InnerFidelity's First Birthday!

Thank You Dear Reader
When I started writing InnerFidelity a year ago this April Fool's Day, I knew I had plenty to say. I've been professionally involved with headphones for 20 years, and I had a bunch of stuff to talk about. What I wasn't sure of, however, was whether it would be of interest to others. Enough to make it worthwhile, that is.

I knew there was a need for honest and expert headphone reviews--it makes me crazy reading blurbs of praise for a headphone I know to be mediocre--and I knew everybody bought headphones, so product evaluation as job one is a good start to big numbers. But my heart is in the hobby, and the world of headphone enthusiasm covers far more ground than just commercially available headphones. Contentious topics like headphone break-in and the effects of cables warrant coverage. DIYers would benefit from getting their headphones measured. Headphone gear at trade shows and big meets needs a voice. The question remained though, "Will enough people be interested?"

Fortunately, a lot of you have come along for the ride. Thank you...you've made it worthwhile. I deeply appreciate your interest. I love the enthusiasm for headphone listening in all its forms. I've always thought music through headphones was amazing when done well, and most people should get that. I think we're well on the way.

A Look at the Numbers
Advertising pays for InnerFidelity. Fortunately, I have nothing to do with that. My job is to create content of interest, and create the pageviews in which ads can be displayed. My job at InnerFidelity is lots of pageviews.

Here's the month-by-month pageviews for the last year.
20120401_AnnualUpdate_pageviews

The seasonal bump in Nov. Dec. and Jan. is from Christmas and CES traffic.

And the numbers:
20120401_AnnualUpdate_pageviewnumbers

To put that into context, Stereophile regularly exceeds two million pageviews per month. InnerFidelity is doing well, but real success starts at a million pageview per month. So, I've got a way to go.

A Closer Look at the Traffic
I have two main groups of people I need to interest: enthusiasts and consumers. Both are vitally important. It's rather natural for me to write with the enthusiasts in mind because I am one. Mainly, I just write about things that interest me and assume it will also interest other enthusiasts. Traffic from enthusiasts linking in to InnerFidelity from other headphone related sites will help significantly in search engine rankings because Google looks at traffic patterns and content topics to strengthen search results. Google knows Head-Fi is about headphones and is an important headphone site. When Google sees lots of traffic between Head-Fi (and other headphone forums) and InnerFidelity, it assumes InnerFidelity is also a quality headphone site, and my search rankings will improve.

Unfortunately, as big as Head-Fi and the headphone community is worldwide (and it is big) it's not nearly as big as the consumer headphone world--everybody buys headphones...everybody. InnerFidelity search rankings have to compete with the likes of Amazon, J&R, B&H, Apple, Sony, Sennheiser, Monster, and many other popular internet headphone related brands. To create big numbers, I have to create content that really interests consumers. If they come to InnerFidelity and see a bunch of geeky graphs, they'll just bounce away...and Google will see that and knock down my rankings. The good news is that consumers just want clear, concise reviews about headphones, which is something enthusiasts want as well. (I just have to sneak in the geeky stuff.)

Here is the chart showing the domains from which people come to InnerFidelity. 20120401_AnnualUpdate_InnerFideityreferingdomain

As you can see, Google.com (US) is the largest referrer with 24% of all incoming traffic. Foreign Google domains also litter the list. Thank you Google!

A full 10% of all incoming referred traffic arrive by clicking on a link below on of my YouTube videos. I'm rather astounded by that. All I really wanted to do was put a little video for human interest at the bottom of my reviews, but it turns out that the YouTube channel is a spectacular way to get the word out to the broader public about good headphones.

Head-Fi also figures in strongly with 6% of referred traffic coming from links in posts. Thank you for you links in! That's an important traffic source for InnerFidelity search rankings. I'll continue to work hard creating content worthy of your interest.

Visitors to InnerFidelity are roughly split into thirds, with one third arriving from search engines; one third arriving from links in other pages; and one third arriving from a browser bookmark. Just over half of all people coming to InnerFidelity are return visitors. Again, thank you so much for visiting regularly.

Next, let's have a look at what pages people are viewing. Below is a table showing the number of views of the various pages at InnerFidelity.
20120401_AnnualUpdate_InnerFideitypopularpages

Obviously, the home page heads the list with 17% of all arriving traffic. But look what's next! 4% of all traffic on InnerFidelity is people looking at the headphone datasheet download page! When I started this venture, I was cautioned by people familiar with Stereophile traffic that measurements didn't get a lot of pageviews. Ha! The success of the measurement program has surprised a lot of people. I can tell you that interest in headphone measurements has gotten the attention of management, and they are behind me 100% in continuing and improving the program. Woot!

The next five entries are category pages that are linked in the top navigation bar, but look at what comes in as the highest viewed product page at number 8: The Monster Beats by Dre Solo! Here again is the power of the broad public. The "World Class Headphones" article did very well, as did the "Celebrity Headphone Deathmatch." It's important for InnerFidelity to cover popular headphones so new readers can be exposed to better headphone alternatives.

Let's have a look at the YouTube channel numbers.

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COMMENTS
boniceman's picture

I wont believe anything until you make the review about the Mixrs! I hope you can make a review on the upcoming Monster T1 too!

Bob's picture

Congrats I've been a reader of your blogs and reviews since 1993...God are we old!!

michael held's picture

I got to know your writing and great video reviews here on Innerfidelity and I am loving it. More please!
Wishing you all the best for the 2nd year and hopefully a million page views/month by next CES.

jt_to's picture

I've been a big fan for a while
Congrats and high hopes for InnerFidelity
Cheers

bigb121074's picture

Great to see InnerFidelity prospering, Tyll. You are a true credit and pioneer of the headphone enthusiast community. I wish you many more years of success!

Negakinu's picture

Congratulations! The cake is hideous! The Youtube comments are hilarious! Your shirt is out of this world! Not sure if that's a good thing! Keep it up! :D

mikeaj's picture

Keep it up Tyll. Thanks for a lot of interesting reviews and all the data. And it's just been a year!

Now that cake is no lie and actually looks pretty decent IMHO, but I notice it's rotated 180 degrees compared to the site logo at the top. On a side note, is there a reason both that and the site logo are rotated relative to the usual yin-yang symbol (Taijitu)? Maybe ask the webmaster? hah.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
The 90 degree rotation from the normal symbol is so that the dots look like eyes. The 180 rotation is ... well, I can be a bit thick at times.
plin's picture

Congratulations!
I believe that you are an honest audiophile site. That deserves much praise and a bright future!

Captfantastic's picture

When you stop and think how we listen to our music in this fast and crazy paced world, the importance of headphones, and thus Innerfidelity can not be over estimated. It's obvious that Tyll loves what he is doing and has the experience and talent to keep us challenged and educated. I am determined to steer 10 new friends to Innerfidelity, let's all do it! The future will be that much better for all of us!

Congrats and thanks again Tyll!

tds101's picture

Since I discovered the site a few months ago I've really gotten some get info on some great hp's. Keep it up, and I hope to be coming to this site for many more years to come!!!

Jazz Casual's picture

Tyll, the PS1000's midrange is clearly recessed in your latest frequency response measurement compared to the HeadRoom version where it looks pretty flat. I'm just wondering what the reason for this notable variation might be, apart from the obvious one that you've measured two different production models of the PS1000.

germansok's picture

HEY Tyll!! I can't contain the excitement for the DIY Headphone contest results to come out!!! Just wondering if you're getting closer.

Jared Lichtnberg

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I bet you know this by now, it's up. And your Thundersticks won a prize! :)
RPGWiZaRD's picture

I'd almost bet those 4% views of data measurements have to come from me LOL. No seriously I love the huge list of measurements, it's a huge aid for me as frequency response balance especially is an important factor if I'll like a headphone or not and since I know roughly my ideal curve by now, at least it helps me excluding certain headphones from my interest-list.

I can't believe it's only been up for only one year, feels like it's been around longer.

Oh and please test Panasonic HTF600 (you were impressed with Monoprice 8323 for the price, well these are even better sounding for just marginally higher price) as well as M-Audio Q40, you'll be very impressed by both, 99% sure. :)

RPGWiZaRD's picture

Any chance of occasionally also writing some news in scene of upcoming products or other interesting stuff related. For example I saw BeyerDynamic will launch a new series of "Custom" Headphones with adjustable bass port/open/closed design. Reading about such stuff would be interesting too.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Got a linky?
RPGWiZaRD's picture

http://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/press/press-releases/press-detail/...

and

http://www.beyerdynamic.de/custom/index.php?l=1

Enjoy, I personally find this very interesting, not just about the headphones but BeyerDynamic's decision to open a series targeted to a whole different market than they're used to. These are quite special, I mean 16 ohm drivers, adjustable venting (you get both a fully closed and an open-back headphone in one package), easily replacable cable (I don't know if I understood it right but it may be 3 different cables for it), custom shields (I never expected to live long enough to see the day when Beyer does that, nothing I personally I'm in need for but I find it funny that Beyer does it of all manufacturers haha).

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Thanks man, very interesting. I'll try to get my hands on some.
ultrabike's picture

Coolness!

13mh13's picture

The PLAIN version ...
are some ...of the most-attractive cans I've seen. Wonder if these fukcers are Tesla?

But LOL, from the bd site:

"Made in Germany: Handcrafted premium quality."

LOFL!

Head-Direct -- Made in China. Home of the Great Wall -- one of the most durable structures made by Man. Too they can't put QC into their SmartPhones and DAPs. But Germany's ICE train had that 100+ killer in 1998...

-- a complete engineering embarrassment, espc. since neighboring France's Germanless engineering has a great high-speed TRACK record. !kcuF.

Amtrak, anyone ...

http://www.trainweb.org/vangab/bigbayou.htm
"This is by far Amtrak's worst accident. At 2:53 a.m. on September 22, 1993, the Sunset Limited (#2), Amtrak's only transcontinental passenger train, plunged into Big Bayou Canot fourteen miles north of Mobile, Alabama, killing 42 passengers and 5 crew members (three in the locomotive and two dining car workers in the dorm car). Eight minutes earlier at 2:45 a.m., a towboat, pushing six barges and lost in a dense fog, unknowingly bumped into Big Bayou Canot Bridge, knocking the track out of alignment, causing the train to derail and plunge into the mucky waters of the bayou. Locomotive P40 #819 was about 3 weeks old when it was destroyed in the accident. The three locomotive, baggage car, trans/dorm, and first two coaches ended up in the swampy waters while the third coach (34040) was left hanging off the end of the bridge."

Buy USA ... so ...

Grado, anyone? Sucky sound -- with or w/o mod. But US cust serv. is #1. Who cares if you pay 2x for Apple.

13mh13's picture

Tyll rubbed off ...

ultrabike's picture

This picture probably brings Tyll bad memories. It is clear that the man is a recovering Gradoholic.

ultrabike's picture

If you want to pick on the new Beyerdynamics I would say the 16 ohm impedance is rather odd. It seems that is being marketed as a way to get superior SPL, but one has to be aware that this can be a problem with some players, and that Beyer has to deal with the fact that they are being labeled as bright cans...

13mh13's picture

dunno ... methinks 16-ohm for portable (is that what you meant by high SPL?). But why mkt HIGH end this way?? Maybe mostly mkting... sell to iPhone crowd first, generate a bunch of positive reviews ... then release 600-ohm later for REAL head-fi'ers and amp users... that seems to follow BD's past 'strategy'.
'Bright'? I haven't heard all cans ... but 880 and 990 are, IMO, not bright. Not compared to 701 and Grado anyway.

ultrabike's picture

Well, Beyer is marketing 16-ohm for "Maximum performance and maximum output":

http://europe.beyerdynamic.com/custom/

The thing is that for my Sansa Zip (1 ohm output impedance), 16-ohms is not bad. But for the Ipod, it might be a bit harder (7 ohm impedance):

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sansa-clip-measured.html

As far as bright, it is relative indeed. I have the DT990 Pro 250 ohm, and they are a little bright to my taste (so I usually listen at moderate levels to keep things right). A coworker of mine has both the SR60 and the HD518 in his office, and I had a listen. His Grados where definitively brighter than my DT990s, but his HD518 here laid back in comparison, and you could crank up the volume and it would only sound better (we also lowered the volume and the HD518 started to loose the upper hand)... We kind of expected it so we might have been biased.

I was about to sell my DT990s, but decided to keep them because the do sound really well, and may eventually find it in me to mod them electronically,... may not.

I think Beyer is a solid company... I just feel the 16-ohm decision on the new line is a little risky... We'll see :)

13mh13's picture

Hvn't heard all BD but they seem to be all over the map WRT sonics, not e.g. like Senn. While my nonbright dt990 were purch'd in ~1990, my 1993 dt911 ARE considerably brighter than any BD I've heard. Senn cans -- my earliest from mid 80s, up to the latest -- seem much more consistent. Agree BD is solid.

Jazz Casual's picture

I was surprised Tyll that it didn't qualify for your world-class headphone comparison.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Check out the measurements. Lots of high frequency hash there. I don't like 'em.
davidgotsa's picture

Keep up the good work Tyll!

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