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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Final Sonorous III headphones measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Final is a brand from Japan that specializes in exotic, high-end headphones decorated with lots of shiny metal bits. I’ve seen Final headphones at a few headphone shows, but otherwise have rarely encountered them. That’s true of a surprising number of small headphone companies, which seem to do most of their sales through the Internet. When I found out about the Sonorous III headphones, a closed-back design priced competitively at $399 USD, my curiosity was piqued.

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Beyerdynamic T 5 p headphones measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Reviewers' ChoiceThe new, second-generation version of Beyerdynamic’s T 5 p headphones embodies three trends I’m happy to see. First is a new interest in closed-back, audiophile-oriented headphones. I generally prefer the open-back sound, but many audiophiles must listen while surrounded by the sounds of family members or office colleagues, and open-back models let all that noise through. Second is an apparent trend toward a more natural, less treble-heavy voicing in audiophile headphones, which I noted in my review of the Sennheiser HD 800 S ’phones. Third is a trend toward greater sensitivity in audiophile headphones, to make them more practical to use with smartphones and tablets.

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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Audeze Sine headphones measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Most new headphones are just permutations of past designs. Not the Audeze Sines. They’ve got two genuinely unusual, perhaps even unique, features. First, they’re an on-ear design with planar-magnetic drivers -- the first ever of this type, Audeze claims. Second, they’re available with analog and digital cables.

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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Sennheiser HD 630VB headphones measurements can be found by clicking this link.

There can be no doubt that Sennheiser is one of, if not the, best-known headphone brands. The company offers models for every conceivable application, ranging in price from under $20 to the flagship HD 800S ($1699.95 USD). Sennheiser is also one of the few brands that is both familiar to the mass market and respected by audio engineers and audiophiles the world over.

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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

Lately, it seems, I’ve reviewed nothing but over-ear headphones, which have become lightweight enough to be serious contenders in the portable-headphone market. Still, on-ear cans have some features that appeal more to people on the go; because they block out fewer external sounds, they let you have birds with your Bach -- and they’re safer to wear when you’re out and about. Wearing over-ear ’phones, you can get so wrapped up in the music that you can’t hear that quiet car approaching from the rear. On-ear models can also be cooler and more comfortable to wear over long periods.

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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

AKG N60 NC headphones measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Reviewers' ChoiceWhen it comes to noise-canceling headphones -- which are designed specifically for travel -- audio reviewers focus almost entirely on their sound quality and on the efficacy of their noise canceling; they rarely consider portability. My guess is that most of these reviewers don’t travel much, and don’t consider how much of a drag it is to have to lug a huge headphone case along. I do travel a lot by air, and I also spend a lot of time on public transit. That’s why the AKG N60 NC’s predecessor, the very similar K 490 NC, has been my favorite noise-canceling headphone since it was introduced, in 2012.

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Beyerdynamic has 5 year warranty for the top-of-the-line models, T1 and T5.
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