December 2017
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JBL Soundgear Personal Speaker

By | December 8th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I know…I know…HD 660 S…I’m working on it, but can’t rush the listening tests. So, I figured I’d get this one up…’cuz it didn’t take much listening.

JBL Soundgear ($199)
Not long ago I wrote enthusiastically about the Bose SoundWear Companion neck-worn speaker. It was my first experience with such a device and it was, and continues to be, a very pleasant one. Way better than I expected. So, I figured I should look into some of the other options for this new type of device.… Read the full article

Katz's Corner Episode 21: How Insensitive! Part 2

By | December 6th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

The Listening…or…Rumble in the Jungle
As you may recall, in Episode 20, I proposed that headphone amplifier’s output levels and headphone sensitivities should all be reported in dBu. dBu enables any consumer to quickly predict the SPL of various headphones with the various amplifiers, without needing to use algebra or logarithms. They can simply add or subtract to arrive at a basic assessment of the output level (drive) capability of the amplifier matched with the headphone and the potential impact of amplifier noise.… Read the full article

Acoustic Research AR-H1 Open Planar Magnetic Headphones

By | December 4th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

What’s in a name?
And BOOM! Acoustic Research, a brand long recognised amongst audio enthusiasts, shows up with their new planar magnetic AR-H1 at CanJam at RMAF 2017. Color me surprised!

Wait a sec…didn’t I see recently that Acoustic Research was making outdoor patio speakers? Yep. So, who is AR anymore? Turns out they’re is one of a dizzying array of brands owned by Voxx International including (and this is only naming a few that you might recognize): Terk (antennas); RCA (now making clock radios, cables, remote controls); 808 Audio (low cost consumer headphones, BT speakers, karaoke systems); Advent (now making automotive audio and video products, back up cameras, navigation systems); and—get this—Klipsch (you know them).… Read the full article

An Embarrassment of Riches

By | December 1st, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|


I completely agree that probably nobody will be able to hear 1% of distortion at 40 Hz. Furthermore, I understand that 2nd/3rd harmonic [euphonic] distortion sounds pleasant to many listeners. Nevertheless, I am sure that for my purpose of listening with as much accuracy as possible, this headphone would never find consideration due to the previously mentioned. Let me explain:

Our hearing is least sensitive in the sub-bass region [see… ] and some headroom well above 80 dB is essential for peaks; especially when going down to 20 Hz – which is one entire octave below 40 Hz, I would not want to miss!… Read the full article

Question and Answer Session with Tyll

By | November 29th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Dear AMW1011,

I had not registered on this website until you posted your comment. I have over the last decade worked in a unit responsible for world-wide investigations. We investigate allegations far worse than the ones you raise, but I thought it might be of interest to you as well as other readers and perhaps Mr Hertsens himself that I assess the assertions made in your posting.

1. What steps does Mr. Hertensens take to check and balance his own bias?… Read the full article

Katz's Corner Episode 20: How Insensitive!

By | November 27th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

How Insensitive! Part 1 of a Series

The Four Questions
Every prospective headphone and amplifier buyer needs the answers to these four questions:

  1. Is my new headphone as sensitive as my previous headphone—what level will it deliver in comparison?
  2. Can my amplifier drive this headphone to an adequate level without introducing audible distortion?
  3. Will I hear amplifier noise through my new headphone?
  4. Does my amplifier have enough gain to drive an insensitive headphone?

These are basic questions, but headphone and amplifier manufacturers aren’t doing much to help people answer them!… Read the full article

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2017 InnerFidelity Holiday Gift Guide

By | November 25th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

‘Tis the season!

Noodling around for some gift ideas for the audio lover in your life? InnerFidelity writers did a little noodling for you and are happy to present you our “2017 InnerFidelity Gift Guide.”


Tyll Hertsens

171124_2017HolidayGiftGuide_Photo_HD471Sennheiser HD 471 ($89)
The perfect gift for the budding social media producer in your life. For less money than one would think possible, the Sennheiser HD 471 delivers the kind of truthful presentation of audio needed to train one’s senses and learn the audio craft.… Read the full article

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New Life for the 3.5mm Jack?

By | November 21st, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I have never, and will not in the foreseeable future, buy a wireless mouse or keyboard. No way am I gonna go around charging them. I already have to charge my phone, bluetooth speaker and iPod. Enough for me to remember. I will not be changing to wireless headphones either, for the same reason.

I remember having to reformat my sister’s mac and asking her to buy a wired mouse and keyboard because halfway through the process the keyboard went haywire.… Read the full article

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MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open Planar Magnetic Headphones

By | November 17th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I’ll admit feeling the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed look a bit alien to my eyes when first I saw it. Now that it’s been on my desk for a few months I find it quite appealing. Not so much for it’s looks—don’t get me wrong, I quite like the look—but more because I’ve come to appreciate the comfort of them. No surprises when the Aeon Flow Open showed up…they were right at home on my head. Good thing too, they’ll be spending a lot of time there.… Read the full article

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PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC

By | November 14th, 2017|Categories: Innerfidelity|

There’s no shortage of choice for quality headphone amps. Whether your budget is $249 or $5,000, or somewhere in between, you should be able to find an amp that satisfies your requirements.

The same goes for D/A converters. The little Grace Design SDAC is killer at only $79 while high-end DACs routinely go for many thousands of dollars.

Preamps? Same story. As a more “traditional” hi-fi component, there’s a seemingly endless supply of designs out there. A surprisingly large number of brands sport prices you might typically associate with a new luxury car.… Read the full article

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