Headphone Reviews

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J. Gordon Holt  |  Nov 11, 2013  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1975  |  5 comments
These are some of the most lusciously transparent-sounding headphones we've ever put on our ears, but we doubt that they will every enjoy much commercial success, for a couple of reasons.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 10, 2011  |  2 comments
"Good grief, has he lost his hearing?"

It was the distant past, a time so long ago that the M in MTV stood for Music, and I was watching a David Bowie concert on TV. The svelte singer was wearing what I took to be hearing aids.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 18, 2013  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

If Mary Shelley had written a birthday scene in "The Bride of Frankenstein", the Abyss AB-1266 would certainly have been the perfect gift for old Frankie. Yeah, these are some weird looking cans, and the price tag sure makes you look at them real hard.

Fortunately, it's what they sound like that counts.

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.

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.)

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 03, 2010  |  First Published: Dec 03, 1992  |  1 comments
Love 'em or hate 'em, headphones serve a purpose. My first headphones were Kosses, and they were perfect for use in a college dorm. While I've always owned a pair or more over the years, somehow they never became my primary mode of listening, except in situations where using loudspeakers at satisfying levels risked eviction, bodily harm, or both.
J. Gordon Holt, Bill Sommerwerck  |  Jun 09, 2020  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1963  |  10 comments
Almost a dead-ringer for the early-model Sharpe HA-10, Koss's PRO-4 ($45) is readily distinguishable by a large knurled protuberance sticking out of the lower part of the right-hand phone. This, in case you've wondered, is a mounting for a "boom-type" lip microphone, for use in speech labs and for communication purposes. (Sharpe and Permoflux also provide facilities for attaching a lip-mike.)
Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 01, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

The DIY headphone contest will be over on April 1st! If you want your cans measured and in the running, you'll need to get them in quickly as there's only a month left.

Want a look at the latest batch?

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

Editor's Note: This article was nearly complete when I read of Steve Jobs's death last night. I think the conclusions herein are telling of his passion for making "insanely great" products ... right down to the last detail.

A couple of weeks ago, Steve Guttenberg wrote an article on his Audiophiliac blog entitled, "The Worst-Sounding Audio Product." In it he "aimed [his] sights on the worst sounding product regularly used by millions of people:" the stock Apple iPod ear-bud headphones. There may be some truth in that, but he also said, "Apple is an amazingly innovative company, but it's incapable of selling a decent set of headphones under its own name."

With this, I'm going to have to disagree ...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Oct 03, 2014  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

While the X2 shares a lot in common with the X1 at first glance, deeper investigation reveals significant changes and real improvements with this new release. The X2 is an excellent headphone...yes, even for audiophiles...maybe especially for audiophiles. For the first time, in a long time, I think we've got a headphone to rival the Sennheiser HD 600 in the mid-priced open headphone category. Yes, I think it's that good.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

On-ear portable headphones don't get a lot of love from headphone enthusiasts...that's about to change.

Art Dudley  |  Feb 10, 2016  |  8 comments
In my sophomore year of high school, one of the greatest challenges my friends and I faced was the search for the perfect after-school hangout, perfect being defined as "having the least amount of adult supervision." Some of us lived in single-parent homes, but only one had a single parent for whom weekday surprise inspections were impossible, and that was Scott. So Scott's place—a downstairs apartment in a nice older house not far from school—got the nod.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 25, 2012  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

With just a few phone calls and emails, I've managed to get my hands on the amazing Stax SR-009 headphones, and some of the world's best electrostatic headphone amps and the gear to make use of them, and set them up my demo room for a week of comparative listening.

Quite the ear opening experience!

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

Great guitar amplifiers are great because they produce a lot of distortion. I wonder what a great guitar amp maker thinks a headphone should sound like?

Well, here’s our chance … I guess. The Marshall Major ($99) is a mid-size, earpad, sealed headphone, but is actually made by Zound Industries of Sweden. Yes, this is another lifestyle headphone from the makers of Urbanears. I have no idea how much input Marshall had in the design and approval, but let’s give the Major a chance. Throw the drum-kit in the back of the Econoline and we’ll go for a ride to Rock ‘n Roll with the Marshall Majors.

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

Dag nab it! I got so busy last week with the Focal Utopia measurements that I neglected to get the new Massdrop Noble X measured and listened to for a quick report before the drop. Sorry about that.

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