Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 31, 2017  |  10 comments
Some 100 engineers and scientists from around the globe assembled for the Audio Engineering Society's 2016 International Conference on Headphone Technology, in Aalborg, Denmark.

I figured it was coming, but it wasn't until just after I'd returned from the Audio Engineering Society's 2016 International Conference on Headphone Technology—held last August in Aalborg, Denmark—and was writing up my report and summary on the event for InnerFidelity.com (footnote 1) that I knew for sure: Headphones are about to change . . . a lot.

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

Yesssssss!

I've kvetched quite a bit about the need for some killer headphones in the $500-$1000 price range. Seems like headphone makers just jumped by that price category in an ever more intense race to the top...of your willingness to break your wallet. Looks like we're going to get some relief from MrSpeakers.

Herb Reichert  |  Dec 29, 2016  |  5 comments
When I applied for this fabulist audio-preacher gig, John Atkinson protested, "But Herb, aren't you a triode-horn guy?"

"No, that was decades ago! Today I'm still a bit of a Brit-fi guy, but my mind remains wide open."

However: As a professional reviewer, I am biased toward affordable, lovingly engineered audio creations made by family businesses with traditional artisanal values. I enjoy solid-state as much as tubes—often more!

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

"Dude, I just got off an airplane with this guy who had these cool insert headphones. He's a location sound recordist for movies and uses them for their isolation and good sound. I gave them a try...I need a pair badly! Do you know where I can get some Etymotic ER4 earphones?"

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 16, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Weird how these things happen. Checks and balances make it right.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 12, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

In my mind, Mr. Speakers had become a world-class enthusiast headphone maker.

And it was with that mind-set, biasing that it might be, that I eagerly awaited the coming Ether C Flow. My feelings are mixed.

Herb Reichert  |  Nov 29, 2016  |  6 comments
My passion for listening to music through headphones is fueled by the enhanced sense of intimacy and extra feeling of connectedness I experience in rediscovering recordings I already love. You know the old audiophile cliché: It's like hearing my record collection for the first time. High-quality headphones provide a sharper-than-box-speaker lens that lets me experience lyrics, melodies, and instrumental textures more close-up and magnified.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 16, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

The Solo3 is the first headphones to have the Apple W1 wireless chip. (Followed shortly thereafter by the Beats Powerbeats3 and the soon to come BeatsX and Apple AirPods.) In this review I'll take a close look at the features and functions of this W1 based wireless headphone, and how it differs from typical contemporary Bluetooth headphones.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 03, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Ooooooooo baby! If you don't have a Sennheiser HD 600 or HD 650, you need to read this!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 02, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Shots fired!

Sennheiser's new PXC 550 ($399) Bluetooth noise canceling headphone is a direct shot across the bow of Bose's battleship Quiet Comfort 35 ($349) dominance of noise canceling headphones, which I reviewed very positively. Not only do Bose own a big chunk of that market, they consistently, in my opinion, have the best isolation and sound quality performance. Let's see if Sennheiser can put a dent in that armored hull.

John Atkinson  |  Nov 01, 2016  |  5 comments
I wrote several issues back that my first high-end headphones were Koss Pro4AAs, which I bought in 1972 following a positive review in the British magazine Hi-Fi News. Although that review didn't mention that the Pro4AAs were relatively fragile (footnote 1), I nonetheless loved their sound. They were the best headphones I'd heard—until, a couple years later, I was playing bass on some sessions for record producer Tony Cox. Tony had a pair of signal-energized electrostatic headphones, Koss ESP-6es, which were heavy and clunky—but they opened my ears to the sound quality that could be obtained from "cans." I didn't hear better until after I'd moved to Santa Fe, in 1986, and J. Gordon Holt loaned me his review samples of the Stax SR-Lambda Pros.
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...

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