CanJam SoCal 2016: HiFiMAN goes Ultra-Fi with Shangri-La


Seal_FINAL_CanJamSoCal2016When Sennheiser relaunched the Orpheus amplifier and headphone combo last year, they slapped a $55k price tag on the combo. When I first heard, I reacted like many of you, and probably ruptured something important.

Look — I don’t want to take anything away from the sonic (and brazen marketing) accomplishments from Senn, but for realz? That’s Porsche money.

Now, there’s a long history in high-end audio of going balls-out with pricing, and admittedly, I predicted this sort of thing a couple of years ago. But wow. That’s some big, brassy, clanky stuff going on with Orpheus.

Which is — maybe — kinda why HiFiMAN is targeting them directly with their newest on-the-horizon, game-ending, ultra-fi kit they’re calling Shangri-La.

Noble Audio
Noble Audio is a proud sponsor of CanJam SoCal 2016 and Part-Time Audiophile

Again, pricing is still TBD, but that’s being coy. The Shangri-La, as a system, is unapologetically targeting the Orpheus in not only performance, but in price, so set your expectations accordingly.

I’ve heard that the Shangri-La is supposed to be available this year, but no timetable was shared. Assuming that what was here will in fact be the final form, what we’re looking at is a 300b-based electrostatic headphone amplifier (!!! say wha —?!?!!) with a “matching” electrostatic headphone that bears a striking similarity to the magnificent HE-1000.

My time with the Shangri-La was short, but I was very impressed — there’s a lot of promise in this combo. But as to whether or not it’s a product (that is, one that can justify its price enough to convince the market to invest in it), well, that’s another thing entirely.

About Scot Hull 1062 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

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