Tyll Hertsens Blog

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 30, 2014 33 comments
Holy Moly! Been reading a lot lately on headphone design...how much is actually getting absorbed as knowledge in my brain is another story entirely. This. Stuff. Is. Complicated.

It's come to my attention over the last week or so as I've been working on my review of the Philips Fidelio X2 that my understanding of headphone measurements is severely lacking. For example, I had been making the assumption that that when we find the right target curve for headphones, it would have some sort of elegant beauty, and that it would be broadly applicable.

And then I got the X2.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 24, 2014 2 comments
You may remember me mentioning previously that InnerFidelity's parent company, The Enthusiast Network, likes to use social media to attract attention for their web properties. I've had a few meetings with the social media experts at TEN, and they've sent me some best practices guides.

Okie dokie, they want it, I'll do it. Seems to me a good chance to float out stuff that may hold a bit of interest but doesn't warrant space in these pages..and guess what? I am having a bit of fun.

Anywho, all you Facebookers out there who want to keep up with my fluffy musings may want to go to the InnerFidelity Facebook page and give it a look and a like. I'll be posting there daily.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 12, 2014 27 comments
So, I'm finishing up my Sennheiser Urbanite review (it'll go up Monday) and low and behold they've opened up the Urbanite micro-site.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Genius or insanity, I can't really tell...I'm not the target audience.

Funny? Maybe. Weird? Definitely.

Click here if you dare.

Make sure to play the movie at the top of the page. Strangest headphone advert ever!

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 11, 2014 6 comments
Obviously, Adriana Duque's perspective on headphones is quite different than mine.

And far more colorful and imaginative.

I thought they were oddly soothing. More pictures here.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 03, 2014 59 comments

Lots of stuff happening behind the scene's at InnerFidelity these days.

I can't tell all, but I can tell some.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 30, 2014 23 comments
Lots of new headphones measured. Most of the Beats by Dre line; the Master&Dynamic MH40; the HiFiMAN HE-560; three Stax cans; lots of Oppo pad measurements; and much more!
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 25, 2014 12 comments

A complete and exhaustive look at the history of headphones? No.

But I learned some things and enjoyed it.

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: Jul 30, 2014 43 comments
A short film from Audio Precision demonstrating the current state-of-the-art for headphone measurements does a good job of showing why we need the work being done at Harman to improve a standardized headphone target response curve.
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 28, 2014 34 comments
I'm working on a product review and find myself in need of a little information and was hoping you'd help out with a little click. Don't want to taint the poll with any bias, so I'll ask the question here without the reason I'm asking...sorry. The review should be up in a couple of weeks.

How often do you listen to headphones in bed?
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 14, 2014 69 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 18 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 11 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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