Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 24, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Headphone manufacturers pay attention: If you want to build a high-end headphone, this is the way to do it.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 16, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

For now it's sufficient to state that the Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 are probably the most highly regarded enthusiast headphone in the world, and I highly recommend both. The HD 650 is a bit too warm sounding for me (just a bit), and the HD 600 is my favorite of the two. Let's see if the HD 660 S can continue the legend!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 08, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Not long ago I wrote enthusiastically about the Bose SoundWear Companion neck-worn speaker. It was my first experience with such a device and it was, and continues to be, a very pleasant one. Way better than I expected. So, I figured I should look into some of the other options for this new type of device.

JBL was kind enough to send me their Soundgear—a $100 less expensive alternative to the Bose. Having experience only one other device of this type, it's probably best just to compare and contrast the JBL directly with the Bose for this review.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 04, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

And BOOM! Acoustic Research, a brand long recognised amongst audio enthusiasts, shows up with their new planar magnetic AR-H1 at CanJam at RMAF 2017. Color me surprised!

Herb Reichert  |  Nov 28, 2017  |  8 comments
I spend my days comparing cartridges and speaker stands, arguing about imaging and microphone placement, speculating about DAC filters, and lately, sometimes, very secretly listening to headphones connected not to commercially available headphone amplifiers but directly to the outputs of basic tubed and solid-state power amplifiers. No person in his right mind would or should try this—it's too easy to destroy a pair of delicate, expensive headphones. But for me, it's been worth the risk.
John Atkinson  |  Nov 20, 2017  |  18 comments
Headphone listening has always been an important part of my audiophile life. In recent years I've been using at home Audeze's large, open-back, circumaural LCD-X headphones, which I bought after reviewing them for the March 2014 issue; and a pair of small Ultimate Ears 18 Pro in-ear monitors, which provide much better isolation on my subway commute to Stereophile's offices in Manhattan. I was intrigued by Audeze's iSine in-ear models, which were introduced in November 2016 and are unique in using planar-magnetic drive-units mounted outside the ear. I thought about reviewing a pair of the affordable iSines, but before I could get around to it, I heard that Audeze was to launch a cost-no-object version, the LCDi4, priced at a substantial $2495/pair. Aspiration got the better of frugality, and I asked for a pair to review.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 17, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I'll admit feeling the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed look a bit alien to my eyes when first I saw it. Now that it's been on my desk for a few months I find it quite appealing. Not so much for it's looks—don't get me wrong, I quite like the look—but more because I've come to appreciate the comfort of them. No surprises when the Aeon Flow Open showed up...they were right at home on my head. Good thing too, they'll be spending a lot of time there.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 10, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

About this time last year I reviewed the then new Sennheiser PXC 550 BTNC over-ear, noise canceling headphones in hopes that someone would manage to unseat the Bose Quiet Comfort 35. Didn't happen. The Sennheiser had some great features, but in the end it was just too bright for me.

Recently I got a few more Sennheiser wireless noise cancelers and I found they too seemed overly bright. Now I consider Sennheiser the world's best headphone manufacturer. They've got a lot of experience under their belt, so when I hear a batch of Sennheisers, from differing product lines, that all seem too bright and have a quite similar measured response, I've got to question myself. Maybe they know something that I don't.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 06, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

To say I looked at the Bose SoundWear Companion Speaker with a great deal of skepticism when I first saw one in the Bose kiosk at Denver International Airpot after RMAF is a serious understatement. Boy was I in for a surprise!

Jim Austin  |  Oct 26, 2017  |  86 comments
Much has been written about the divide in high-end audio between subjectivists, who trust their ears, and objectivists, who believe that anything not scientifically proven is fake news. I respect both sides and am skeptical of both extremes, and I like to think that's how most audiophiles feel. High-end audio is about experiencing music—that's the whole point—but scientific and technological rigor lie behind every real advance, past and future. I regret the cynical snake-oil salesmanship, bad thinking, and clumsy engineering that pervade certain parts of our hobby.
Herb Reichert  |  Oct 26, 2017  |  5 comments
Every day in my bunker, I use one of a few high-quality headphone amplifiers to double as a line-level preamplifier-controller and operate as the quality-assurance reference for my ongoing audio experiments. I must choose this component carefully, because it determines the upper limit of my system's ability to reveal any subtle differences among components under review.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Sep 30, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Jabra Move and found it pretty good...a little too bass heavy for me, but pretty good for those who like some thump. The headphones mostly interested me because they came from Jabra, a company best known for both corporate and consumer telephone headsets.

That same curiosity had me contacting Plantronics for a similarly price headphone, the BackBeat 500. I've been more impressed with these products than I expected, but I think they're going to have to keep working on it to beat the likes of Sennheiser. Let's check 'em out.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Sep 21, 2017  |  1 comments
In June, I visited headphone manufacturer Audeze's factory in Southern California (they've since moved) and capture an abridged version of the making of a pair of Audeze LCDi4 in-ear planar magnetic headphones ($2495). In the first part of this video, which is narrated by first Sankar Thiagasamudram, Audeze's founder and CEO, we begin with the making of the LCDi4, followed by the testing, burn-in, and packaging. This is followed by the unboxing and very first listening session, with John Atkinson, Stereophile's editor in chief.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Over time Jabra has moved from little Bluetooth dongles that dangle from one ear to sports headsets and is now entering the wider headphone world with straight-up headphone headsets. Or is it that the headphone world is moving towards phone headsets? It's hard to tell...welcome to convergence.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 27, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Right off the top I'm going to encourage any budding social media and music producers in need of their first pair of "real" headphones to take a good hard look and listen to the Sennheiser HD 471. This is a terrific headphone at a terrific price. Sennheiser's website shows the price as $109, but they're commonly available for around $70. Read on for the full scoop!

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