1. bclark8923
    The Best Headphones I have yet to hear
    Written by bclark8923
    Published Mar 9, 2018
    Pros - Everything
    Cons - Price
    This review will be fairly short as I'm not a big writer but it was an amazing experience being able to enjoy these headphones in a quiet environment with my own music for a solid hour.


    Fortunately since I live in San Francisco, Sennheiser opened up a flagship store right downtown and you can book time with the HE 1 as often as you'd like! I setup my appointment and they have a very nice upstairs closed off area of their store there they have a great setup with the headphones and a macbook streaming tidal as well as a vinyl player and some music local to their laptop to pick from.


    I only snagged a couple (and forgot landscape, I'll update the pictures when I go back with better ones) but they are BEAUTIFUL.


    The Sound:

    This is where I was completely wowed. For reference I have heard the MrSpeakers Electrostats, Stax 009 out of BHSE, various high end Sennheiser, Hifiman, Audeze, etc. (many of them in my home setup). Currently I'm between things with headphones, just a liquid carbon, HD 650 and Gungnir Multibit at home but I mostly listen to speakers now a days (my setup is nearing $10k for that).


    I listened to a number of tracks featuring cymbals and hi-hats and nothing ever sound piercing or sibilant, everything was perfectly smooth and extremely detailed and extended. I tend to be somewhat sensitive to a sharp treble and had no issue at all with these.


    My go to here are James Blake and Adele. Both of them sounded sublime on the HE 1, voices carried without any sense of harshness, but carried the weight and range of both the lower and mid vocal notes from each.


    Oh bass, this is where there is so much contention among audiophiles. My song of choice here is Doin' it Right by Daft Punk. Having listened to this song many times on a REW balanced speaker system w/ a perfectly integrated sub I know how it feels in a room. The deep and heavy bass will either feel underwhelming and slightly rolled off (HD800) or overblown and boomy (Most basshead focused headphones). With the HE 1 it sounded like a perfect balance and extended all the way down to the lowest registers without ever getting boomy. Clean hard hitting bass that balanced perfectly with the mids/highs.


    The HE 1 has an amazing soundstage slightly smaller than the HD800. For this I use Paint it Black as the opening drums can give a great sense of the size. Where the HD800 can feel just a bit unreal in the size, these are perfect.


    For this two tracks I like to use are Dorset Perception by Shpongle and Brace Brace by Bonobo. Lots of varied instruments at different volume levels. The speed and dynamics of each instrument and placement was top notch. Every little detail around an instrument could be heard and the varied levels of sound all were extremely balanced.


    These are hands down the most balanced and real sounding headphones I've heard to date, there isn't any real flaw I could pick out where I can for most other headphones.

    Would I buy these? Only if I became a $100MM+ in net worth. Were they the best headphone setup I've heard to date? You betcha.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. gordec
      I'm in the Eastbay. Will call today to book an appointment. I didn't know they are even offering 1 hour listening sessions.

      Update: I booked a session in 2 weeks. But they only gave me 30 minutes.
      gordec, Mar 12, 2018 at 2:51 PM
      bclark8923 likes this.
    3. Pokemonn
      probablly MSB technology select dac/amp/build in EQ + Stax SR-009 is the best headphone system as jude said before. just almost people can not afford it. lol
      Pokemonn, Mar 12, 2018 at 3:06 PM
    4. bclark8923
      I made good friends with the guy at my session and he was happy to let me stay as long as I wanted! Depends on who's there when you demo
      bclark8923, Mar 13, 2018 at 2:52 AM
    Orhpeus HE 1 - few hours that changed my life
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published Jul 18, 2017
    Pros - Concert like experience
    Cons - Price
    As special as this headphone is, I found it unfair for me to speak only of my thoughts. I believe impression from all my teammates compiled will give you more insight to what the Orpheus is all about. Before you go watch the video though, I would like to spoil it to you that what we all say have one thing in common and that is something close to a concert experience or even better. Not one but six people describing their concert-like experience, here we go:


    Now that you watched that video, I am sure there are people that are interested hearing about more of my opinion as a reviewer.


