THE ONLY MAJOR MANUFACTURER I know of that makes the same headphone in different impedances, Beyerdynamic offers the DT-990 in a 32-ohm version for use with portable devices, a 250-ohm version for average home gear, and a 600-ohm version for high-end headphone amps. We requested the 32-ohm version because the other headphones tested here run in that range and because we figured most S+V readers would at least occasionally want to plug straight into a smartphone or a computer.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Precise, lifelike imaging
Intimate vocal sound
Well-defined and satisfying bass
Midrange slightly constricted
One of the best sub-$5K speakers you can buy
Nobody wants to be stuck in the middle. Nobody wants the middle seat in the car or on the plane. Nobody wants to be the middle child, stuck between the more accomplished older sibling and the cuter baby. And hardly anyone wants “good for the money”; we want the best or the cheapest.
As athletes such as Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant, and the whole New Orleans Saints defense have learned the hard way, even when you’re the best, it helps to be friendly. Big surround sound systems aren’t friendly to your décor or your pocketbook. Fortunately, in the last 2 years, we’ve seen major speaker companies put serious effort into designing compact 5.1 systems that deliver no-compromise performance. The Mini Theatre line from Bowers & Wilkins is the latest to make its way through my listening room.
We describe famous musicians as "brilliant" or "innovative" or "creative," but mostly, they aren't. They're just making minor modifications to a harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic framework borrowed from musicians who preceded them-and those earlier musicians did the same thing, too. And so on and so on.
Bryston's early speakers were boxy, pro-monitor-style creations, but its latest products are a lot sleeker and more home-friendly. They're also designed -- as one might expect from a Canadian audio company -- according to sound, decades-proven scientific principles. That's why the Middle T tower speaker delivered some of the best sound I heard at CES.
When I attended my first Consumer Electronics Show in 1990, Microsoft was a relatively small company that had had one real hit (MS-DOS) and was struggling to gain traction with its other applications. I don’t think the company even exhibited at CES back then.