experience, or away from the ear for a more speaker-like sound. While for the mid-range and treble this doesn't effect the sound to a large degree, tilted away from the ear, the low bass is lost, resulting in something akin to the presentation from bookshelf-sized speakers.

That sound itself, from a headphone listener's point of view would be considered as mid-forward, rather more like Sennheiser's HD650 (or the Drop HD6XX). Compare that to the slight v-shaped sound of an approximately "neutral" pair of headphones.

MYSPHERE-D75_9504.jpg


The AKG K1000 had a design that dropped the upper mid range a bit, but the MYSPHERE doesn't include this. The result being that if I play music through my speakers and through the MYSPHERE at the same time, then put on or take it off, I don't hear any difference in frequency response (ignoring the low bass for the moment).

Finding suitable amplification became a challenge. The Audio-gd Master 9 was up to the task, but just about everything else, except a Schiit Audio Lyr, was not. Chord's Hugo 2 did well (it can actually drive sensitive speakers) but all the DAPs I have here could not control the drivers well, and so I stuck with the Hugo 2 for most of the rest of my listening.

When poorly driven, the headphones become extremely shouty in the mid-range, and the bass is boomy and out-of-control. When driven well, the bass is tight. The 3.1 seems to be more mid-range focussed and the 3.2 less by a small degree, and tuning also depends on which earpads are used, as two were included in the box (and a third, which give a better bass presentation are now available).

If using a speaker amp, the 110 Ohm 3.2 is a necessity, as a speaker amp will blow out the 3.1's drivers. With portable gear, the 3.1 is better suited, as less of a voltage swing is required to get the driver moving the large distances it is capable of.

MYSPHERE-D75_9519.jpg


When all is well, the MYSPHERE excel in acoustic, jazz and classical to a degree with fantastic dynamics, just about injecting the sound into one's ears. Carmen Gomes singing A Fool For You (Native DSD) was beautifully presented, with fantastic, pin-point imaging. It didn't quite have the intensity I remember from auditions of the RAAL set (which has something akin to an EQ applied in amplification) but after listening for some time, even favourite headphones of mine, such as the Final D8000 Pro and Meze Empyrean sounded boring afterwards.

Where the MYSPHERE was less suited was with anything that requires a good bass thump, or anything with clear mid-range distortion in the mastering, which was simply unpleasant. Massive Attack, for example, was just — don't bother. Missy Elliot "Secret" faired better, but the thump of the drum didn't come through as ideally as I would have hoped. Excellent-quality vocals, guitars, other instruments are where it's at with these, but most suited by far is classical music.

The Bolero: Orchestral Fireworks album, consisting of fast and explosive classical, from Flight of the Bumblebee and Hungarian Dances through to the progressively louder and louder Boléro itself, was spot-on, the MYSPHERE presenting the sheer speed and depth of the sound-field in a way that ordinary headphones mostly cannot.

Likewise, various Yo-Yo Ma albums were simply a pleasure to listen to with the MYSPHERE, presenting both his skill, and that of the other musicians beautifully, along with the dynamics of the music. I couldn't help wondering how it would sound if I had a Chord DAVE rather than the Hugo 2.

I also couldn't help think that a more euphonic set-up than mine would probably involve vinyl, and a speaker-capable tube amp for more musicality, and a bit of forgiveness in that forward mid-range when listening to other than classical.

If I were purely a classical listener with no space for speakers, I might be enamoured by the MYSPHERE. When it shined, it did so fantastically, though musical all-rounder it most certainly is not. If your tastes are more towards acoustic, and especially classical, the MYSPHERE are well-worth auditioning, as loaner pairs are available for this purpose. Heinz Renner is always readily on hand to answer questions about suitable amplification and set-up and which of the 3.1 and 3.2 to choose.

