Hear the unheard – HE 1

After I had the chance listening to the Sennheiser HE1 headphone system, which is basically build up by the new Sennheiser Orpheus headphone coming with a 10 pin connection leading to a sophisticated amplifier based on 8 tubes, I decided to go for it.

Needless to say it is an overwhelming sound. But what is so special? I always used the same excellent test CD, Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers, Wild Horses. My different testing models were a Sennheiser HD 850 S headphone with a HDVD 800 headphone pre, my own Sennheiser Orpheus HE 60 with the Stax SRM 007tII preamp modified by some vintage Tungsram tubes.

The HD 850S sounds clear, precise but also a bit on the bright side. The HE1 brings more wide and soft soundstage into the picture.
Curious as I have been I never stopped continuing my way and finally have arrived at the real Top High End solution in headphone design. The HE1 provides a wonderful sound, relaxing and arriving somewhere else.

It is a journey you are clearly jumping over the border of listening to an open field of harmonized loudspeakers in a well equipped environment, giving you an alternative for enjoying one ´s favorite CDs and SACDs as I do it.

2 thoughts on “Hear the unheard – HE 1

  1. Eckart,
    Excellent post! How I would love to hear those.
    I don’t have a dedicated listening room for my system, so I will often use head phones which I really enjoy. Mine however are humble Koss Pro/4 AAA from 1978, driven off of my 1970 marantz 24 preamp/tuner. Not exactly the same experience I’m sure. =)

    So I am wondering are you hearing more detail with the HE1 then with Bavarian Voice speakers in you system? Is that even possible?



    • Norman,

      thank you. One of the most interesting questions what we are able to hear between an open loudspeaker system and a headphone with integrated tube-amp. I usually hear the HE-1 with my Wadia 581i SE CD/SACD player while all the LPs run over my big system. As the Wadia is a fine transport I do enjoy the quality via the combination with the HE-1 pretty much. Nevertheless it is different than listening with my audio system in the listening room. I know people who refuse using headphones while others swear on just listening to headphones only.
      I do think when you are short on space an excellent transport/headphone system gives you what you need. In case you are able to design the room and fill it with fine equipment you have a different perception of the music you hear, it is more body involved. The Bavarian Voice 8X was developed as I was never satisfied with basic horn systems only. I always missed a precise bass management. With the design of the speakers, the drives (TAD, EAS Technics etc.), the bandpass filters (Mundorf silver coils) and the active woofer system (See: Building a speaker system -BV 8X) all was integrated to reach my expectation. In the end it is a perfect transmitter of the sound in all aspects, whether it is Jazz or Rock. And -of course – it is my favorite listening environment. Even if you might hear a little more details with the Sennheiser.



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