Over-Ear Sealed Headphones Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Dec 01, 2012 63 comments

The surge of rapper and celebrity headphones over the past five years or so has been annoying in the extreme to me. All the glam and glitter has been an enormous distraction from what the actual purpose of a headphone should be: to sound good. We're not going to be able to go backwards though, the fashionistas have raised the bar and a big, black, plastic blob on your head isn't going to cut it anymore. I just wish some company out there would be mature enough to make a headphone with tastefully balanced sound and sophisticated good looks.

With its new Momentum headphone, Sennheiser, it seems to me, is the adult in the room.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Nov 13, 2012 40 comments

Steve Guttenberg and I have gone back and forth on whether measurements are useful to consumers, but we both agree that the measurements don't tell you whether it's a good headphone or a great one. The V-Moda M-100 doesn't measure great, but that sure as heck doesn't mean they don't sound great.

I'll untangle all those double negatives in the article.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 31, 2012 30 comments

The inside of a great designer's head must be a very unusual place. On the one hand, the world is filled with clumsy, ugly, ill-formed objects. On the other, it's rife with opportunity for utility and beauty. The cacophony of internal dialog must be almost unbearable. Renowned designer Philippe Starck has turned his attention to untangling the mess that is Bluetooth headsets, and in collaboration with Parrot (a French company with significant experience in automotive Bluetooth devices) has developed the most unique wireless headset I've ever seen.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 29, 2012 100 comments

Logitech has recently stepped up it's game in the world of personal audio with an entirely new line of Logitech UE branded products. There's plenty of muscle there to do the job well, the question is: Can a mouse company apply it with the finesse needed to really produce well balanced audio products?

Fortunately, Ultimate Ears is in the mix, and it seems to me the mouse has some pretty good ears now.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 21, 2012 36 comments

Boy, do I love it when a manufacturer builds a great product and then sticks with it. I've been listening to, and recommending the Denon AH-D2000, AH-D5000, and AH-D7000 headphones for years. I welcomed the chance to get some fresh samples of these fine cans from Denon, and I was double happy to find they've gotten even better over the years.

Even better? Yes! It does appear they've made some improvements over time. Let's have a look...

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 14, 2012 35 comments

Full-sized, sealed headphones are a bugaboo. They're either too woolly or boomy sounding, or they're too uneven, or they don't seal well enough. Sealed headphones are just plain hard to make sound good. Darn few that jump through those hoops and work well enough to be worth the money.

Wanna watch the K550 make the leap?

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Dec 05, 2011 13 comments

With about 27% of the population over age 50, and roughly 30% of all headphone purchases influenced by celebrity endorsement, I can understand why Koss turned away from the heavy competition for the younger generation's wallet and focussed their attention on the baby boomers with the introduction of their Tony Bennett headphones. Personally I prefer Tony Bennett to Dr. Dre, Ludacris, and 50 Cent, but I'm not sure the geriatric headphone buyers are really part of the 30% of purchasers who are influenced by celebrity endorsement.

Let's see how they sound.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Nov 18, 2011 43 comments

I've got an open invitation to visit Skullcandy's headphone R&D labs in Park City Utah ... and I'll be taking them up on it sometime soon. Why? Because I want to see what they're doing that let them build a few darn good sounding headphones lately.

The Mix Master is one of them.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 16, 2011 8 comments

Today, I start a journey into the wisdom of pop-culture ... oy vey. In the last few years of economic upheaval and outright disaster, the headphone market has flourished ... blossomed even ... it's the fastest growing product type in consumer audio. Why?

Damned rappers!

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 30, 2011 18 comments

While perusing for new headphones to measure among HeadRoom's huge stock of sales team demo cans, my eyes fell upon the trio of Sony extra bass headphones. Having spent quite a bit of time lately with celebrity headphones that have exaggerated bass, I thought this might be a good time to hear Sony's take.

Nah, they don't need a celebrity endorsements, one of these cans thumps like mad.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 23, 2011 9 comments

I can't tell you what a treat it is to measure and listen to the unusual headphones I get from enthusiasts. This time, rythmdevils from Head-Fi has sent in a couple of vintage AKG cans.

He's also a photographer, and has kindly allowed me to use his sweet pix of these two cans for the article. Very nice! Thanks!

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Aug 08, 2011 14 comments

Enthusiasts recently mourned the death of the Denon AH-D1001 --- a really good sounding sealed headphone at just above $100. Lament no more. This Foster OEM design (model 443741) has found rebirth as the Creative Aurvana Live!

The very good news: it's even better than before.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 14, 2011 10 comments

I watch the Audio Technica high-end headphone line like a hawk. They're mostly far too bright for me, but they're so cool looking that I keep trying each time AT comes out with a new one because one of these days they'll make one I like, and I'm gonna jump on it when they do.

Now up to bat: the ATH-W1000x "Grandioso."

(Crosses fingers.)

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 11, 2011 42 comments

Ask any headphone geek that's been around for a while for a recommendation between $100 and $200, and there's a very good chance the Audio Technica ATH-M50 will be the first thing out of their mouth.

With good reason, if you ask me, let's check them out.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 30, 2011 28 comments

Out of the blue, a Sony PR agent dropped me an email.

"Sony has recently introduced the new high-quality Studio Monitor Series headphones that boast premium sound and technology, and I wanted to see if you are interested in reviewing them."

She referred to four headphones in her email (two full size sealed MDR-ZX700 ($119.99) and MDR-Z1000 ($499.99), and two IEMs MDR-EX600 ($199.99) and MDR-EX1000 ($499.99), but only had the inexpensive ones for review samples at the moment.

Oh .... okay. I'll take the cheap ones and have a listen. Glad I did.

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