LATEST ADDITIONS

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 27, 2011  |  2 comments

In a recent email, Stereophile's Stephan Mejias inquired of Editor John Atkinson, "Um, is that a Peachtree DAC?"

John responded that it indeed did look like a Peachtree, but didn't know what the headphones were, so I was cc'ed on the exchange.

Little did they know, they were opening up one of the classic, often funny, and at times a little creepy topics in Headphonedom.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 25, 2011  |  17 comments

I've spent a lot of time with good balanced armature monitors stuck in my ears. Mostly it's a pleasure --- there are some darn good headphones out there of this type: Jerry Harvey Audio JH13, Shure SE530, Etymotic ER4P, and Audéo PFE come to mind. I've also spent a good bit of time with in-ear monitors that use dynamic drivers. That hasn't been nearly as pleasurable.

Lately, that's begun to change, and with the Sony MDR-EX600 and MDR-EX1000 I'm thinking we've got a real horse race on our hands.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 23, 2011  |  10 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  |  Aug 23, 2011  |  0 comments

The web is abuzz with the news: a little monster has been unleashed upon the headphone market as Kevin Lee, son of Monster's Head Monster Noel Lee, breaks out on his own to start a new headphone company "SOL Republic."

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 19, 2011  |  6 comments

Like it or not, Monster has done more for the recent success of headphones than any one else. They've moved headphones from just another audio accessory, to a major stand-alone audio category in the mind of the popular culture. Headphone sales have climbed strongly over the past three years in the face of economic turmoil, and Monster has played the major roll in that success.

I'd say it's mostly been an exersize in marketing and supply chain acumen so far, but the deal with HTC may change all that.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 17, 2011  |  4 comments

I'm very pleased to have Todd the Vinyl Junkie nearby. Thursday nights he has listening sessions of newly arrived vinyl and serves imported Belgian beer in proper glasses ... so that's cool. But in this case, I'm pleased because I get first dibs listening to Pete Millett's newest creation for Apex Hi-Fi and TTVJ: The Butte headphone amplifier.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 16, 2011  |  4 comments

Kabeer - "I am located in UK, and I have some orthos. Im not sure if its very viable for me to get anything measured?"

Tyll - "I really can't spend too much money on this, so I've limited DIY Ortho testing to the U.S. to keep the shipping costs down. Sorry."

Kabeer - "Id really like to send my Aiwa to you to get measured. I think its pretty great :). Wualta wants to see their measurements too and has kindly offered to pay you the postage back to UK for them."

Tyll - "Okie Dokie. If Wualta wants to see the measurements, it must be good."

You see, while Wualta might be a crusty old curmudgeon, he's also one of the patron saints of Orthodynamic DIYers, and if he thinks something is worthwhile ... well, you just have to have a listen.

By golly, he's right on the mark again!

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 15, 2011  |  15 comments

A goodly amount of forum chatter has been focussed on these two very inexpensive Superlux headphones. (Superlux is a Taiwanese maker of professional audio gear, and is distributed in the U.S. by Avlex.) I thought it would be fun to have a listen and see if the headphone enthusiast community has stumble upon some giant killers.

(C'mon, how much can $30 really get you?)

Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 12, 2011  |  5 comments

Yesterday HTC spent $300 million dollars to purchase control of Beats Electronics, makers of Beats by Dr.Dre headphones, in order to put "Beats Audio Technology" in their cell phones.

In an All Things D article Ina Freid reported:

(HTC CEO) Chou said the Beats deal should “help create an emotional connection to HTC’s brand.”

And ...

Beats CEO Iovine said the partnership with HTC is just the latest piece of his crusade to improve the sound in modern electronics.

What is "Beats Audio Technology?" This HP YouTube movie provides basic explanations of the Beats Audio technology included in some HP laptops.

Things cited are: no metal parts in headphone jack eliminates ground noise; re-routed wireing and seperate headphone amp reduces cross-talk; "souped-up" headphone amp increases dynamic range; audio components isolated on an "audio island" free from interference; and lastly an audio EQ and control app. These aren't propriety technologies. These are simply good audio electronics design practices.

Has HTC just payed $300m for a logo? Will it benefit consumers? Select the statement most true.

HTC pays $300mil for control Beats Electronics. What will consumers get out of it?
The iPhone is cooler and sounds damned good. They'll need the logo and better electronics to compete.
19% (86 votes)
Just the rapper's logo is enough ... people are sheeple. Money spent on actual improvements will eat into profits.
60% (267 votes)
They'll never put in a big enough battery to power the electronics needed to sound good.
12% (52 votes)
Dr. Dre and Monster have developed real technological advancements in secret laboratories and they rock!
8% (37 votes)
Total votes: 442
Tyll Hertsens  |  Aug 10, 2011  |  13 comments
You should be enraged by greedy people messing with holy things.

I recently posted a poll asking why the perceived value of headphones has increase so much over the last ten years. Much to my chagrin, the answer, "The success of the iPod in the pop culture allowed headphones to become a sweeping fad of fashion and celebrity" has just pulled into the lead.

Saddly, I tend to agree.

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