InnerFidelity Mentioned in NY Times Article

Andrew Martin from the New York Times called me a few weeks ago and we had a dandy little chat about headphones. He told me he was writing a piece on Monster Beats and was looking for background info. I've got my fair share of that.

I told him I loved Monster for what they've done for headphones, but also hated Monster for what they've done for headphones with their absolutely gorgeous, but horrendously bad sounding Beats by Dre Solo headphone. I think I said something like, "People think they've just bought a $200 headphone and think they are getting high-end sound ... they won't be very impressed. And they could be for $200!" I told him I measured the Solo HD and it was even worse. I think it was at that point I uttered the quote he used:

“In terms of sound performance, they are among the worst you can buy,” says Tyll Hertsens, editor in chief of, a site for audiophiles. “They are absolutely, extraordinarily bad."

If you want a look for your self, check out the measurements here: Monster Beats Solo HD, Monster Beats Solo, Monster Beats Solo Sample 2.

I would like to say, however, some of the Monster's products are better. The Jamz and L'il Jamz are pretty good. The triangular Lady Gagas were surprisingly good ... if you could get them into your ears. The Studio and Pro are okay. The rest, not so much, IMHO.

Just thought I'd lay out a little background.

The NY Times article is here.

Oh, and here's that silly video again (wait for it):

thune's picture

The article can be read a couple ways. One is that Tyll is a snob "audiophile" journalist who is out of touch with the people. The other is that 'the people' are easily fooled by style and marketing hype.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Hopefully they'll come over here, have look around, and figure it out for themselves.
flohmann's picture

Posting this on Facebook already rescued at least one of my friends from making a Beats gift purchase for the holidays. I pointed her to the Skullcandy Aviators. You also liked the Shure 840 for closed headphones in this price category, right? Sounds to me like you should be doing a holiday shopping guide, Tyll!

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I'll publish something very soon, but a look through the InnerFidelity posts since April will get you the info.

It's not too deep yet.

yuriv's picture

Move it ahead in the queue, maybe. You're reviewing celebrity cans and already have their measurements, which BTW, are way better than the full-size Monster cans. They have a few more dB of deep bass than I'd like, but the FR, impulse response, and THD+N look good.

Sears has them for $39.99, which might be a good deal for a Christmas present. Heck, if they really sound good, I'll be a rebel and wear them in public. How's that for not being an audio snob?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Full marks, mate. You go girl!
tdockweiler's picture

I honestly never expected the Beats Solo to measure this poorly! I bet my Bose AE1 I paid $40 for is quite decent in comparison.

Can't wait to see your review and measurements of the Tony Bennet headphone. Fingers crossed that they measure better than the Beats Solo!

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Measurements are in the can, and yes, they're better.
DaveBSC's picture

The Beats headphones are exactly like $300 sneakers. The positive thing about them is that they've made $300 a reasonable amount to spend on a pair of headphones, which I think ultimately does open up more opportunity for companies like AKG, Sennheiser, Beyer, Denon, etc.

While I could care less about any of the celebrity endorsed headphones, if Quincy Jones profits allow AKG to produce a K1000-II, then great. It's like how Porsche uses Cayenne money to make faster and better 911s.

Gil G.'s picture

where is the like or dislike button?? thanks God someone sent the message to the masses in the NYT!

nunh's picture

Impressive - I like the way you don't sugarcoat the truth!

DelorisMercer's picture

Congrats, being mentioned in NY Times is a great honor! Btw I totally agree with you on Beats by Dre! I've purchased them at an enormous price and the quality really leaves much to be desired as compared with the cost.
Deloris, follow me on crossword puzzle maker