Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Oct 01, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

In this survey, I'll be walking you through my listening experience of these headphones and making comments with in the context of how these headphones compare with each other—I listened solely to them until I compared a few other headphones at the end of the test.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Sep 28, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

They're certainly a family of headphones...but like any family, there's lots of differences. Small differences in most of the baffle plates and rear damping...could be lots of stuff going on around the driver that can't be seen.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Sep 26, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I'm going to spend the week parsing the differences between a number of the variants of the Foster 443742 (seen on page H-4 of this .pdf). This survey will include: Fostex TH900, TH900mk2, and TH610; Massdrop THX00; Denon ADH-D5000; and the E-Mu Teak stock, and with optionally available Rosewood and Mahogany cups.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Sep 23, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Wireless headphones are hot, hot, hot these days. I'm going to make a concerted effort to cover quite a few in coming months. Here's a start...

J. Gordon Holt  |  Sep 06, 2016  |  First Published: Apr 01, 1973  |  1 comments
666kossesp9.1.jpgThe top-of-the-line model from America's leading headphone manufacturer, these are bulky, heavy, very business-like in appearance, and very, very good.

The ESP-9 is dual-powered: from the AC line, or from the input signal itself, The power supply is rather large and heavy, and appropriate in appearance to the phones. Amplifier connections are via wires with spade lugs attached, and speaker connections are made to the rear of the power supply. A front-panel switch selects speaker or headphone operation, and terminates the amplifier outputs with 10 ohms in the Phones position.

Construction is typically top-of-the-line Koss: Rugged, nicely finished, and apparently very durable, and the phones are easy to handle. (Many headphones are so loosely pivoted on their headbands that they swing into impossible positions whenever you pick them up.)

Herb Reichert  |  Aug 30, 2016  |  6 comments
I am a lucky person. Who gets to be an artist, an aspiring griot, and a Stereophile reporter? Who gets to stay at home in paint-smeared pajamas, draw pictures of teapots and barn owls . . . and then, on top of everything, gets paid to listen to music made by Henryk Szeryng, Eugene Hütz, and Winston Reedy? C'est moi!

I have groovy friends, too: other eccentric artists, scruffy musicians, recording and mastering engineers, beekeepers, authors and editors, art and junk collectors, tube wizards, turntable savants, DJs, Mensa-type amp designers, bat-shit-crazy poet-philosophers, and unrepentant hoarders.

Art Dudley  |  Aug 25, 2016  |  7 comments
Approximately 331/3 years after AudioQuest's first phono cartridge, the company announced two new USB D/A headphone amplifiers: the DragonFly Black ($99) and the DragonFly Red ($199). Both have circuits designed by the engineer responsible for the original DragonFly—Gordon Rankin, of Wavelength Audio—and both have the novel distinction of requiring considerably less operating power than their predecessors, so much less that the new DragonFlys can be used with iPhones, iPads, and various other mobile devices.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 18, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I had only two days with a pre-production Ether Flow before my house was invaded by the French. I was quite enjoying the pre-production Flow, but the Focal Elear and Utopia turned my world upside down. By the time Dan Clark, CEO and Founder of Mr. Speakers, sent the production unit my world was in a bit of an uproar. Though I didn't mention them, the Flow was ever present in my listening tests...it kept whispering to me, "It's not about "The Best" anymore, it's about character."

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 08, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

And then, at 21 second in, right after she sings, "When God gave out rhythm...", two chords are gently played on the piano. My goodness, I've never heard such sensitively percussive, harmonically rich, filled with weight and substance sound from a piano. Most astonishing is the interplay of tones, harmonics, and intermodulation making the whole of the chord a rich textured wave of sound. I was transfixed until track's end.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 28, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

THIS is what a $1000 headphone should be. Unapologetically masculine styling...and sexy; confidently strutting exquisite materials and build-quality; and delivering sound of a quality I've not heard before on any headphone. It walked in my office, swept all the headphones off my desk in one grand gesture, and said, "Here I am. Deal with it."

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 22, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

"Value packed" is not a word I typically use to describe a headphone. I really thought the Beyerdynamic DTX 350 m was great for the money; definitely a good value...but not packed with value. Sennheiser's HD 600 is an extraordinary value...but no carry case; doesn't have a mic/remote; isn't useful portably. Still a great headphone and an extraordinary value, but packed with value? Okay, maybe. HD 800 S? Great headphone, but no friggen way anything over $700 is "value packed." The Quiet Comfort 35, on the other hand? Oh yeah, this thing will be a delightful traveling companion with technological, comfort, convenience, and solid sound quality characteristics abundantly.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 15, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Were it not for the fact that I'm about to tell you so, there's nothing that would clue you in: The Beyerdynamic DTX 350 m ($59) looks about like any cheap plastic headphone you might run across at WalMart...but beauty runs deep with this one. Check it out.

Dick Olsher, J. Gordon Holt, John Atkinson  |  Jul 12, 2016  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1984  |  0 comments
Stax Kogyo, a small audio company by Japanese standards, has been for the past 15 years steadfastly refining and redefining the electrostatic headphone. The SR-Lambda Pro is their current flagship model, and at a 1984 US list price of $780 it also represents a very substantial investment in headphone technology.
John Atkinson  |  Jul 06, 2016  |  First Published: May 01, 1991  |  4 comments
I do quite a bit of headphone listening during the day, making use of their convenience to shut out the office hubbub while I get down to serious copy editing. The system I use is modest—a pair of no-longer-available Sennheiser HD420SLs driven by an Advent 300 receiver I bought for $75, with CD source provided by a Denon DCD-1500 II—but I get quite a bit of musical satisfaction from it.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 02, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Originating with the Foster OEM design (model 443741, page H-4 of this .pdf) and seeing the light of day first as the Denon AD-H1001, then the Creative Aurvana Live! (CAL!), this model has now been refreshed as the E-Mu Walnut. This is a lovely example of a company—in this case Creative Technologies in the form of its subsidiary company E-Mu Systems—recognizing they have a solid-performer on their hands, and incrementally improving it. I wish I saw this more often.

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