Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Sep 14, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Long before I became professionally involved with headphones, the Koss Porta Pro was a great little portable headphone. In fact, it was one of the first headphones designed particularly for portable applications. It has remained relatively unchanged to this day ...

... thank goodness. If it ain't broke ...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 30, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

While perusing for new headphones to measure among HeadRoom's huge stock of sales team demo cans, my eyes fell upon the trio of Sony extra bass headphones. Having spent quite a bit of time lately with celebrity headphones that have exaggerated bass, I thought this might be a good time to hear Sony's take.

Nah, they don't need a celebrity endorsements, one of these cans thumps like mad.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 29, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

When I saw these pop up on the internet, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. I have a pair of the B&W P5 headsets and I like them very much. They're somewhat colored but they're fun sounding, and a sexier piece of audio kit you'll hardly ever see. I was expecting a similar experience with the C5.

Didn't get it though.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 25, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I've spent a lot of time with good balanced armature monitors stuck in my ears. Mostly it's a pleasure --- there are some darn good headphones out there of this type: Jerry Harvey Audio JH13, Shure SE530, Etymotic ER4P, and Audéo PFE come to mind. I've also spent a good bit of time with in-ear monitors that use dynamic drivers. That hasn't been nearly as pleasurable.

Lately, that's begun to change, and with the Sony MDR-EX600 and MDR-EX1000 I'm thinking we've got a real horse race on our hands.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 23, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I can't tell you what a treat it is to measure and listen to the unusual headphones I get from enthusiasts. This time, rythmdevils from Head-Fi has sent in a couple of vintage AKG cans.

He's also a photographer, and has kindly allowed me to use his sweet pix of these two cans for the article. Very nice! Thanks!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 16, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Kabeer - "I am located in UK, and I have some orthos. Im not sure if its very viable for me to get anything measured?"

Tyll - "I really can't spend too much money on this, so I've limited DIY Ortho testing to the U.S. to keep the shipping costs down. Sorry."

Kabeer - "Id really like to send my Aiwa to you to get measured. I think its pretty great :). Wualta wants to see their measurements too and has kindly offered to pay you the postage back to UK for them."

Tyll - "Okie Dokie. If Wualta wants to see the measurements, it must be good."

You see, while Wualta might be a crusty old curmudgeon, he's also one of the patron saints of Orthodynamic DIYers, and if he thinks something is worthwhile ... well, you just have to have a listen.

By golly, he's right on the mark again!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 15, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

A goodly amount of forum chatter has been focussed on these two very inexpensive Superlux headphones. (Superlux is a Taiwanese maker of professional audio gear, and is distributed in the U.S. by Avlex.) I thought it would be fun to have a listen and see if the headphone enthusiast community has stumble upon some giant killers.

(C'mon, how much can $30 really get you?)

John Atkinson  |  Aug 10, 2011  |  2 comments
"Good grief, has he lost his hearing?"

It was the distant past, a time so long ago that the M in MTV stood for Music, and I was watching a David Bowie concert on TV. The svelte singer was wearing what I took to be hearing aids.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 08, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Enthusiasts recently mourned the death of the Denon AH-D1001 --- a really good sounding sealed headphone at just above $100. Lament no more. This Foster OEM design (model 443741) has found rebirth as the Creative Aurvana Live!

The very good news: it's even better than before.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 29, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

A classic in the world of professional and enthusiast headphones, and probably the world's most popular DJ headphone, the HD 25 has remained in the Sennheiser line-up in a small variety of incarnations since 1987 ... and deservedly so.

When I first heard them about 15 years ago there were very few expensive headphones available, so they seemed pricy at the time. They sounded great though and were a solid recommendation. In today's world of high-priced fashion headphones, and even higher priced high-end headphones, these very good sounding and highly functional cans seem like a real bargain for professional and audio enthusiast alike.

Let's take a look at the latest incarnation, the Sennheiser/adidas HD 25 Original.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 18, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

The rash of in-ear headphones over the past few years has produced an enormous amount of style over substance. All too often the bling on the outside is accompanied by horrifically bloated or screechy sound on the inside. Likewise, some makers are able to deliver great sound, but fall down in the looks and comfort department. Rare indeed is the in-ear headphone that is stylish, comfortable, and good sounding.

The Audéo PFE seems to have beaten the odds.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 14, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I watch the Audio Technica high-end headphone line like a hawk. They're mostly far too bright for me, but they're so cool looking that I keep trying each time AT comes out with a new one because one of these days they'll make one I like, and I'm gonna jump on it when they do.

Now up to bat: the ATH-W1000x "Grandioso."

(Crosses fingers.)

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 11, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Ask any headphone geek that's been around for a while for a recommendation between $100 and $200, and there's a very good chance the Audio Technica ATH-M50 will be the first thing out of their mouth.

With good reason, if you ask me, let's check them out.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 06, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to the word "voicing." I want neutrality; I want absolute transparency; I want to hear exactly what's on the disk, nothing more nothing less. Problem is, it rarely happens ... if ever. Pretty much every headphone I've ever heard has its own character. I'm pretty sure most headphone makers shoot for neutral and miss; the resulting "voice" is a bit more random than by design in most cases, I suspect.

The folks at Spider Cable say they were shooting for a "voicing" with an "emphasis on strong vocals or smooth sounding classical music."

Well I'll be damned, I think they did it.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 30, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Out of the blue, a Sony PR agent dropped me an email.

"Sony has recently introduced the new high-quality Studio Monitor Series headphones that boast premium sound and technology, and I wanted to see if you are interested in reviewing them."

She referred to four headphones in her email (two full size sealed MDR-ZX700 ($119.99) and MDR-Z1000 ($499.99), and two IEMs MDR-EX600 ($199.99) and MDR-EX1000 ($499.99), but only had the inexpensive ones for review samples at the moment.

Oh .... okay. I'll take the cheap ones and have a listen. Glad I did.

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