Headphone Reviews

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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...

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.

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