InnerFidelity

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 08, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Enthusiasts recently mourned the death of the Denon AH-D1001 --- a really good sounding sealed headphone at just above $100. Lament no more. This Foster OEM design (model 443741) has found rebirth as the Creative Aurvana Live!

The very good news: it's even better than before.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 29, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

A classic in the world of professional and enthusiast headphones, and probably the world's most popular DJ headphone, the HD 25 has remained in the Sennheiser line-up in a small variety of incarnations since 1987 ... and deservedly so.

When I first heard them about 15 years ago there were very few expensive headphones available, so they seemed pricy at the time. They sounded great though and were a solid recommendation. In today's world of high-priced fashion headphones, and even higher priced high-end headphones, these very good sounding and highly functional cans seem like a real bargain for professional and audio enthusiast alike.

Let's take a look at the latest incarnation, the Sennheiser/adidas HD 25 Original.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 18, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

The rash of in-ear headphones over the past few years has produced an enormous amount of style over substance. All too often the bling on the outside is accompanied by horrifically bloated or screechy sound on the inside. Likewise, some makers are able to deliver great sound, but fall down in the looks and comfort department. Rare indeed is the in-ear headphone that is stylish, comfortable, and good sounding.

The Audéo PFE seems to have beaten the odds.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 14, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I watch the Audio Technica high-end headphone line like a hawk. They're mostly far too bright for me, but they're so cool looking that I keep trying each time AT comes out with a new one because one of these days they'll make one I like, and I'm gonna jump on it when they do.

Now up to bat: the ATH-W1000x "Grandioso."

(Crosses fingers.)

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 11, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Ask any headphone geek that's been around for a while for a recommendation between $100 and $200, and there's a very good chance the Audio Technica ATH-M50 will be the first thing out of their mouth.

With good reason, if you ask me, let's check them out.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 06, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to the word "voicing." I want neutrality; I want absolute transparency; I want to hear exactly what's on the disk, nothing more nothing less. Problem is, it rarely happens ... if ever. Pretty much every headphone I've ever heard has its own character. I'm pretty sure most headphone makers shoot for neutral and miss; the resulting "voice" is a bit more random than by design in most cases, I suspect.

The folks at Spider Cable say they were shooting for a "voicing" with an "emphasis on strong vocals or smooth sounding classical music."

Well I'll be damned, I think they did it.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 30, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Out of the blue, a Sony PR agent dropped me an email.

"Sony has recently introduced the new high-quality Studio Monitor Series headphones that boast premium sound and technology, and I wanted to see if you are interested in reviewing them."

She referred to four headphones in her email (two full size sealed MDR-ZX700 ($119.99) and MDR-Z1000 ($499.99), and two IEMs MDR-EX600 ($199.99) and MDR-EX1000 ($499.99), but only had the inexpensive ones for review samples at the moment.

Oh .... okay. I'll take the cheap ones and have a listen. Glad I did.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 28, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I've been listening to a lot of mid-priced, sealed headphones lately, and these just keep jumping out at me. They say DJ on the side and have a mono switch, but I'm not buying it ... these are just plain good headphones.

Pioneer, eh? Who'da thunk it.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 21, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

When the stewardess asks me if I'd like to buy a pair of headphones for two dollars, I usually say no thanks and smile. She has no idea how good a pair of custom in-ear monitors sound.

And then I thought, "Well, I really have no idea how good her headphones sound either." So, I bought a pair, and brought them home to test.

Oh my!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 20, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Simply put, I'm stunned.

It's hard to make a good sounding sealed headphone, and much more so a small, supra-aural (on-ear) type. They all seem to falter sonically somewhere. In-ear headphones were the only way to get really good portable sound ...

... until now.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I was rummaging around amongst HeadRoom's demo cans the other day, and stumbled upon a Beyerdynamic DJX-1.

"Hmm..." I sez to myself, "I don't remember ever seeing these before. I wonder what they sound like."

Once home, I pulled them out of the box and had a listen ... wow, these aren't bad at all. I wonder why I've never heard them before?

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 13, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

According to a February 2011 NPD Group study, celebrity endorsements are extremely/very important to nearly 30 percent of consumers when deciding what headphones to buy. Moreover, there was a 75% increase in sales of headphones over $100 from 2009 to 2010 ... in a bad economy, no less. Headphones are a hopping commodity.

So sure, why not nab a big name like Quincy Jones and extend the life into an aging, but still very good headphone.

Tyll Hertsens  |  May 24, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions on the Ultrasone Edition 10 that I just had to get my hands on a pair. At $2,749, you’d reckon the praise ought to be a little more consistent. So I gave my buddy Todd (the Vinyl Junkie) a call to see if he had a pair I could play with, and sure enough, he had a slightly used pair for me to audition.

Wow! What an experience!

Tyll Hertsens  |  May 22, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Just a year and a half ago I walked into the CanJam area of RMAF, and right smack-dab in the middle was Fang Bian, head of Head Direct and the HiFiMAN brand of headphone gadgetry. Fang always has something new going on; I wondered what it would be this time. He smiled, stood, and cheerfully greeted me, then pointed towards center-stage on one of his tables.

"Would you like to hear my new planar magnetic headphones?"

You’ve got to be kidding me, I thought.

Tyll Hertsens  |  May 14, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

From the “Beats by Dre” website:

“Attention sound engineers, DJs, musicians, and hard core music lovers: Beats Pro is the reference headphone designed by audio professionals for audio professionals.”

Well, one and a half out of four ain’t bad.

You’ll know if you’ve seen my Beat Solo headphone youtube video that I would be perfectly happy to dis these cans. Well, I guess you can’t be happy all the time, because there were quite a few things these headphones did surprisingly well. But I’m not perfectly unhappy, the Beats Pro didn’t fail to disappoint in some ways too.

Life in balance I guess … Dre has his place.

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