2014 Recommended Components Headphones

Headphones & Headphone Accessories

Editor's Note: We strongly recommend those interested in headphone listening visit our sister website, www.InnerFidelity.com, which is edited by Tyll Hertsens.

A

Antelope Zodiac Gold: $3595
Voltikus PSU adds $995. See Digital Processors. (Vol. 34 No.10 WWW)

ASUS Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition: $899
See "Digital Processors" (Vol.37 No.3 WWW)

Audeze LCD-X: $1699
These large, luxurious, circumaural headphones have planar-magnetic drive-units with a thin-film diaphragm energized by arrays of powerful neodymium magnets on both sides. They employ Audeze-patented Fazor elements, said to guide and manage the flow of sound in the headphone. The circular drivers are housed in polished, black-anodized aluminum earpieces, with generously sized pads, of either lambskin or leather-free microsuede, filled with foam. Adjustment is via notched, chromed metal rods attached to each earpiece, which fit into the sprung, leather-covered headband. The LCD-Xes produced a seductive, compelling overall sound, with precise imaging, rich mids, smooth highs, and clean bass, said JA. Compared to his longtime reference Sennheiser HD650s, the LCD-Xes resolved more detail, produced the more convincing sense of recorded ambience, and provided deeper bass. "Highly recommended!" JA concluded. (Vol.37 No.3 WWW)

Benchmark Media Systems DAC1: $995 $$$ ✩
Benchmark Media Systems DAC1 USB: $1195 ✩
Benchmark DAC1 HDR: $1595

Two headphone jacks but only digital inputs rather than analog. See "Digital Processors." (Vol.26 No.7, Vol.27 No.5, Vol.31 Nos.1, 7, & 10, Vol.32 No.3, Vol.33 Nos.6 &11 WWW; Vol.34 No.6 WWW)

Grace m903: $1995
Headphone amplifier with an onboard DAC handling sampling rates up to 192kHz. See "Digital Processors." (Vol.34 No.12 WWW)

JH Audio JH16 Pro: $1149 (plus custom earmold fee)
Designed by Jerry Harvey (ex–Ultimate Ears), the top-of-the-line JH Audio in-ear monitor uses eight precision-balanced armatures (two dual-armature woofers, one dual-armature midrange, and one dual-armature tweeter) and a three-way crossover. It delivered clean transient attacks, a smooth midrange, big-hearted bass, and a detailed soundstage, said JA. The JH16 Pro exhibited excellent overall performance when driven directly by JA's iPod Classic, but offered more low-bass energy and greater articulation when driven by the Ray Samuels Emmeline The Tomahawk headphone amplifier. Price includes plastic Otterbox carrying case, felt drawstring bag, and cleaning tool. (Vol.34 No.8 WWW)

Sennheiser HD 800: $1499.95 ✩
Sennheiser's attack on the state of the headphone art uses a 56mm ring-radiator transducer, the largest dynamic driver currently in use in any headphone. The HD800's large earpieces are made from a combination of absorbing composites and functional metal accents, and though the 'phones' weight is 11.5 oz without cable, its clever damping and padding made it comfortable for extended listening. The HD800's Y-cable harness uses braided, Kevlar-reinforced OFC copper wire; the cable is terminated with a very substantial 1/4" phono plug at one end, and two proprietary Sennheiser connectors at the earpieces. WP: "I was stunned by the Sennheisers' ability to project scale, to reveal dynamic nuance, to present timbre with realism." Compared to the Audeze LCD-Xes, the HD800s were equally revealing of low-level detail and recorded ambience, but had more presence, sounding less laid-back, and lacked some bass extension and weight, said JA. (Vol.32 No.7, Vol.37 No.3 WWW)

Sennheiser HD 650: $499.95 ✩
The HD 650s are an evolution of Sennheiser's very successful HD 600 open-back dynamic headphones, claimed to provide superior results due to hand-selected parts with closer tolerances and the use of a specially developed acoustic silk for the driver diaphragms. Compared to the Grado SR325i, the Sennheisers sounded richer but slightly darker. JM found that their very effective seal created a resonant cavity that produced "bass that is both quite deep and a trifle indistinct." JA's new reference cans. Compared to the Audeze LCD-Xes, the HD650s had a similar overall sound, but lacked bass control, detail resolution, and ambience retrieval, said JA. (Vol.28 No.6, Vol.31 No.9, Vol.37 No.3 WWW)

