Specialty Headphone Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 13, 2017 17 comments
Oh my! What an extraordinary headphone. The N90Q represents the first real effort to deliver seriously good sound quality using DSP corrections. It's my feeling that in the long run this type of headphone may eventually be able to deliver a superior subjective listening experience compared with passive headphones of the same price. On the other hand, I also have a little saying, "The first one is usually the worst one." Seems to me the proper perspective here is that the N90Q will be a good indicator of where we're starting on the road to DSP headphones, and how far they're likely to take us in the future. Let's get to it!
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Nov 24, 2015 14 comments

I spent all day yesterday measuring the two different pads with four filters each of the Torque t402v headphone.

Some things just don't go as expected.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 27, 2015 10 comments

Over the years I've tried a number of headphone subwoofer gadgets. Most didn't work well at all. The Subpac S2 is a whole 'nother story.

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..."

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Nov 27, 2011 26 comments

Call me out of touch with pop-culture, but I had no idea what the "True Blood" referred to on V-MODA's V-80 True Blood headphone. A quick Google and I know we have a new kind of celebrity headphone, one endorsed by a T.V. show about vampires. Fine with me because ...

... these headphones are AWESOME!

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Nov 11, 2011 14 comments

Bob Marley's "Exodus" ... wow, what a great album. I must have heard it a thousand times. It's a total classic. Prior to receiving these, I wondered skeptically if Bob Marley "Exodus" the headphone would be a classic. Time will tell ...

... but I think they're off to a good start.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Oct 11, 2011 7 comments
I'm making ready to head off to RMAF, but I certainly didn't want to shirk my duties measuring Stax headphones, and getting them back to their rightful owners.

Here we go ...

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 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?

Posted: May 04, 2013 52 comments

It's extremely hard to compare custom IEMs. Few users have more than one pair, so direct personal comparisons are rare. They can't be measured by InnerFidelity because they don't fit in the measurement head's ears. What to do?

Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead! In this review 5 InnerFidelity writers, blessed with the generosity of manufacturers willing to put their ToTL CIEMs through the ringer do a massive comparative review of 24 of the worlds best custom in-ear monitors.

Epic!

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: 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 14, 2011 18 comments

Quincy Jones has it going on, and I liked their higher-end Quincy Jones Q701 when I reviewed it a while ago. But now we come to a very small, sealed portable headphone, the Quincy Jones Q460.

Let's see how it does.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Nov 03, 2011 12 comments
After spending time with the Beats by Dre Solo HD (high definition or heavily distorted, I'm not sure) it was a real pleasure to acquaint myself with the Soul by Ludacris SL150.

Surprisingly satisfying!

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.

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