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The Sennheiser Orpheus 2? A First Look At The Sennheiser HE-1 (The New Orpheus)

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jude, Nov 3, 2015.
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  1. paradoxper
    THIS. It just says it all.

    I sold my T2 as I am not listening to headphones much.
    Whitigir likes this.
  2. edstrelow Contributor
    Sennheisser has figured out how to dampen vibrations in structure of their phones and has been doing it with the HD 800 for some years by using an unnamed damping material in the headband. This type of damping is not to be confused with damping backwaves and the like of sound in the chambers of headphones and speakers, rather it is a totally different problem, how to get rid of the energy going back into the structure of the phones from the driver mounting. Think of Newton's 'for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. '

    Senn is probably using Sorbethane or some similar material; at times they have just called it a 'space age material.' My experiments with Sorbothane show very big improvements in several aspects of sound on Stax phones, including tonal accuracy, dynamics and soundfield. Grado does something similar using what they call a proprietary polycarbonate and I have seen a number of other companies use related damping techniques.

    I got onto this issue when I noticed that my Stax SR007 A showed small sonic changes simply by my touching the headband. More by accident than design I got onto using Sorbothane on them ( then on speakers which have the same problem BTW.) I have not seen Senn discuss this issue in their literature on the HE1 as they do on the HD800 series but I can't imagine they are not doing something to tackle this problem here as well since it seems to be a universal problem with audio transducers. I see in their manual for the HE1 that they recommend changing the padding on the headband after a few years so the padding may be part of their damping technique.

    I get very good results using small sections (less than 1 inch high in any direction) of high density sorbothane (70 duro,) fairly thick (I use a lot of 1/2 inch) glued using the 3m self-stick that comes on the thinner pieces ( I have to use an expensive industrial glue on the 1/2 inch though since no-one seems to sell the self-stick.) Covering the back of these pieces with several layers of electrical tape enhances their effectiveness, giving what is termed 'constrained damping.'

    See https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dam...s-with-sorbothane-and-other-materials.744839/ for some history. The story changes quite a bit as the thread progresses and more experiments are tried. Also googling 'constrained damping' will pull up engineering articels and some from audio manufacturers.
  3. up late
  4. raypin
    Mm,..no such crap on my HE 1 headband. I am intimately familiar with the headphone. I have removed the padding and earpads many times (for clean-up). No visible extraneous material anywhere. Nothing unusual. It is just a headband. The headband padding and earpads are recommended by Sennheiser to be changed for hygienic purpose, not for audio anything. Just like on my HD 800 (smells bad already, deflated and worn out). On my 800S, it is still functional. What Sennheiser recommends is a check-up/tune-up of the HE 1 to maintain factory specs performance, every 3 years. at their factory in Germany. The tubes (all 8 and new ones installed in a specific order), of course, have to be replaced as soon as the indicator light on the volume knob changes color. Hasn’t happened yet. Those are the things that matters.

    And, no. Touching the HE 1 headband does not change anything, least of all, the sound.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  5. up late
    that is devastating news
  6. raypin

    Mm...what the?




    See? No crap on the headband. The easy to remove headband padding and earpads (hand-made) are disposable/consumable for hygienic purposes.

    16 months later, it is still the very best headphone experience for me.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    robthemac and ToroFiestaSol like this.
  7. astrostar59
    Nice. I am glad you are still on top of the clouds. My journey has upped a bit as well, my DAC has got better with the Aries Cerat Kassandra Ref II, and lately the Viollectric HPA V281, and the Norne Draug all silver into my LCD4s (2018). Sounds AMAZING!!

    My learning experience in this is, the DAC matters a LOT more than I realised.

    raypin likes this.
  8. raypin
    Mm....Nice!.....Yes, DAC matters........my weapon of choice is the Chord Dave (dual XLR) and Chord Blu MK II (dual BNC) into the HE for fully balanced OR the Blu MK II into the HE 1 for unbalanced when I want to use the HE 1 DAC (via Coax). Either system suits me quite well. CDs all the way. I don’t want to deal with crappy USB and all the problems that comes with it. Occassionally, I use a streamer (Cocktail Audio X40, which I also use as a ripper for my flacs/DAPs) to Chord Dave via AES/EBU to HE 1 when I want to listen to Tidal. Sometimes, the AK 380 Copper to HE 1 via optical.

    Love the Violectric V281 with the HD 800S. A friend offered it to me at a very good price but I declined (too many headfi gear). Regreted it ever since.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    ToroFiestaSol likes this.
  9. edstrelow Contributor
    What about that stuff in the middle of your pic. It sure looks like some kind of "crap." As I noted the manual is very particular about replacing this regularly, something one would rarely do in most phones. This make me speculate that its construction has some kind of damping property.
  10. raypin
    Mm...ah...no. Not really. From the official manual:



    As per official manual of the HE 1, nowhere does Sennheiser mention anything about replacing the earpads or headband padding to maintain sound SQ or performance. It clearly mentions “for reasons of hygience.”

    Do you think Sennheiser would be so remiss NOT to mention that crucial piece of information on the HE 1 owner’s manual? That omission would be incomprehensible.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  11. astrostar59
    True, but by replacing pads every 3 years you get new inner material anyway, so same thing. Just not mentioned that in the manual as our obsessive natures would be asking for new foam every 6 weeks Ha Ha. Is there any escape from this. I am sure I switched off the light and left the door exactly at 23°. Or did I......
  12. VandyMan
    I find sorbothane most effective when inserted rectally.
  13. Ali-Pacha
    HE-60 out of a BHSE...not as warm / symphonic as HE-1, but realism (voices, cues, etc...) is better IMO :smiling_imp:

  14. raypin
    Mm...I am not saying that sorbothane does not work. If you hear improvements on your Stax, kudos to you. But, at this point, it is mostly testimonial evidence. It is your headphone. Experiment to your heart’s content.
  15. mulder01
    Why are we talking about sorbothane?
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