    The He 1 is a successor of the original sennheiser orhpeus which sennheiser announced its existence in 1991.


    The amplifier housing is made from solid block of Carrara marble. Not only beautiful but also prevents structure-borne noise. The control dial is milled from a single piece of brass before being plated with chrome.

    Being the first electrostatic headphone with a Cool Class A MOST-FET high voltage amplifier integrated into the earcups and 2.4 micrometer platinum-vaporized diaphragms, it delivers outstanding electrical and acoustical performance. The cable is also 99.9 percent silver plated OFC for optimal conductivity.

    A patent pending circuit design. Its vacuum tubes with high quality quartz bulbs that protect against air-borne noise this state-of-the-art amplifier delivers ultra-high impulse fidelity at an ultra-low distortion level. Uses the 8 internal DACs of the ESS SABRE ES9018. Four channels in parallel are used for each stereo side to enhance accuracy and decrease distortion and noise level.

    It came to me as a surprise as to why sennheiser chose the off the shelf Sabre dac in such an expensive and premium design. However, we all know that if it was integrated to perfection, it can very well be the best with its whipping number of 8 sabre dacs.

    Headphone felt heavy but comfortable. I did not feel like it was a trade off at all, considering the well distributed weight on the headband.


    Quite honestly, I have never heard anything close to what these headphone can do as of yet. The most comparable will be the HD800s and HD800 in sound signature and that is a BIG understatement. I would hopefully enter the world of electrostatic headphones and have something to compare the he 1 with.

    Low Frequencies: The low frequencies were impactful that extended very well. The sub bass was very present but did not color the rest of the frequencies at all. Quite remarkably, I felt like I was wearing a bass canon-type headphone and a midcentric headphone and high focused headphone all at one simultaneously. The bass is somewhat further than other headphones I own or have reviewed but with more impact, control and clarity. Overall, I want to almost say these are warm sounding headphone but I can’t as it is very different type of warmth with absolute clarity and transparency.

    Mid Frequencies: Every instrument outstandingly produced realistically. If you close yours eyes for a minute and forget the fact you are listening to a headphone, it is as if the artist himself is playing just for you, right in front of you. Every strum, every lip smack, and breathing can be heard and comes to you as a surprise that you are wearing headphones when you open your eyes. You tend to look back or left and right to see if that sound really came from the headphones themselves or someone was saying something or hit something by accident beside you. When you replay that section of the music, you hear the same thing and feel amazed as to how you heard new things that you’ve never heard before in your system that you thought was “good enough.” Male and female vocals sound realistic and natural, bringing you that perfect vocal presence in what you would expect from a vocal centered headphone. But again… nothing else fades even though the vocals are singing right into your ears.

    High Frequencies: Quite remarkably the most outstanding trebles I’ve ever heard. with everything again, being realistic as they can get. Also one thing to note other than the fact these are absolutely detailed headphones, is that vocal sibilance still exists in these headphone (5 to 8khz area) but it is produced in a way that is not bothersome but more realistic. What I mean is, on other headphones this becomes an annoyance but in the He 1, it felt as if I was at a concert. If you have ever been to a concert, vocal sibilance naturally occurs as artists articulate more than when they record on a pop filter (and other studio equipment). However, not many headphone can produce this vocal sibilance naturally and therefore becomes an annoyance. On the He 1, however, it is captured just the perfect amount as if you are at a concert.

    Soundstage and Imaging: Soundstage is the largest I’ve heard so far, resembling that of speakers and imaging does not fade nor become indistinct in some corners of the music. Everything is well balanced and placed. You do not need to really concentrate to know where a certain instrument is coming from as it will come at you weather you like it or not. Quite a remarkable experience.

