InnerFidelity

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Bob Katz  |  May 03, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I believe that second harmonic distortion is sonic gold for audiophiles: It's very seductive, especially if you want a warm sound quality, three-dimensionality, and beautiful reproduction of ambience and depth. Based on the listening tests, there does not seem to be a sonic negative side if the proportions are done right. Yes, too much second harmonic and detail will be lost or the sound can become flubby, like some inferior tube preamp designs. That's why this listening test was so useful, as we can discover how much harmonic distortion is "just enough".

Bob Katz  |  Apr 05, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Nelson Pass's Lab has produced an impeccable headphone amplifier with more than enough power, that's quiet, solid, and very clean. Several other reviewers have reflected on this excellent amplifier, but I want to weigh in with my unique sonic perspective and also measurements of its performance.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 27, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Show impressions are always suspect, but I did like what I heard when I visited the 1More booth at CES early this year. They're well known for their in-ear monitors and last year introduced their first over-ear headphone, the MK801, which I found a bit too thick sounding for my taste.

Generally 1More has been offering headphone in the affordable end of the spectrum. With this new headphone they're making a move into the meaty midsection of the headphone world. And an interesting move it is!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 11, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

For those of you who just stumbled across this InnerFidelity review as you were looking for information about the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless, welcome! InnerFidelity is a website for hard core headphone enthusiasts and it's likely you've never read headphone reviews like the ones here. I'll be going on in some detail about the technicalities of this headphone and that will probably bore you. So, I'll save you some time. I don't think the Crusher is a good sounding headphone, even for bass-heads. Let me recommend you take a look at the InnerFidelity reviews of the comparably priced Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT ($149) and the more expensive but better sounding Beats Solo3 Wireless ($299).

For the rest of you headphone geeks, I'm sure you've not been chomping at the bit for a Crusher audition, but given the haptic (vibration) transducer intended to produce the feeling of low bass response, I think it's a headphone worthy of a little satisfied curiosity. Let's have a look.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 04, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Like pretty much all headphone makers, I've found HiFiMAN planar magnetic headphones a little hit and miss. Some have been a too bright and sizzly, some have not had the build quality I'd like to see at the price. On the other hand there have been some really nice surprises. The HE1000 had an uncannily pleasant, floating in the clouds, sonic character, and the HE-400S was dandy at a very affordable price. One thing has been very consistant though, the folks at HiFiMAN keep trying...and that's turning out to be a very good thing.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Feb 23, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

It was a real treat being able to talk with Paul Barton about the PSB M4U 8 and NAD HP70 at RMAF last year. Paul has lead acoustic design for PSB, NAD, and Bluesound for a long, long time now; he's got a strong understanding of audio and when he designs a product it speaks of this knowledge. In listening to this headphone, I find myself listening to both the headphone and what Paul may be trying to tell us with them. It's been an interesting dialog.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Feb 11, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

It's deja vu all over again. Maybe Audeze decided to reverse the trend for ever more expensive headphones. Maybe they were just aware of so many people longing for the LCD2 of old. But whatever the reson, I do like seeing them breath new life into the more affordable end of the LCD line-up with their newly released LCD2 Classic.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Feb 03, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

One of a nice handfull of $500ish planar magnetic headphones at the show, I was impressed with the Advanced Alpha at CanJam@RMAF last October. In my report I said:

Maybe it was just the show conditions, or maybe I was just in the right mood, but holy smoke these sounded really good to me on first listen. I've been wrong at shows before so don't take this as gospel, but I sure liked these Advanced planar magnetic cans.

Well, time to find out if we can trust my ears at shows.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 27, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Doing audio production on a budget? Want something that sounds good? Feeling a little overwhelmed worrying about finding that one good sounding and durable needle in the haystack of crappy sounding cheap headphones that's going to break the first time it gets thrown in you backpack? Read on!

Bob Katz  |  Jan 09, 2018  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I was planning on presenting the next episode in my "How Insensitive" series, but that'll have to wait till next time because a wonderful new toy has just arrived straight from the technical geniuses in Hong Kong. Today we're going to introduce you to a powerful new and affordable investigative tool: The MiniDSP EARS Headphone Jig, costing $179 USD. MiniDSP has been manufacturing audio-related DSP products since 2009. Led by charismatic Frenchman Tony Rouget, MiniDSP has made some innovative and affordable audio amplifiers, digital equalizers, DACs, calibrated measurement microphones and measurement tools.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 24, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Headphone manufacturers pay attention: If you want to build a high-end headphone, this is the way to do it.

Bob Katz  |  Dec 19, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

May I have a drumroll, please! Here is the expanded amplifier measurement chart, presenting the essential measurements in a way that consumers can actually use, without forcing them to become engineers. At first it appears to be a daunting looking chart, but consumers will be presented with only a few of these measurements.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 16, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

For now it's sufficient to state that the Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 are probably the most highly regarded enthusiast headphone in the world, and I highly recommend both. The HD 650 is a bit too warm sounding for me (just a bit), and the HD 600 is my favorite of the two. Let's see if the HD 660 S can continue the legend!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 08, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Not long ago I wrote enthusiastically about the Bose SoundWear Companion neck-worn speaker. It was my first experience with such a device and it was, and continues to be, a very pleasant one. Way better than I expected. So, I figured I should look into some of the other options for this new type of device.

JBL was kind enough to send me their Soundgear—a $100 less expensive alternative to the Bose. Having experience only one other device of this type, it's probably best just to compare and contrast the JBL directly with the Bose for this review.

Bob Katz  |  Dec 06, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

So today we'll pick up on this principle and briefly compare the sound qualities of six very different headphone amplifiers, concentrating on their headroom, impact, perceived loudness, detail, and depth. Then, in the next episode, I'll try to make sense of the listening and see if there is any correlation between what we measure and what we hear. Don't expect a miracle—listening versus measurements is an ongoing debate, but in Episode 22 I promise to reveal some tantalizing clues!

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