LATEST ADDITIONS

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 28, 2011  |  1 comments
Q: Why is a university librarian like a fourteen year old skateboarder?
A: Both would love a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 235 headphones!

The Beyerdynamic DT 235 ($57.65, available in black and white) is about as attractive as a brick. But it's also as durable and useful, not nearly so heavy, and sounds way better. This plain-Jane headphone is perfect for library listening rooms, museums, dentist chairs, and all manner of utility applications ... including the one where you give it to a kid who can break a bowling ball in a padded room.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 27, 2011  |  16 comments
Oh Nooooos!
I was at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year for my first face-to-face meetings with my new boss and his boss from Source Interlink Media about the InnerFidelity start-up, when out of the blue the boss's boss says, "Say, I've got a meeting with Skullcandy this afternoon, you should come."

Ruh roh.

We high-end headphone geeks don't take too kindly to headphones painted up with pink kitties and cartoon monkeys, so I try to opt out gracefully, "Aw, geez, I dunno, they're not really my thing. They're pretty and all, and Skullcandy is a very popular maker, but I think I'm more interested in the more serious and sound quality oriented brands."

*silence*

"You should come."

"Yes, boss..."

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 23, 2011  |  5 comments
Headphones Can Be Deadly! For the last six months or so I've been subscribed to a number of news feeds about headphones, and I simply can't believe the number of times someone is injured or killed while listening to their tunes. Let me give you a few examples ...

Trains

March 20, 2011: Man hit and killed by train in Madera, CA.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 21, 2011  |  31 comments
Promises Kept
My first post was an exercise in getting all the bits-and-pieces together to create content. In many ways this is my first real post here ... and I want to keep a promise. For years I've said I would measure the effects of the various headphone pads on Grado headphones; well, I am very glad to say finally: here it is.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 19, 2011  |  2 comments
The Sennheiser PX 200-IIi (MSRP $149.95) is a general-purpose headset, ideally suited and convenient for kids, students, and casual home, office, and travel use. It’s light and small, very well built, and will easily survive unending rounds between backpack, computer desk, and kitchen junk drawer. Best of all, it packs neatly into a very small size with a unique folding design making it only slightly larger than a pair of sunglasses when stowed.
Stephen Mejias  |  Mar 19, 2011  |  1 comments
I haven’t had much luck with in-ear headphones.

Kelli’s Etymotic ER-6i earphones ($99) offered a well-balanced sound, with satisfying bass and natural highs, but I found them extremely uncomfortable and I had a difficult time getting them to fit properly in my ear canals. I liked Shure’s SE210 ($149.99) and SE115 ($139.99), but they felt large and heavy in my ears, and friends often balked at their prices. Don’t get me started about the V-MODA Remix Metal in-ears ($99.99); their highs were so pronounced and glaring and bass so completely absent, I wanted to run away from my music—never a good sign. (But I’ll take the blame here: I should’ve known what to expect from an earphone with the word “Metal” in its name. I have since steered clear of models designed to look like bullets, arrows, and jet engines or whose product literature uses the words “crisp,” “sharp,” or “edgy.”)

Jon Iverson  |  Feb 23, 2011  |  1 comments
Art Dudley and others have covered the first products released by HRT, and now the company has added to its product line a Pro version of its Music Streamer, which sports balanced circuit design from tip to tail.

Housed in the same simple, functional, six-sided case of extruded aluminum as HRT's other products, the Pro is painted a bright blue to distinguish it from the Music Streamer II (red) and Music Streamer II+ (gray). At 5.6" it is also a tad longer than the others, and includes a single B-type USB 1.1 jack centered on one end, and two small, fully balanced TiniQ output jacks on the other. More about these special mini sockets later.

John Atkinson  |  Dec 27, 2010  |  0 comments
Headphone listening is hot these days, due not only to the ubiquity of the iPod as a music source but also because it is possible to get state-of-the-art headphone playback without having to have stupidly bottomless pockets. A plethora of affordable high-quality headphone amplifiers are available, and high-performance 'phones can be had for a few hundred dollars. Used with a computer or iPod to play uncompressed WAV or AIF files or losslessly compressed FLAC or Apple Lossless (ALAC) files, a headphone-based system can offer the audiophile on a budget seriously good sound.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Nov 29, 2010  |  4 comments
I remember my first experience with headphones. In 1960, I bought a set of Trimm dual 'phones (less than $5) and rewired them for stereo. The experience was remarkable for several reasons. First, it brought the sounds into my head—I was thrilled with the impact. Second, stereo effects, especially with Enoch Light's ping-pong LPs (eg, Provocative Percussion, Command RS800SD), were striking. Third, I could play them really loud without bothering others. Of course, they had no bass, brittle treble, distorted at high levels, and their wire headband and Bakelite earpieces were uncomfortable. My fascination with this gimmick quickly faded.
Wes Phillips  |  Aug 16, 2010  |  1 comments
Ah, how the times change. When I reviewed Etymotic Research's ER-4S in-ear headphones in the July 1995 Stereophile, they seemed expensive to me at $330, but well worth that seemingly high price: at the time, they were the best headphones I'd heard. Nowadays, with reference headphones costing well north of a kilobuck, the price of the ER-4S seems relatively reasonable.

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