Sennheiser HD 600: $399.95 ✩
WP, KR, and ST were unanimous in calling these the best dynamic headphones they've ever heard. "The only ones with which I have ever been physically or sonically comfortable," says KR. "Sennheiser has kept all of the qualities that made the HD 580 among the best of its breed, and in several areas has even managed to better it impressively," according to WP. Says ST, "The magic of the HD 600s is their midrange—a purity of tone, especially when driven by tubes, that is quite special." Astonishingly transparent when driven in balanced mode by a HeadRoom BlockHead, found J-10 in July 2002. (Vol.21 No.2 WWW)

Smyth Research Realiser A8 system: $3700 ✩
Based on the Smyth Virtual Surround algorithm, the Realiser A8 subjects an audio signal to a DSP simulation of the hearing mechanisms needed for full spatial perception and then reproduces that signal through headphones, allowing users to effectively take the sounds of up to 64 different listening rooms wherever they go. The package includes the Realiser A8 processor box and power supply, the RC-1 remote control, a TU-1 Head Tracker, a TR-1 Head Tracker Reference, two HTM-1 miniature in-ear microphones, and a set of Stax SRS-2050 II headphones. (Price without Stax headphones is $2910.) The Realiser A8 provided the same balance and soundstaging as KR's main system, and allowed him to hear subtle differences between his Manhattan and Connecticut systems. "For the first time in my life, headphone listening was not only convincing but enjoyable," Kal marveled, adding "Class A all the way. Not only does the Realizer sound transparent as a headphone amplifier, it transforms headphone listening both in stereo and in multichannel." (Vol.33 No.11 WWW)

Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom in-ear monitors: $1350 (plus custom earmold fee)
The 18 Pro is a three-way, in-ear, custom-mold design with six balanced armatures: two each for the bass, midrange, and treble, the latter allowing the 18 Pro to have the most extended top end of any UE model. It combined clean, airy highs with a smooth, detailed midrange and deep, well-defined bass. "Its ability to play low frequencies at high levels with minimal distortion is unmatched by other in-ear 'phones, and the clarity and smoothness of its midrange is Class A," said JA. Its mid-treble might sound a little laid-back with headphone amplifiers having a high output impedance, however. Price includes personalized aluminum carrying case and cleaning tool, but does not include the custom earmold fee; optional Ambient feature allows some leakage of exterior sounds and adds $50. (Vol.33 No.12 WWW)

Benchmark Media Systems DAC2: $1995
See "Digital Processors" (Vol.37 No.2 WWW)

B

Bowers & Wilkins P3: $199.99
Available in black or white, the sleek, elegant, on-ear P3s are designed specifically for portable use. They fold up neatly to fit inside a sturdy, hard clamshell case, and their iPod-compatible, tangle-free cord has built-in mike and volume controls. ST and SM agreed that the fabric earpads and thin headband were very comfortable. ST found the sound "slightly warm, surprisingly rich and full, without a tipped-up treble." Compared to the Beats Audio Solo HDs, the B&Ws were cleaner, clearer, more detailed, and altogether more enjoyable; compared to the Harman/Kardon CLs, the B&Ws had more delicate highs and a fine sense of space, but lacked some drama, impact, and scale, sounding a bit too polite, said SM. (Vol.35 No.12, Vol.36 Nos. 2 & 3 WWW)

CEntrance DACport: $249.99 ✩ $$$
Built in the US, the bus-powered DACport is a small, well-finished, tubular device 4.5" long, with a 1/4" stereo headphone jack and a USB port. Although the USB interface operates in adaptive isochronous mode, CEntrance employs their proprietary, two-stage JitterGuard clock-management system. The DACport's D/A section will decode 24-bit data at sample rates up to 96kHz, and its direct-coupled output stage is claimed to run in class-A. Setup was simple; no driver is required, and the DACport is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Though it lacked the bass extension and control of the Benchmark DAC1, the DACport offered a clean, grain-free sound, with airy highs and natural transients. "A great-sounding product at a great price," exclaimed JA. (Vol.33 Nos.6 & 10, Vol.35 No.10 WWW)

