Headphone Market News

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FullRangeMan

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Headphone Market News
« on: 3 Mar 2016, 02:43 pm »
As I had predicted recently in another topic the outrageous price of the new Orpheus will greater inflate the price of the headphone marker as well as speakers market.

HifiMan was a fast reaction and afew days ago I received a newsletter informing his new future release a cost-no-objet phones named Shangri-La.

Not that Iam interested, but what should be the Price?
As the HE1000 price is $3000 the Shangri-la may cost $5K I suspect. Much more price-value than the Orpheus.
« Last Edit: 3 Mar 2016, 04:55 pm by FullRangeMan »

hibuckhobby

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #1 on: 3 Mar 2016, 03:32 pm »
IMO the two have very little to do with one another.  HifiMan has been working on the electrostat
for 5 years.  I do agree however, that "cost no object" efforts have very little to do with price/performance
ratio.
Hibuck...

Armaegis

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #2 on: 3 Mar 2016, 10:04 pm »
Really, the headphone market is just playing catchup on the speaker world. How many people actually buy the 5-6 digit toys? With very few exceptions, those serve more as statement pieces to inflate the company ego/perception.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #3 on: 4 Mar 2016, 12:59 am »
They're trying to see what the market will bear. That's all. Aside from reinforcing the image of audiophiles as kooks who will pay ridiculous amounts of money to listen to some music, no real harm done.

Armaegis

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #4 on: 4 Mar 2016, 05:31 am »
I used to have monoblocks for my headphones. I hopped the train to Kooksville a long time ago  :lol:

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #5 on: 5 Mar 2016, 01:56 am »
We've all visited there at the very least

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #6 on: 5 Mar 2016, 02:05 am »
As I had predicted recently in another topic the outrageous price of the new Orpheus will greater inflate the price of the headphone marker as well as speakers market.

HifiMan was a fast reaction and afew days ago I received a newsletter informing his new future release a cost-no-objet phones named Shangri-La.

Not that Iam interested, but what should be the Price?
As the HE1000 price is $3000 the Shangri-la may cost $5K I suspect. Much more price-value than the Orpheus.

Sennheiser went out of their way to make the Orpheus as expensive as it could. It went beyond "price no object"- to price IS the object, I mean, motorized tubes and controls that emerge from the chassis at power-on... Who the f*** needs that. I'm into "form follows function". If anything, silly-ass sh** like that reduces the reliability (somewhere inside that thing, there are lots of flexing wires, or more likely, ribbon cables)  that lead to pots and tube sockets. Uhh, no thanks. How about some teardown pics, Sennheiser?  Unless I win the lottery, then all bets are off  :icon_twisted:

FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #7 on: 5 Mar 2016, 01:26 pm »
How about some teardown pics, Sennheiser? 
I think this amp use PCB not hard wire.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #8 on: 5 Mar 2016, 04:02 pm »
In case you haven't read the details of this system, the tubes and the controls are recessed into the chassis when the system is turned off and extend from the chassis, driven by motors, as the system is turned on. Since both the tubes and the controls are in the signal path, there have to be moving connections in the signal path somewhere, even if they are connected to some kind of mechanical support structure rather than directly to tube sockets and/or control solder pins. Ribbon cables, such are are used in, say, printers,would seem to be the logical way to accomplish this. Not having seen the insides, I'm only speculating as to the implementation. This is complexity for appearance's sake rather than of any engineering reason is my point. I'm not against Senn building an expensive system, but I have never had a very high regard for conspicuous consumption that serves no real purpose.

There is a depiction of this on this page. The marketing 'angle' is kind of comical if you ask me (they refer to the amp/storage unit as the "Monument".)

If you want good, rationally priced headphones, get them now, because the middle ground is receding and only cheap crap and grossly overpriced 'bling' (the Orpheus being the prime example) seem to be moving forward.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #9 on: 5 Mar 2016, 05:02 pm »
In case you haven't read the details of this system, the tubes and the controls are recessed into the chassis when the system is turned off and extend from the chassis, driven by motors, as the system is turned on. Since both the tubes and the controls are in the signal path, there have to be moving connections in the signal path somewhere, even if they are connected to some kind of mechanical support structure rather than directly to tube sockets and/or control solder pins. Ribbon cables, such are are used in, say, printers,would seem to be the logical way to accomplish this. Not having seen the insides, I'm only speculating as to the implementation. This is complexity for appearance's sake rather than of any engineering reason is my point. I'm not against Senn building an expensive system, but I have never had a very high regard for conspicuous consumption that serves no real purpose.

There is a depiction of this on this page. The marketing 'angle' is kind of comical if you ask me (they refer to the amp/storage unit as the "Monument".)

If you want good, rationally priced headphones, get them now, because the middle ground is receding and only cheap crap and grossly overpriced 'bling' (the Orpheus being the prime example) seem to be moving forward.
Seems as a good german company Sennheiser want red carpet and flags to self-affirmation, hence the new Orpheus.

I receive the factory newletter so I have see all about Orpheus.
I think the only safe way to implement these moving parts are w/PCB, Sennheiser would not be so stupid to use moving wiring in all of those valves sockets;
Just my 2 cents speculation.

