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Should headphones for mobile use have a different tuning than headphones for music listening only?

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

As alluded to above, plenty of movies have good soundtracks, and many have effects that dig deeper into the bass… Elevated bass might just make a mess of things there. I dunno why a neutral headphone would have trouble with dialog and vocals anyway.

OTOH mobile use of headphones that don’t seal perfectly and/or lack NC (so everything outside NC and very isolating IEM) does pose it’s own challenges… And by mobile use I mean truly mobile, not sitting at home with a tablet kinda mobile.… Read the full article

Audeze LCD2 Classic Open Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

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

It’s deja vu all over again. Maybe Audeze decided to reverse the trend for ever more expensive headphones. Maybe they were just aware of so many people longing for the LCD2 of old. But whatever the reson, I do like seeing them breath new life into the more affordable end of the LCD line-up with their newly released LCD2 Classic.

Audeze LCD2 ($799)
The LCD2 Classic is an open acoustic, over-ear, planar magnetic headphone. While the LCD2 Classic has the same double-sided magnetic structure and ultra-thin film diaphragm of the LCD2 it forgoes the Fazor elements and wood ring in an effort to further reduce costs.… Read the full article

Astell&Kern KANN Portable Media Player

By | February 6th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Astell&Kern KANN ($999)
It’s been roughly a year since my last DAP roundup, and—as predicted—the category continues to grow. The life cycle on these things tends to be more like what you’d experience in the smartphone space as opposed to traditional audiophile gear. That means new and/or refreshed designs on a consistent basis, with existing models being phased out more quickly.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with using your existing player for as long as possible (Tyll still loves his AK240 after nearly 4 years), the Wall of Fame needs to reflect current choices.… Read the full article

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Advanced Alpha Over-Ear Open Planar Magnetic Headphones

By | February 4th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

One of a nice handfull of $500ish planar magnetic headphones at the show, I was impressed with the Advanced Alpha at [email protected] last October. In my report I said:

Maybe it was just the show conditions, or maybe I was just in the right mood, but holy smoke these sounded really good to me on first listen. I’ve been wrong at shows before so don’t take this as gospel, but I sure liked these Advanced planar magnetic cans.

Well, time to find out if we can trust my ears at shows.… Read the full article

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Schiit Magni 3 Affordable Headphone Amp and Preamp

By | January 30th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

(Editor’s Note: I very happy to place the first of what I hope is many reviews from Tyler Schrank in the pages of InnerFidelity. Though you might remember him from his visit to my home in 2015 for the “Big Sound” event. Known as “Hands” on the headphones enthusiast forums, Tyler has a long history of critical headphone and electronics listening and commentary. He also does quite a bit of headphone modification and measurement on his DIY headphone measurement system. No need to go on and on, if you’re a regular reader of superbestaudiofriends.org you already know him, if you’re not, well…sit back and enjoy.Read the full article

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Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro Affordable Over-Ear Sealed Headphones

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

Doing audio production on a budget? Want something that sounds good? Feeling a little overwhelmed worrying about finding that one good sounding and durable needle in the haystack of crappy sounding cheap headphones that’s going to break the first time it gets thrown in you backpack? Read on!

Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro ($99)
Beyerdynamic has recently released an affordable over-ear (sort of), sealed headphone that will put a smile on most anybody’s face…but mobile media producers in particular. Sure, this plain-Jane headphone is not going to win any beauty contests, but it’s not fugly…and it’s got it where it counts.… Read the full article

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CES 2018: That's a Wrap

By | January 23rd, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

It was great to see no vestige remaining at CES of the celebrity headphone era. It was reassuring to see headphone makers selling product based on performance…or at least claims of performance. Marketing folks will be marketing folks. One might be tempted to think the world of headphones is going to return to normal…if there was such a thing. Unfortunately, I think this year’s CES was just a little calm before the storm.

The cable is being cut.

Twenty years ago I had high hopes of people discovering great sound with headphones.… Read the full article

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CES 2018 Show Highlight: Sonarworks Headphone Correction Equalizing Software

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

I got the call a couple weeks before CES. A familiar Public Relations firm wanted me to meet up with a new client. I resisted initially…too many scheduled meeting can get in the way of an efficient route traveling the acres of CES show floor. “But,” the rep said, “it’s Sonarworks, the folks that do headphone compensation, and they want to meet you.” Ahhhh, I know of them and am curious. Compensating headphones is tricky business; I would like to hear their story.… Read the full article

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CES 2018: Audeze iSINE LX In-Ear Open Planar Magnetic Earphones

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

Having reviewed the iSINE 20 last year and placing it on the Wall of Fame as best in a class of one headphone, I’ve had on-going opportunities to use them around the house. These open acoustic in-ears won’t do you any good on airplanes and noisy environments, but when it comes to housework and time in the garage they simply excel. I can even fit my full-size ear protection muffs over them when using my table saw. They are a bit pricy though at $599 with the Cipher cable.… Read the full article

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CES 2018: Beyerdynamic DT 240 Pro Affordable Sealed Headphones

By | January 17th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Like most manufacturers, I find Beyerdynamic’s more expensive offerings a bit hit and miss; but unlike most manufacturers I’m pretty consistently impressed by Beyerdynamic’s lower cost products. Check out my reviews of the $59 DTX 350 m and now discontinued DT 235. Both really good values.

The good news is that Beyerdynamic hasn’t been resting on their laurels. I asked Pete Carini, “What’s new?” when I entered the booth. Knowing my penchant for good sounding cheap headphones he pointed me towards Beyer’s recently released DT 240 Pro, a (barely) over-ear sealed headphone that goes for $99.… Read the full article

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