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Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 16, 2013 19 comments

Newcomer to the headphone amp world is Slovenian company Erzetich Audio. CEO Blaz Erzetich started the company last September but has been working in audio for almost 25 years, and it shows in his gear.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 16, 2013 1 comments

Furutech's Alpha Design Labs sub-brand has slowly but surely been embracing personal audio with a very interesting mix of headphone products. I really like the direction they're going.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 16, 2013 11 comments

You know what's funny about this job? You travel half way around the world and then talk to people you know well. Fang is one of those people. I'm thinking I should go to China one of these days and talk to him again.

Anyway, HiFiMAN had a couple of cool dynamic IEMs that were a good listen. Check it out.

Ed. Note: I've posted my show impressions for Stereophile, you can read them here.

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Jon Iverson Posted: May 10, 2013 130 comments
Register to win a set of Skullcandy Navigator Headphones (MSRP $99.95) we are giving away.

According to the company:

The Navigator is the next generation of a highly sophisticated concept from Skullcandy. The original designed on-ear headphones allow for next level listening with an optimized sound package. The construction is lightweight in design and engineered to deliver extremely smooth frequencies through tightly controlled bass, natural vocals and precision highs. The Navigator features a unified headband and hinge construction offering increased durability with the ability to collapse for convenient stashability.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 10, 2013 18 comments
Woot! Off I go to Munich's 2013 High End Show! The weather cooperated, so lots of pix of downtown Munich before the show, and little introduction to what's ahead.
John Grandberg Tyll Hertsens ljokerl Steve Guttenberg Dinny FitzPatrick Posted: May 04, 2013 48 comments

It's extremely hard to compare custom IEMs. Few users have more than one pair, so direct personal comparisons are rare. They can't be measured by InnerFidelity because they don't fit in the measurement head's ears. What to do?

Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead! In this review 5 InnerFidelity writers, blessed with the generosity of manufacturers willing to put their ToTL CIEMs through the ringer do a massive comparative review of 24 of the worlds best custom in-ear monitors.


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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 30, 2013 205 comments
Register to win a Logic3 Scuderia P200 Headphone (MSRP $249.00) we are giving away.

Sporty design inspired by the passion of the Scuderia Ferrari racing team, the P200 has incorporated design cues from the pits headphones used by the Ferrari F1 team. Robust machined crafted metal arms and carbon fibre textures to ensure durability and quality. Vented 50mm dynamic drivers with internal reflectors for ultimate performance, natural musical timbre and ultra-bass. Ultra-Soft ear pads constructed from enhanced breathable materials to ensure maximum comfort. Includes a Scuderia Ferrari carry case trimmed in carbon fibre texture for additional protection and compact storage. Anti-tangle and detachable in-line remote cables trimmed in woven fabric.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 29, 2013 15 comments

The Oculus Rift is coming on strong...I want. A subwoofer for headphones? Yupper! Golden Ears is putting their headphone measurements to good use. More about mind reading headsets. New cans from KEF, B&O, and Skullcandy. DIY headphones are starting to appear, I can't wait for a serious attempt.

Dinny FitzPatrick Posted: Apr 25, 2013 24 comments

In many ways, the Essence One confounded my sonic expectations. It was disappointing with the phones with which I thought it would mate perfectly and soared with the phones I thought would break its back. This, folks, is why we actually need to listen to this stuff.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 19, 2013 32 comments

Evidently I've been wrangled into hosting the headphone panel discussion at THE Show Newport May 31-June 2. (SoCal readers might like to attend this show as they've really tried to put a special emphasis on headphone listening and will have a dedicated headphone area.) So, I've been thinking about how to create a topic for discussion that might be worth while. I've come up with "Headphones: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Where are we, and where are we going?"

It seems to me we are the verge of big things happening in the world of headphones. One might say big things have already been happening what with the double digit growth in the market over the last five years and new players appearing at breakneck speed, but I think that's just the first salvo. With Beats tenaciously holding on to 2/3rds of the over $100 headphone market, I can only believe we'll be seeing many of these recent entries bowing back out as they are unable to capture enough of the 1/3rd market share remaining to make the effort worth while. (Phonak has recently pulled the Audeo brand, for example.)

So, a lot of pieces have been placed on the board, and I'm curious what readers think will happen over the next 5 years or so. Here's a poll with a number of possible futures, no doubt it's incomplete. Please vote for what you think is the closest option, but feel free to let your thoughts run wild in the comments area.

The Pessimist: Beats share may slowly dwindle, but it's place will be taken by more of the same with little regard for sound quality.

The Optimist: The public will slowly become aware of the value of good sound quality, and old guard makers like Sennheiser, AKG, Sony, etc, will gradually regain market share.

The Realist: Nothing particularly dramatic will happen, but the headphone market will become more sophisticated and complex over time, and all significant public interests will be served.

The Futurist: Products like the Google Glass and Oculus Rift will move attention away from audio only headphones significantly.

The Technologist: New types of headphone drivers, and the companies that develop them, will come along and take market share from legacy companies unable to change rapidly enough to remain competitive.

It's a jungle out there. Who will survive?


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