Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 10, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Out of the blue I get an email from an operations and logistics manager at an electronics distribution company I've never heard of about a headphone made by a company I've never heard of claiming these $100 Chinese Beats Solo look-alike headphones will likely make it to my Wall of Fame. Yeah, right.

Then I heard them.

Stephen Mejias  |  Aug 09, 2012  |  4 comments
It was another flawlessly beautiful spring morning, and I was in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to help John Atkinson pack up the Lansche Audio 5.1 loudspeakers ($41,000/pair). John had only just completed his listening and bench tests (see his review in the July issue), and was not ready to let go of the lovely Lansches—but the speakers would be picked up by a trucking company that afternoon and sent to our cover photographer, Eric Swanson, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Each Lansche measures 40.9" tall by 10.1" W by 19.3" D and weighs 167.5 lbs—packing them and securing them to a shipping pallet is definitely a two-man job. In our case, that job required a lot of wheezing, a little bleeding, and just the right amount of cursing. And because it was only 11am when we met, we were obliged to accomplish the task without the aid of beer—a crying shame, if you ask me—but we handled it in our usual, manly fashion.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 01, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

So, a couple of guys get together, have a close look at planar magnetic headphone drivers, and come to the conclusion that they could build something much better than the vintage drivers available. It turns out good ... so good they reckon they should move forward to build world class headphones. Yeah ... right.

Yeah right, is right!

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 31, 2012  |  2 comments
With the release of their first Binaural+ high-resolution downloads, Chesky Records and HDtracks intend to take music lovers one step closer to the real musical event. Made possible by work that composer David Chesky, founder of Chesky Records and cofounder of HDtracks, has been doing at Princeton University with Dr. Edgar Choueiri, Chesky's Binaural+ downloads make possible the playback of binaural recordings on both headphones and a pair of loudspeakers.
Stephen Mejias  |  Jul 05, 2012  |  14 comments
It was unusually warm for early spring, without a cloud in the big, blue sky to tame the sun's dazzling light—far too beautiful a day to be indoors, but Uncle Omar and I had already planned a little listening session, and I was determined to show him that high-end cables would make a difference in his system. I wasn't necessarily feeling bullish about the task, though. It had taken me a couple of years to convince Omar that he should replace his old boom-box speakers with something better, and it was only dumb luck that finally made it happen: I was with him when he found a gently used pair of B&W DM602 speakers at a junk shop in Jersey City. When they were new, the DM602s sold for around $600/pair, but on this happy day they were tagged at $50. "Do it," I begged him. "Doooooo it!"
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 28, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Goodness gracious! I'm just blown away by the new B&W P3. It's absolutely gorgeous, ergonomics are stellar, and build quality unparalleled. It's really quite an accomplishment to make a headphone this small this beautiful.

I'm troubled by the sound, though.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 22, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

With the recent spate of noise cancelers appearing from all corners, I thought I'd bring them together for a little workout in the lab. The Bose Quiet Comfort 15 has long been my favorite, but newcomers like PSB, Polk, and Klipsch are launching frontal attacks, so I think it's time for a re-evaluation.

Going in, I figured it would be hard to beat Bose. What's your guess?

Tyll Hertsens  |  May 24, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

The Little Monster himself, Keven Lee (son of Head Monster Noel Lee), jumped out on his own to start a new low-cost headphone company: SOL Republic. Their first headphone, the Tracks is a bit of a mixed bag, but quite interesting nonetheless.

Let's have a look and listen...

Tyll Hertsens  |  May 01, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Headphones have changed a lot over the last 20 years. First they were accessories; then they were legit listening devices but as ugly as an outhouse; then they were bright plastic necklaces and a rapper's gravy train; but of late, they're becoming a very human interface to our tunes, designed to sound good, look good, and feel good.

The Philips Fidelio L1 is a perfect example of such a headphone.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 21, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Boy, do I love it when a manufacturer builds a great product and then sticks with it. I've been listening to, and recommending the Denon AH-D2000, AH-D5000, and AH-D7000 headphones for years. I welcomed the chance to get some fresh samples of these fine cans from Denon, and I was double happy to find they've gotten even better over the years.

Even better? Yes! It does appear they've made some improvements over time. Let's have a look...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 12, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I've seen numerous comments about tip selection affecting the frequency response of in-ear monitors. I've seen lavish words of praise for Comply tips ... and rants about how they muffled the sound.

I figured we should get to the bottom of this, eh?

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 07, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Having printed out the measurements for all 41 Do-It-Yourself modified headphones sent to me over the past year, I spread them out over my kitchen table and set to work picking the best and worst measuring of the bunch. I also picked what I thought were the coolest looking headphones. And I scrounged around my lab looking for all the headphones I might give away as prizes.

Let's see who got what ...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 15, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Tap your cheek bones, and you'll hear it plain as day. The sound's not coming through your ear canals ... it's just rattling the bones in your ear, and you can hear it. But is this a good way to get your tunes?

Let's find out ...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 14, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Full-sized, sealed headphones are a bugaboo. They're either too woolly or boomy sounding, or they're too uneven, or they don't seal well enough. Sealed headphones are just plain hard to make sound good. Darn few that jump through those hoops and work well enough to be worth the money.

Wanna watch the K550 make the leap?

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 09, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

The latest in a long, long line of HD 25 variants, Sennheiser puts new clothes on the Amperior with milled aluminum cups and a new cable. Is it just bluff and bluster, or are these new cans worth nearly double the price of the HD 25-1 II?

I'm thinking so.

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