Headphone Reviews

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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!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 20, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

At the moment, the Cowin E7 is Amazon's top selling wireless, noise canceling headphone and has a four star rating with 3,800+ reviews. We headphone geeks might recognize the brand, but I very much doubt if the average person has ever heard of Cowin. I thought maybe it's just the cheapest Bluetooth, noise canceler on Amazon. Not even close; this one is $13.21! (How in the world do you even deliver the box for that price?) I tried to find a PR contact for Cowin for review samples to no avail. Oh well, it's cheap enough...I just bought a pair.

Herb Reichert  |  Aug 15, 2017  |  33 comments
In equipment reports, I use the phrase forward momentum to refer to something a little deeper and more encompassing than what's meant by that well-worn Brit-fi expression pace, rhythm, and timing (PRaT). Pace refers to the speed at which a piece of music is being played, and the accurate reproduction of that speed requires audio sources with good dynamic pitch stability. (Digital folk always lord it over LP clingers for digital's superior pitch stability.)
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 12, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I'll often unbox a headphone and take a good hard look and listen and then make a guess at the price before looking it up on-line. I'm usually 25% - 33% low...and disappointed at how much things cost. Not so with the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT, I guessed $50 high at $199. It's $149...sweet.

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

Having not too long ago reviewed the $1499 AKG N90Q and finding it an astonishingly cool and effective noise canceler, I thought it would be interesting to look at what AKG was doing way down the food chain at a more affordable price. Thing is $300 is still $300, and in my book a pretty serious purchase. A $300 headphone needs to be good and competitive. Let's see if AKG managed to pull it off.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 02, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Oh boy. The folks at Massdrop have gone and done it again. Just got their new Massdrop x HiFiMAN HE4XX in for measurements and a quick listen before the drop.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 29, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Sennheiser has been "remastering" their line-up for the past little while and I've been itching to get a little ear time on some of the more affordable models. In a marvelous turn of events, they sent me a couple of boxes filled with headphones for me to measure, evaluate, and cherry pick for for good values. Here's the first one...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 19, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

When first I saw the Audeze iSine models I wondered to myself, "What the heck are these for?" and, "Who will want these?" I'd never heard of an open acoustic in-ear before...heck, I'd not even thought of the possibility. Why in the world was Audeze even going down this road? I spent some time on the phone with Sankar Thiagasamudram, founder and CEO of Audeze, to gain some understanding.

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