CanJam at RMAF 2016: HiFiMAN Shangri La Electrostatic Headphone System

Wow! One heck of a facelift on this amp compared to what we saw at CES and CanJam SoCal this year. The beautiful, cantilevered Shangri La amplifier uses four custom 300B tubes in the output stage and four custom 6SN7 tube in the input stage. The digital volume control inputs adjustments to a microprocessor that switches resistors in and out of circuit effectively making it a stepped attenuator.


Fang's background in nano-technologies has had him thinking about this project for the last 16 years, and, of course, the metal coated diaphragm in the headphones are nano-thickness. The headphones use bias voltages and connectors compatible with the Stax Pro standard.

HiFiMAN is now taking orders for delivery in three months. The combined amp and headphones are sold only as a matching piar currently. But make sure your wallet is in good health, the combo will set you back a cool $50,000! The sound was quite good, but show conditions prevent any sort of useful evaluation. These will be pretty rare, not sure I'll be able to get a system up here anytime soon, but I'll try.

Fang tells you all about it in the video.

Click to watch on YouTube

numbersixx's picture

I saw the tops of the tubes in the photo then scrolled down to see the whole amp and literally said "You've got to be shitting me".

yodaman007's picture

Was just a matter of time before another manufacturer met Senn's Orpheus price point.

Chiumeister's picture

...and why not with real estate prices doubling in China, some cities in just 9 months. Folks feeling wealthy need beautiful gear to furnish their apartments.
Now, for $50K, are we at least getting decent 300Bs?

Pedalhead's picture

.. and they'll probably bring out a v2 within 12 months. Honestly, at this point HFM just come across as an exercise in money grabbing. Sennheiser have earned the right to charge what they do for Orpheus / HE1. Can't say the same for HFM. Anyone who drops $50K on this must be clinically insane.

Jazz Casual's picture

and that monstrosity of an amp looks like it should be operated by a barista

Pedalhead's picture

... On a more friendly note, thanks for the continued coverage, Tyll. Always look forward to your show booth vids.

Shardnax's picture

I wonder if they'll bother with having good build quality for this or if they'll cheap out like the HE-1000?

tony's picture

I hav'ta give you extra points for suffering thru that environment, phew.

IEMs might be the only thing "listenable", under all that noise.

I probably wouldn't last two hours in that tent.

Those Show organizers treat headphones like it's a Flea Market and headphone people let em get away with it, guess Jude isn't all that influential. Yet, the Headphone Side of Audio is MUCH more important than the two Box side. Schiit is introducing a $15,000 two Box system, on display at this RMAF, while wireless Active loudspeakers are the future for our newest generation of music lovers. Can we understand?

Tony in Michigan

Jeffrey Mann's picture

I thought that he said $15,000 in the video and not $50,000.

What is the correct US dollar figure?

wink's picture


Peragulator's picture

P.T. Barnum,right?

ultrabike's picture
Money Money Money!
AllanMarcus's picture

I tried them at RMAF. It was very early in the show, and the tent was still pretty quite. No bass (OK, very bass light).

MasonStorm@InnerFidelity's picture

I'm quite sure I heard "fifteen thousand," not "fifty thousand." Go back to about 1:35 in the video and listen several times. I definitely heard Tyll say no only "fifteen" but also "That's actually a pretty good price," which could never be said in response to a quote of $50k!

MasonStorm@InnerFidelity's picture

I saw another video of this event by "miceblue425" on YouTube, in which Fang unfortunately stated the price as "five, zero." Amusingly enough, he also said, "I hope somebody buys this."

Oh well.