Klipsch is a well-known name in loudspeakers and headphones so it’s no wonder that today I have the pleasure to glimpse an all-new headphone called the Klipsch Heritage HP-3 open-back headphone. This audiophile headphone exudes elegance and prestige based on looks alone. But as always there are important questions to answer. What’s the build quality of this headphone? Is this headphone all looks and no performance? I’m about to find out.
In The Box
The Klipsch Heritage HP-3 comes in 3 different wood types… Walnut, Ebony and Oak. Each comes in a fancy wooden case with a glass window. Inside the case you’ll get the following.
- Klipsch Heritage HP-3 Headphone
- 1.37m cable
- 2.5m cable
- 1/4″ adapter
- Solid steel rod headphone stand
- Certificate of Authenticity
- Owners manual
The Klipsch Heritage HP-3 features 52mm KG-250 biodynamic drivers and a triple-vented semi-open design. The earcups are made of solid-wood giving the headphone a sophisticated look. The headband frame is made from stainless steel and the padding is made from premium leather. One of the most interesting features is the magnetic removable sheepskin ear cushions.
Build / Comfort
The build of the Heritage HP-3 is incredibly nice and the fit is perfect. Everything about this headphone feels solid. From the headband to the super soft earpads I thoroughly enjoyed the way this headphone felt. Holding this headphone in person I can feel the quality of the stainless steel, aluminum and wood materials. It’s feel like a fine piece of hand crafted furniture.
How Does It Sound?
The specs on the Heritage HP-3 claim low impedance (25 Ohms) but I automatically go for an amp when I see a high-end open-back headphone like this. For my test I used a iFi Pro iCan and a Shanling M2s DAP connected with a Audioquest Evergreen cable (3.5mm to stereo RCA). I started out my listening session in the solid-state circuit mode with all the EQ settings flat on the iFi. Depending on what tracks were playing I found that some recordings sounded better with the tube circuitry. If you have the option to use a solid-state and tube amp combo like this I highly recommend it. Klipsch also makes a Heritage Headphone Amplifier that pairs well with the HP-3 too.
Here’s some of my observations on the sound signature with the Klipsch Heritage HP-3:
Leaving the bass-boost off and using the solid-state circuit I found the bass to be spot on. From Peter Gabriel to The Beatles the bass was very tight and not overpowering. Then I turned up the bass-boost a couple notches and also tried the tube circuit. The HP-3 responded very well to the bass increase. It was powerful and robust and I never detected any distortion, even at higher SPL.
The mids on the Heritage HP-3 were quite powerful and accurate. When listening to the Peter Gabriel track “Sledgehammer” the horns were right there in my face and the lyrics were crystal clear. I did detect a little bit of sibilance on a few tracks depending on the mastering but the tube circuit managed to soften them like a pillow.
The high frequencies on the HP-3 are absolutely stunning The wide frequency range of the Klipsch biodynamic drivers gives you brilliance and detail in all your favorite tracks. From older recordings like The Beatles “White Album” all the way up to the most modern day tracks recorded at high sample rates. The Heritage HP-3 manages them all.
The soundstage on the HP-3 is great. It may not be quite the spread that you’ll get on a HD-800 but this semi-open design does an excellent job at opening up the stereo spectrum of your mix without losing too much of the bass.
In conclusion, I think the Heritage HP-3 headphone is an incredible audiophile hit. From the solid construction and materials down to the Hi-Res sound quality, the HP-3 is an excellent headphone for high-end home listening. It’s strong yet light… and crazy comfortable. Retail price is $1199 so it won’t be in everybody’s budget but if you’ve got the money I highly recommend it.
Get the best price on the Klipsch Heritage HP-3 headphone at Audio46 Headphone Store
Style: Semi-Open Over-Ear
Driver: Free-Edge Biodynamic
Driver Components: Full Range KG-520
Driver Diameter: 52mm
Frequency Response: 5Hz-45kHz
Sensitivity (1MW): 98dB
Power Handling: 1800mW
Impedance: 25 Ohms
Input Connections: 3.5mm
Weight (w/o box): .97lbs (440g)
Colors: Ebony, Walnut, Oak