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”
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?
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.