SEARCH AIG







 
AIG REVIEWS

A Tale of Two Headphones from Canada by NAD VISO & Paradigm!

NAD Visio Headphones“Both of these Canadian companies have recently introduced quality headphone in-house designs for the audiophiile, at a price well above those of the junk that we associate with ex-rappers and tiny Chinese companies trying to cause premature deafness in young people all over the world. Thus, there is a somewhat Messianic quality about both of these products, and the cost of saving your ears (if not your soul), is perhaps higher than what many subway hangers-on might want to pay.”

PSB M4U 2 Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphone System

PSB M4U 2 Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphone System“I’ve wondered for some years when Paul Barton would turn his keen speaker design sense in the direction of headphones, after having mastered the many facets of speaker engineering over a multi-decade career. Well, it’s finally happened, and has become something of an event, with new intelligence applied to what we in broadcasting used to refer to as “cans”. They’ve been called “ear speakers” and many less flattering names, especially those notable for their lack of comfort on the head in extended listening…”

Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player - HD redux!

Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player

“This player was very impressive right out of the box, especially with Blu-ray music discs, with a truly photographic picture that is yards ahead of my Samsung 10″ DVD portable, which died on me a couple of years ago. The first generation Blu-ray portables proved to be very expensive, as were the early DVD ones (I paid $1500 for my first Panasonic), so I waited a bit on this one, finding the BDP-SX1000 on eBay at prices from $288.88USD (what I paid) to well over $500…”

JH Audio JH 13 Pro In Ear Headphones - The Best In Ear ‘Phones You Can Buy?

JH Audio JH 13 Pro In-Ear Headphones (Small)“I had been wanting to try a pair of custom in-ear headphones for some time, but when I started reading online about the JH Audio headphones, including not only some rave reviews but some background on their pro audio and aviation background (the Company is named for its founder, Jerry Harvey who not only founded Ultimate Ears [he left the company in 2007] but started developing stage monitors for musicians back in 1995 while mixing live shows for Van Halen, K.D. Lang, The Cult and many other bands…”

Phiaton PS 300 NC Noise Canceling On-Ear Headphones

Phiaton PS 300 NC Noise<br />
Canceling On-Ear Headphones“Reminiscent of Koss in its glory days, this new company is attempting to inhabit the high end of the headphone market at a time when the former headphone maker has gone way downmarket. Phiaton has also applied some serious engineering effort to the noise canceling design process as well. The PS 300 NC is not just a headphone, but a package that comes with a pair of proprietary rechargeable batteries (18-hour life cycle), and a charger that can use either USB or AC power, and in the latter case provides attachable plugs for different national power systems…”

Audio Ideas: Customer Service Making the GRADO!

GRADO SR 125 SmallMy decade-old Grado SR-125 headphones don’t owe me anything after all these years of monitoring recordings in progress, or offering wee-small-hours solace for insomnia. I had never liked the stock ear cushions, however, and had bought a pair of larger, deeper foam cushions from Strategic Audio Developments called upgradables that were much more comfortable (Attempts to Google this company were unsuccessful).

Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro In Ear Headphones

Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 Pro In Ear Headphones (Single)“In all my years as an audiophile I’m hard pressed to think of a piece of equipment that has had the kind of effect on my daily life that the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro headphones have. Certainly the timing is right, as I find myself commuting between Toronto and New York every week, and through midtown Manhattan to and from work on foot every day. I’m probably logging somewhere in the neighbourhood of seven to ten hours a week on the iPod with these things right now, and I’m loving them…”

Meridian F80 Portable A/V System - Hy Sarick Looks at what Happens when High End Audio Meets High End Auto

Meridian F80

“A combined CD and DVD player, AM/FM receiver and sound system in a single convenient unit.” So says the introduction to this remarkable little AV system. Remember the aptly named “Boombox”, which was to be seen perching on the shoulders of urban youth? These moulded plastic monstrosities were often played at levels which caused grief to nearby unwilling listeners, as well as causing permanent hearing damage to the carrier…”

Boostaroo Revolution Portable Headphone Amplifier

Boostaroo Revolution“Of the myriad accessories now available for portable music players, and specifically iPods, only a tiny fraction have anything to do with improving sound quality. If you want to hear more from your portable it pretty much comes down to headphones and headphone amplifiers. Designed to drive the cheesy white earbuds that come with the thing, the headphone amplifier in an Ipod isn’t quite up to the task of driving the more difficult loads presented by less sensitive, larger, sealed or open-back type cans like the big Sennheisers and AKGs…”

HeadRoom Total BitHead Headphone Amp / USB DAC

HeadRoom Total BitHead

“If you do a lot of commuting, and/or like to use your computer listen to music at work, the folks at HeadRoom have your number. I myself fall into this group, and while my commute might vary quite a bit job to job (the film business is not for those who prize consistency and predictability) I listen to music at work as often as I can. A couple of years ago I reviewed the Echo Indigo laptop sound card, a device which will fit just about any laptop and offers two 1/8″ mini outputs to drive headphones or powered speakers…”

Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro In Ear Headphones

Xtreme Mac FS1 Headphones

“If only the other bleary-eyed, white-earbud-using subway riders knew how good I have it with headphones like these. Not only am I being spared the concerto for shrieking brakes and deafening track clatter by the Superfi’s 26 dB of isolation, I’m enjoying fantastic sound; Sound that, until recently, had absolutely no business coming from such tiny headphones…”

XtremeMac FS1 In Ear Headphones

Xtreme Mac FS1 Headphones

“Eighteen or twenty four months ago a comment to the effect that the Ipod accessory market was significantly larger than the market for the Ipod itself might elicit a laugh. Even a casual survey of the internet these days (just google “Ipod case” to see what I’m talking about) will demonstrate just how massive a product wave Apple has touched off, and just how much larger the accessory market is now…”

Shure E5C In Ear Headphones

Shure E5C Headphones

“Just in case you somehow hadn’t noticed, portable audio is hot. White hot. Ipod white. The Ipod has become the Sony Walkman of the 21st Century and gained a cachet and ubiquity in popular culture unrivalled perhaps by any piece of audio equipment ever invented. Ipods are now the object of enough consumer lust that they can actually be dangerous to their owners…”

Echo Indigo Laptop Sound Card

PSB Platinum M2 Loudspeaker

“More than just a headphone jack (the Indigo actually has two 1/8″ gold plated mini jacks) the Echo Audio card is a D to A converter as well as a high quality analog output stage. It supports up to 24 bit, 96 kHz signals, uses a 100 Mhz Motorola DSP chip and has a nice, chunky analog volume control knob right on top. For those looking to use their notebook as a recorder, Echo also makes an Indigo with an analog input as well as a model aimed at DJs, featuring two independent stereo outputs.”

RCA Lyra Portable MP3 Player

RCA Lyra

“Like most of the first wave of MP3 players to hit the market, the RCA Lyra is a very compact portable device, smaller than most cell phones, aimed at dethroning the discman style CD player from portable supremacy. Whereas some portables, like Creative Labs’ Nomad, use computer style hard drives for file storage, the Lyra falls into the smaller, less expensive category of players using small, removable chip based memory cards…”

Codec Considerations - The Nuts and Bolts of MP3 Compression

Jazz Documentary Series

“In 1987 a large German research and development organization called the Fraunhofer Institut started work on a perceptual coding scheme for use with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB). The most powerful algorithm they developed eventually became standardized as ISO-MPEG Audio Layer-3, or, as now abbreviated, MP3 (Layers 1 and 2 are essentially less efficient versions of the same algorithm). The goal of the algorithm was to drastically shrink the data size of digital audio with a minimum subjective loss of sound quality; something which could not be done by merely reducing sample rate and bit depth..”

MP3: The Death Knell of High End Audio?

Jazz Documentary Series

“… For those of us hoping and waiting for a high-resolution replacement for the CD, however, the situation has recently become even more complicated. While the electronics behemoths were striking committees and issuing press releases about DVD Audio and SACD, the masses have gone right ahead and chosen the next major audio format all by themselves. If the success of DVD-A or SACD was a dubious proposition before the meteoric rise of MP3, it seems like a serious long shot now…”


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

Got a tip? news@audio-ideas.com
  AIG Reviews
Loudspeakers | HT Loudspeakers | Power Amplifiers | Preamplifiers | Integrated Amplifiers | Receivers | Surround Processors | Digital Sources | CD Players | DVD Players | Network Music Players | SACD Players | Analog | Cables | Subwoofers | Portable Audio | Pro Audio | Headphones | Systems | Tuners | Video | Vintage Gear | HD Video | Blu-Ray | Online Archives

Complete List of Online Reviews
  Columns

     Audio Ideas (Andrew Marshall)
     Ox Box (Bob Oxley)
     Hy End (Hy Sarick)
     Bain's Blog (John Edward Bain)

Interested in Writing about Hi-Fi and Home Theater for AIG? Click to Email a Writing Sample

  Most Popular Today
  1. Audio Ideas, December 2011 - Recent SACDs, CDs, Blu-rays, & Other Confections (Or Not)!
  2. Audio Ideas: CBC Radio Two - Intelligent Music Selection Becomes A Sausage Factory
  3. The Marantz PMD430: The Best Tape Deck Ever Made?
  4. Paradigm Monitor Series 7 Sub 10 Subwoofer - Extended, Clean Bass From A Tiny Box!
  5. AIG Tweaks: Imagers and Cleanjack
  6. Origin Live Calypso Turntable and Encounter Tonearm
  7. Soundsmith Aida Ebony Phono Cartridge: Looking For Your Last Best Cartridge? This Could Be It, At A Decent Price!
  8. AUDIO IDEAS: Not-So-Audio-Related Thoughts About Clouds, Passwords & Controlling Remotely!
  9. Audio Ideas: Open Reel Wow and Flutter? It May Be The Pinch Roller!
  10. Behringer 1002B Portable/Studio Mixer - A Remarkable Recording Tool, Especially At The Price!
  Most Popular Overall
  • Recent Comments: