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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 28, 2012 13 comments
I've begun to think that the forward speed of technology is dramatically hindered by the battles over and the dancing around intellectual property rights. Samsung sneaked through the loophole by "not being cool enough", not that Samsung did it on purpose, but it kinda sucks that a design goal would have to be "be uncool" in order to not infringe on IP rights.

Microsoft is currently trying to beat up Motorola over use of the FAT file system in some current Droids, and just won a case in Germany forcing Motorola to remove product from shelves.

InnerFidelity runs on the Drupal open source content management system, which is configured to run on MySQL database management, Apache web server, and Linux OS, all free open source software solutions. Rockbox is a great little open source portable media player software. NwAvGuy's very competent O2 headphone amp design is offered under a Creative Commons open source-like license.

It's not that I have any anarchist or socialist motives here (though I do lean a little to the left), it just seems to me that big corporate developments may end up so hogtied with IP problems that open source projects may have a chance of catching up and exceeding the performance and adoption of corporate offerings. The price sure is right.

In addition to RockBox, I've used VortexBox as a home media server, it's not open source, per se, but it runs on Linux, which is part of the VortexBox distribution. My daughter's desktop is an Ubuntu Linux distribution, and she runs the Open Office software for her school work. Total software cost for her machine: $0.

So...will an open source model ever pass by the corporate model in number of installations? I'd love to hear about any open source audio stuff you use and your thoughts on the concept in general in the comments.

Will the open source model eventually beat the corporate model in some product categories?
ljokerl Posted: Jul 26, 2012 22 comments

If there is any one product to be credited with catalyzing my love of in-ear earphones, the HiFiMan RE0 is it. Over the years Dr. Fang Bian & co expanded the lineup to much more than just earphones, but the latest-gen RE-262 and RE-272 in-ears, like their progenitor, are audiophile fantasy through and through.

John Grandberg Posted: Jul 19, 2012 29 comments

Leckerton Audio offers a revised version of an old favorite. It's a portable amp with a built in DAC - featuring USB, coaxial, and toslink inputs. Plus it's fairly compact. And it's reasonably priced.

What's not to like?

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 17, 2012 28 comments

Woot! Making some serious progress on amp measurements. Many steps to go, of course, but the first major hurdle is to make measurements of NwAvGuy's O2 headphone amp and compare my measurements with his.

Looks like we're clearing this one!

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 14, 2012 22 comments
Historically, on single-sided headphones, the cord comes out of the left earpiece. I've always assumed it is so that right-handed people are less likely to get tangled up in the cable as they write. Well, the folks at NOCS have released a new on-ear headphone (NS700 Phaser) with the cable coming out of the right earpiece. I've heard through the grapevine that they claim it's because right-handed people can more easily get to the remote controls that way.

Part of me wants to tell NOCS to sit down in the boat and put the cable on the left where it belongs. Part of me thinks their reasoning is sound. Part of me thinks it just doesn't matter. But the biggest part of me just doesn't know what to think. What do you think?

Oh, and being left-handed I feel kinda jilted.

Should single-side headphone cables come out of the left or right earpiece?
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jul 12, 2012 25 comments
Sound quality is a big deal to me, and I've devoted a huge chunk of my life to the pursuit of great audio. My hi-fi costs as much as a nice car, but I'm no gear snob, and I love writing about great sounding budget gear. I've discovered a lot of new music over my Sirius Satellite Radio, music that would sound like crap over my hi-fi. That's why I play the tuner through my Tivoli PAL table radio. That little radio smoothes over the rough edges of Sirius' lousy, low bit rate sound. So even for a hard-core audiophile, lo-fi is sometimes the right fi. The best playback device isn't always the most accurate playback device, not by a long shot. What follows is a meditation on good sound, and why it's such a rare commodity.
John Grandberg Posted: Jul 09, 2012 40 comments

Germany's Lake People refreshes their entire lineup of G-series headphone amps, with a focus shifted towards home users rather than just studios. I check out the lowest and the highest cost models in the series to see how they compare.

Wait, back up a second - Lake People who?

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 06, 2012 12 comments

It wasn't until I told Ivy Burford (now CEO of HeadRoom and after working together for a dozen years or more is someone who knows me very well) about my upcoming Red Oxx luggage review that I got the straight scoop what my motives might be.

"I've always thought you had a bit of a bag fetish," she said.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 01, 2012 18 comments

July is upon us. Time to break out the IEMs and portable gear, and go for a motorcycle ride in the mountains. Not quite yet, though, lots of stuff to do this month, and lots of measurements to report from the last couple of months.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 28, 2012 10 comments

Goodness gracious! I'm just blown away by the new B&W P3. It's absolutely gorgeous, ergonomics are stellar, and build quality unparalleled. It's really quite an accomplishment to make a headphone this small this beautiful.

I'm troubled by the sound, though.

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