The star of this weeks’s Picture Sunday are the Hifiman HE-1000 and the Sennheiser HD800 reference headphones. Check out our other Picture Posts Here, and Here.
Why headphones this Sunday?
To be more precise, this week is all about full sized headphones. I’ve been reviewing audio gear for 7 years now and I can’t think of any year in which we reviewed this little full sized headphones up to now.
We did the less known Mycroft Izophones early this year, followed by the Myst OrtoPhones, Meze 99 Classic, Verisonix N500, Sennheiser HD630VB, two ZMF headphones and the HD800S. While the Meze and HD800S will probably be on peoples minds for a very long time I doubt the others will to the same degree.
Have people lost interest in full sized gear? Has the market changed? Well, it probably is a mix of both. We already knew the Asian market was very much focused on portable gear, and that trend has been continued in the US market as well. The EU still a long way behind but finally the sale will happen here. Full sized gear and headphones will always be there as a lot of people will always keep their desktop system but a whole lot more people are now looking at portable systems that offer desktop quality so they can use it at home without having to give up quality.
Luckily for us there is so much qualitative gear out there that we can do this but at the same time the prices keep going up. Quality simply seems to cost (a lot) of money and as long as people are willing to pay for it… So where does that bring us with the full sized headphones? Sennheiser released the HD800S and it was very successful but then again the original HD800 already was. Beyerdynamic showed us the DT1770PRO which is really good, but it’s the DT770PRO’s successor and that’s another classic headphone already. Hifiman hasn’t really shown us anything new yet but they will be doing upgrades to both the HE-1000 and Edition-X headphones. Audeze did launch the LCD-4 but that’s only available on order and well Mr. Speakers always has something new.
Sure there are new full sized headphones but they’re not by the top brands you would expect them from. Take FOCAL in example that – out of nothing – launched the Elear and Utopia. From what we hear both of these headphones sound extremely good and I look forward to listening to them at Canjam Essen soon.
I do know a few more full sized headphones are coming to the market soon (NDA) and maybe we’ll get a few more interesting surprises , so maybe it isn’t too late for 2016 yet. Fingers crossed!