We meet Porter at Vienna’s Liechtenstein Palace. Porter puts on a pair of headphones as he gazes into the distance, listening pensively.
Gregory Porter, what have you been listening to? Gregory Porter: We were listening to Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole singing “Unforgettable.” It’s one of my favorite songs. I’ve heard it many times, but this is the first time I’ve heard it like that. It’s the first time I’ve heard Nat King Cole’s voice so intimately. That’s truly extraordinary.
Axel Grell: We created the Sennheiser HE 1 for precisely these types of sound experiences.
Gregory Porter: The most striking thing about listening to these headphones is the simple clarity. I hear different, lighter elements in the strings that I didn’t hear before. I’ve never heard that part of the song like this. I feel like Nat King Cole is sitting on my shoulder – right here to my left. I probably would like to listen to my entire catalog of music on these headphones. When I record my own music, I always try to convey my emotions. I don’t know how exactly, but these headphones really do succeed in getting those emotions across.
Alex Grell, you served as one of the developers of the Sennheiser HE 1. How would you explain the fact that the headphones are able to transport these emotions? Grell: It was very important to us to make a detailed and precise sound possible. The listener should have the feeling that the singer is singing directly to him or her. That can only be achieved when the product is perfect.