LATEST ADDITIONS

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 08, 2017  |  1 comments
Not long ago I wrote enthusiastically about the Bose SoundWear Companion neck-worn speaker. It was my first experience with such a device and it was, and continues to be, a very pleasant one. Way better than I expected. So, I figured I should look into some of the other options for this new type of device.

JBL was kind enough to send me their Soundgear—a $100 less expensive alternative to the Bose. Having experience only one other device of this type, it's probably best just to compare and contrast the JBL directly with the Bose for this review.

Bob Katz  |  Dec 06, 2017  |  29 comments
So today we'll pick up on this principle and briefly compare the sound qualities of six very different headphone amplifiers, concentrating on their headroom, impact, perceived loudness, detail, and depth. Then, in the next episode, I'll try to make sense of the listening and see if there is any correlation between what we measure and what we hear. Don't expect a miracle—listening versus measurements is an ongoing debate, but in Episode 22 I promise to reveal some tantalizing clues!
Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 04, 2017  |  11 comments
And BOOM! Acoustic Research, a brand long recognised amongst audio enthusiasts, shows up with their new planar magnetic AR-H1 at CanJam at RMAF 2017. Color me surprised!
Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 01, 2017  |  31 comments
In the midst of reviewing the new Acoustic Research AR-H1 I found myself feeling the need to compare it to other open headphones newly relevant to the price point.

*doorbell rings*

Sweet! Sennheiser's new HD 660 S on the stoop.

Tyll Hertsens, Jana Dagdagan  |  Nov 29, 2017  |  14 comments
When Jana Dagdagan, Stereophile's Editorial Coordinator, told me she was planning a trip out to Bozeman to shoot videos we had a long conversation about what kinds of things we could shoot. One of her ideas was a Q&A session. I thought that was a cool idea and we started brainstorming questions. O.M.G. She thought of some doozies. Some of then I just flat out said, "No way, I'm not going to answer that." Fortunately she managed to convince me to leave most of them in.
Bob Katz  |  Nov 27, 2017  |  35 comments
These specifications confuse consumers, who would be forced to use logarithms and equations to answer the basic questions. We need to make headphone sensitivity and amplifier level specs more user-friendly, useable, interchangeable and effective. So I think it's high time to ditch both sensitivity approaches, and we can do better than both Sennheiser and the IEC if we start thinking outside the box!
Tyll Hertsens, Bob Katz, John Grandberg, Grover Neville  |  Nov 24, 2017  |  12 comments

'Tis the season!

Noodling around for some gift ideas for the audio lover in your life? InnerFidelity writers did a little noodling for you and are happy to present you our "2017 InnerFidelity Gift Guide."

Enjoy!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 21, 2017  |  59 comments
Just bumped into this patent from Microsoft for an ultra-thin 3.5mm headphone jack. Basically it uses elastic panels to allow the jack to expand around the plug as it's inserted. Actually seems like a good idea to me as it may give a little and prevent strain induced failure of the jack. Maybe there's hope for 3.5mm jacks on future smartphones.

Look, I have no desire to get all schmoopy about the mini-plug...as it often used to be called. When I worked as an audio repair technician at a Santa Cruz stereo store, the most common failure of Walkmans was the jack itself—followed closely by sand in the gears...it's a beach town. Anybody out there who never had a 3.5mm jack go bad on them?

*crickets*

None the less, I have a hard time thinking of a world without a 3.5mm TRS plug. The installed base is huge. My iPhone7 has pissed me off numerous times when I didn't have the jack adapter handy. OTOH, wireless headphones are outselling wired ones. I'm conflicted; I really wonder what's going to happen. What do you think?

New Life for the 3.5mm Jack?
Nobody will pay Microsoft the royalties. Wireless will kill it. Gone in 10 years. Get over it.
34% (12 votes)
It'll exist in cheap stuff, and expensive stuff with improved mechanics. But it'll be wireless as far as the eye can see between
11% (4 votes)
Too much momentum; no analog replacement in sight. It'll fade but won't go away. Wires will be with us for a long time to come.
54% (19 votes)
Total votes: 35
Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 17, 2017  |  21 comments
I'll admit feeling the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed look a bit alien to my eyes when first I saw it. Now that it's been on my desk for a few months I find it quite appealing. Not so much for it's looks—don't get me wrong, I quite like the look—but more because I've come to appreciate the comfort of them. No surprises when the Aeon Flow Open showed up...they were right at home on my head. Good thing too, they'll be spending a lot of time there.
John Grandberg  |  Nov 14, 2017  |  8 comments
There's no shortage of choice for quality headphone amps. Whether your budget is $249 or $5,000, or somewhere in between, you should be able to find an amp that satisfies your requirements.

The same goes for D/A converters. The little Grace Design SDAC is killer at only $79 while high-end DACs routinely go for many thousands of dollars.

Preamps? Same story. As a more "traditional" hi-fi component, there's a seemingly endless supply of designs out there. A surprisingly large number of brands sport prices you might typically associate with a new luxury car. On the other end, Schiit's Saga does a bang-up job at $349.

Yes, there are more options than ever for building a system using separate components for each function. Yet things don't often go as well when using integrated devices.

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