Sennheiser makes a lot of headphone models, and it can be a bit confusing to make sense of the lineup. Some models are close cousins, and then it's even tougher to keep track of them all. Take the Sennheiser HD-25 Aluminum ($330), the 25th anniversary edition of the classic HD-25 headphone. Then again, the HD-25 Aluminum looks like a twin of the Sennheiser Amperior ($349), and to keep things interesting Sennheiser just introduced another very similar model, the HD 26 Pro ($320). I don't have an on-ear Sennheiser Momentum ($200) in house to compare, but I know it … Read more
If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that most people like bass, and they like more bass even more. I suppose JBL engineers know the same thing, and they made sure the new Synchros S700 over-the ear, closed-back headphones deliver incredibly deep bass.
Designwise, JBL avoided the slick, plastic look of Beats and other fashion-oriented 'phones. The Synchros S700's precision die-cast aluminum earcups look like they mean business, and the headband is steel-reinforced, so the headphones feel really solid. One other reason for that is the headband isn't hinged, so while it … Read more
There's no denying the Beats by Dre Studio's success, and how it so radically changed the headphone landscape. No other headphone manufacturer could have imagined that it could sell millions of $300 headphones to non-audiophiles. Before Beats those buyers were content with cheap and utterly disposable headphones, headphones that all too often would stop working in a few months, get thrown away, and get replaced with another set of cheap headphones. Of course, those cheap headphones sounded pretty bad, so moving up to the Studio meant the sound was a revelation! Bass, dynamics, and treble detailing were so … Read more
Last year I had the chance to interview Luke Wood, the boss of Beats headphones, about the bass-heavy company's meteoric rise to prominence -- a fashion-focused bombardment that left traditional audio companies struggling to keep pace. This year, at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Daniel Sennheiser of German firm Sennheiser is having his say.
Sennheiser is one of the many manufacturers caught off guard by the popularity of Beats' celebrity-endorsed fashion 'phones. I wanted to know how the company was coping with the competition, and the challenges of selling headphones in a post-Beats world.'Beats has taken away … Read more
I've heard a lot of, but far from most of the world's best headphone amps, but even in that heady territory the Auralic Taurus MKII shines. I've used a wide range of my very best headphones, in-ears and full-size, and they're all sounding better than I've heard them before.
The $6,475 Mal Valve amp is right up there, but it's been a few months since I heard it, and I never had it at home so my experience was more limited. I had the luxury of living with the Taurus MKII for weeks, … Read more
Congrats to Tywan J. of Owings Mills, Md., for winning an Otterbox Realtree Camo case for the HTC One in last week's giveaway. Like the sound of getting a pair of high-end headphones for free? Read on.
We're giving away a pair of full-size over-the-ear Sennheiser Momentum headphones, which feature a brushed-stainless-steel headband and plush, leather-covered earpads and come with two cables and a carrying case.
Steve Guttenberg, CNET's Audiophiliac, lauded the 'phones for their build and sound quality: "The Momentum headphones sound crisp and clear with all types of music and movies." Earlier this year, the headphones scored a spot in our Top-rated reviews of the week lineup. … Read more
The Fosgate Signature Headphone Amplifier is one of the very best-sounding amps I've ever used. It was designed by one of the greats, Jim Fosgate, a man who earned 18 audio related patents, founded a number of successful electronics companies -- oh, and he pioneered high-power car audio systems. He was also a big supporter of the very first home surround format -- quadraphonic -- in the early 1970s, and so committed to the format that even as quad was winding down, he designed the Fosgate Tate 101, arguably the finest quad processor of the era. Fosgate also created … Read more
Most of the headphones I've tested over the years weren't designed to have a neutral balance of bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. Manufacturers are well aware that most people like bass, and that buyers tend to favor one headphone over another based on how much bass it produces. I think that's obvious, but a recent study cited in Brent Butterworth's blog countered that assumption. "The Relationship between Perception and Measurement of Headphone Sound Quality," a paper by Sean Olive and Todd Welti presented at last October's Audio Engineering Society convention found that a … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Looking for bleeding-wallet-level headphone gear? The Sennheiser IE 800 earphones emerged at CES Unveiled, costing $999 and promising the best in-ear performance anywhere, period.
The IE 800s have been hanging around for much of 2012, but they're making a stronger push at this show. The extremely tiny buds have an absurd range of 5Hz to 46,000Hz. A dual-vented design is meant to reduce any unwanted distortion, and the overall sonic impact is meant to be extremely natural, with a slightly elevated bass level to counteract the noises of commuting.
Listening to them, they are impressively crisp. But $… Read more
Frankly, I was a little disappointed when I first unboxed the new ALO Pan Am tube headphone amp. It looked so cute and tiny; how could it possibly deliver the goods? The dainty 4.6-inch-by-3.8-inch footprint makes it easy to place anywhere. The amp's rear end houses three inputs: stereo RCA and 3.5mm analog inputs and a USB connection. The built-in digital-to-analog converter accommodates up to 24-bit/96-kHz audio. The amp is available in anodized silver or black finishes.
I started listening with my trusty Grado RS-1 headphones and loved the clarity. The Pan Am has the … Read more