Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 22, 2016 20 comments
"Value packed" is not a word I typically use to describe a headphone. I really thought the Beyerdynamic DTX 350 m was great for the money; definitely a good value...but not packed with value. Sennheiser's HD 600 is an extraordinary value...but no carry case; doesn't have a mic/remote; isn't useful portably. Still a great headphone and an extraordinary value, but packed with value? Okay, maybe. HD 800 S? Great headphone, but no friggen way anything over $700 is "value packed." The Quiet Comfort 35, on the other hand? Oh yeah, this thing will be a delightful traveling companion with technological, comfort, convenience, and solid sound quality characteristics abundantly.
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 20, 2016 11 comments
Currently in the midst of a review, but needed to find a little something to post so I cruised over to my headphone news feed for a look-see. Kind of a boring week in headphone news, but one fun post came up so I said, "Meh, why not do a little news?"
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 18, 2016 24 comments
Far be it for me to fuel the hype train...but this particular one appears to be an inter-city express on seamless rails screaming into our future at 350km/hr. I'm hopping aboard...even though I don't know exactly where we'll end up. Who cares when the tunes are this good. Roll on!
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 15, 2016 6 comments
Were it not for the fact that I'm about to tell you so, there's nothing that would clue you in: The Beyerdynamic DTX 350 m ($59) looks about like any cheap plastic headphone you might run across at WalMart...but beauty runs deep with this one. Check it out.
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 13, 2016 8 comments
Doppler Labs' Here One earbuds gives you control over how you perceive the world. Credit: Doppler Labs

In "Why wearables will replace your smartphone", Mike Elgan of Computerworld suggests:

With the rise of virtual assistants and bots, we'll increasingly talk to our smartphones through wearables instead of poking at their screens. Notifications and updates will be spoken to us through our wireless earbuds. Haptics will nudge and inform us with increasingly sophisticated vibrations. The electronics now used in smartglasses will vanish inside ordinary looking glasses and sunglasses, and we'll use them to take photos and videos with a tap or swipe to see high-resolution mixed- and augmented-reality images.

I've written such things too—it is coming. But the thing that's started to grind on me since I've started thinking about it is: Would I wear such a thing all the time? I mean, if you're really going to keep the thing in your pocket or purse...if you're really going to have it track your steps and pulse rate...if you're really not going to have the damned phone in your hands all the time, well, you're going to have to wear the smart headphones all day long every day. I don't know if I could...or even want to do that. I'm curious, what about you?

Would You Wear Smart Headphones All Day Long?
I'm not the Bionic Man you're looking for. No way.
59% (26 votes)
Under some circumstances, sure. But not all the time.
27% (12 votes)
I'm curious; it would be fun. Maybe I'd get sucked in. Not sure.
9% (4 votes)
Heck yeah, connected 24/7, no need to pull my phone out of my pocket. In!
5% (2 votes)
Total votes: 44
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 11, 2016 10 comments

Measurement rig has been off-line some as I disassembled it for head measurements at Harman. Fortunately, the headphones didn't stop coming in and I've finally managed to dig my way through the pile.

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 07, 2016 37 comments
Headphones will never have the visceral impact and imaging of speakers. And speakers will forever be trying to play catch-up with the resolution of headphones...and will find themselves falling further and further behind as time goes on.
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 05, 2016 11 comments
Incipio? Really? A cell-phone case maker? Sure, they may have a good distribution system, but I bet they don't have point of purchase displays in skateboard/snowboard shops. I'd hate to see the Skullcandy brand stamped blithely on cheap plastic crap.
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 02, 2016 10 comments
Originating with the Foster OEM design (model 443741, page H-4 of this .pdf) and seeing the light of day first as the Denon AD-H1001, then the Creative Aurvana Live! (CAL!), this model has now been refreshed as the E-Mu Walnut. This is a lovely example of a company—in this case Creative Technologies in the form of its subsidiary company E-Mu Systems—recognizing they have a solid-performer on their hands, and incrementally improving it. I wish I saw this more often.
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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 30, 2016 31 comments
Audiophiles are rejoicing.

"I told you so! I told you so! I told you so!", they chant.

A recent paper published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society titled "A Meta-Analysis of High Resolution Audio Perceptual Evaluation" by Joshua D. Reiss concludes:

In summary, these results imply that, though the effect is perhaps small and difficult to detect, the perceived fidelity of an audio recording and playback chain is affected by operating beyond conventional consumer oriented levels. Furthermore, though the causes are still unknown, this perceived effect can be confirmed with a variety of statistical approaches and it can be greatly improved through training.