Harman/Kardon CL: $249.95
Harman/Kardon's CL (Classic) on-ear headphones have a simple, purposeful look, with largish, rectangular earcups and soft, comfortable leather earpads. The earcups securely lock into the CLs' outer headband of sandblasted steel, which, while durable and rigid, easily expands to accommodate the user's head; a leather inner band provides additional comfort. The sound was big, full-bodied, and well-balanced, with good impact and immediacy and a wonderful sense of space, said SM. Compared to the B&W P3s, the CLs lacked some delicacy but were more forceful, authoritative, and fun. (Vol.36 No.3 WWW)

Musical Fidelity MF-100: $199
See "Sam's Space" in this issue.

Musical Fidelity V90-HPA: $199 $$$
See "Sam's Space" in this issue.

Pioneer SE-MJ591: $299
The closed-back SE-MJ591s have an adjustable headband, folding earcups, and a semihard carrying case for convenient travel use. The detachable cord has a 3.5mm miniplug at one end and a special connector that plugs into the left earcup. Fit and finish were superb. The Pioneers had a natural, spacious sound, with outstanding resolution, a sweet treble, a smooth midrange, and well-defined bass, said ST. "The SE-MJ591s come close to the sound of the best full-size headphones I've tried." Sam's favorite over-the-ear fold-up phones. Delicacy, detail, definition. (Vol.35 No.9)

PSB M4U 2: $399
The M4U 2s are closed-back, circumaural, noise-canceling headphones with a 40mm dynamic driver in each earcup. They use PSB's Room Feel equalization technology to produce an open, three-dimensional sound similar to what one might experience when listening to high-end loudspeakers in a typical listening room. Physically resembling Beats' ubiquitous Studio model, with an expandable headband and foldable polycarbonate frame (available in white, black, or red), the M4U 2s are large and bulky, but were extremely comfortable on SM's head. Unlike many active noise-canceling headphones, the M4U 2s also work in passive mode (without batteries). Though high frequencies sometimes sounded too aggressive, the overall sound was thrilling and physical, with an outstanding sense of space, excellent transient speed, and stunning dynamics, said SM. "The M4U 2s provided the most consistently thrilling headphone-listening experiences I"ve ever enjoyed," he summed up. (Vol.36 No.12 WWW)

Sennheiser Momentum: $349.95
(over-ear version)
$229.95
(on-ear version)
Sennheiser's fashion-forward Momentum models use a compact, closed-back design with a clean and sophisticated look equal parts modern and classic. The over-the-ear model is slightly larger and heavier than the on-ear, but the two have a similar overall look and feel. The oval earpieces slide up and down on the same stainless-steel headband, but while the over-the-ear design uses leather, the on-ear's earpads are covered in a synthetic material called Alcantara, which looks and feels practically identical to suede. Similarly, where the ridge of the larger version's headband is cushioned and covered in more leather, the on-ear version's cushioned headband is covered in more Alcantara. Though he loved the look and feel of both models, SM had a difficult time achieving a consistently secure and comfortable fit on his head with either, though he found the smaller on-ear version slightly more comfortable. And while both models combined true high-fidelity sound with great looks and durability, the over-the-ear design produced a bigger, more spacious overall sound, with sweeter highs, cleaner attack transients, a richer and more present midrange, and tighter bass, said SM. (Vol.36 No.12, over-the-ear version WWW; Vol.37 No.3, on-ear version WWW)

