April 2019
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AXPONA Coverage Part 4: The Wrap Up

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

JansZen had a big surprise at AXPONA this year – working portable electrostatic prototypes. Dubbed the ‘Lotus’ headphones, they work a bit like a wireless headphone. JansZen claims that you only need to charge these twice a month to get 4 hours of listening a day, and that all the necessary electrostatic circuity has been miniaturized in the cups.

Although you can’t see it in the pictures, the cups actually have small vent holes in them, isolating some sound but not everything.… Read the full article

AXPONA Coverage Part 3

By | April 16th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I stopped at the Mr. Speaker’s booth to say hi to the owner Dan Clark, who I respect immensely for his tireless efforts in pursuit of good sound. Dan has some awesome technical chops and I always learn something interesting when chatting with him, and he always has great sounding setups at his booth.

I really love the Aeon Flow Closed and new Ether 2 headphones, and I don’t say that frivolously – I own both headphones. At AXPONA he was showing the recently announced swappable ear pads for the Ether 2.… Read the full article

AXPONA Coverage Part 2

By | April 14th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

First up on Day 2 was the Focal Stellia. Focal always has a really cool and enormous booth, and they often bring some of the most top-notch electronics around to every show. They had their usual collection of cool amps, my favorite being the SPL Phonitor series, as well as the newish Stellia cans.

I took a listen to them and found them a fair bit warmer and mid-bassier than most of the other Focal cans, and very smooth sounding. I kind of like the Spiderman patterned bronze look, and the build quality is Focal’s usual – super supple full-grain leather and beautiful metal cups.… Read the full article

AXPONA Coverage Part 1

By | April 12th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I got to AXPONA on Thursday and was delighted to see that, in a drastic change from last year, headphones and related gear now have their own area.

Last year the noise from being in the general expo space was simply too much to hear anything – thankfully the AXPONA crew listened to feedback and the headphone show floor is now carpeted and cordoned off from the noisier speaker and records marketplace. The unfortunate downside seemed to be a number of manufacturers pulling out in reaction to the state of things last year.… Read the full article

Music for Headphones: A Year of Seasonal Mixes

By | April 11th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

With Spring here and Summer fast approaching, it is a good time to ponder the things to come and reflect on the year that has been… what better way to do that then with a selection of curated mixes celebrating the four seasons and the unique mindset which each engenders in all of us.

Throw on your headphones and clear the schedule, here is more than five hours of music to groove to courtesy of Vancouver, British Columbia DJ, music creator and mixmaster Scott Eastlick.… Read the full article

AXPONA 2019: InnerFidelity in Chicago

By | April 8th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

It’s baaaack… it’s bigger… it’s better… it’s AXPONA 2019 in Chicago.

Touted as the largest audio expo in North America, AXPONA is now in its second year at its new digs; the Renaissance Schaumberg Hotel & Convention Centre.

Located amid the sprawling urban dystopia of grey concrete and never-ending highway which surrounds outer Chicago, the Renaissance Schaumberg is an oasis of hip, metropolitan trappings and most importantly, vast amounts of well-organized, sensical trade-show space.

Attending the show last year was an eye-opening delight from a coverage standpoint as the massive open-concept layout of the tower, where the bulk of the 190 show listening rooms are, was a breeze to navigate and the huge headphone ballroom (Expo Hall) was well laid out and the uber-hip headphone lounge located on the 15th floor with a bar was truly civilized.… Read the full article

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Powerbeats Pro Announced – Changing Audiophile Norms?

By | April 4th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I was thinking, what does audiophile even mean anymore? Especially in the headphone community.

I mean, if you were ask the average person thinking of dropping $250 USD on a pair of the just announced Powerbeats Pro headphones, I’m pretty sure they’d say that those qualify as audiophile, but you’d probably have to explain what that even means… do 95 per cent of people who own good gear even consider themselves an audiophile anymore? More importantly, do they even care?

In my experience, most people think spending more than $500 on a set of cans or IEMs is a bit crazy or if they don’t, they do think it’s serious business.… Read the full article

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APERIO Headphone System to Supercede Sonoma Model One as Flagship

By | April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

The flagship $4,995 USD Sonoma Model One Electrostatic Headphone System by Warwick Acoustics is about to get an update in the form of the APERIO integrated headphone system.

The company, which brought the Sonoma system to market in 2017 is back with a “next generation” version of their proprietary 15-micron metalized Balanced Drive High Precision Electrostatic Laminate (BD-HPEL). The driver is comprised of a 0.1mm thick stainless steel screen, along with a die-cut Formex spacer which is sandwiched between the driver laminate and the stainless screen to create a 0.66mm gap.… Read the full article

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Sennheiser HD 820 Review

By | March 29th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

There’s an old saying, when one door closes, another door opens…

You can switch that around and swap door for headphone in the case of Sennheiser’s 800 series of circum-aural driver-equipped cans.

So, it would go more like when one headphone opens, another headphone closes, which is the case with Sennheiser’s newest addition to the 800 series: the closed-back $2,399 USD HD 820.

It’s a major departure from the design of its older siblings the HD 800 and the HD 800 S, the former open-backed, dynamic-driver model having launched in early 2009 featuring “ring radiator” technology, the latter hitting consumers heads in 2016.… Read the full article

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Sonarworks Launches User-driven Research Project

By | March 27th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Sonarworks headphone calibration software is no stranger to readers here as we’ve covered several updates over the past year and even had Grover Neville review the Reference 4 Headphone Edition software.

The Latvian sound calibration software developers recently kicked-off a public-research project “designed to fine-tune the calibration of their award winning apps for individual listener preference. The Sound Preference Research Project, which is currently underway globally, allows users to audition music samples with different sound settings in a simple A/B assessment to choose the sound they prefer most.Read the full article

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