CanJam at RMAF2017: MYSPHERE Earspeaker Dynamic Headphones

Many years ago, AKG's flagship headphone was the very unusual AKG K1000—A headphone with temple pads and "ear speakers" that dangled down in front of your ears that were on hinges that allowed you to adjust the angle of the dangle.

CanJamRMAF2017_MYSPHERE_Photo_K1000

They were surprisingly good sounding as long as you were willing to give up the top and bottom octaves, and were willing to drive them from a small speaker amplifier. I used to sit on a sub-woofer for best effect. They remain a highly sought after headphone among enthusiasts going for about $1500 on the used market.

Now the original designers of the K1000, Helmut Ryback and Heinz Renner, have teamed up again under the banner of LB-acoustics Messgeräte GmbH to produce the next generation of this famous headphone now called the MYSPHERE 3.1. It's hard to imagine a headphone that could be so similar and yet so different.

The MYSHPERE 3.1 ($4000) has speakers that are suspended in front of the ears, and can be angled to suit the listener, but there the similarities end. The new headphone is absolutely gorgeous liveried in black anodized aluminum, black open weave fabric, and black woven metal grills. Have I mentions black is my favorite color for audio gear?

The squared 40mm x 40mm diaphragm is of foamed glass; neodymium magnets measure 1.5 Tesla at the gap; impedance is 15 Ohms but is 96dB/1 mW (115dBspl/V); and the driver is extremely open in the rear, which is claimed to significantly reduce resonance and distortion due to trapped air volumes.

It sounded...well, I can't really say because it sounded remarkably different as you moved it around your ears adjusting vertical, horizontal, and angular positions around the ear. I suspect users will have great fun positioning them optimally for various recordings...but I'm going to have one heck of a time measuring them! I reckon I'll have to do about 27 measurements just to get a gist. (Three positions horizontally x three vertically x three angles.) I'm going to have my work cut out for me...but it'll sure be fun to play with these unique headphones.

Heinz Renner tells us all about them in the video.

View on YouTube.

COMMENTS
GNagus's picture

!

zobel's picture

!!, !!!, !!!! Ouch!

wink's picture

Break out the blue-tack.....

Martin.'s picture

I think it can only be called gorgeous in comparison to their previous (ugly) speakers on a headband. What are they thinking selling this ugly thing for 4000? They don't look premium. The Koss porta pro look better than these. Fang's egg slicer-inspired headphones don't seem so bad now, and that's saying a lot!

BubbaJay's picture

Like others have said I don't think these look anything like a $4000 headphone if you can even call this a headphone. I hope they plan on changing that price because I don't see them selling very well at 4Gs.

wiinippongamer's picture

The design was a bad idea from the start. You get all the disadvantages of speakers and none of the advantages of headphones. Neat proof-of-concept, but ultimately a toy. $4000 is too expensive for that.

Arnold's picture

Overall, an excellent and detailed report with good pix, reflecting my own good impressions.
kissanime

bogdanb's picture

What were they thinking about? Who did they had in mind when thy did this?!
do they break even by selling 2 headphones?

Might be a nice design for call centers, phone conferences....

at this point I would buy a pair of desktop speakers...

OMG! I hope they will sell them with a "magic cable" that protects the audio from the electromagnetic field of the moon in the second quarter... ha ha

tinyaudio's picture

Well the obviously wanted to create an updated version of the K1000.

Just like Sennheiser released the HE1, a ridiculously-priced successor to the original Orpheus with modern circuitry and updated amplifier design, Heinz Renner (the original creator of the AKG K1000) developed a successor to the original AKG K1000, with an updated driver design.
But since AKG does not exist anymore, he is releasing it with his new company.

bogdanb's picture

They are headphones for the flat earthers!

Martin.'s picture

Hahaha. This and magic cables, lol. I actually think the cables will have to bare - without plastic - so that the electric signals won't be bogged down by the plastic, hehehe.

Three Toes of Fury's picture

For those of you with big collections of headphones that includes the high end gear ($1k and above):

Have you ever tried a listening test where you compare your favorite, similar format, headphones from different price bands to try and determine the cost-v-sound improvement?

I understand this is a very subjective question and one with a zillion variables (with personal bias of investment being a biggie). I also fully appreciate that its incredibly unlikely that a $80 headphone will match the sound quality of a $1500. But I think it would be interesting to hear folks thoughts on the overall differentiation when comparing the personal fav cans from different price ranges.

Another question: for those of you who do have some great high end headphones, do you still find yourself listening to older, lower end models ever? If so, when?

Peace .n. Living in Stereo

3ToF

ashish96's picture
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