News broke a few days ago that Onkyo, famed producer of lame speakers, will release a high-end headphone aimed squarely at the affluent audiophile. We’re talking about the Pioneer SE-Master 1.
The Pioneer SE-Master 1: And God Said, Let There Be Headphones
With a whopping price tag of about $2200, this headphone might come across as steep. And yet, the specs seem to jive with the price: a frequency range of 5 to 85000 hertz.
Take a moment to let that sink in, folks. That’s 85 kilohertz. The kind of headphone score an audiophile goes away on. Pair this with the low nominal impedance of 45 ohms and drivers measuring 50mm, and you get a pretty good picture of how impressive this headphone might sound. However, this isn’t to say its a sure thing.
While some might rejoice at what seems like a return to the almost-legendary Pioneer Master series of yore, the fact that such a move comes from Onkyo doesn’t exactly engender the same level of confidence.
If you’re unfamiliar with what Onkyo manufactures, go to your local Sears or Walmart or Kmart (or possible Dollar General) and look for the cheapest pair of speakers or “home entertainment system” you can find. Odds are, it’s either made by Onkyo, or of the same quality as the Onkyo Brand.
(It should be noted that some Onkyo products do have a fairly well-deserved reputation for budget performance, but those examples seem to be more exception than the rule.)
In all, it isn’t a bit unexciting to think that a flagship headphone could induce a trickle-down effect, resulting in less expensive audiophile options. Especially when one considers the kind of commitment and passion that was put into the Pioneer SE-Master 1. With its noble lineage, classic design, and intimidating specifications, it’s no wonder why it is turning so many heads in the audiophile community. But until the reviews – ALL THE REVIEWS – start rolling in en masse, your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not this puppy lives up to its price tag.