The following is a press release issued by HiFiMAN.
Tianjin, China | December 12, 2016 -– HIFIMAN, a leading designer/manufacturer of high performance headphones and portable audio products, announced the introduction of an all-new, premium electrostatic headphone system called Shangri-La. Several years in the making, Shangri-La builds upon HiFiMAN’s unmatched expertise in Nanotechnology to create a cutting-edge headphone with virtually zero distortion and lightning fast response. A custom designed amplifier featuring four audiophile-grade 300b tubes is an integral part of the cost-no-object experience. Shangri-La will be unveiled at the upcoming CES 2017 in Las Vegas but is available now to pre-order with estimated delivery in Spring 2017.
At the heart of the technology of the Shangri-La headphones is an Ultra-Thin Driver made only possible by Nanotechnology. At much less than 0.001 mm, its Nanotech driver is so thin, it is not visible from the side with the naked eye. Nano-particle coated sub-micrometer thickness diaphragm provides unsurpassed high frequency response. The new electrostatic design with ultra-thin film diaphragm and dedicated tube amplifier delivers remarkable, lifelike openness with virtually no distortion.
Not only is there radical new technology in the diaphragm and stators, the companion amplifier is another important reason why Shangri-La sounds better. Electrostatic headphones require high voltage. Solid state circuit cannot provide a sufficient high voltage so that it requires the transformer to boost the voltage to 500 to 600 volts. This process will introduce distortion. Therefore, the Vacuum tube is the perfect match because its regular output voltage is high, so that vacuum tube electrostatic amp does not need a transformer to drive electrostatic headphones. In the Shangri-La amplifier, HiFiMAN uses four of the famous 300b vacuum tubes, acknowledged to be the finest available.
According to HIFIMAN Founder and President, Dr. Fang Bian, “Creating the world’s best sounding headphone has been my lifelong dream. While HiFiMAN has made many good headphones, and people certainly enjoy them, none has ever fully satisfied that dream. So, I set upon this journey in the Shangri-La project using my PhD in Nanotechnology to create a special ultra-thin driver for an electrostatic design. We then designed a special amplifier using 300b tubes which creates a perfect match to the headphones and plays a critical role in the sound. I feel I have achieved my dream so I hope everyone at CES will come see us for an audition. I guarantee they will not be disappointed.”
Window Shade Grill System
For Shangri-La, HIFIMAN utilized their proved Window Shade Grill design special design that provides driver protection, is optimized for open-back design and that also yields the best possible sound quality. It is precisely structured to gain greater openness which keeps the sound waves from second refraction to avoid unwanted vibration and distortion. The result is a wider soundstage, outstanding imaging and remarkable clarity.
Aesthetically, as an added benefit, the Window Shade Grill also provides a unique, high-tech look to the headphones and an appropriate design complement to Shangri-La’s premium alloys and wood trim.
Form Follows Function: Asymmetrical Ear Cups + Beveled Hybrid Ear Pads
The Shangri-La ear cups have been specially designed in an asymmetrical shape that follows the form of human ears. The ear pads are beveled so that they contour to the shape of the user’s head for superb comfort and extended listening as well as a good acoustic seal. The ear pad’s hybrid design utilizes polyester for increased resolution.
Ergonomic headband design for extra comfort and to fit more head shapes and sizes
The revised headband is the result of clever industrial design. Entirely new thinking was needed that would accommodate the widely varied sizes of people’s heads while applying or distributing correct pressure evenly. This provides not only improved comfort but also a better seal of the pads around the ears and on the head for improved bass.
The headband on Shangri-La combines a special metal alloy with fine calf’s skin to form a sturdy arch structure. The perforation on the calf’s skin helps to dissipate the heat. For additional comfort, the light mass also contributes to lessen the overall weight of the headphone. The headphones themselves weigh little more than 13 ounces (374 grams).
The complete Shangri-La system is priced at $50,000 U.S. and is available to order now for estimated deliveries in late Spring 2017. Interested parties can inquire through their authorized HiFiMAN dealer or the company itself at [email protected].
HiFiMAN will be exhibiting in two locations at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, NV, January 5-8: in the LVCC South # 21624 and the Venetian Hotel in Suite # 30-234. Dr. Fang Bian, along with company personnel, will be on hand to demonstrate and answer questions about the new Shangri-La headphone system as well as the rest of the HiFiMAN line of award-winning products.
Founded by Dr. Fang Bian in 2007, HIFIMAN is widely regarded as one of the leading manufacturers of high performance headphones and portable audio products in the world. HIFIMAN is now one of the few headphone companies to design and manufacture Dynamic, Planar Magnetic and Electrostatic models. The company also designs and manufactures highly acclaimed, high-res portable players and amplifiers.