Write a comment

Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

AudioQuest Nighthawk measurements can be found by clicking this link.

I couldn’t even guess how many companies have gotten into the headphone business since 2010, but I doubt any has done it so boldly as has AudioQuest. Their NightHawks ($599 USD) are the result of a from-the-ground-up effort to improve headphone sound. In fact, so much about the NightHawks is radically different that I mention here only their most important features; if you want an in-depth explanation, AudioQuest has devoted to them an excellent microsite.

Write a comment

Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Koss, one of the oldest manufacturers of hi-fi gear in the US, was founded in 1958 by John Koss. He believed that headphones could be used for something more than voice messages and monitoring on aircraft and ships, and premiered full-range stereo headphones to great success. Old-timers need no prodding to remember the company, and newcomers who’ve watched Mad Men might relate -- Koss is one of the real companies that Don Draper’s fictitious advertising agency works for. Many of the Koss models created decades ago are still being made.

With an eye to the future, Koss has now brought out the BT540i wireless Bluetooth headphones ($199.99 USD).

Write a comment

Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Bowers & Wilkins continues to be one of the most popular manufacturers among audiophiles. Mere mention of the name makes me think of hi-fi icons like their Nautilus loudspeaker, and the Nautilus 801 and 802. These speakers were far ahead of their time for their build quality, materials used, and acoustical engineering. Somewhere along the way, B&W made the leap from a pure hi-fi firm to a premium audio company, likely with its introduction of the Zeppelin iPod dock. Since then they’ve moved from strength to strength, offering a variety of wireless speakers, as well as a full range of earphones and headphones. The subjects of discussion here, the P5 Series 2 headphones ($299 USD), are a perfect marriage of old-school hi-fi and class-leading industrial design.

Write a comment

Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Reviewers' ChoiceEven as new models of commuter headphones continue to be released by the dozen, there seems to be a trend toward designing headphones that can serve many purposes. Audio-Technica’s ATH-MSR7 ($249.95 USD) is one of these models.

Out of the box

On the ATH-MSR7s’ cardboard box is a dramatic, larger-than-life photo of the left earcup. In the upper-right corner is the official gold-and-brown Hi-Res Audio emblem. On one side panel is printed information about the three detachable cables, on another the specifications are listed in tiny type, and on the back is an informative exploded diagram that shows all of the components of the ATH-MSR7s’ 45mm drivers and the technology used in making them. Inside are the headphones, wrapped in black fabric and nestled in a plastic mold. The cables and instructions come in a separate black box. A cheapish vinyl carrying bag is included.

Write a comment

Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Oppo Digital PM-3 measurements can be found by clicking this link.

In just one year, Oppo Digital has become one of the biggest names in audiophile headphones. The new PM-3 closed-back headphones ($399 USD) follow on the impact Oppo made with its other models, the PM-1 ($1099) and PM-2 ($699). Not only is the PM-3 the least expensive model Oppo has made, it’s their first closed-back model, which opens it up to a much wider audience. Closed-back headphones provide some degree of isolation from sounds around you, so you get less noise and more music. I’d guess closed-back headphones outsell open-back models by 100 to 1.

Write a comment

Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Torque Audio t402v measurements can be found by clicking this link.

It’s a good thing most headphones are relatively inexpensive, because they’re the riskiest purchase an audio enthusiast can make. Headphones vary greatly in tonal quality -- more than speakers do, at least according to my ears and my measurement gear. Listeners’ opinions of headphones also seem to vary more than do their opinions of gear in other audio categories. Yet it’s rare to be able to listen to headphones before you buy. Sometimes you can check them out at a headphone meet or hi-fi show, but for the most part you have to rely on reviews written by people who may or may not share your taste in music and/or sound.

Newest Videos

Latest Comments

Brent Butterworth 3 days ago Klipsch Heritage HP-3 Headphones
@David HallGood plan. Don't overlook the Audeze LCD2 Closed-Back -- probably the most universally liked headphone ...
David Hall 3 days ago Klipsch Heritage HP-3 Headphones
@Brent ButterworthThanks. Unfortunately I live in the headphone hinterlands and can't readily do a test ...
Brent Butterworth 3 days ago Klipsch Heritage HP-3 Headphones
@David HallI would guess 8.5 or 9 for sound. They'll probably be a tad too bassy ...
David Hall 3 days ago Klipsch Heritage HP-3 Headphones
If you were to use your new Soundstage Solo rating system, how many headphones would ...
Paul D’Amboise 7 days ago KLH Ultimate One Headphones
@Brent ButterworthI look forward to your observations.
Sign-up/in/out

Having an account with us and logging in allows you to participate in our comments sections at the bottom of each article and review. It costs you nothing. The reason we want you to have this account is simply because we don't want some anonymous yahoos posting nonsense and messing meaningful conversations up. Having an identity usually brings rationality and civility. Thank you!