LATEST ADDITIONS

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments

We saw the early prototypes last year at this time, and now the new Fostex TH500RP is available for sale! This new headphone is the latest in the long-lived line of Fostex planar-magnetic designs that includes the much loved by DIYers T50RP. The TH500RP uses a similar driver further refined for this introduction, and also inherits some of it's mechanical structures from from their TH-900/600 series of headphones.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 15, 2014 2 comments
Earlier this year at CES I reported on the Aurisonics Rocket and their Kickstarter campaign. Well the cycle is almost complete with the first production Rockets currently slated to ship to backers on November 17.

The Rockets are built like a tank, and the sound is quite good!

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 14, 2014 4 comments

Most headphone enthusiasts have likely not heard of Concert Fidelity, a small Japanese company specializing in high-end home audio gear. Well, this year at a couple of Head-Fi and LAOC Audiophile society meetings, Concert Fidelity has been showing prototypes of a new line of headphone amplifier products to garner feedback on their development efforts. I wasn't there at the time, but Warren Chi told me impressions were quite positive. Evidently, positive enough that Masataka Tsuda, President and CEO, forged ahead to produce pre-production units to show off at RMAF and gain a last bit of feedback prior to their product offering, which should be available by year's end.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 14, 2014 5 comments
Yet another offering from CEntrance ridding enthusiast listeners from the need to strap together a block of portable gear (their Glove Audio products do a similar thing for the AK100/120), the i5 promises iPhone protection, extra battery life, and significantly improved sound while retaining that all important characteristic for a phone: the ability to put the damned thing in your pocket!
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 13, 2014 8 comments

No motorcycle ride for me this year, just an hour and a half in the aluminum sky tube, and *bink* I'm in Denver. Now a little taxi ride and I'll be among my people. I wonder what they've created this year?

Ha! Quite a bit more than I expected, for sure!

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 08, 2014 9 comments

And so it begins....

Looks like a chock-o-block full plate of headphone and personal audio companies showing up for CanJam at RMAF this year. So many, in fact, that they've had to expand the CanJam ballroom to now include exhibitors out in the atrium area. It's going to be hard for the old guard audiophiles to miss us now!

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 06, 2014 26 comments
Many will be aware of Magnepan and their speakers, for which they've coined and registered the name "Magneplanar" referring to their planar magnetic operating principle. Most won't know, however, that Yamaha similarly branded their planar magnetic headphones as "Orthodynamic" headphones, with a U.S. introduction in 1976. Just like with planar magnetic speakers, Yamaha's Orthodynamic headphones (and those by Fostex, MB Quart, and others) never gathered a wide following, but both have gathered cults of rabid fans...with good reason, as it turns out.
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 03, 2014 92 comments
While the X2 shares a lot in common with the X1 at first glance, deeper investigation reveals significant changes and real improvements with this new release. The X2 is an excellent headphone...yes, even for audiophiles...maybe especially for audiophiles. For the first time, in a long time, I think we've got a headphone to rival the Sennheiser HD 600 in the mid-priced open headphone category. Yes, I think it's that good.
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 30, 2014 33 comments
Holy Moly! Been reading a lot lately on headphone design...how much is actually getting absorbed as knowledge in my brain is another story entirely. This. Stuff. Is. Complicated.

It's come to my attention over the last week or so as I've been working on my review of the Philips Fidelio X2 that my understanding of headphone measurements is severely lacking. For example, I had been making the assumption that that when we find the right target curve for headphones, it would have some sort of elegant beauty, and that it would be broadly applicable.

And then I got the X2.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 26, 2014 25 comments
The Oppo PM-2 was released not long after the Oppo PM-1 as a lower cost alternative. The PM-2 forgoes the fancy presentation box, extra ear-pads, and balanced cable, leaving the denim clam-shell case, short mobile cable, and longe unbalanced cable (OFC instead of OCC) as the included accessories. On the headphones themselves, ear-pads and headband pad coverings switch from lamb-skin to synthetic leather, and a couple of the trim pieces on the ear capsule are now plastic instead of metal. All told, I think these were excellent choices in creating a lower cost version of the PM-1.

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