Attachments

  • MYSPHERE-D75_9502.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9502.jpg
    278.5 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9503.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9503.jpg
    177.1 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9505.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9505.jpg
    267.1 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9512.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9512.jpg
    398.2 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9517.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9517.jpg
    380.4 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9518.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9518.jpg
    409.8 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9521.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9521.jpg
    385 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9525.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9525.jpg
    488 KB · Views: 0
  • MYSPHERE-D75_9526.jpg
    MYSPHERE-D75_9526.jpg
    507.2 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:
Sp12er3
Sp12er3
it does look like they focused a bit too much on making it look good and minimalist they sacrificed the driver's surface area.
Also the design isn unique anymore, heck maybe they should collab with a VR manufacturer in the future to incorporate this to a luxurious VR gear in the future, it fits just right to put a VR headset on the front side of that Headband.
Currawong
Currawong
@Sp12er3 The driver's surface area is considerably larger than it appears. Nothing to do with making it look good.
hrklg01
hrklg01
Just wanted to mention:
a) The focus during development was never the optical appearance but the acoustics.
b) For those which are happy with the acoustics, but the head-bow hurt, we do individual bent head-bows to enjoy long listening sessions...
br heinz

m17xr2b

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: King of transient response and soundstage, world class build quality. A new benchmark in vocal performance
Cons: Some comfort issues, extremely hard to choose between 3.1 and 3.2
About me

I’ve been in this hobby for 10 years now, over the years I’ve owned most of the popular TOTL gear in an attempt to find my ideal sound.

To give you an idea of my journey:

Amps:BH Crack, Project Ember 2.1, DNA Stratus, GSX-MK2, Moon 600i, Woo WA5, Apex Peak,Cavali Liquid Glass, Apex Teton, DNA Stellaris

HP: HD580, HD600, HD650,2xHD800,2xLCD-3, LCD-4, HEK, 2xAbyss, ZMF Eikon,Verite, AKG K1000 bass heavy.

DAC: LH Labs, Yggy A1, Yggy A2, Pavane with Dac2

I’ve been to four canjams and sampled almost everything possible including both Orpheus, BHSE/MSB 009, Sangri-La etc.

Introduction

It was my love/hate relationship with my K1000 that made me buy the test set for MySphere to try out on my own equipment.
IMG_20190407_114612.jpg
For anyone who has heard the K1000 on a good setup no doubt the enormous soundstage, exceptional vocal presentation and mid bass punch is hard to resist and is why I enjoyed them. The hate part is due to a large treble spike, a noticeable lack in microdetail and the tricky amplification.

IMG_20190407_114725.jpg IMG_20190407_114750.jpg

Build quality

The closest headphone as far as quality is concerned are the Focal Utopias, the overall feel is quite similar. There’s a sense of absolute toughness about them even if they look fragile. I couldn’t find a single area where it was less than perfect from the mesh grill to the fabric of the headband.

Tolerance is excellent with no unexpected gaps or slight variation where the individual components meet up. This cannot be taken for granted these days. A step up from the originals and a true evolution of the ear speaker design.

IMG_20190407_114820.jpg

The stock cable is of good quality, but it tends to tangle because of how thin it is. No off the shelf Chinese plugs are used here.

Changing the sound frames is a seamless experience, I do appreciate the overengineering done here from the click when pressing in the headband to the magnetic support.

IMG_20190407_115006.jpg

Comfort

As a whole I’d give an 8.5 out of 10 for comfort. The main issue here is if you wear glasses the frame can interfere and be a less than ideal experience otherwise it would a 9.5. The first couple of days were trial and error and eventually I found a compromise but it’s still an ongoing struggle. A similar but less annoying experience of owing the Abyss 1266.

They have above average clamping for me, and the pressure is evenly distributed due to the large area and the unique way the headband is constructed.

Compared to the K1000 or Abyss which use a similar sort of design, MySphere stays exactly where you set them. Even if you get quite acrobatic it’s hard to make them loose grip and move around unlike the others. This results in a far fewer adjustments required over a long session.

A huge boost in comfort is the lack of earpads and this cannot be understated. Even the most comfortable headphones such as the Empyrean ultimately loose to a design which doesn’t use earpads.


Adjustments

MySphere belongs to a select few where on the fly adjustments to the sound can be made.

There are two options: height and angle of the ear speaker. I would have preferred an adjustment of overall distance from the ears, but I can understand the complexity that would entail.

My ideal is between 0 and -0.5 for height track dependent. Any higher and the sound becomes thin, looses any sort of low end. Going lower you lose sparkle and gain mid and upper bass with midrange thickness. Also going lower than -0.5 my ears touch the fabric of the drivers, not a big issue as I don’t usually use them that low but might be something to consider. To give a point of reference I usually just touch the inside of the LCD-3 driver grill.

For the angle I use them 90% of the time at maximum extension where imaging and resolution are at their best, something I never did with the K1000 due to a complete lack of low end.

The big plus for me is being able to adjust on the fly the midrange to soundstage ratio. For some recording the vocals can appear distant and adjusting the drivers closer by 0.5cm is enough to balance the sound at a slight cost of soundstage. It’s easy to make it an intimate, forward presentation where it’s called for.


Gear

PSAudio P12, Metrum Pavane, DNA Stellaris, Woo WA5, Lynx AES16e.

Mysphere 3.1 and 3.2

Both excel at low volume, usually most cans sound their best when driven above ambient volume especially planner magnetics. Both 3.1 and 3.2 sound gorgeous at medium to low volume, most important detail is preserved, vocals are still crystal clear.

Classical, acoustic, chamber music etc. are best suited for MySphere and will provide an experience with equal. HD800 has been dethroned.

Low bass would be my only criticism on both cans. While they retain the mid bass punch of the K1000 that I enjoyed no further improvements have been made regarding quantity and impact. Quality is improved as overall there’s an increase in focus and control.

When pushed hard especially on synthesised tracks both will lose composure with auditable low end distortion.

However, for instruments such as drums, percussion, bass guitars etc. the low end is very life like, never overdone and supports the rest of the frequency spectrum as intended.

Soundstage is about the same on both and a tad smaller than the K1000 but larger than anything else including HD800/Abyss.

Imaging is one of the biggest strengths of both, think Utopia precision but on a large scale.

The background is as black as you can make your environment. My previous go to headphones now sound grey-ish. To put it simply it’s the different between LED and OLED blacks.

Neither is a forgiving headphone, low resolution music won’t sound good.

MySphere 3.1

IMG_20190407_115511.jpg

It was easy to see the DNA Stellaris, an amplifier inspired by the AKG K1000 was a natural synergy.

Both the amp and 3.1 excel in the same areas with similar sonic qualities if described individually: speed, precision, tone, transients, focus, microdetail, dynamics.

After trying several setups, I feel MySphere 3.1 needs a super refined, neutral, extremely fast, polite amplifier. The stock cable does a magnificent job getting out of the way, after trying a 1000$ cable I did get a slight increase in overall dynamics but made the top end fuzzy and changed the character for the worst.

This combo should go down in history as one of the all time greats, easily next to BHSE/009, Dave/Utopia etc.

Transient response is the main attraction for me, I’ve never heard a more beautiful transition of notes where before I never took this aspect into account. Most headphones are average, HD800 was my previous benchmark but they’ve been completely outclassed.

IMG_20190407_115553.jpg

Burst response and speed are also best in class. While there are many fast headphones very few maintain a natural tone. I find the Utopia slightly metallic in its signature and the 3.1 would be closeer to the Verité. Regardless of how fast passed or explosive the music gets MySphere can cope with ease while sounding completely relaxed and mainlining imaging and layering as if it was playing a single instrument at a time.

Tone is as neutral as can be. My previous benchmark for neutral sound was the Sennheiser HD580 followed by HD800 and both sound coloured by comparisons.

Out of the two, 3.1 has an edge in soundstage and imaging and layering, Never sounding diffuse, or hollow. Width and height are excellent with good but not great depth.

Frequency range is very well balanced with nothing standing out. Mids are extremely detailed, smooth but its neutral tone might leave some, including me to want more. I do prefer a hint of warmth and there’s none to found here. Closest vocal former I’ve heard would by my HD580 driven by the same amp.