C

Grado SR60i: $79 $$$ ✩
The original SR60 offered a rather dark-toned balance, with a full bass and excellent resolution of detail. A more forward midrange, however. Uncomfortable. Upgrades from the original SR60 include a new driver and improved cables. While maintaining the original's freedom from obvious colorations and resonances, the SR60i went a bit deeper in the bass and had a slightly more vivid midrange for a more involving overall sound. "The SR60i is modestly better than the original, and remains one of audio's great bargains," said Jim Austin. (Vol.17 Nos.6 & 10 WWW, original, Vol.33 No.4 WWW)

Koss PortaPro Stereophones: $49.99 ✩ $$$
These small, open-backed, collapsible headphones come with a lifetime guarantee and delivered "rich, full, ear-filling sound," said ST. Surprisingly sweet sound and better bass than you might expect. (Vol.34 No.4)

Skullcandy Roc Nation Aviator: $149.95
Designed to evoke Ray-Ban's classic sunglasses and available in a wide range of colors, the Skullcandy Aviators are medium-size, over-the-ear headphones with 40mm Mylar drive-units, each with a neodymium magnet. Published specs include a frequency range of 20Hz–20kHz, an impedance of 33 ohms, and a total harmonic distortion of less than 0.1%. The 1.3m-long, nylon-braided detachable cable has a 3.5mm gold-plated plug and a three-button control for selecting tracks, adjusting volume, and taking phone calls. Fit and finish were excellent. Though the Aviators lacked the Harmon/Kardon CLs' wide and deep soundstage, they produced a well-balanced overall sound with sparkling highs, clean mids, and slightly loose lows, said SM. "These 'phones sound great and are comfortable, durable, and attractive," he summed up. (Vol.36 No.5 WWW)

Thinksound ms01: $119.99
The handsome, understated ms01 in-ear headphone is the first product in Thinksound's Monitor Series. It uses a single 8mm driver, has a body of pear wood and aluminum, and comes neatly packed with earhooks, a cord clip, four sizes of silicone eartips, and an attractive carrying pouch. The Thinksounds fit lightly and comfortably in SM's ears and offered a smooth, easy sound with well-extended highs, a clean midrange, and warm, full bass. "One of the few in-ear designs that I can actually stand to have in my ears," he adds. (Vol.35 No.8 WWW)

D Beats Audio Solo HD: $199.95
Beats Audio's ubiquitous on-ear Solo HDs are available in eight bright colors and come with a soft carrying pouch and tangle-free cable with built-in mike and volume controls. Though they were comfortable, attractive, and produced powerful bass, the Beats Solo HDs sounded soft, distant, and congested, said SM. Compared with the Skullcandy Aviators, the Solo HDs lacked clarity, detail, presence, and drama, with notably muted highs, a more congested midrange, and overripe bass, said SM. "They"re attractive and reasonably well-built, but overpriced for the performance," he sums up. (Vol.36 Nos.2 & 5 WWW)

Howard Leight Sync Stereo Earmuff: $36 $$$
These passive noise-isolating headphones held their own against JM's reference Audio-Technica ATH-M50s and provided good isolation against outside noise. "Neat!" (Vol.34 No.12 WWW) Skullcandy Navigator: $99.95
The Navigator is a smaller, on-ear version of Skullcandy's popular over-the-ear Aviator. Similarly styled but slightly more discreet, its plastic earcups (available in gloss white and translucent blue, black, or pink) are shaped to even more closely resemble the lenses of Ray-Ban's famed eyewear. SM found the Navigators to be just as well built, durable, and comfortable as the Aviators, but with better isolation from external noise. They traded the Aviators' brilliant highs and open mids for a softer, darker, more bottom-heavy overall sound. Compared with the Grado SR60is, the Navigators produced a heavier, more robust and exciting sound, but lacked the Grados' refined highs and wide, open soundstage, concluded SM. (Vol.36 No.8 WWW)

Vinyl Flat Can Opener: $79.95
Made in the US, the Vinyl Flat Can Opener is a small (5.1" D by 4.75" W by 1.75" H) passive headphone adapter with a simple steel enclosure, a single front-panel Neutrik locking headphone jack, and two pairs of five-way binding posts. Standard speaker cable must be used to connect the outputs of an amplifier or receiver to the Can Opener's binding posts; inside, a tidy printed-circuit board uses heavy-duty resistors to create a voltage-divider network, reducing the level of the signal delivered from the amp to the user's headphones. Compared to the headphone jack of NAD's C316 BEE integrated amp, the Can Opener produced greater overall control, improved detail retrieval, and a more accomplished sense of space and image delineation, said SM. (Vol.36 No.7 WWW)

