some 20 years ago during my stay in Japan I was listening with Stax electrostatic headphones and I liked it. Back in Europe I was much more concentrating on my system & speakers and of course on everything dealing with Phono! Having built up a dedicated small bedside headfi unit I was intrigued by dynamic headphones like the ones of Ultrasone or Beyerdynamik.
Occasionally I heard about the Sennheiser Orpheus headphone system – the big amp and the fantastic HE-90 headphone being produced in the 90ies. Sennheiser came out with another electrostatic unit in 2005, the HE-60 (also known as the Baby Orpheus). However, the drivers are electrostatic like the Stax and thus require an electrostatic headphone amplifier. The bypacked HEV-70 mobile amp wasn`t really an ingenious wonder…you see it on the image in the background.
As I knew the Stax Headphones differ in sound quality – some say the older Omegas II with lower numbers (SZ1) are even better than the new ones- I was intrigued by the possibility using a Baby Orpheus in combination with an electrostatic amp. So I went for a HE-60 unit with brand new drivers, new rubber elements and earpads. An upgrade Stax cable with Pro 5-pins and an dedicated resistor of 4,7 MOhms came with it.
Having had the chance now comparing the HE-60 with Stax headphones on the connected Stax SRM-007tII amp I believe they are different sounding headphones. The HE-60 is much more forward than the Stax headphone SR-007 e.g.The HE-60 has a faster attack due to a little brighter signature. When you hear the drums on the recently published Live CD of Manu Katche you will agree with me that the HE-60 provides naturalness, subtlety, texture and layering of the sounding in a wonderful way.