Full-Size Open Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 03, 2014 79 comments
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 Posted: Sep 26, 2014 25 comments
The Oppo PM-2 was released not long after the Oppo PM-1 as a lower cost alternative. The PM-2 forgoes the fancy presentation box, extra ear-pads, and balanced cable, leaving the denim clam-shell case, short mobile cable, and longe unbalanced cable (OFC instead of OCC) as the included accessories. On the headphones themselves, ear-pads and headband pad coverings switch from lamb-skin to synthetic leather, and a couple of the trim pieces on the ear capsule are now plastic instead of metal. All told, I think these were excellent choices in creating a lower cost version of the PM-1.
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 19, 2014 20 comments

Lots of chatter abut the Oppo ear-pads on Head-Fi.org. I figured I better do some measurements to get another view.

Did some listening too, and found a favorite pad.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 13, 2014 24 comments
Oh boy. This one's going to be a tough one for me. I love the sound of the PM-1...heck I love almost everything about them. But they're not neutral, and many won't like them.

Oh well...here we go...

Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 09, 2014 59 comments

It's no secret I really like the Audeze LCD-3 and LCD-2. When they slotted the LCD-X between the two, I simply had to have a listen to these cans in context with the rest of the line. So I spent some time with the latest Audeze headphones...

...Yeah, rough job, someone's got to do it. :)

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Feb 25, 2014 34 comments

I like the K701 and variants; I like the K267 Tiesto; I like the K550 too; but no, I don't like the K812.

Woulda kept my mouth shut, but way too many people have asked me to chime in on these new headphones.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 18, 2013 25 comments

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.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 23, 2013 41 comments

It's warm and fuzzy, with a big bottom and a lively top.

No, it's not my girlfriend silly, it's the new Philips Fidelio X1. And while it may not be a mate for life, it's sure fun to have for a little fling.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 13, 2013 85 comments

Arguably the most important audiophile headphones of the last two decades, the Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 family of headphones have a history of being both revered and maligned by headphone enthusiasts. I must admit to falling in and out of love with them numerous times.

What a long, strange trip it's been.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 01, 2012 36 comments

So, a couple of guys get together, have a close look at planar magnetic headphone drivers, and come to the conclusion that they could build something much better than the vintage drivers available. It turns out good ... so good they reckon they should move forward to build world class headphones. Yeah ... right.

Yeah right, is right!

Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 01, 2012 28 comments

Headphones have changed a lot over the last 20 years. First they were accessories; then they were legit listening devices but as ugly as an outhouse; then they were bright plastic necklaces and a rapper's gravy train; but of late, they're becoming a very human interface to our tunes, designed to sound good, look good, and feel good.

The Philips Fidelio L1 is a perfect example of such a headphone.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Feb 17, 2012 72 comments

One look at the Sennheiser HD 800 and it's quite obvious that this headphone is in a class of one. Seemingly as much architecture and structural engineering as it is audio, this headphone is a technological marvel and delivers incredibly accurate audio fidelity.

It's nearly perfect ... nearly.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Feb 08, 2012 24 comments

Like most people upon first hearing the Audez'e LCD-3 at last year's CanJam at RMAF, I was struck by the quicker sound of the new planar magnetic headphone over its predecessor, the LCD-2 Rev. 2. Definitely a step in the right direction. Then they started shipping ...

... and all hell seemed to break loose.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 11, 2011 8 comments
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 Posted: Sep 25, 2011 65 comments

It's not often one get's to set-up $37,000+ worth of the world's best headphone gear on the dining room table. I should do a little comparative listening test and report my findings, methinks.

Wasn't easy to write with all the good music going on in my head, though.

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