Full-Size Open Headphone Reviews
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Tyll Hertsens Feb 25, 2014 32 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 Jul 18, 2013 23 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 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 Mar 13, 2013 81 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 Aug 01, 2012 34 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 May 01, 2012 24 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 Feb 17, 2012 64 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 Feb 08, 2012 23 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 Oct 11, 2011 7 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 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.

Steve Guttenberg Sep 19, 2011 7 comments
Photo Credit: Steve Guttenberg

You can't listen to a headphone without plugging it into an amplifier of some kind: an iPod, portable device or a maxed out home amp. It's really the combination of the two we hear, so when we talk about the "sound" of a headphone, it's more about the sound of a headphone/amp system.

Lets get started.

Tyll Hertsens Aug 23, 2011 10 comments

I can't tell you what a treat it is to measure and listen to the unusual headphones I get from enthusiasts. This time, rythmdevils from Head-Fi has sent in a couple of vintage AKG cans.

He's also a photographer, and has kindly allowed me to use his sweet pix of these two cans for the article. Very nice! Thanks!

Tyll Hertsens Aug 16, 2011 4 comments

Kabeer - "I am located in UK, and I have some orthos. Im not sure if its very viable for me to get anything measured?"

Tyll - "I really can't spend too much money on this, so I've limited DIY Ortho testing to the U.S. to keep the shipping costs down. Sorry."

Kabeer - "Id really like to send my Aiwa to you to get measured. I think its pretty great :). Wualta wants to see their measurements too and has kindly offered to pay you the postage back to UK for them."

Tyll - "Okie Dokie. If Wualta wants to see the measurements, it must be good."

You see, while Wualta might be a crusty old curmudgeon, he's also one of the patron saints of Orthodynamic DIYers, and if he thinks something is worthwhile ... well, you just have to have a listen.

By golly, he's right on the mark again!

Tyll Hertsens Aug 15, 2011 12 comments

A goodly amount of forum chatter has been focussed on these two very inexpensive Superlux headphones. (Superlux is a Taiwanese maker of professional audio gear, and is distributed in the U.S. by Avlex.) I thought it would be fun to have a listen and see if the headphone enthusiast community has stumble upon some giant killers.

(C'mon, how much can $30 really get you?)

Tyll Hertsens Jun 13, 2011 27 comments

According to a February 2011 NPD Group study, celebrity endorsements are extremely/very important to nearly 30 percent of consumers when deciding what headphones to buy. Moreover, there was a 75% increase in sales of headphones over $100 from 2009 to 2010 ... in a bad economy, no less. Headphones are a hopping commodity.

So sure, why not nab a big name like Quincy Jones and extend the life into an aging, but still very good headphone.