Podcast 69: Tyll Hertsens

Our own Tyll Hertsens, editor-in-chief of InnerFidelity.com, talks about the surprisingly social hobby of headphones, measuring the performance of headphones and how that relates to the subjective experience of listening to them, in-ear versus on-ear versus over-the-ear designs, simulating surround in headphones, how sound levels impact sound quality and hearing safety, noise cancelling, breaking in headphones, answers to chat-room questions, and more.

Run Time: 58:21

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As the son of two ballet dancers, Tyll Hertsens has been exposed to music all his life. Fortunately for headphone listeners, his two left feet and a penchant for gadgetry kept him out of the theater. Tyll discovered headphone listening in high school with a pair of Koss Pro-4AA headphones and spent countless hours listening to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the like. Later in life, as a scanning electron-microscope repairman, he improved his listening with a DIY headphone amp with a crude crossfeed circuit.

In 1992, Tyll took his idea for a portable headphone amp to heart and started HeadRoom, introducing the world to the pleasures of well-amplified personal listening. HeadRoom went on to create the first commercially available portable headphone amplifier and the first balanced-drive headphone amp. Tyll also spent countless hours promoting the hobby of headphone listening, and today a thriving community exists much to his credit.

After 17 years of operation, Tyll decided to leave HeadRoom and put his full attention on promoting headphone listening to a wider audience. To that end, he has recently joined Source Interlink Media's Home Tech group (which includes Stereophile.com, HomeTheater.com, and UltimateAVmag.com) to create a website dedicated to personal audio: InnerFidelity.com. The site focuses on headphones, headphone amplifiers, portable players, internet radios, and all manner of personal audio devices.

Here's the YouTube video of this podcast: