Headphone Reviews

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Sam Tellig  |  Dec 28, 2008  |  First Published: Oct 09, 2008  |  0 comments
Most of this column is dedicated to two hi-fi products for the masses—not from Lvov, via Vladimir Lamm, of Lamm Industries; or from Leningrad, via Victor Khomenko, of Balanced Audio Technologies; nor from any other Soviet-born audio hero. (Neither Vladimir nor Victor is on the list of "Name of Russia" contenders for greatest Russian of all time.) Nor from any consumer audio company, but from the world of professional audio. An Iron Curtain almost separates the two.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 18, 2008  |  0 comments
In his July 2003 "The Fifth Element" column, John Marks enthusiastically wrote about the Benchmark Media Systems DAC1 D/A processor and headphone amplifier. Comparing its sound playing CDs with that of a three-times-more-expensive Marantz SA-14 SACD player, he concluded that the DAC 1's "Red Book" performance was at least as good as that of the Marantz, being "slightly more articulate in the musical line, and slightly more detailed in spatial nuances, particularly the localization of individual images in space, and in soundstage depth."
Jim Austin  |  Oct 26, 2017  |  86 comments
Much has been written about the divide in high-end audio between subjectivists, who trust their ears, and objectivists, who believe that anything not scientifically proven is fake news. I respect both sides and am skeptical of both extremes, and I like to think that's how most audiophiles feel. High-end audio is about experiencing music—that's the whole point—but scientific and technological rigor lie behind every real advance, past and future. I regret the cynical snake-oil salesmanship, bad thinking, and clumsy engineering that pervade certain parts of our hobby.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 20, 2021  |  33 comments
I am certain the quality of life I live is determined by two factors: who and what I give my attentions to, and my ability to observe all that I encounter with an open mind. This approach to living has served me well—especially during this review of the Benchmark Media Systems HPA4 headphone amplifier ($2999).
Keith Howard  |  Aug 29, 2008  |  0 comments
Headphones get pretty short shrift in much of the hi-fi press, which is puzzling—the headphone market is burgeoning. I don't know what the equivalent US figures are, but in recent years the UK headphone market has increased by an annual 15–20% in both units sold and overall revenue. It's easy to dismiss this as a natural byproduct of the Apple iPod phenomenon, but 20% of the market value is now accounted for by headphones costing over $120; a significant subset of consumers would seem to be looking for quality. When you also consider that many people's first exposure to higher-quality audio comes via headphones, there is ample reason for treating them more seriously.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 28, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Q: Why is a university librarian like a fourteen year old skateboarder?
A: Both would love a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 235 headphones!

The Beyerdynamic DT 235 ($57.65, available in black and white) is about as attractive as a brick. But it's also as durable and useful, not nearly so heavy, and sounds way better. This plain-Jane headphone is perfect for library listening rooms, museums, dentist chairs, and all manner of utility applications ... including the one where you give it to a kid who can break a bowling ball in a padded room.

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!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 05, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Quite a few years ago now I reviewed the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 ($289) quite positively. This headphone is sold into Beyer's pro audio distribution channel, primarily to DJs. Subsequently, Beyer produced a T 50 p to sell into their consumer channel that looked quite similar, but didn't have the split headband. It didn't sound nearly as good, either...I was bummed. Then, a couple of years ago, Beyer updated the model to produce the T 51 i, which I heard at a show and thought sounded quite a bit better than the T 50 p. After years of hounding them at every show they finally sent one my way.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 06, 2014  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Please don't consider this a comprehensive overview of the best wireless Bluetooth headphones out there...it isn't. Manufacturers and PR people keep offering to send BT headphones to me, I keep being interested in the category, but it wasn't until a had some significant experience with BT headphones that I began to feel like I could comment on the relative performance of BT headphones I had heard. Well, with a dozen or so on hand and mounting experience, and the shopping season upon us, I figured it was time to do something.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 06, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

To say I looked at the Bose SoundWear Companion Speaker with a great deal of skepticism when I first saw one in the Bose kiosk at Denver International Airpot after RMAF is a serious understatement. Boy was I in for a surprise!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 28, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Goodness gracious! I'm just blown away by the new B&W P3. It's absolutely gorgeous, ergonomics are stellar, and build quality unparalleled. It's really quite an accomplishment to make a headphone this small this beautiful.

I'm troubled by the sound, though.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 04, 2011  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

I didn’t really want to like these headphones. They didn’t sound as I had hoped, and they’re really not made for a guy like me. I wear sweat pants and t-shirts mostly; I wrench on old dirt bikes sometimes; I think camping and not taking a shower for three days rocks. The B&W P5 would feel far more at home tucked into a pig-skin valise on the front seat of a Ferarri than on the picnic table next to the BBQ on my back porch.

Yet there it was … day after day … week after week.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Feb 02, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Oh boy, I love it when a headphone ticks all the boxes and doesn't have a fatal flaw shiv strapped to its ankle ready to strike at an inopportune moment. Yep, the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless is a dandy daily driver for all your mobile headphone needs.

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

When I saw these pop up on the internet, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. I have a pair of the B&W P5 headsets and I like them very much. They're somewhat colored but they're fun sounding, and a sexier piece of audio kit you'll hardly ever see. I was expecting a similar experience with the C5.

Didn't get it though.

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

Seems like every other day a new celebrity headphone comes out. And they're not cheap! Three hundred dollars used to buy you near-world class headphones. How come there's so much bling in headphones these days? How come they're so expensive? How the heck did we get here?

And more importantly, do these headphones sound any good?

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