Tyll Hertsens Blog

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 14, 2014 59 comments

Argh! This hi-rez bait-and-switch baloney has just got to stop.

One of these days consumers are going to pay decent money for "teh awesome" hi-rez files...and they're going to feel cheated. Music industry participants need to tell the real story, adress the real problem, and do it damned quick.

It's about the masters and getting rid of the horribly dynamic-range compressed re-releases and going back to the original tapes. And the music industry participants needs to start transmitting that message so consumers know the real story.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 04, 2014 84 comments

Been a lot of talk lately in headphone enthusiast circles about subjective reviewer ethics, bias, and veracity. It seems to me a lot of the dialog is about symptoms, and less about the desease...or more importantly, the characteristics of a healthy reviewer.

Personally, I think the most important influencer on subjective reviews is the reviewers sense of mission.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 30, 2014 17 comments
Ahhhh....summer, 4th of July, and a bunch more headphone measurements. Lovely.
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 27, 2014 17 comments

I mentioned this product in my recent "Headphone News" post, and for some reason I can't stop thinking about PS Audio's Sprout. On one hand, it's really just a simple integrated amp, and doesn't seem like a product that's moving us forward in time. There's no app; no built-in streaming capability; it just doesn't seem "smart" compared to many product being currently released. On the other hand, it's got aptX Bluetooth so it's as smart as your smartphone—and aptX sounds pretty good in my experience—and the USB input makes it as smart as your computer. But it's also got that phono stage—I know there's a small surge in vinyl going on now, but how big is that really?

PS Audio is a solid performer in our industry; I've no doubt the price/performance ratio at the expected retail price of $799 will be good. The question I have is who will be buying this product? Part of me wants to think the Sprout is a product that anyone and everyone could use—an all-singing, all-dancing, all-in-one unit that would comfortably fit on a desktop, nightstand, or kitchen counter. But another corner of my head nags on and on about so many people having self-powered speakers now; so few having vinyl; so many wanting Sonos rather than a stereo.

I just don't know what to think about the Sprout. It's already blown through a quarter of a million dollars on a $36,000 goal, so obviously there's plenty of interest in the Sprout, but I've got to wonder who exactly is experiencing all that appeal?

I know many of you would like to comment about PS Audio, a well established company, using a Kickstarter campaign to launch a product—seems like it might just be smart marketing in this day and age—but I'm much more interested in your poll answer, and more so, your thoughts about the breadth of Sprout's appeal in the comments below.

Pick the answer below that best expresses your thoughts on the PS Audio Sprout's appeal:

Thinkin' About Sprout
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 24, 2014 10 comments

More Apple talk...that 3.5mm jack may be going away sooner than I predicted.

I have a suspicion that the major labels are up to good things.

And a couple of fun Kickstarter campaigns.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 22, 2014 3 comments

Here's a little something to enjoy as you sip your Sunday morning coffee. Me on Steve's Enjoy the Music TV.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 23, 2014 7 comments

I knew this would be coming one day. Certain someones don't think I'm getting enough electrostatic headphones measured. It was bound to come to a head...at least it wasn't a horse's head in my bed. The Stax Mafia delivered the needed tool to measure any electrostatic headphone known to man.

And now I gotta deliver the payola. I think I'm gonna need some help.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 16, 2014 4 comments

I think this is my favorite show. So many headphone enthusiasts in L.A., and with Mike Mercer's enthusiastic cheerleading the Headphonium will be bigger and better than ever!

What's a Headphonium? Sure, I'll tell you...

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 13, 2014 28 comments

Wow! This unexpected event was at first a shock....and then it began to make all sorts of sense: Apple, it seems to me, is going to fast-track "Hearables".

Let me explain...

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 01, 2014 9 comments

The trend is apparent: Very smart headphones are in our future. Bluetooth and noise canceling is old news; headphones with stand-alone streaming services, biometric sensors for exercise data-logging, and head tracking for navigation and surround simulation all are on the horizon.

Where will this take us? Will increasing complication lead to incompatibilities? Will traditional headphones, like turntables and tape decks, leave the mainstream and become audiophile oddities?

I'd sure like to know.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 15, 2014 17 comments

I spent the weekend listening through Chesky's new Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and a few of the albums released using the Binaural+ techniques and technologies. First observation: Man, did I get sucked into the music a lot!

Second observation? The first would have been enough all by itself, but the overarching impression of about 12 hours of listening in the past few days is that I had been in the presence of not just the music, but with the musicians as well. Very unusual, and very satisfying.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 05, 2014 23 comments
More measurements...and the beginning of spring!!!
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 03, 2014 2 comments
Scott Wilkinson is celebrating his 200th installment of "Home Theater Geeks" and has kindly asked me to join him for the party over on TWiT.tv.

The show will be broadcast on TWiT.tv live TODAY, Thurday, April 3rd at 5:30-6:30PM Eastern Time (2:30-3:30PM Pacific). I hope you'll join in to view. If you log into the chat session you can ask questions and watch people comment on the dialog as it happens. Quite fun, I really enjoy doing it.

Both audio and video will be available afterward on the Home Theater Geek page on TWiT; for real Podcast is available through iTunes here.

See you then!

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 28, 2014 27 comments

Maybe I'm more of an objectivist than I think I am. I've got a some streaming speakers in the house to review, but I simply can't bring myself to do it without a basic frequency response measurement.

Here's what's cooking.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 21, 2014 88 comments

As many of you know, Sean Olive and crew over at Harman International are developing a new target response curve for headphones. In this post I've modified InnerFidelity headphone measurements on a number of widely known headphones in order for you to have a first look at what the frequency response of headphones might look like with this new curve.

I'm thinking it's a pretty good start. What do you think?

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