No Class Distinction

Etymotic Research Custom-Fit earmolds: around $150/pair ✩
Through the nationwide network of audiologists in its Custom-Fit program, Etymotic Research produces custom eartips for its headphones for a cost of about $150/pair. (Custom-fit Network Audiologists may charge more for an impression appointment, handling & shipping so the total price may exceed the $150 base price. It is always a good idea to verify the exact price when making an appointment with a Custom-fit Network Audiologist.) Custom-Fit earmolds are made of soft silicone, can be formed to fit all Etymotic models, and improve on the stock Etymotic eartips" reduction of ambient noise. WP: "With the Custom-Fit earmolds, the bass is better, the midrange is clearer, and the highs are crisper, but most important, they"re comfortable." Once the master molds are made, additional pairs of earmolds are available at a discount. (Vol.33 No.12 WWW)

Westone UM56 custom earmolds: $126/pair made of vinyl; $154/pair made of silicone ✩
"Westone's earmolds are made from silicone material impressions taken by an audiologist. When Jim Austin used the UM56s with his Shure E4s, he noted strong bass response and excellent sound isolation. A positive, secure fit requires an open-jaw ear impression. Initial moldings, formed from a relaxed-jaw impression, resulted in poor isolation and a loose fit. "Highly recommended—but open wide," said Jim. (Vol.30 No.5 WWW)

K
Meridian Prime D/A headphone amplifier, Sony MDR-7506, Denon AH-D7000, Ultimate Ears Custom Monitors, Thinksound on1 headphones.

Deletions
Musical Fidelity M1HPA, Etymotic SR4S, hf2 and hf5, not auditioned in too long a time to be sure of rating.

COMMENTS
billt1nh's picture

Aesthetix Atlas Amplifier : $8000 ✩has been a Class A recommended component for a few years including 2013 but does not show up this year. It is not mentioned under deletions for 2014. Was this a mistake?
 

John Atkinson's picture

billt1nh wrote:
Aesthetix Atlas Amplifier...has been a Class A recommended component for a few years including 2013 but does not show up this year. It is not mentioned under deletions for 2014. Was this a mistake?

Not a mistake. The Atlas was last included in the April 2013 "Recommended Components" but was deleted from the October 2013 listing on the grounds that it had been almost 4 years since anyone on staff had auditioned it under familiar circumstances.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

MikeMercer's picture

I've pulled an all-nighter writing, so I gotta be burnt-out.

How to get to the next page in the headphones section.

Is it only this one page???

Kal Rubinson's picture

Just click on the Headphone picture or on the "Headphones" in the list. 

MikeMercer's picture

ThanX Kal!!

That's how I got there.

I think it's only one page - which is a shame.  There's SO much great stuff for John and Co. to cover! Schiit Audio, Cavalli Audio, ALO Audio, Aurelic, JH Audio, Mr. Speakers, and DNA for example. 

John! If you EVER want any help covering the VAST personal audio universe?!?!?

My Sonic Satori Personal Audio Lab!!

BTW - we're havin a BLAST over at Audio360!!

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Stereophile has an entire online sister publication dedicated to personal audio, innerfidelity.com. It also has another that covers computer audio, audiostream.com.

Azteca X's picture

ThanX Mike!!  I wonder if you've compared your writing style to Tyll at InnerFidelity and wondered why he has the gig?!?!?!  

In all seriousness, InnerFidelity is great and has covered just about every brand you mentioned, I think.  Tyll tends to shy away from the super-custom year-long-waitlist stuff but I find it a good thing compared to forums full of people who drop $4K on amps like it's nothing. 

I also don't think Tyll posts unboxing vids.

