Over-Ear Open Headphones Reviews

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Rafe Arnott  |  Jun 27, 2018  |  32 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  |  40 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  |  26 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.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 24, 2017  |  37 comments
Headphone manufacturers pay attention: If you want to build a high-end headphone, this is the way to do it.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 16, 2017  |  79 comments
For now it's sufficient to state that the Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 are probably the most highly regarded enthusiast headphone in the world, and I highly recommend both. The HD 650 is a bit too warm sounding for me (just a bit), and the HD 600 is my favorite of the two. Let's see if the HD 660 S can continue the legend!
Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 04, 2017  |  12 comments
And BOOM! Acoustic Research, a brand long recognised amongst audio enthusiasts, shows up with their new planar magnetic AR-H1 at CanJam at RMAF 2017. Color me surprised!
Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 17, 2017  |  26 comments
I'll admit feeling the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed look a bit alien to my eyes when first I saw it. Now that it's been on my desk for a few months I find it quite appealing. Not so much for it's looks—don't get me wrong, I quite like the look—but more because I've come to appreciate the comfort of them. No surprises when the Aeon Flow Open showed up...they were right at home on my head. Good thing too, they'll be spending a lot of time there.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 02, 2017  |  20 comments
Oh boy. The folks at Massdrop have gone and done it again. Just got their new Massdrop x HiFiMAN HE4XX in for measurements and a quick listen before the drop.
Tyll Hertsens  |  May 23, 2017  |  18 comments
One hell of a story here. Interesting roots in a buncha places. I'm going to power through it with pics and links if you're interested in a deeper dive. Here we go!
Tyll Hertsens  |  Nov 03, 2016  |  27 comments
Ooooooooo baby! If you don't have a Sennheiser HD 600 or HD 650, you need to read this!
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 18, 2016  |  14 comments
I had only two days with a pre-production Ether Flow before my house was invaded by the French. I was quite enjoying the pre-production Flow, but the Focal Elear and Utopia turned my world upside down. By the time Dan Clark, CEO and Founder of Mr. Speakers, sent the production unit my world was in a bit of an uproar. Though I didn't mention them, the Flow was ever present in my listening tests...it kept whispering to me, "It's not about "The Best" anymore, it's about character."
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 08, 2016  |  88 comments
And then, at 21 second in, right after she sings, "When God gave out rhythm...", two chords are gently played on the piano. My goodness, I've never heard such sensitively percussive, harmonically rich, filled with weight and substance sound from a piano. Most astonishing is the interplay of tones, harmonics, and intermodulation making the whole of the chord a rich textured wave of sound. I was transfixed until track's end.
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 28, 2016  |  50 comments

THIS is what a $1000 headphone should be. Unapologetically masculine styling...and sexy; confidently strutting exquisite materials and build-quality; and delivering sound of a quality I've not heard before on any headphone. It walked in my office, swept all the headphones off my desk in one grand gesture, and said, "Here I am. Deal with it."

Tyll Hertsens  |  Apr 24, 2016  |  27 comments

HiFiMAN touts this headphone as great for direct play from portable devices—and I'll agree, it does play very well directly from a tablet or phone. Pretty nice not to have the burden and expense of having to carry around a portable amp, but at $1800 it doesn't really seem like a more affordable solution. And then, it's an open headphone while most portable cans are sealed to get rid of environmental noise. So...this is a flagship headphone for use with portable devices indoors? I'm not sure what to think...let's work through the details.

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