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Breaking The Ice

By | May 18th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

InnerFidelity Introduction

Hi, I’m Rafe Arnott, and I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself as the new Managing Editor to the dedicated readers of InnerFidelity. I’m not Tyll Hertsens, but I do have a beard.

This is a website about headphones: Headphone design, headphone technology, headphone sound reproduction quality, discussion of headphones, and their associated equipment, and how headphones fit into people’s daily lives. This is to name but a fraction of the focus points touched on by those who have helped make InnerFidelity the tight-knit community, and global resource for headphone information that it has grown into.… Read the full article

New Managing Editor Announced For Innerfidelity And Audiostream Websites

By | May 16th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|


Thanks for the update and information. Welcome to Innerfidelity Rafe!

First: As you can see by the comments threads on the recent posts, Tyll established a strong following through his work. Alot of folks appreciate and respect what he did and it bears acknowledging here as the site transitions to the new staff. Tyll’s outstanding efforts for this site have laid a STRONG foundation for y’all to build upon.

Second: At the end of the day, of course, this site will evolve based on your expectations, needs, and objectives.… Read the full article

Rafe Arnott to Become Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream

By | May 16th, 2018|Categories: Audiohead, Audiostream, Innerfidelity|Tags: , |

Yes, that is correct. Audio-Head contributor Rafe Arnott is the new editor for both InnerFidelity and AudioStream, and we couldn’t be more happy for the man. Rafe has helped out Audio-Head for the past few years and was instrumental in elevating our show coverage to new levels. His sharp wit is matched only by his keen eye for photography and the new position is a perfect fit for his many talents. We wish him the best of luck in the path in front of him and will miss his copy and imagery here very much.… Read the full article

Editor and Creative Director Rafe Arnott to depart Part-Time Audiophile

By | May 16th, 2018|Categories: Audiostream, Innerfidelity, Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , |

For Immediate Release

Frederick, Maryland. May 16th, 2018.

Today, we are sad to announce the departure of Rafe Arnott, our esteemed Editor and Creative Director for  The Occasional Magazine and Part-Time Audiophile.

It’s been three years since Rafe joined the team at Part-Time Audiophile. Almost three years to the day, in fact, since he launched his debut covering an audio show in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. We immediately recognized that his unique style and visual daring were unmatched in today’s high-end, gifts that he used to revolutionize Part-Time Audiophile’s look and helped rocket us through a period of explosive growth.… Read the full article

That's it…I'm Out

By | May 12th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Hiya folks!

Well, it’s happened quicker than even I thought it would: I’m retiring. This will be my last post.

First, this has nothing to do with the current change in ownership. In fact, I kinda feel bad about the timing. This all happened rather quickly for me, and it ended up colliding with the change in ownership. Sorry about that, it made a complex situation even more trying, I’m sure.

My Retirement Plans
I’ve been working on my retirement plan for 3 years, which is to build a tiny home into a FedEx step van and live life as an adventuring nomad.… Read the full article

Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered Custom In-Ear Monitors

By | May 8th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

It’s been nearly 5 years since ToTL Madness—our attempt to survey the growing custom IEM landscape and identify the best of the best. It’s still a good read if you want to learn more about the history of the industry, the major players, and the strengths/weaknesses of these colorful little ear gems.

Since then, we’ve seen the market continue to expand. New players have entered the field, and several firms have undergone “rebranding” of sorts; 1964 Ears became 64 Audio, while Heir Audio gave way to Noble.… Read the full article

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Katz's Corner Episode 25: Adventures in Distortion

By | May 3rd, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I. The Genesis
I’ve been preparing to write this article for many years! In order to make this investigation, I needed to create a laboratory-grade distortion processor, which I’ve just completed designing and building. Let me introduce you to Bob’s Blender (Fig 1). In a moment we’ll discover its features and controls.1 But first a little background: The underlying topologies in analog amplifiers, preamps, and equalizers have been evolving for decades. At first there were only tubes: triodes, tetrodes and pentodes.… Read the full article

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CanJam SoCal 2018 – MrSpeakers Voce Electrostatic Headphones and Factory Tour

By | May 1st, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I mentioned being quite impressed with two electrostatic headphones in my CanJam SoCal HiFiMAN Shangri-La Jr. post. The second headphone is the new MrSpeakers Voce ($2999). I’ve heard some of the previous prototypes at shows and they didn’t quite cut it for me. But Dan Clark, CEO and Founder of MrSpeakers, persisted, and invited me to have another listen and tour his facility just after CanJam SoCal. Le sigh. Alrighty, Dan, I’ll give it another shot…boy, am I glad I did.… Read the full article

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CanJam SoCal 2018 – Smyth Research Realiser A16 Headphone Surround System

By | April 27th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I heard quite a few gadgets over the years intended to virtualize sound on headphone to get it out of your head. None of them were truly convincing. The Ossic X was probably the closest, but it had the support of 3D virtual reality visuals to go along with it. The new Audeze Mobius was pretty good, but frontal localization—the big buggaboo—remained illusive. The problem with all these systems is that they try to fool you with synthesized head related transfer functions (HRTFs), which are never exactly the same as the cues from your original equipment.… Read the full article

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CanJam SoCal 2018 – HiFiMAN Shangri-La Jr. Electrostatic Headphones and Amplifier

By | April 25th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I need to admit I’ve had problems really liking what I’ve heard from electrostatic headphones. I typically hear the treble as being hazy or overly airy. Well, I heard two e-stats while in Southern California that seemed to be changing that. One of them was HiFiMAN’s Shangri-La Jr.

The Shangri-La Sr. at $50k is right out of my league, and unless it’s the National Football, probably out of your league as well. Fortunately, with the recently available Shagri-La Jr. ($8000), HiFiMAN has dragged the price—and a number of key features and technologies—out of the stratosphere and planted it squarely into competition with other high-end electrostatic systems.… Read the full article

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