Steve Guttenberg

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Steve Guttenberg  |  Dec 13, 2017  |  1 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Oval planar magnetic design
Easy to drive
Nice and comfy
Minus
Cable lacks phone mic or inline controls

THE VERDICT
Acoustic Research knocked one out of the park with the AR-H1 — it’s a real contender.

Acoustic Research has a long, proud history dating back to 1954 with the introduction of the AR1, the world’s first acoustic suspension speaker. But rather than run through a model-by-model inventory of their innovative speakers and the brilliant AR turntable, let’s fast-forward to 2018 where the AR's current owner is based in Hong Kong and they’re getting serious about making audiophile headphones. Witness the AR-H1, an ambitious reboot for the brand.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Oct 31, 2017  |  0 comments
Ti In-Ear Headphones
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
Be In-Ear Headphones
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value

Mg In-Ear Headphone
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $99, $199, $299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clear sound, great bass
Five-year warranty
Now made in the U.S.
Minus
Tangle-prone cable
No phone controls

THE VERDICT
Periodic Audio’s three in-ear headphones—the Mg, Ti, and Be—may only differ in the driver material but sound more different than you might expect.

Periodic Audio is a brand-new company that launched with just three in-ear headphones, the Mg (Magnesium), the Ti (Titanium), and the Be (Beryllium), for $99, $199, and $299, respectively. The three headphones look nearly the same, differing only in the color of the earpiece end caps. The Mg and Ti are similar shades of silver, while the Be is gold. The three models’ 10mm drivers are all mechanically exactly the same but differ in their diaphragm materials—magnesium, titanium, and beryllium—so it made sense to look at all three models as a group.

Rob Sabin, Steve Guttenberg  |  Sep 27, 2017  |  1 comments
In this episode of Pixels & Bits, Sound & Vision editor Rob Sabin and contributing tech editor Steve Guttenberg spotlight the Vizio SB3621 36-inch soundbar (00:50), talk about the anticipated arrival of HDMI 2.1 and what it means for today's TV and A/V receiver shoppers (4:18), and review Angeleena Presley's CD, Wrangled (8:18).

Rob Sabin, Steve Guttenberg  |  Sep 05, 2017  |  0 comments
S&V Editor Rob Sabin and Contributing Tech Editor Steve Guttenberg take a close look at the Outlaw Audio RR2160 Stereo Receiver (0:58), discuss the results of the 2017 Value Electronics TV Shootout (7:20), review the Blu-ray for Gore Verbinski's 2016 horror movie A Cure for Wellness, and share impressions from Steve's visit to Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios (13:50).

Steve Guttenberg  |  Aug 31, 2017  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Closed-back, planar magnetic design
Made in San Diego, California
Beautifully balanced sound
Minus
Non-standard connectors on the earcups

THE VERDICT
The Aeon are a game changer for MrSpeakers. Their least expensive headphones might be their most accomplished design.

I meet a lot of audiophiles who flat out refuse to give headphones a chance. They go on about the headphones they bought in college when Michael Jackson released Thriller and won’t even try the new breed of ’phones. This one here, the MrSpeakers Aeon, might be the headphones that turn them around. The complete package—the sound, the shape, the smooth feel of the carbon fiber earcups, the luxuriously thick earpads, and best of all, the price—might win over even the most curmudgeonly of resistors.

Rob Sabin, Steve Guttenberg  |  Aug 06, 2017  |  1 comments
In Episode 2 of Sound & Vision's Pixels & Bits podcast, editor-in-chief Rob Sabin and contributing technical editor Steve Guttenberg discuss the birth of VHS and the Betamax/VHS videotape format war, spotlight the $3,000 HiFiMan HE1000 magnetic planar headphones (4:24); debate whether $6,000 headphones are really worth it (5:15); and talk about how the longevity of some audio products adds to their value (14:00).

Steve Guttenberg  |  Jul 26, 2017  |  0 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Open-back, planar magnetic design
Solid build quality
Handsome look
Minus
Can sound bright

THE VERDICT
These Tidal Force headphones face stiff competition from other comparably priced planar magnetic designs.

Tidal Force is a brand spanking new headphone company, and at the time I started working on this review, the Wave 5 was their one and only set of headphones. They’re off to a good start; build quality is excellent, and the mostly metal design felt great in my hands.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Jul 20, 2017  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Handmade in Germany
Stunning good looks
Best-in-class sound
Minus
Tangle-prone cable

THE VERDICT
The Beyerdynamic Xelento Remotes look, feel, and sound like a true luxury design.

It’s a stunningly beautiful design: The Beyerdynamic Xelento Remotes are most definitely a looker. Better yet, their ergonomically balanced design made for a perfect fit in the concha of my ears; these are some of the most comfortable in-ears I’ve ever worn. As for the sound, it was spectacular!

Rob Sabin, Steve Guttenberg  |  Jul 18, 2017  |  6 comments
In this first episode of Sound & Vision's podcast Pixels & Bits, Editor-in-Chief Rob Sabin and Contributing Technical Editor Steve Guttenberg discuss their roots in high-end audio; the affordable Magnepan MMGi magnetic planar speakers (4:00); the problem with "feature glut" (9:00), and whether Sonos sacrificed too much sound quality to gain simplicity with its Playbar soundbar (14:20).

Comments are welcome on these subjects, along with your suggestions for future episodes!

Steve Guttenberg  |  Jul 12, 2017  |  2 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $200

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Truly innovative tech
Proprietary quad-driver design
Highly transparent sound
Great value
Minus
Cables aren’t user-replaceable

THE VERDICT
The 1More Quad Driver’s sound dazzles with its transparency, wide-open imaging, and nimble bass.

There’s something really special happening here. The 1More Quad Driver In-Ear is easily the most transparent, best-imaging headphone I’ve heard for $200. I’m not joking—before I knew the price, I assumed it was at least $300 or $400. Since there’s no outward indication of what makes the Quad Driver so outstanding, I was super eager to find out.

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