    Below are all the photos:





  3. PeterPangea
    15 minutes of heaven
    Written by PeterPangea
    Published Nov 22, 2016
    Pros - Everything but the price
    Cons - Price
    Stopped by Bay Bloor Radio this weekend to audition the Sennheiser HE-1 Orpheus 2 set. Only had 15 minutes, so impressions are very much stream-of-consciousness. The Sennheiser rep played snippets of three test tracks, and I had time to play two/three more snippets of songs of my own choice (all lossless, TIDAL quality or higher). Here's some notable open-back setups I've had experience with as a frame of reference in addition to my current setup of Andromeda + Mojo. I know, source gear is pretty crap but school doesn't free much much disposable income for amps + DACs lol:

    HD800 + Burson HA160D
    Hifiman HE-X + Chord Mojo
    Audeze LCD-2 pre-fazor + Burson Conductor
    HD600/HD650 + Aune T1
    Build is great, as it should be. Sennheiser's work on their in-house pots paid off, as they are extremely smooth and nice to work. Comfort of the Orpheus 1 is extremely good, same level as the HD800 but with a slightly looser clamp. However, I wish the headphone design would be a bit more high-end through the use of a better finish.

    Can confidently say Orpheus is the best sounding headphone I've tried yet, as it should be. Has great speed and clarity, yet with a balanced sound sig with a slightly warm tilt. No glare like the HD800, I'd liken the sound signature more akin to HD650 but with much better speed, definition, separation, positioning and soundstage. Track-by-track impressions are below:

    Rep's demo tracks:

    Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah: Really shows off Orpheus' chops at handling male vocals. Captures Buckley's excellent vocals with a great sense of space. Melody provided a nice backdrop to vocals without getting in the way.

    Norah Jones - Come Away With Me: Honestly, see above but replace male with female vocals.

    Some world music which I don't have the ID of - Highlights the phone's strong capability to keep vocals + instrumentals separate. Beginning was a choral section where it was easy to pinpoint each member's contribution. Second part was a percussive swing song which got me tapping my toes, demonstrating the great PRaT (**** term I know lol).

    My personal picks:

    Kendrick Lamar - Backseat Freestyle: Much better bass slam than I expected. Hit hard for a headphone with no bleed. Kendrick's sometimes mumbly rap style was as legible as it's ever been. The bells in the intro had a great sense of sparkle.

    Kaskade & Deadmau5 - Move for me: Mau5' intro in the song was extremely rich and enveloping. Really breathy vocals, this track demonstrates the Orpheus 2's strong ability on highs without being fatiguing like the HD800 while keeping good bass slam.

    A classical piano piece I can't remember: You can pick out the coughs of the audience in the recording. Good tone and timbre of the keys. However, I still think for piano, $75,000 CAD would be better spent on a Yamaha grand + the services of a national-level piano player :)

    UItimately, these recaptured the magic of my first exposure to a high-end headphone set. Can't say the same about the other setups I've encountered. Definitely interested in owning a set if I ever hit big on Powerball.
    Pictures below:
    1. RERO
      I don't think 15 minutes is enough to write a review of any headphone, especially the Orpheus. In that 15 minutes your brain is probably still hung up on that fact that your head is wearing a $56,000 product, going full bias mode.
      That said, I did have similar comments about its sound. Though for some reason, the lasting impression of my 31-minute demo wasn't "omggg it's literally the best headphone everrr" but instead "It's alright, like a perfected HD 600." The headphone warming up was quite... bothersome.
      RERO, Nov 22, 2016
    2. PeterPangea
      Yeah, honestly I agree with you. That's why I titled the review the way it is and made the disclaimer at the beginning. Note that I didn't say Orpheus 2 is "omggg it's literally the best headphone everrr" but the best setup I've heard yet out of my admittedly fairly humble setups. Thanks for the feedback!
      PeterPangea, Nov 23, 2016