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Klipsch's Heritage HP 3 look out of the 20th century, but sound like the 21st

Almost a century ago, Paul Klipsch began experimenting with headphones, creating the world’s first pair to play music in stereo audio in 1919. In 1946 he founded his own company, Klipsch and Associates, in order to bring his invention to ears all over the world. In many ways, the world of audio technology would have been very different without him. In honor of its founder and storied history, Klipsch unveiled its new flagship headphones Wednesday, dubbed the Heritage HP-3.

Much like Klipsch’s early designs, the Heritage HP-3 headphones feature a handcrafted design inspired by the vintage look of the headphone models from decades past. The headphones are built with high-end materials, such as “die-cast steel, hand-sanded and polished wood, premium-grade leathers, and machined aluminum.” The earcups are even padded with angled sheepskin, while the headband is made of hand-stitched cowhide leather. Beyond just providing classy cushions, Klipsch says the sheepskin and cowhide will naturally distress with use, enhancing the vintage aesthetic the company is going for.

The visuals might evoke the early 20th century, but the hardware is decidedly modern. The Heritage HP-3 headphoness sport a semi open-back design, with recessed 2-inch drivers in each earcup. Klipsch says these drivers are engineered to produce sound in a manner more like its Heritage line of speakers than the average pair of headphones. The company also claims the design results in low distortion and a bigger soundstage.

If you haven’t already guess, the Heritage HP-3s are going to cost some serious dough — $1,200 to be exact. However, given the quality of materials and engineering, this isn’t necessarily all that outlandish of an asking price, depending upon the performance, of course. For those looking to go big, you’ll be glad to know that $1,200 will nab you some solid accessories. In addition to the headphones, the package includes a custom-made, solid-steel headphone stand for storage and display, along with two detachable braided nylon cables — one 4.5 feet long and the other 8 feet. A custom-fit quarter-inch adapter is also included.

You can get a pair of the Heritage HP-3 headphones right now in walnut, ebony, or oak wood finishes. The headphones are available at select retailers, and from Klipsch’s online store.

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