Sennheiser will display its "legendary" Orpheus headphones at CES 2013, which is taking place in Las Vegas this week.
Also known as the HE90, the Orpheus launched in 1991 and was, Sennheiser says, immediately recognised in some audiophile circles as one of the best sounding, most innovative headphone systems ever made.
With a limited production run of just 300, the Orpheus originally carried a retail price-tag of $12,900, making it the most expensive headphone set on the market when it was introduced at the Berlin International Radio Exhibition over two decades ago. Now a collector's item for many audio purists, the Orpheus can sometimes be found on today's auction sites for nearly three times that amount.
The Orpheus originally consisted of an HE90/HEV90 electrostatic headphone and amplifier system, and was intended to reproduce uncoloured and undistorted sound with high accuracy and clarity. The HEV90 vacuum tube amplifier utilised an all-valve analog signal path and an onboard dedicated digital to analog converter.
The HE90 headphone design itself included a microscopically thin, platinum-coated diaphragm and electrodes made of special glass, which proved helpful in establishing excellent time response and reducing acoustical losses in the audio frequency range.
When it was introduced in the early '90s, the Orpheus was unsurpassed in its masterful design and uncompromising sonic purity, according to the manufacturer.
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