High end is a bit shy and might be the result of the thick weaving in the test set. There’s an option for a lighter weave which may improve overall air.

3.1 strikes a perfect balance between detail and smoothness. Usually highly detailed headphones come with all sort of spikes, unevenness and harshness. MySphere manages to present every shimmer and sparkle without sounding harsh even on tracks prone to such.

I’d say it’s a slightly darker HD800 with more density without being thick.

IMG_20190407_115828.jpg

Mysphere 3.2

Where the low impedance headphone is delicate, refined, composed, this one has more character.

IMG_20190407_123510.jpg

In this case the stock cable made them sound thin with mediocre dynamics compared to the upgraded cable which made them blossom. I’m confused as to why but there’s no denying the difference it makes. An upgraded cable is a must for them.

It’s all about the mid range. Vocals are the pinnacle of headphone reproduction, just the right amount of warmth to give them presence while the low and top end are there for support.

While the Stellaris sound great it’s not an ideal match. The Woo WA5 using the high impedance output on the other hand is. As with the previous combination I find the qualities of the amp in this case the WA5 match the 3.2 nicely. Punchier with a beautiful mid range and extended at both sides of the spectrum.

Using the WA5 with 3.1 you can sense the limitation of the amp not being able to provide the fine control the headphone wants. The transients are gone, high end is a bit rought, it feels strained.

Overall this is indeed a warmer headphone compare to 3.1 but not warm in the sense the HD650 is.

Low end had more heft and appears to have slightly more quantity but less fine control.

Technicalities are not to an extreme level as the 3.1, detail, transparency, transients, imaging take a step back.

Vocals are truly amazing and the only headphone I consider an upgrade over the K1000 midrange, LCD4 or a properly driven HD650. I’ve always appreciated a high impedance headphone driven by a high impedance amplifier.

It’s quite rare not to have to choose between richness and detail in the mids where you end up sounding either too thick or thin.

Tone is perfect for my tastes, certainly not neutral but a warmish-neutral with the same presence the K1000 has but far greater detail is extracted.

High end again lacks any spikes or harshness, one might say borderline dark but still highly detailed. Think of a slightly darker Abyss 1266 phi top end.

IMG_20190407_123353.jpg

Conclusion

While the 3.1 is a true marvel in technicalities and a revolution to the original AKG, 3.2 is the true successor of the K1000 and a direct upgrade.

It’s hard to say which one is better, both complement each other although on different amplifiers.

Tomorrow I must send them back and I’ve never been more heartbroken to lose the best headphones I’ve listened to.

They are indeed pure passion of listening.
IMG_20190407_131315.jpg

Attachments

  • IMG_20190407_115538.jpg
    IMG_20190407_115538.jpg
    3.1 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20190407_115654.jpg
    IMG_20190407_115654.jpg
    3.3 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20190407_115736.jpg
    IMG_20190407_115736.jpg
    3.2 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_20190407_115936.jpg
    IMG_20190407_115936.jpg
    3.1 MB · Views: 0
m17xr2b
m17xr2b
It's a cable of my own making using WyWires and Duelund wires.
  • Like
Reactions: X1787X
G
Gadys
Thanx a lot
John Buchanan
John Buchanan
The LED vs OLED analogy is EXACTLY how I described these, without having read your review before. I'm loving them.

narco dacunzolo

New Head-Fier
Pros: transient response

speaker-like experience

vocal accuracy and timbre
Cons: resolution could be better at this price range
perfect6.jpg


Price: €3300

Where to buy them: https://mysphere.at/product/buy-mysphere3/

Specs:

  • Style: hovering next to the ears, fully open
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB / 1 mW RMS = 115 dB SPL/V eff. (at Ear-Drum Reference Point)
  • Maximum input power: 60 mW
  • Rated Impedance: 15 Ohms or 110 Ohms
  • Transducer type: dynamic
  • Transducer size: 40 x 40 mm
  • Diaphragm: squared, glass-foam enforced
  • Membrane excursion: 4 mm
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 40 kHz (-10 dB)
  • Magnetic structure: radial, fully vented
  • Magnet type: Neodymium N52
  • Magnet density: 1.5 T
  • Weight: 345 g (without cables)
I want to thank MySphere for this loan unit. Everything in this review reflects my own thoughts and experience with these headphones.

