Over-Ear Open Headphones Reviews

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Rafe Arnott  |  Oct 12, 2019  |  5 comments
Raise your hand if you’re a sucker for slick industrial design mixed with luxurious accents of leather and chrome. I’ve got two hands up because this could mean not only headphones, but hi-fi, motorcycles, automobiles or watches – all things in which I value style, performance and most of all; the improvement to the quality of life these objects can bring.
Grover Neville  |  Oct 03, 2019  |  First Published: Oct 02, 2019  |  5 comments
The Cleer Audio NEXT headphones themselves are a meticulously assembled piece of gear. The level of industrial fit and finish rivals the Focal Stellia’s I reviewed earlier this year, and the comfort is superior.
Grover Neville  |  Sep 23, 2019  |  2 comments
One of my very first serious, long-term headphones was the Beyerdynamic DT880, 250 Ohm ‘professional.’ It was the first headphone I owned that cost more than $100, and I still own it to this day.
Rafe Arnott  |  Sep 01, 2019  |  1 comments
QUAD. Just say the name around most music lovers or audiophiles (sometimes both) and you’re sure to elicit a response.
Grover Neville  |  Aug 04, 2019  |  1 comments

When I was just starting in the hobby one of the early headphones I aspired to own was the HiifiMan HE-400. I never did own one, but I recall being enchanted with it.
Rafe Arnott  |  Jul 31, 2019  |  2 comments
Ask any chef and they’ll tell you ingredients are key to a recipe being palatable. They’ll also tell you that it’s what you do with those ingredients and the measure of each used that makes a recipe go from being palatable to memorable. If you substitute technology for ingredients and electro-acoustical engineer for chef, then you start to get where I’m going with all this.
Grover Neville  |  Jul 25, 2019  |  0 comments
This is more of a mini-review than a full-fledged review, the reason being that Drop often revises and adjusts products based on community feedback. Consider this more of a sonic-preview of what you can expect form the first run.
Grover Neville  |  Apr 30, 2019  |  6 comments
I’ve been looking forward to writing this review since I got these headphones. While there are community members and reviewers who like to flirt with questions like ‘the best headphone ever’ and other superlatives, I find myself more drawn to gear that is quietly exceptional for its intended purpose.
Rafe Arnott  |  Mar 22, 2019  |  2 comments
What do you do when you have what many critics in the hobby hail as one of the finest headphones in the world – the LCD-4 – but lament that they are difficult to drive from anything than the most grunt-worthy amplifier? If you’re Audeze you have your engineering teams go back to the Planar-Magnetic open-headphone drawing board and come up with the LCD-4z.
Rafe Arnott  |  Feb 28, 2019  |  7 comments
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time with closed-back dynamic-driver equipped headphones of late. In particular Focal and Sennhieser, to the point where jumping to a pair of planar-magnetic headphones felt like I was going behind their, well… their closed backs.
Rafe Arnott  |  Sep 17, 2018  |  8 comments
Quad hits the headphone-market landscape running with their new ERA-1 planar-magnetic over ear, open-back model.
Rafe Arnott  |  Jun 27, 2018  |  36 comments
Several of the people on the crowded bus stared at me. Like I was big bug or something Maybe it was because I was wearing the Audeze LCD-XC in Bubinga and they wanted to straight-up take them off my head and run.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Mar 04, 2018  |  42 comments
Like pretty much all headphone makers, I've found HiFiMAN planar magnetic headphones a little hit and miss. Some have been a too bright and sizzly, some have not had the build quality I'd like to see at the price. On the other hand there have been some really nice surprises. The HE1000 had an uncannily pleasant, floating in the clouds, sonic character, and the HE-400S was dandy at a very affordable price. One thing has been very consistant though, the folks at HiFiMAN keep trying...and that's turning out to be a very good thing.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Feb 11, 2018  |  27 comments
It's deja vu all over again. Maybe Audeze decided to reverse the trend for ever more expensive headphones. Maybe they were just aware of so many people longing for the LCD2 of old. But whatever the reson, I do like seeing them breath new life into the more affordable end of the LCD line-up with their newly released LCD2 Classic.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Feb 03, 2018  |  8 comments
One of a nice handfull of $500ish planar magnetic headphones at the show, I was impressed with the Advanced Alpha at CanJam@RMAF last October. In my report I said:

Maybe it was just the show conditions, or maybe I was just in the right mood, but holy smoke these sounded really good to me on first listen. I've been wrong at shows before so don't take this as gospel, but I sure liked these Advanced planar magnetic cans.

Well, time to find out if we can trust my ears at shows.

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