Currawong's picture

The Sony MA900 headphones have a 70mm driver, just for your information.

subbanerjee's picture

Dear Editor:

I read the review of the Musical Fidelity DAC. I am not sure how that qualifies as a "formal" review. Yet, that product is placed in the A+ category? I would think that something that goes into the A+ Category would be thoroughly vetted in order to qualify to be a member of the Best-of-the-best category.

Not buying this recommendation...

Thanks
Subroto Banerjee

John Atkinson's picture

subbanerjee wrote:
I read the review of the Musical Fidelity DAC. I am not sure how that qualifies as a "formal" review.

We include in "Recommended Components" products that have been reviewed in one of our regular columns. Although these reports don't include measurements, they are as rigorously prepared as any other "formal" review in the magazine.

subbanerjee wrote:
Yet, that product is placed in the A+ category?

You will note that there is the reference "See ST's review in this issue." With all reviews that are published in the same issue as "Recomemnded Components," the rating is provisional.

subbanerjee wrote:
I would think that something that goes into the A+ Category would be thoroughly vetted in order to qualify to be a member of the Best-of-the-best category.

I have a second sample of the Musical Fidelity V90-DAC and will be publishing a Follow-Up review, complete with measurements, before the next "Recommended Components" listing is compiled.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

subbanerjee's picture

in the magazine".

Reading through the review, here is the section that refers to the performance of the DAC...

"Compared to the V-DACII, the V90 DAC offers still greater low-level resolutions, superior dynamics, and fatigure-free listening. It does space and place particularly well, and really shines with brass, where lesser DACs tend to turn dull. The Brass Ear would love it."

That's it. And it made it as an A+ DAC?

Come on. As the Editor-in-Chief,  I assume that you question your reviewers when they submit this and want it included in A+. Should you not say, "I don't know Sam, but let's give it a more thorough going over before we put this $299 DAC in A+."?

As you can discern by now, I am not buying this review or your disclaimer that it is a "provisional" rating. I think that a product should have got a thorough going over before it is placed in the rarified air of an A+ rating.

John Atkinson's picture

subbanerjee wrote:
As you can discern by now, I am not buying this review or your disclaimer that it is a "provisional" rating.

It isn't a disclaimer, just a factual statement. The definitive rating will be published in our October issue listing, following my follow-up to Sam Tellig's review. In the meantime, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion on what we write.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

WishTree's picture

Actually I got this DAC based on recommendations else where. It is properly run in but I did not get the performance of this DAC. It is bright and possibly a tad cleaner but no reason to be A+ product. And yes, it is definetly fatigue-ing. I liked Rega DAC better and Audiolab M-DAC is brilliant though they are a bit different in price range. 

Genesis's picture

No estan mas las KEF 207/2 en la lista, fueron borradas por que tampoco las veo en esta lista

 

gracias

John Atkinson's picture

Genesis wrote:
The KEF 207/2 is no longer on the list...

The KEF was positively reviewed in February 2008; see www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/208kef/index.html. The R207/2 hasn't been auditioned by a Stereophile reviewer since that review, so, as is our policy, it was deleted a couple of years ago. That is why there is no mention its deleion in this listing. However, as we say in the introduction on the first page: "Where deletions are made, we endeavor to give reasons...But remember: Deletion of a component from this list does not invalidate a buying decision you have made."

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Genesis's picture

Gracias por vuestra respuesta, tengo un par de estas cajas gracias a Uds. vivo en Argentina y solo pude escuchar unas 203/2 y con vuestra review m'as esa escucha decidi la compra. Me gustan mucho, solo que las vi en la lista hasta 2013 y por curiosidad consulte

 

Gracias nuevamente

alexandrov's picture

hmm.. I can see PSB Imagine T2 but not their top model Synchrony One. Is it that worse?

John Atkinson's picture

alexandrov wrote:
I can see PSB Imagine T2 but not their top model Synchrony One. Is it that worse?

We used to highly recommend the Synchrony One, but as with the KEF speaker mentioned above, our review was six years ago - see www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/408psb/index.html - and the speaker was dropped from the listing a year or so back due to none of us having any continued experience with it since the review.