perfect5.jpg


perfect3.jpg


Design and comfort
These headphones are very unusual. Even if you are familiar with the Stax family, this unit looks very particular (this is not an electrostatic, though, but a dynamic). Starting from the shape, to the materials, to the build quality itself, everything looks and feels high-end. The designers behind these headphones are the same as the AKG K1000 (Mr Heinz Renner and Mr Ryback)! I don’t know if the head-band (with the MYSPHERE logo on it) is made of aluminum, but it feels really solid and it could even be steel. You can stretch it without any fear of breaking it. The padding is detachable and it’s not bad, even though it’s a little bit slim: you may find it uncomfortable for long periods of listening. The frames are detachable too, and they attach magnetically to the body: this modularity may help with any kind of problems or breakings. The materials used are also waterproof and very solid, so it’s probably difficult to have build quality issues anyway. Speaking of comfort, they feel a little bit heavy and the clamp is pretty hard, so you get a great stability, but you must have a particular shape not to feel too fatigued after some time. I don’t find them uncomfortable, though: for this kind of product, I think they actually feel solid more than fatiguing.

perfect3.jpg


perfect1.jpg


Sound
I’ve personally tested the 3.1 version (15 Ohm) and the 3.2, which has an impedance of 110 Ohm. The 3.1 version is meant to be driven by DAPs and tube Amps, while the 3.2 by solid state Amps (more or less).

I’ve personally used as sources: SMSL 32bit/384KHz DSD512 Tube headphone amplifier( that work quite good with the 3.1 pads that are very easy to drive even with my Opus2. Obviously a better amplification will give you more control and fuller soundstage.

The great thing about the modularity of these headphones is the possibility of opening the frames and get an open-back headphone. Even with the frames closed, you have a very airy sound, but the soundstage is not that wide. By opening them, it widens and deepens, and you get an incredible sense of space and a precise yet holographic imaging. I have to admit it’s more like listening to speakers than listening to headphones. Nothing I’ve tried before feels that wide and all-around-you. The isolation, even when the frames are closed, is poor, but these headphones are obviously meant to be used at home, so I don’t feel this as a problem. On the other hand, as always, when you open the air passage (more or less like using wide-bore tips on in ear monitors), you lose some bass. That being said, the bass presence is still enough powerful to make the sound signature pretty warm. It extends very well into the sub-bass area. The overall sound signature feels, in reality, quite neutral, but analyzing the frequency ranges keeps out some interesting characteristics. For example, the neutrality is an aspect of the midrange too, even though I hear some picks on the upper side. In the midrange area, everything is smoothly reproduced and the instrument separation is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Layering and vocals are incredible, with air and space, body and harmonics. Treble is smooth, not harsh at all, but somewhere sparkly: this gives energy to the sound but may be fatiguing for some after some listening. I personally didn’t get fatigued, though; instead, I felt like I could turn the volume up even too much without hearing distortions or any kind of issues. The mysphere follows the typical reference european tuning, focusing on technicalities and a micro-detailed reproduction, if you are looking for an engaging and bass-oriented headphones, most probably this one will not be for you, the mysphere were meant to sound more on the analytical side, still retaining some warmth to result natural, focusing on upper midrange, treble and airy reproduction.

Conclusions
I wanted to review this pair of headphones because I feel it’s something the community will remember for a long time. Like the K1000, they want to be a benchmark and, in my opinion, they actually got it right. The neutrality is stunning, but the warmness adds that listening comfort that’s typical of dynamic drivers. It’s hard to find something wrong in these headphones: excellent dynamics, wide soundstage, holographic imaging, perfect layering, extreme frequency coverage. I would say it’s hard to recommend something like this for the price, but I’m actually more than convinced about what you get for the money. It’s not your usual headphone, and this just adds value to this product.

Comments

There are no comments to display.
Top