Tyll Hertsens Blog

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Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 23, 2011  |  0 comments

The web is abuzz with the news: a little monster has been unleashed upon the headphone market as Kevin Lee, son of Monster's Head Monster Noel Lee, breaks out on his own to start a new headphone company "SOL Republic."

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 19, 2011  |  6 comments

Like it or not, Monster has done more for the recent success of headphones than any one else. They've moved headphones from just another audio accessory, to a major stand-alone audio category in the mind of the popular culture. Headphone sales have climbed strongly over the past three years in the face of economic turmoil, and Monster has played the major roll in that success.

I'd say it's mostly been an exersize in marketing and supply chain acumen so far, but the deal with HTC may change all that.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 12, 2011  |  5 comments

Yesterday HTC spent $300 million dollars to purchase control of Beats Electronics, makers of Beats by Dr.Dre headphones, in order to put "Beats Audio Technology" in their cell phones.

In an All Things D article Ina Freid reported:

(HTC CEO) Chou said the Beats deal should “help create an emotional connection to HTC’s brand.”

And ...

Beats CEO Iovine said the partnership with HTC is just the latest piece of his crusade to improve the sound in modern electronics.

What is "Beats Audio Technology?" This HP YouTube movie provides basic explanations of the Beats Audio technology included in some HP laptops.

Things cited are: no metal parts in headphone jack eliminates ground noise; re-routed wireing and seperate headphone amp reduces cross-talk; "souped-up" headphone amp increases dynamic range; audio components isolated on an "audio island" free from interference; and lastly an audio EQ and control app. These aren't propriety technologies. These are simply good audio electronics design practices.

Has HTC just payed $300m for a logo? Will it benefit consumers? Select the statement most true.

HTC pays $300mil for control Beats Electronics. What will consumers get out of it?
The iPhone is cooler and sounds damned good. They'll need the logo and better electronics to compete.
19% (86 votes)
Just the rapper's logo is enough ... people are sheeple. Money spent on actual improvements will eat into profits.
60% (267 votes)
They'll never put in a big enough battery to power the electronics needed to sound good.
12% (52 votes)
Dr. Dre and Monster have developed real technological advancements in secret laboratories and they rock!
8% (37 votes)
Total votes: 442
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 10, 2011  |  13 comments
You should be enraged by greedy people messing with holy things.

I recently posted a poll asking why the perceived value of headphones has increase so much over the last ten years. Much to my chagrin, the answer, "The success of the iPod in the pop culture allowed headphones to become a sweeping fad of fashion and celebrity" has just pulled into the lead.

Saddly, I tend to agree.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 09, 2011  |  16 comments

Lots of great questions and comments from last contest asking for topics, but the one that caught my eye came from SAS ...

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 03, 2011  |  3 comments
Jeremiah Cymerman and Nate Wooley play together.
Photo Credit: Yuko Tonohira

Any headphone enthusiast will tell you one of the unque characteristics of cans is their ability to take you somewhere else. To secret you away to another place ... the place where your music is all around and you are subsumed in its spell.

Evidently, experimental musician Jeremiah Cymerman gets it, too.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 02, 2011  |  3 comments

Man! Time flies! This month some good things to report on: measurements; that Facebook thingy; and chirps on Twitter.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 01, 2011  |  3 comments

Every August for the past 5 years, HeadRoom has made the treck to Southern California to co-host a headphone event with the Los Angeles/Orange County Audio Society. Five years ago it was a curiosity ... these days it's a happening.

Check it out.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 28, 2011  |  7 comments
A decade or more ago, I thought the Sennheiser HD 25-1 was very expensive at $249. These days, with rapper cans and four figure high-end headphones, $249 for a really good pair of headphones looks quite reasonable.

People seem far more willing to spend money on headphones these days. The general public finds more value in headphones these days. Why?

Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

Which of the following contributes most greatly to the increase in the perceived value of headphones?

Why has the Percieved Value of Headphones Risen in the Past Decade?
Headphones sound much better than they used to, so they're worth more.
16% (75 votes)
As player prices rise, headphone prices can rise without people noticing.
7% (36 votes)
The success of the iPod in the pop culture allowed headphones to become a sweeping fad of fashion and celebrity.
42% (204 votes)
The success of the iPod and smart phones in integrating technological advances with everyday life makes headphones more valuable
35% (167 votes)
Total votes: 482
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 25, 2011  |  9 comments

In a recent contest asking for ideas, this comment was made by yuriv:

    "Have readers write articles, and then submit them to you, Tyll, the editor. They can be anything--product reviews, technical explanations, how-to guides, etc. There can even be videos. Of course, if they're headphone reviews, it would be nice if they were sent over for measurements."

    "Since Wes Phillips isn't available, how about readers as contributors? You pick the finalists every round, then publish their articles here. Hopefully, a few of them will meet your standards."

Thanks yuriv, (not a contest winner, but worth a consolation prize, email on the way) I think I'm going to do something very much like that ...
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 19, 2011  |  17 comments

It was quality over quantity in the last contest. We sure got some good answers. Check it out!

This week we're going to do something a little different.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 01, 2011  |  10 comments

Man! It's July already ... June went by in a flash.

Went to THE Show; did some burn-in; reviewed quite a few sealed headphones; Ryan's Eddie current review was awesome; airline headphones weren't; did TWiT TV; saw Todd's new amp; gave away headphones.com money; and sampled some killer DIY cans from dBel84.

I wonder what I'll do next?

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 29, 2011  |  17 comments

Brian Gluck at Headphones.com shot me an email last week suggesting we make the contest more open ended by asking a question and selecting a winner from the various answers. D'oh! Why didn't I think of that?

So I thunk and thunk, and thunk some more ... and I think I've thunk of a question. It's actually one I've thought about for a long time.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 22, 2011  |  10 comments

It's time again to offer up Brian's very generous offer of a $50 gift certificate at Headphones.com to some lucky winner.

Only this time I'm hoping it's less luck, and more brain cells.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 21, 2011  |  20 comments

When the stewardess asks me if I'd like to buy a pair of headphones for two dollars, I usually say no thanks and smile. She has no idea how good a pair of custom in-ear monitors sound.

And then I thought, "Well, I really have no idea how good her headphones sound either." So, I bought a pair, and brought them home to test.

Oh my!