Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 19, 2011  |  17 comments

It was quality over quantity in the last contest. We sure got some good answers. Check it out!

This week we're going to do something a little different.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 18, 2011  |  6 comments

The rash of in-ear headphones over the past few years has produced an enormous amount of style over substance. All too often the bling on the outside is accompanied by horrifically bloated or screechy sound on the inside. Likewise, some makers are able to deliver great sound, but fall down in the looks and comfort department. Rare indeed is the in-ear headphone that is stylish, comfortable, and good sounding.

The Audéo PFE seems to have beaten the odds.

Tyll Hertsens  |  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.)

Steve Guttenberg  |  Jul 12, 2011  |  6 comments

Editors Note: When I invited CNET's Audiophiliac Steve Guttenberg to write an article for InnerFidelity, he thought for a bit and made this suggestion: since InnerFidelity is about getting right down to the nitty-gritty truth about how a piece of personal audio gear sounds, why not make some recommendations for reference quality sounds to start with. Great idea! I think I'm going to have to write a similar article with my reference tracks one of these days --- not surprisingly, his list and mine contain some of the same albums.

Click on the album images to go to the source page. Rightio Steve, we're listening!

Tyll Hertsens  |  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  |  Jul 06, 2011  |  6 comments

I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to the word "voicing." I want neutrality; I want absolute transparency; I want to hear exactly what's on the disk, nothing more nothing less. Problem is, it rarely happens ... if ever. Pretty much every headphone I've ever heard has its own character. I'm pretty sure most headphone makers shoot for neutral and miss; the resulting "voice" is a bit more random than by design in most cases, I suspect.

The folks at Spider Cable say they were shooting for a "voicing" with an "emphasis on strong vocals or smooth sounding classical music."

Well I'll be damned, I think they did it.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 05, 2011  |  9 comments

Relative to the Harbeth HL-P3ES-2 speakers on my main computer rig, these things just don't compare. Well, duh! The Harbeths are powered by 150Watt class-D amps run from a serious pre-amp and DAC. The UCubes get both signal and power from the USB output of my laptop. The question is: what can you compare them to?

Not much, they're pretty unique.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 01, 2011  |  10 comments

Man! It's July already ... June went by in a flash.

Went to THE Show; did some burn-in; reviewed quite a few sealed headphones; Ryan's Eddie current review was awesome; airline headphones weren't; did TWiT TV; saw Todd's new amp; gave away money; and sampled some killer DIY cans from dBel84.

I wonder what I'll do next?

Tyll Hertsens  |  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.

Tyll Hertsens  |  Jun 29, 2011  |  17 comments

Brian Gluck at shot me an email last week suggesting we make the contest more open ended by asking a question and selecting a winner from the various answers. D'oh! Why didn't I think of that?

So I thunk and thunk, and thunk some more ... and I think I've thunk of a question. It's actually one I've thought about for a long time.