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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 19 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
Audiophiles and vinyl playing Hipsters will "get it", but the consuming public won't know what to think.
49% (412 votes)
Consumers will understand the product, but will be lured away with active speakers of some kind, or Sonos-like systems.
14% (119 votes)
Too many wires...people hate wires these days.
6% (54 votes)
Whether they know it or not, a small integrated amp is just what most people need. This product has legs!
31% (262 votes)
Total votes: 847
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 24, 2014 12 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: Jun 19, 2014 10 comments

Headphone hobbyists are an ongoing source of amazement. A couple of years ago I spent a year measuring DIY headphones and the work was often very cool indeed. But this...I don't even know what to say.

Welcome to a couple of spectacular DIY electrostatic headphone builds by Chinsettawong!

John Grandberg Posted: Jun 17, 2014 11 comments

About the size of a roll of quarters—and far lighter—the Resonessence Labs Herus is a portable DSD capable USB DAC with onboard headphone amp. There's no way a tiny thing like that could actually be any good, right? That was my thinking when Resonessence offered to send one for review.

I figured I should try it anyway, and boy am I glad I did.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 13, 2014 214 comments
Register to win a set of Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-OX7AMP premium on-ear headphones with built-in amplifier (MSRP $299.95) we are giving away.

According to the company:

The ATH-OX7AMP on-ear headphones deliver premium sound through large 40 mm drivers and built-in, high-output amplifiers that enhance any type of musical selection, maximizing the detail and clarity of your music like never before. The amplifiers run on a AAA battery (included), however batteries are not necessary for audio output – the headphones operate normally regardless of battery power.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 13, 2014 30 comments
Oh boy. This one's going to be a tough one for me. I love the sound of the PM-1...heck I love almost everything about them. But they're not neutral, and many won't like them.

Oh we go...

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 10, 2014 9 comments

Well, that's it. A few closing remarks and we'll say goodbye to Newport until next year.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 10, 2014 12 comments

I love the Astell&Kern AK240, it sounds lovely and the user interface is to die for...unfortunately it's price way too high for mere mortals. Answer: two new lower cost models.

And yes...yes...yes, they have the same extraordinary UI as the AK240!


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