Filed under
Steve Guttenberg Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 19, 2013 47 comments

Steve Guttenberg and I talk on the phone fairly regularly. One reoccurring topic is about how and why headphones have or haven't penetrated various markets, and in particular, why aren't they getting more attention from traditional audiophiles.

We thought it would be fun to share a recent conversation with you.

Filed under
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 17, 2013 27 comments

It's a thought that's been on my mind quite a bit lately. I don't like this seeming division between the audiophile and headphile worlds. I don't like the commonly held belief that high-end speaker audio is somehow superior to high-end headphone listening. I don't like that headphone exhibits at trade shows are being segregated in a separate but equal sort of way. I don't like that high-end retailers seem to be turning a blind eye toward headphone listening gear.

I the divide real? Is it simply not there, and we just drag our historic perspectives around with us? Or is it real and we just have to deal with the differences? Is our market in need of some restructuring to see what's really there? Does the headphone market need to mature more to properly integrate with the traditional high-end market? Or is the high-end market out of step and in need of a wake-up call to the benefits of personal audio?

Or maybe we're all looking at it wrong. Maybe the 15 year old kid with a hundred bucks in his pocket looking for a good headphone is just as much an audio enthusiast as as the 52 year old looking to plonk down $100,000 on a pair of speakers. Maybe we need to redefine the "high-end market" as the "audio enthusiast market" and act accordingly.

I've got more thoughts, but I wanted to throw this idea out there as an opportunity for you to comment and tell me what you think. The poll is pretty limiting, to be sure, so please feel expand on your thoughts in the comments.

Poll: What, if anything, divides headphiles and audiophiles?
Silly boy, you're imagining things, there is no divide.
14% (195 votes)
There is a divide...and it's all in our heads. Marketers, magazines, and retailers just need to capitalize on change.
14% (198 votes)
Gear is changing, differences between personal and high-end audio equipment is real, and the gear should be treated differently.
19% (267 votes)
Dummy, don't use gear to draw lines, the scale is sound quality...period!
30% (415 votes)
High-end audio market players are protectionists. New markets scare them, so they're blocking progress with a blind eye.
14% (198 votes)
Don't be a conspiracy theorist idiot. Rome wasn't built in a day. Patience grasshopper.
9% (128 votes)
Total votes: 1401
Filed under
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 13, 2013 36 comments

Last week I had the great pleasure of being invited (along with Jude Mansilla of and Michael Ting and Lieven Vranken of to Philips Innovation Lab in Leuven, Belgium. We were treated to a spectacularly interesting and invigorating presentation of Philip's efforts to re-establish themselves as a premier supplier of audio/video gear in general, and headphones in particular, in the 21st century.

To me, it's a story of corporate will, and the power that comes with large corporate resources and talented, clear-thinking researchers. It's a story of what it takes to turn a huge ship towards a new destination.

John Grandberg Posted: Sep 04, 2013 5 comments

The V5 wireless speaker from Wren Sound—it looks great, is full of features, and sounds pretty good too. But is it worth the $399 asking price? As is often the case in life, the answer is "it depends".

ljokerl Posted: Aug 31, 2013 44 comments

The RE-400 debuted in early 2013, offering the same type of accurate dynamic-driver sound that has become synonymous with HiFiMan earphones. The RE-600, released just recently, is billed as an all-around upgrade but carries a hefty price tag of $399—four times what the RE-400 costs. Let's see what each of them has to offer.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 26, 2013 32 comments
InnerFidelity writers are busy writing basic introductory content for the Ultimate Headphone Guide. In this article, Tyll introduces the headphone hobby to the n00bs.
Filed under
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 26, 2013 4 comments
Scott Wilkinson has kindly asked me to join him on his "Home Theater Geeks" over on to talk about DTS Headphone-X and the new headphone target response curves in the works at Harman and Canada's NRC Labs.

The show will be broadcast on live TODAY, Monday, Aug 26, 5PM EST, 2 PM PST. I hope you'll join in to view. If you log into the chat session you can ask questions and watch people comment on the dialog as it happens. Quite fun, I really enjoy doing it.

Both audio and video will be available afterward on the Home Theater Geek page on TWiT; for real Podcast is available through iTunes here.

See you then!

ljokerl Posted: Aug 21, 2013 12 comments

InnerFidelity writers are busy writing basic introductory content for the Ultimate Headphone Guide. In this article, Joker gives his guidance on inserting in-ear monitors.

John Grandberg Posted: Aug 19, 2013 19 comments

InnerFidelity writers are busy writing basic introductory content for the Ultimate Headphone Guide. In this article, John Grandberg explains the importance of hearing safety.

Skylab Posted: Aug 18, 2013 10 comments

InnerFidelity writers are busy writing basic introductory content for the Ultimate Headphone Guide. Our second entry? Skylab writes about the need for a headphone amp.


Enter your InnerFidelity username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.