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HEADPHONE REVIEWS

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Filed under
Michael Berk Posted: Feb 12, 2013 0 comments
When Logitech acquired the Ultimate Ears headphone brand in 2008, longtime fans had their doubts about what the consumer electronics megacompany would do with the high-end in-ear specialists.
Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 25, 2012 0 comments

With so many companies slapping their brand on generic IEMS, what’s an easy way to tell who’s serious about sound? Look to the guys selling IEMs with balanced armatures. Most IEMs use dynamic drivers, tiny versions of the drivers in box speakers, but a balanced armature is more like a little motorized teeter-totter that drives a diaphragm.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 04, 2013 0 comments

Has there ever been a headphone brand so controversial as Beats? It's undeniably popular; just walk around any downtown or airport in any industrialized country and you're almost sure to see a set. Yet audio enthusiasts-including the ones at Sound & Vision-often deride Beats' sound quality.

Filed under
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 14, 2013 0 comments

Sennheiser has long been a fixture in the professional audio and high-end audiophile market. I’ve used my Sennheiser HD 595 and HD 600 Open Dynamic headphones for many applications - in the studio for reference monitoring, for sound quality consulting, and for audio forensics. When Sennheiser announced the Momentum series, I was instantly curious about these affordable, fashionable, and (somewhat) portable headphones. Would they live up to the brand’s reputation?

Filed under
Michael Berk Posted: Jul 05, 2012 0 comments

Tivoli's staked out a secure place for itself on the bedside tables and desks of stylish folks worldwide, and now they've decided to bring their tasteful finishes and wooden accents to the category everybody's getting into these days - headphones.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 09, 2011 0 comments

When we heard about the Sync by 50 headphones from SMS Audio, our hearts soared. We hoped that company founder and hip-hop star 50 Cent — or Fiddy, or Fif, or Cent, or Curtis, or whatever the hip-hop cognoscenti are calling him this week — would tap his fabled entrepreneurial skills and no-nonsense business attitude to create the world’s first hip-hop headphones that don’t at least kinda suck.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 25, 2012 0 comments

To reviewers, accusations of bias are just part of the gig. Commenting readers have insisted we're biased against certain brands, biased against in-ear monitors, biased against headphones with lots of bass, biased against headphones with flat bass, even biased against headphones from non-California companies.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: May 14, 2012 0 comments

Thanks to Bose’s overwhelming success in the category, most of us now think of noise-cancelling headphones as products that cost about $300. I’m sure every other headphone company would like to thank Bose for that, even if none of them ever will. But there’s really no reason that a noise-cancelling headphone has to cost so much.

Filed under
Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 17, 2013 0 comments

Two years ago, not a soul had heard of SOL Republic. Last summer, that all changed as everyone watching the Summer Olympics frantically googled to see what brand of headphones were seemingly permanently attached to swimmer Michael Phelps' head whenever he was out of the water. Overnight, SOL Republic went from "what's that?" to "must have." Can their latest design keep up with the hype?

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 14, 2012 0 comments

In the unlikely event I ever again decide to pick a fight, it’ll be with someone who looks weaker than me. Obviously, Audio-Technica has a lot more guts than I do.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 24, 2013 0 comments

With the vPulse in-ear monitor, Velodyne managed a trick most other headphone brands haven’t—it created a big-bass headphone that didn’t sound dull. Now the company has launched two over-ear models: the $399 vTrue, a large, audiophile-oriented model, and the $299 vFree, a relatively compact headphone equipped with Bluetooth wireless. S&V’s Michael Berk reviewed the vTrue, while I’m taking on the vFree.

Filed under
Michael Berk Posted: Jun 12, 2012 0 comments

The look of V-Moda gear may be a little Versace for some mild-mannered audiophiles, but make no mistake: Val Kolton knows a thing or two about good sound, and beneath the flashy exteriors of his gear you'll find thoughtful engineering, well-conceived ergonomics, and impressive sound quality.

So when Kolton told us he had a portable source device in the works, were we excited? You bet.

Filed under
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 19, 2012 0 comments

I'm skeptical of any audio product with a fancy design. In my experience, the more trendy or attractive a product is, the worse the performance. Maybe this prejudice comes from a place of subconscious competition, given that I'm so trendy and attractive.

So I approached the Parrot Zik with caution, not least because I found out that "Design by Starck" was not a misspelling and had nothing to do with Ned or even Robb (What about Tony? - Ed.).

But turns out, zee Ziks are zuper.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 20, 2012 0 comments

Companies that sell in-ear monitors seldom talk much about the technologies inside their products. But they should, because there are big differences between the ~$20 Philips and Skullcandy IEMs you buy at Target and the ~$200 models you get from Etymotic or Shure.

Filed under
Brent Butterworth Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments

"So this is a tuner headphone," our frequent West Coast listening panelist Will Huff commented when I showed him the Mad Dog Alpha. "Like tuner cars?" he suggested when he saw my quizzical look. "Like in Fast and Furious?" he asked when I gave him a shrug. Ah, finally I got it.

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