Tyll Hertsens Blog

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 30, 2014 15 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 11 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 19 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 35 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 33 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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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 22, 2014 4 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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