The Box, Accessories & Price
The Heritage HP-3 headphone has one of the most impressive, if not THE most impressive, delivery box I have ever seen. Like the headphone itself it is beautifully made out of wood and it actually serves as a carrying case at the same time. This screams quality and to me, this is how every single reference headphone should be packed and presented. Klipsch for the win.
Together with your HP-3 headphone you get two stock cables which are terminated with a 3.5mm plug and that’s it. There’s no balanced cable and at this price point, there absolutely should be one. Even more so because the matching DAC/AMP unit from the Heritage series – which we’ll look at next week – features a balanced output for this headphone. The HP-3 is a flagship headphone and it goes for $1199, to me, a balanced cable should be included. Then why didn’t Klipsch add one in the box? Probably because the HP-3 is so easy to drive that they don’t expect anyone to us it in a balanced configuration. They have a good point, but still, a balanced cable would have been nice.
At the same time however you do get a simple steel rod headphone stand with the HP-3, and that’s a nice touch. Unfortunately the one in my box has a production issue and it’s not stable. I do hope this is an isolated issue however, at this price point everything should be perfect.
What you do get in return for your hard earned money is the following:
– Klipsch Heritage HP-3 Headphone
– 1.37m cable
– 2.5m cable
– 1/4″ adapter
– Solid steel rod headphone stand
– Certificate of Authenticity
– Owner’s manual
What is not listed is that for the money you get a beautiful handmade headphone with a really nice design, that awesome delivery box and of course a “high end” sound. But more on that in a bit.
I think we can all agree the HP-3 looks beautiful. Klipsch actually offers the HP-3 in three different finishes as you can see in the pictures: Walnut, Ebony and Oak. The Klipsch designers did an excellent job and the cups, headband system, pads and even the connector system all look incredibly good. It does remind me a bit of the Sennheiser HD800 because of that reversed connector look, but I like it. The pads are easily removable (magnetic) and when removed you see the beautiful and perfectly finished inside with the driver right in the center. Technically the design is also special:
Proper acoustic venting drives the powerful and smooth delivery of the Heritage HP-3. Back-vented to the outside world as well as through the front baffle, the drivers can breathe and allow ambient noise to fuse seamlessly with the rhythm of your music, creating a natural presentation. Precisely vented between the front of the driver and directly behind the ear pad through a vortex guide, the Heritage HP-3 reduces pressure in your ears, and creates a consistent performance for any head or ear shape.
Build Quality & Comfort
Designed from the most functional and premium materials available, the Heritage Headphones feature die-cast steel, milled wood, premium leathers, and machined aluminum components. Solid-wood, triple-vented ear cups add natural warmth and character. Angled sheepskin ear pads provide perfect depth and distress naturally with age. A genuine hand-stitched cowhide headband adds quality, strength, and becomes more pliable over time. Hand-assembled with visible copper nuts and bolts, the Heritage headphones boast a classic aesthetic that’s built to last. Build quality wise, this Heritage HP-3 headphone scores very high.
The HP-3 weighs a solid 440gr and that means it isn’t the lightest headphone on the market. At the same time that nowadays is nothing special anymore for a reference headphone, and the weight actually doesn’t really bother me at all. The pads are soft and even after extended listening your ears don’t get overly hot. The pads inside diameter also is large enough to house your full ear without your ear touching the pads or screen protecting the driver. The weight is evenly distributed over your head but even though the head band is soft and flexible, it after a few hours does start hurting a bit on the top of my head.
We quickly touched this point earlier and it’s one I’m not completely happy with. The stock cables are 1.37m and 2.5m long and they are terminated with a 3.5mm plug so you can us it you’re your phone and any other source. It of course does come with a very nice looking and perfectly fitting 3.5mm to 6.3mm plug to use with desktop amp. At the headphone’s and the cables are terminated with 3.5mm plugs. Unlike Hifiman, AudioQuest and so many other companies, Klipsch chose the 3.5mm plugs instead of the smaller 2.5 ones, and as a result all my aftermarket cables can’t be used with the HP-3 as I have no other headphones that require a double 3.5mm plug termination.
So while it’s fully understandable why there’s no balanced cable, I do feel one should have been included, especially as the matching Heritage DAC/AMP features a balanced output.
According to the Klipsch marketing people, the Heritage HP-3 sounds as follows:
Crafted with one engineering goal in mind: achieving high efficiency, low distortion, full-range Klipsch loudspeaker sound, the Heritage Headphones deliberately tugs on your emotions; extracting every detail from studio recordings and revealing both presence and detail without sacrificing bass. Featuring a recessed 52mm biodynamic driver, the Heritage HP-3 expands the soundstage to mimic the imaging characteristics of speakers instead of conventional headphones. The HP-3 headphones deliver unsurpassed acoustic performance.
When you first start listening to the HP-3 there are a couple of things you’ll immediately notice: the bass impact, the airy delivery and the more V-shaped sound signature.
The sound stage is nicely wide but it’s smaller than let’s say the Sennheiser HD800 or the Focal Utopia. The sound stage to me is wider than it is deep and the layering is good but again not up to the level of the two mentioned competing headphones. This is valid for bass, mids and treble, so the full spectrum. The HP-3 has a good level of detail as a reference headphone should have and the extension also is up to this level.
The part on sound continues in full on Page Three of the review, after the click HERE (or below)