Letitroll98

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #10 on: 5 Mar 2016, 08:55 pm »
I dunno DB, there seems to still be a plethora of mid priced phones and amps out there, new stuff like Audioquest's new Nighthawk is an example.  And great midrange phones are still being produced, Hifiman HE 400I, Grado RS2, Beyerdynamic T90 are but a few that happen to be ones I've purchased recently.  I really think it's the golden age of headphones now.  So many fine products at all prices that it's often hard to choose just one.  I think it's this interest across the board that drives the appearance of these "ultra" hi end phones, not the end of the world as we know it.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #11 on: 6 Mar 2016, 11:34 pm »
If it is the 'end of the world', it aint because of headphones... Not primarily, anyways :lol: Just that right here, I have seen 'phones like the650 and HE560 referred to as 'mid-fi'....That's the attitude sometimes... Really? You can still put together a really good headphone system for under $1K if you choose carefully. Example: Senn HD650/AKG K712/Hifiman 560/Audeze EL8 with O2 or Schiit Magni with ODAC or Schiit Modi.Total cost $750-900 new (less used).

Yes, theres lots of 'mid-range' headphones... Many of them are yesterday's 'high end' models, until mfr's discovered that 'the market will bear' more. When Senn comes out with a 'mid-priced' planar, I'll feel better about the 'mid-ranges'. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want the 'price no object' range to duck up a disproportionate share of the development effort. The law of diminishing returns is very operative in audio.

neobop

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #12 on: 7 Mar 2016, 11:04 am »
Edit: Like, they can make the diaphragms thinner, but there's a limit to thinness with current materials where you can accelerate a given volume of air fast enough to be convincing, and tonally correct.

Dale,
Seems logical, but I don't buy into it.  Nothing exotic about an electrostatic diaphragm.  Beryllium dust is toxic, but it's still used in tweeters - similar size diaphragm, even smaller.  If you're talking about the problems of air volume and miniturization, I don't think that computes either.  The proof is in Stax speed and resolution.  Imaging is a separate issue IMO, and short of electronic recreation the results of angling, boxes, etc. are user specific.

I think you're right about making it smoother.  Audiofools want their reality both convincing, accurate and palatable - no easy task because it requires manipulation.  Manipulation violates the prime directive - mess less, less is more.  This might seem Orwellian, but it's just straightwire and gain, the shortest distance.
Regards,

JohnR

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #13 on: 7 Mar 2016, 11:12 am »
We want it to sound the way we want, but we want that sound to be created the way that someone told us it was supposed to be created.

I am so glad I am not in the audiophile retail business.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #14 on: 7 Mar 2016, 01:36 pm »
The Orpheus prob is $55K price too hi, a simpler version would cost $20 or $30K, this not affordable at all, even $10 is all above the Audezes and HiFiMan.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #15 on: 8 Mar 2016, 03:06 pm »
Just received a HifiMan newletter informing a sale:
HE500 $349 Factory Refurbished
HE400 $149 Factory Refurbished
HE300 $99   Factory Refurbished
HE400i $299 Open Box Return
HE560 $899 New & other models

milford3

Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #16 on: 8 Mar 2016, 04:17 pm »
Just received a HifiMan newletter informing a sale:
HE500 $349 Factory Refurbished
HE400 $149 Factory Refurbished
HE300 $99   Factory Refurbished
HE400i $299 Open Box Return
HE560 $899 New & other models


HE400 for $149 Factory refurbished is a steal.


steve in jersey

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #17 on: 8 Mar 2016, 07:34 pm »
If they can come up with real breakthroughs instead of just making the $10000 or $20000 headphone smoother, more extended, clearer etc. -- so when you put it on and listen you hear a distinctly better soundstage and image (without artificial DSPs), because most or all of the things that ring or resonate have been eliminated - or whatever works, then that might justify the higher price tiers.

Edit: Like, they can make the diaphragms thinner, but there's a limit to thinness with current materials where you can accelerate a given volume of air fast enough to be convincing, and tonally correct.
Yeah Dale, that's the wish of most of us who are continually looking for the ideal headphone that will push all
of the right buttons & whistles for us for whatever type of music it is we choose to listen to. The problem is there isn't any real "standard"that can be used to make all the various genres of music we listen to equally enjoyable on the same "playing field" level. Headphones have to work slightly better for some types of music than others, simply due to the fact that recording techniques & the infinite variety of musical instrumentation can be vastly different from genre to genre !

Once someone starts talking about how this or that hp really excells at reproducing 1 type of music better than
others  the maker is back to the drawing board to strengthen the sound characteristics that don't enhance other types of music. Whether or not hp makers will admit to it they end up making hps that are "Jacks of all Trades" but "Masters of None" TOTL , Reference (according to the makers) Level headphones, that may or may not have had their sound "dumbed down" at some point of their existence.

I have a "TOTL , Reference level "can", but it's only that for the selectively narrow genres of music I care to listen to. He,he,he it certainly wasn't anywhere near to being this until "I" decided to "dumb down" the design features that kept it from be able to reproduce all the fine nuanced sound my playback system & recordings of choice are consistently giving me. In retrospect , I could probably have gotten to this point a lot easier with a "lesser" headphone with less "necessary surgery" on my part to them .


FullRangeMan

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #18 on: 8 Mar 2016, 08:22 pm »
Dale do you think the new Orpheus use DSP?
Its a closed box.

steve in jersey

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Re: Headphone Market News
« Reply #19 on: 8 Mar 2016, 10:02 pm »
If you go to the Senn Orpheus info page they talk about the headphone amp (that I believe is included with the hps as part of the Orpheus "System" they talk about this electrostatic hp amp using 8 ES9018 DACs in it .

So not only will you be able to listen to Digital PCM input into it ,but DSD as well. Being an Eltrostactic Amp I would imagine you could listen to other ELS headphones through this amp also (Hey, if you're affluent enough to buy an Orpheus, you might already have some Stax lying around also) (Someone should ask Senn if they can get a 30 day free trial on these, He,he,he )