Heady Sound from PSB and NAD

Paul Barton of PSB was on hand to demonstrate the RoomFeel technology he uses in his headphones. "Headphone listeners listen to recorded music that was designed to be heard in a room," he said. Therefore, his RoomFeel technology adds a simulated room response to music.

Barton, who designs for NAD and Bluesound as well as PSB, conducts research for his 45-year-old company at the National Research Council in Ottawa. Shown were PSB feed-back and feed- forward noise-cancelling headphones ($399), with the latest Bluetooth technology, whose aptX-HD algorithm enables 24/48 transmission.

Driving the headphones was the NAD 3D 020 V2 hybrid digital headphone amplifier ($399), complete with 24/192 DAC. Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen" sounded really smooth and warm, with a nice beat. I didn't listen for long, but what I heard was a joy. For more on these babies, see the write-up by Tyll Hertsens, who has spent much more time with Barton than I.