CES 2017

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Oct 06, 2017  |  7 comments
Gonna do this CanJam a bit different this year—I want to have dinner with folks and enjoy the evenings rather than sit in the hotel room pounding out a summary of the days product samplings.

The people in this business are endlessly interesting. Hang around with them for 30 years, and you end up loving a trade show mostly because you get to share a few moments with an astonishingly pleasing cast of characters.

So, this RMAF Friday I dropped my backpack under the MrSpeakers table, and strolled, video camera in hand, in search of people I love to hang with. Steve is the first of those folks.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 19, 2017  |  31 comments
Word on the street—the high-end audio street—is that CES was a bust.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 18, 2017  |  14 comments
The OSSIC X virtual reality headphone made a big splash last February when its $100,000 Kickstarter ask turned into a $2.7 million dollar bonanza. I was skeptical at the time, but I sure was curious.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 17, 2017  |  48 comments
HiFiMAN was showing a prototype of an upcoming new flagship planar magnetic: The Edition 6 ($6000). They also were showing a prototype single dynamic driver IEM called the RE2000 ($2000).

This move evidently crossed some sort of tripping point and triggered a firestorm of reaction from the headphone enthusiast community. Some of the response can be found in threads at Head-Fi.org, Superbestaudiofriends.org, and Head-Case.org.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 16, 2017  |  21 comments
This new $1499 active noise canceling headphone has a number of cool things up its sleeves: digital operation over USB or Lightning; a continuously variable EQ circuit; and, I kid you not, voice prompts by Quincy Jones himself! The coolest thing of all is TruNote auto-calibration for individual listeners.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 16, 2017  |  13 comments
Dirac is well known for their room correction software and more recently among headphone enthusiasts for their HD Sound headphone compensation software that EQs headphones. At this year's CES, the company unveiled their new DIRAC VR, a dynamic 3D audio rendering platform.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 16, 2017  |  4 comments
I always go to the ESS booth. I tend to fing the sounds I hear as just okay, but I'm always impressed by the unusually interesting and innovative approach to designing transducers.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 13, 2017  |  1 comments
Questyle is well know for their range of fairly high-dollar, high-end, headphone centric products sporting current-mode electronics topologies. To their great credit, this new amp represents a trickle down offering of their high-end products at a more affordable price.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 13, 2017  |  1 comments
In what amounts to a very early pre-view, Klipsch spilled the beans on their upcoming Heritage line of headphones.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  5 comments
It's with cost-no-object flagship headphones like the Sony MDR-Z1R ($2299) that you get to see what engineers do when they have free reign.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  1 comments
Here's an interesting bit of British bling. Prepping for CES I stumbled upon Meters Music OV-1 ANC headphone. To be honest, it was the backlit analog meters in each earpiece that had me tick the box for a visit. I'm an old school sucker that way I guess. This was Meters Music premier reveal as a brand, but parent company Ashdown Engineering has been making bass guitar amps and electronics since 1997.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  4 comments
In yet another case evidencing how hard it is to get headphones right, Blue Microphones have produced a next generation of their unusual take on headphones...and that's a good thing.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 12, 2017  |  4 comments
Beyerdynamic is well positioned to capitalize in this category. The brand's recognition is fairly strong, which will be an advantage here. Though not as large as the broad consuming market, $500-$1000 headphones is not a category limited to the small enthusiast-only $1000+ category. "Asperational" is the term often used for premium markets such as this and the Beyerdynamic brand could certainly play well here.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 11, 2017  |  4 comments
If you read my comments on Audio Technica in my ranking of headphone manufacturers, you'll know I'd like to see them hitting the middle of the road hard. Well, it looks like they're moving in that direction and I'm digging it.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jan 11, 2017  |  2 comments
If personal biases are troublesome when evaluating headphones for audio quality, being thrown into a virtual world intended to make you believe you're somewhere/when else entirely is really going to mess with the part of my brain that tries to objectively evaluate. When the suspension of disbelief is the goal—and man, this stuff is powerful in that way—figuring out what to believe about a products performance is going to be tricky.