Headphone Reviews

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

Oh boy. The folks at Massdrop have gone and done it again. Just got their new Massdrop x HiFiMAN HE4XX in for measurements and a quick listen before the drop.

Wes Phillips  |  Dec 03, 2006  |  First Published: Jul 03, 1996  |  0 comments
What, I hear you asking, is an integrated drive? The MID is part of McCormack's much lauded "Micro" series (see my review of their Micro Line Drive in Vol.18 No.6), which are designed to offer the same dedication to quality as McCormack's full-size components, but at a lower price (and in a smaller package). The MID was initially the Micro Headphone Drive, sporting two ½" stereo phone-jacks on the front panel, a two-position input switch, and a volume control. The rear boasted two inputs and an output (controlled by the volume pot). It was designed to be a high-quality headphone amp and a minimalist preamp. In this configuration, I ran into it at the 1995 WCES where—almost as a gag—Steve McCormack had made up a few ½" stereo phone-plug to 5-way binding post connectors. He could, he explained, run small speakers from the headphone outputs. There was a serious purpose behind the joke, of course. Showing that the MHD could drive speakers spoke volumes for its ability to drive headphones.
Corey Greenberg  |  Oct 07, 1995  |  First Published: Oct 07, 1992  |  0 comments
"I remember Momma!"
Wes Phillips  |  Dec 03, 2006  |  First Published: Jul 03, 1996  |  0 comments
It's hard to know what to call the SHA-Gold. It is a superb headphone amplifier—maybe even the target all future headphone amps need to shoot at—but it's also a full-function preamplifier. At two grand, it's not exactly a unit you'd add to your current system just to get a headphone connection...Wait a minute! What am I saying? I'm sure that there are folks out there who would add this to their existing reference systems as casually as I'd buy the Audio Alchemy headphone amplifier—but they'd be missing out on a great line stage.
John Atkinson  |  Oct 05, 2014  |  2 comments
A reader recently asked if I preferred listening to loudspeakers or to headphones. There is no easy answer: Although I do most of my music listening through speakers, about 10% of that listening, for various reasons, takes place in the privacy of my headphones. I have also found that, since I purchased the Audeze LCD-X headphones following my review of them last March, I now tend to watch movies on my MacBook Pro, with the soundtrack reproduced by these headphones plugged into an AudioQuest DragonFly or whatever D/A headphone amplifier has been passing through my test lab. So when Meridian's PR person, Sue Toscano, asked me last Christmas if I'd be interested in reviewing the English company's new Prime D/A headphone amplifier ($2000) with its optional Prime Power Supply ($1295), it took me less than a New York minute to say "Yes."
Art Dudley  |  Aug 30, 2013  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2013  |  6 comments
Those of us who groan at the appearance of every new five-figure digital source component in a massively oversized chassis—and who groan in greater torment when the offending manufacturer says his customer base insists on products that are styled and built and priced that way—can take heart: The appearance of such sanely sized and affordable products as the Halide Design DAC HD ($495) and the AudioQuest DragonFly ($249) would suggest that the market has a mind of its own.
Jim Austin  |  May 19, 2016  |  3 comments
I was lying on a mattress on the floor of an empty apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Not as grim as it sounds—it's a nice apartment, and the mattress was new, and had just been delivered—but it was hot (no air-conditioning), and my family and my furniture were still in my condo up in Maine, and I was lonely. I needed some cheering up. Which is how I rationalized the decision to buy an Explorer2, Meridian Audio's tiny, inexpensive ($299) digital-to-analog converter.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 07, 2017  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

A first look at this new headphone from Meze...what a difference a pad makes.

Ken Micallef  |  May 17, 2019  |  1 comments
I have on hand a number of pairs of headphones. And I admit that I've lusted after the heavenly sounding, medieval-looking Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones, and considered the MrSpeakers Aeon closed-back headphones. (I prefer the isolation from outside sounds provided by closed-back 'phones.) But from the moments I saw—and then heard—Meze Audio's 99 Classics, with their graceful style, balanced sound, and natural wood-grained glory, they had me.
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.

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

When I first saw the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Solo ($199 MSRP) I thought they might be the most beautiful headphones I’d ever seen. The fit and finish is stellar; the styling superb; they fold beautifully; the cable is pure sex; they’re comfortable … the Solos are just gorgeous. At the time I thought, “These may be the headphone of the year!”

Except for one little thing …

Stephen Mejias  |  Mar 18, 2010  |  0 comments
I was looking out the window. I was waiting for the plane to take off. I was wearing Monster Cable's Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones ($349.95). I was listening to Pens' burning, fuzzed-out, 27-minute onslaught, Hey Friend, What You Doing? (320kbps MP3; LP, De Stijl IND071). I was shouting with sudden shock and pain.
Herb Reichert  |  Aug 30, 2016  |  6 comments
I am a lucky person. Who gets to be an artist, an aspiring griot, and a Stereophile reporter? Who gets to stay at home in paint-smeared pajamas, draw pictures of teapots and barn owls . . . and then, on top of everything, gets paid to listen to music made by Henryk Szeryng, Eugene Hütz, and Winston Reedy? C'est moi!

I have groovy friends, too: other eccentric artists, scruffy musicians, recording and mastering engineers, beekeepers, authors and editors, art and junk collectors, tube wizards, turntable savants, DJs, Mensa-type amp designers, bat-shit-crazy poet-philosophers, and unrepentant hoarders.

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

I'm making ready to head off to RMAF, but I certainly didn't want to shirk my duties measuring Stax headphones, and getting them back to their rightful owners.

Here we go ...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 01, 2016  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Not at all sure I'll succeed, but I'll try to find something bad to say about these headphones.

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