It’s not about luxury when you order the reissue of a Led Zepplin record in 180g vinyl. It’s about not sacrificing anything to hear every nuance that was recorded in the best fidelity possible. There are listeners who can’t discern that those little white plastic ear buds you jam into your ears give you only a portion of the recording you’re listening to—while destroying your hearing.
Music that was created in rooms by the likes of The Who, Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye—artists who played off the sound of those classic recording studio walls into classic equipment that was meant to be played over the radio—is now deteriorated by a computer math problem which decides what you can and cannot hear. Some people call us audiophiles, while in fact, we’re just appreciating more the sound of quality recordings and will invest in the ability to hear and feel them.
This quality we demand comes at a cost, especially when it’s a personal headphone. The options for us consist of a small select group of boutique models and there has long been an open spot for a special one. For some of us, there needed to be an alternative to the Sennheiser HD800, if you didn’t like their open back or futuristic aesthetic.
Sitting in this new spot is the limited edition Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones, with all of the elegance and precision that can only be crafted by hand in Germany. They're bold and sharp with the look of steel as they wear a classy sheen of Ruthenium (an element of the platiunum family, which is also used in jewelry), to give a brilliant shine across their closed backs, while reducing the potential for fingerprinting on their outside surfaces. Compared to other models like the Grado PS-1000 or Denon D2000, you’ll find these headphones to be more streamlined and compact in size and have a different fit on your head, if you're looking for a special alternative. Their appearance is as slick, modern and clean as a Movado wristwatch.
As an exception from the rest of the line from Ultrasone, in terms of design and construction, you’ll find that the brand’s ideas about style of sound and engineering are still present. The main design of the patented S-Logic Surround Sound is an amazing recreation of three-dimensional sound space for stereo format that creates the aural sense that the music flowing to your ears is coming from a room rather than a mere 5mm from your head. This is the natural, organic approach, dedicated to a pure listening experience, as opposed to other companies who use active processing and effects to achieve a similar result. This design is especially crafted for listening comfort, clarity and preservation as it directs the titanium-plated mylar drivers away from your ear canal so sound bounces off the outside of your ear. Amazingly, this mounting arrangement lets you perceive more of the music and more detail in the music at much lower volumes. Now you can listen longer without listening fatigue, as well as be able to preserve those mortal frequencies in your hearing.
Designed for long listening sessions, you’ll find the Edition 8's offer the comfort of Ethiopian sheepskin-covered ear pads that hug your head comfortably while leaving a generous space in the inside of the speaker can itself. Your outer ear remains free of any pressure. In addition to this comfort, the pads' construction provides surprisingly stunning isolation from the outside—the perfect traveling headphones for noisy environments.
These headphones don’t have any major faults as long as you’re willing to spend at least $1,499.00 to own them. The only features that might raise an eyebrow are that closed-back headphones in general don’t breathe much, so you may perspire during longer listening sessions. Also worth mentioning is that all Ultrasone headphones offer shielding on the inside to protect listeners from electromagnetic radiation, which some argue isn’t necessary, though the extra protection probably can't hurt.
The form factor, brilliant isolation and remarkable depth of audio reproduction truly make this a unique and needed model for those who are craving that something extra. When you join the club and purchase a set of the Edition 8’s, you’ll receive an extension cable and custom storage bag, along with a demo CD of material to instantly showcase your new headphones' ability to reproduce different styles of music. While less than a thousand of the original Edition 8’s were made, you can find special versions of them available as well, such as the Palladium plated and Wooden/ruthenium (a limited edition of which only 888 units have been manufactured) models.