The complete Recommended Components from 2003-2013 can be purchased from our on-line store.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Bodhisattva's picture

John, it's hard to take a "2014 Recommended Components" list seriously without any mention of Magico S5's, Vitus components, Jorma Prime or Statement cables or Stillpoints isolation devices. Is this the swisse cheese list?

John Atkinson's picture

Bodhisattva wrote:
it's hard to take a "2014 Recommended Components" list seriously without any mention of Magico S5's, Vitus components, Jorma Prime or Statement cables or Stillpoints isolation devices.

From the introduction to the listing: "Components listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile..."

Unlike some other recommended lists, we restrict "Recommended Components" to products that have already been reviewed in the magazine and thus subject to full scrutiny. And there are products from Magico and Vitus included.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Bodhisattva's picture

That's fair enough John. I'm pleased to see Magico and Vitus make the list! Both outstanding manufacturers.

Cheers, Bodhi

low2midhifi's picture

I would love to read further on your initial article (Sam's Space, I believe) about the Dynaudio Focus 160.  I have heard good things about this product and would like to know of your sound basis for making this speaker a recommended component.

I have searched fruitlessly for this article and it has evaded every type of google search.  Dynaudio mentions the review on its site but, alas, they provided no link either.

Is Stereophile Vol. 35 No. 1 not avaliable online?

Can you send us any kind of html link through this discussion thread?

Thanks.

John Atkinson's picture

low2midhifi wrote:
I have searched fruitlessly for this article...

With the exception of products that I have subsequently measured, we don't routinely reprint Sam Tellig's column on the Stereophile website. For that, you still need to subscribe to the print magazine. Back issues are available from (888) 237-0955.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

swillyums's picture

Is there a reason that this iteration of the list doesn't include any product images? I initially thought that it might just be my tablet, but I get the same wall of text on my desktop and phone as well. 

John Atkinson's picture

swillyums wrote:
Is there a reason that this iteration of the list doesn't include any product images?

Last year we could include images because we had the time to prepare the Web reprint from the tablet app. Thus year we are both temporarily operating short-staffed and wanted to post the complete Web version as soon as possible after the appearance of the April issue on the newsstands/in subscribers' mailboxes. This meant discarding both images and review URLs, I am afraid.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

NewB's picture

I was just wondering why the PSB Image line was removed.  

John Atkinson's picture

NewB wrote:
I was just wondering why the PSB Image line was removed.

As I wrote above, we drop products from the listing when none of the reviewing team has had any continued experience with it for more than 3 years since the original review. The complete listing for the 10 years from 2003 to 2013 can be purchased from our on-line store: http://store-badz031c.mybigcommerce.com/recommended-components-collectors-edition/ .

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Dan Moroboshi's picture

We could see ubber, ultra and expensive cables on interconnects and speaker cables, but not on digital cables. Is there a reason?

Some cables calls attentions, e.g. Stereolab Master reference 818 BNC/SPDIF, Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB, Kimber KS2020/2120, etc.

Byrnie's picture

Shouldn't the Centrance DACMini CX be listed under this section also given the DacPort is also?

clasvi's picture

Next month,will be four years since I purchased new, my 5004 matching AV receiver and BDP. The AV receiver has died (processor) and the BD player still sounds great when you can finally get the disc to load (mechanical). On occassions, I have had to give up trying. I was very happy with my entry level setup until it died. I now will try a Fusion 8100 AV receiver as a preamp to a ATI AT2005 amp powering my PSB T6's

tigrenrike's picture

I don't see the GoldenEar Triton Seven, and the newer GoldenEar Triton ONE...!?!?!? I think the GE Triton ONE should be in the A Full Range Class. And the Triton Seven should be in the B restricted Class...!

John Atkinson's picture
tigrenrike wrote:
I don't see the GoldenEar Triton Seven, and the newer GoldenEar Triton ONE...!?!?!?

As it says in the introduction, "Components listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile..." Neither of these GoldenEar speakers had been reviewed when this listing was prepared (February 2014). However, the Triton One will be reviewed in the February 2015 issue of Stereophile.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile