January 01 2010
Do you sincerely want the most expensive headphones on earth? If so, these, I do believe, are they.
Ultrasone is an upmarket German maker I hadn’t come across until recently, and the first product I saw from it was distinctly manky. These, however, are quite something. The finish of the Edition 8 S-Logic headphones is superb, the sound wonderfully clear – perhaps a little sharp, which suits me, but others might prefer something a bit gentler.
They feel lovely on the head, although I see that some of the hi-fi wonks on their strange beardy bulletin boards have complained that the ear cups are too small. So if you have jumbo ears, do try before you buy, which you should anyway if you’re spending £1,100 on a pair of cans.
It’s not easy to sort out the marketing blah for these from the meaningful stuff. The ear cups are apparently fashioned from Ethiopian sheepskin (sans fur), which is said (by Ultrasone) to offer the most sound isolation of any leather.
There are also lashings of a metal called Ruthenium in the structure, which sounds as if it glows in the dark but is supposedly a good thing. The headphones are also, it says in the blurb, manufactured with user safety in mind by means of a “MuMetal shielding that protects you from 98 per cent of the radiation directed to the listener by ordinary headphones”. Well, I certainly haven’t read about that one in my copy of the Paranoiacs’ Journal.
Don’t let me put you off with my ribaldry, though. These are nice, if not necessarily £1,100-nice.