Headphone Reviews

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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.

Herb Reichert  |  Jul 18, 2017  |  16 comments
Recently, a friend played me a masterpiece: Ike & Tina Turner's River Deep—Mountain High, arranged by Jack Nitzsche and produced by Phil Spector (LP, A&M SP 4178). It sounded terrible: murky, distant, with badly booming bass. Even before the first track was over, we both laughed and called it a night.

Nevertheless, I went home obsessed with Tina's inspired singing and Spector's infamous Wall of Sound production.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 30, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Oh baby...don't read this if you've got $800 bucks in your wallet and a yen for some good sealed headphones.

John Atkinson  |  Jun 20, 2017  |  14 comments
For digital playback, in recent months I've been breathing some rarefied air, pricewise. In December 2016, I reviewed dCS's Rossini Player and Clock, followed in May 2017 by Meridian's Ultra DAC, and in June by Chord's DAVE DAC. The Rossini Player costs $28,499 without the Clock, the Meridian $23,000, and though the DAVE is less expensive than either at $10,588, that's still a fair chunk of change. Even PS Audio's PerfectWave DirectStream DAC, which I bought following Art Dudley's review in September 2014, costs $6899 with the Network Bridge II, which hardly counts as "affordable."
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 05, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Twenty five years ago when I started HeadRoom and built the first commercially available portable headphone amplifier I said to myself, "The day Sony decides to enter the fray with a portable headphone amp my mission will be complete." That happened a few years ago and I've found it quite entertaining to watch this humungous consumer electronics company try to snuggle into our tiny headphone enthusiast niche.

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