Specialty Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Sep 25, 2011 68 comments

It's not often one get's to set-up $37,000+ worth of the world's best headphone gear on the dining room table. I should do a little comparative listening test and report my findings, methinks.

Wasn't easy to write with all the good music going on in my head, though.

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Sep 19, 2011 14 comments
Photo Credit: Steve Guttenberg

You can't listen to a headphone without plugging it into an amplifier of some kind: an iPod, portable device or a maxed out home amp. It's really the combination of the two we hear, so when we talk about the "sound" of a headphone, it's more about the sound of a headphone/amp system.

Lets get started.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 29, 2011 13 comments

A classic in the world of professional and enthusiast headphones, and probably the world's most popular DJ headphone, the HD 25 has remained in the Sennheiser line-up in a small variety of incarnations since 1987 ... and deservedly so.

When I first heard them about 15 years ago there were very few expensive headphones available, so they seemed pricy at the time. They sounded great though and were a solid recommendation. In today's world of high-priced fashion headphones, and even higher priced high-end headphones, these very good sounding and highly functional cans seem like a real bargain for professional and audio enthusiast alike.

Let's take a look at the latest incarnation, the Sennheiser/adidas HD 25 Original.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 28, 2011 8 comments

I've been listening to a lot of mid-priced, sealed headphones lately, and these just keep jumping out at me. They say DJ on the side and have a mono switch, but I'm not buying it ... these are just plain good headphones.

Pioneer, eh? Who'da thunk it.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 20, 2011 42 comments

Simply put, I'm stunned.

It's hard to make a good sounding sealed headphone, and much more so a small, supra-aural (on-ear) type. They all seem to falter sonically somewhere. In-ear headphones were the only way to get really good portable sound ...

... until now.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jun 16, 2011 11 comments

I was rummaging around amongst HeadRoom's demo cans the other day, and stumbled upon a Beyerdynamic DJX-1.

"Hmm..." I sez to myself, "I don't remember ever seeing these before. I wonder what they sound like."

Once home, I pulled them out of the box and had a listen ... wow, these aren't bad at all. I wonder why I've never heard them before?

Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 14, 2011 2 comments

From the “Beats by Dre” website:

“Attention sound engineers, DJs, musicians, and hard core music lovers: Beats Pro is the reference headphone designed by audio professionals for audio professionals.”

Well, one and a half out of four ain’t bad.

You’ll know if you’ve seen my Beat Solo headphone youtube video that I would be perfectly happy to dis these cans. Well, I guess you can’t be happy all the time, because there were quite a few things these headphones did surprisingly well. But I’m not perfectly unhappy, the Beats Pro didn’t fail to disappoint in some ways too.

Life in balance I guess … Dre has his place.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 28, 2011 61 comments

Yes, historic. The Beyerdynamic DT 48 model has been in continuous production in a variety of forms since 1937. That's pretty historic ... I can't even remotely think of another headphone like that.

Let's take a look ...

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Apr 18, 2011 1 comments

Great guitar amplifiers are great because they produce a lot of distortion. I wonder what a great guitar amp maker thinks a headphone should sound like?

Well, here’s our chance … I guess. The Marshall Major ($99) is a mid-size, earpad, sealed headphone, but is actually made by Zound Industries of Sweden. Yes, this is another lifestyle headphone from the makers of Urbanears. I have no idea how much input Marshall had in the design and approval, but let’s give the Major a chance. Throw the drum-kit in the back of the Econoline and we’ll go for a ride to Rock ‘n Roll with the Marshall Majors.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: 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..."

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