Tyll Hertsens Blog

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Skylab  |  Aug 18, 2013  |  7 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.

n_maher  |  Aug 17, 2013  |  7 comments

InnerFidelity writers are busy writing basic introductory content for the Ultimate Headphone Guide. Our first entry? Nate Maher writes about the DIY activity within Headphonedom.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 15, 2013  |  16 comments

Take it from the guy that put the first cross-feed circuit to fix headphone imaging in a box that a consumer could buy, making headphones sound like speakers is hard...really, really hard.

But Headphone:X by DTS seems to be putting a pretty good dent in the problem.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 01, 2013  |  40 comments

It's July! Time for motorcycles, firecrackers, and a bunch of headphone and amp measurements!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 28, 2013  |  33 comments

I recently visited Dr. Sean Olive, Harman International's Director of Acoustic Research and president-elect of the Audio Engineering Society, for an in-depth rundown on their ground-breaking work on understanding the relationship between the subjective and objective performance of headphones.

Oh my, this is seriously good stuff.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 20, 2013  |  34 comments
Been grinding away at the amp measurement routine and I think we're there. I would like some comments though before I measure a bunch of headphone amps this weekend.
Tyll Hertsens  |  May 26, 2013  |  31 comments

I'm totally stoked this project has come to pass. Source Interlink Media will be producing a special interest publication this fall called "The Ultimate Headphone Guide." To be a part of what I think might be the first paper publication dedicated entirely to headphones is quite exciting. To have the opportunity to let InnerFidelity readers provide some input makes it doubly so.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 19, 2013  |  29 comments

Evidently I've been wrangled into hosting the headphone panel discussion at THE Show Newport May 31-June 2. (SoCal readers might like to attend this show as they've really tried to put a special emphasis on headphone listening and will have a dedicated headphone area.) So, I've been thinking about how to create a topic for discussion that might be worth while. I've come up with "Headphones: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Where are we, and where are we going?"

It seems to me we are the verge of big things happening in the world of headphones. One might say big things have already been happening what with the double digit growth in the market over the last five years and new players appearing at breakneck speed, but I think that's just the first salvo. With Beats tenaciously holding on to 2/3rds of the over $100 headphone market, I can only believe we'll be seeing many of these recent entries bowing back out as they are unable to capture enough of the 1/3rd market share remaining to make the effort worth while. (Phonak has recently pulled the Audeo brand, for example.)

So, a lot of pieces have been placed on the board, and I'm curious what readers think will happen over the next 5 years or so. Here's a poll with a number of possible futures, no doubt it's incomplete. Please vote for what you think is the closest option, but feel free to let your thoughts run wild in the comments area.

The Pessimist: Beats share may slowly dwindle, but it's place will be taken by more of the same with little regard for sound quality.

The Optimist: The public will slowly become aware of the value of good sound quality, and old guard makers like Sennheiser, AKG, Sony, etc, will gradually regain market share.

The Realist: Nothing particularly dramatic will happen, but the headphone market will become more sophisticated and complex over time, and all significant public interests will be served.

The Futurist: Products like the Google Glass and Oculus Rift will move attention away from audio only headphones significantly.

The Technologist: New types of headphone drivers, and the companies that develop them, will come along and take market share from legacy companies unable to change rapidly enough to remain competitive.

It's a jungle out there. Who will survive?
Pessimist
14% (236 votes)
Optimist
19% (312 votes)
Realist
46% (758 votes)
Futurist
6% (93 votes)
Technologist
16% (265 votes)
Total votes: 1664
Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 11, 2013  |  40 comments

Not long ago, Todd Green of TTVJaudio.com got ripped off to the tune of about $24,000! That's a huge loss for a small business to absorb. It really hurt Todd.

Today, I'm very happy to report that not only has the thief been caught, but all of Todd's gear has been recovered. The perps were nabbed due to some great work by the Torrence Police Dept, and our very own Justin Wilson at HeadAmp.

This is the story...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 08, 2013  |  14 comments
Scott Wilkinson has kindly asked me to join him on his "Home Theater Geeks" over on TWiT.tv to talk about wireless headphones, surround on headphones, and headphone imaging.

The show will be broadcast on TWiT.tv live TODAY, Monday, April 8th, 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!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 06, 2013  |  29 comments

Spring has sprung here in Bozeman, and my back porch is again habitable for longer writing session...though a bit less scenic as the deer have fled for the hills, and the matted grass easily shows their pebbly reminders. Early spring can be a rather ugly season.

But, it's been good for headphone measurements and I've got a big wad of them prepared for InnerFidelity readers.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 01, 2013  |  30 comments

Well, I've promised headphone amp measurements for InnerFidelity's second birthday, and I'm gonna deliver. There's still a couple of glitches, so I can't quite say it's final. But it's close.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 26, 2013  |  15 comments

In headphone news: miniature electrostatic headphone drivers, MOG is morphing, Bloomberg tells the kids to quiet down, some Apple musing, headphone connectors at Furutec, and more.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 08, 2013  |  99 comments

I'm wondering, what's the most important headphone ever made for headphone enthusiasts?

Not necessarily the best sounding, or highest price, or most popular, but the headphone that was most influential in spurring on the hobby of headphone enthusiasm. In your mind, the most important audiophile headphone.

Here's the choices I came up with; if you feel I missed one you think more important, feel free to write in your choice in the comments.

What's the Most Important Headphone in the History of Headphone Enthusiasm?
Sennheiser HD 800 - In my mind, Sennheiser's most serious attempt at producing the world's best headphone.
15% (724 votes)
AKG K1000 - If you have on of these, there's no doubt in my mind you are a hard-core headphone geek.
4% (188 votes)
Grado SR60 - Probably the most common "first real headphone" for most headphone enthusiasts.
15% (733 votes)
Denon AH-D5000 - One of the best sealed headphones ever made, and the subject of many DIY modification efforts by enthusiasts.
3% (129 votes)
AKG K701 - First headphone to challenge the HD 600, and one of the first headphones to trigger the fanboi response on Head-Fi.
6% (323 votes)
Fostex T50RP - Still surviving old school planar-magnetic headphone, heavily favored by DIYers for modification.
3% (137 votes)
Stax SR-007 Omega II - First electrostatic headphone really good enough to spur aftermarket electrostatic headphone amplifiers.
4% (185 votes)
Sony MDR-R10 - The Phoenix we all hoped would rise again...but never did. Headphone enthusiast unobtainium.
3% (127 votes)
Etymotic ER4S - The balanced armature in-ear headphone that started it all. Still in production...and still very good.
7% (352 votes)
Sennheiser Orpheus - The pinnacle of headphone opulence. Sennheiser still uses this flagship to show it's muscles.
8% (415 votes)
Sennheiser HD 600 - Much maligned for its "veil," the HD 600 quietly remains one of the best buys in headphone audiophilia.
33% (1660 votes)
Total votes: 4973
Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 04, 2013  |  14 comments

A new month already!? Damn. I think I'll put up a news post that's been brewing, and forego a Monthly Update as I haven't got a lot of cans measured this month. A lot coming next month though.

On with the news!

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