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  1. Sources: iPhone XS-Max, 16/44 WAV files (CD rips). Disclaimer: I purchased the Airpods Pro from Apple at full price. In this mini-review I'll use my own definitions for 'Earbud', 'Earphone', 'IEM', etc. IEM: The most common of hi-fi earphones, these sell for as little as $15 and as much as $5000 USD or more. Key features of the IEM (In-Ear Monitor") are a nozzle projecting from the body, with a choice of interchangeable eartips to mount on that nozzle. These eartips are inserted well into the ear canal to 1) Ensure a stable fit, and 2) To obtain a good seal against the ear canal walls for best bass response. The Airpods Pro are not IEMs. Earbud: Any earphone (not always hi-fi) that fits its drivers inside the ears somewhere, as opposed to headphones, which sit on or around the ears. The original Airpods were a higher-quality type of earbud that focused its sound through a narrow opening in the earbud, rather than across a wide surface as the older round earbuds were designed to do. Those Airpods (and the Earpods before them) were able to achieve much better bass response than the older round earbuds, by getting most of their sound much closer to the ear canals. The newer Airpods Pro attempt to do even better by moving the sound closer yet, by using interchangeable eartips that have narrower openings (like IEMs), but are mounted on the earbud body rather than on a nozzle as the IEMs are. The Airpods Pro do this very well in my experience, where the middle-size eartips fit up against my ear canals, but do not penetrate noticeably. With this design I have good comfort and a secure fit, and most important - a full-range sound with good bass response. Describing the Airpods Pro sound in hi-fi terms is really tricky, because you'll need to get a perfect (or nearly so) fit so that the bass response is properly balanced to the midrange and treble. NOTE: When I tested my fit using the Ear Tip Fit Test in the iPhone's Bluetooth settings, the results were mixed - sometimes OK on the Left and NOT OK on the Right, or vice-versa. Don't be misled by these results, since an intermittent "Good Fit" might actually be perfect, as it is in my case. NOTE: 'Intermittent' as in an electrical connection is usually a bad thing, but 'intermittent' here is just the 'Fit' report result, which has no requirement for exactness. One of the more difficult deep-bass sounds I have for headphones to reproduce accurately is the contrabassoon(?) that weighs in around 10:30 of Beethoven's 9th Symphony 4th Movement, performed by Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony in 1972. The Airpods Pro play this with very good weight and detail. Another track that has strong bass impacts in the opening seconds is Trombone Shorty's Backatown. The bass notes here are played back with uneven weight by many headphones, depending on the frequencies for each tone. The Airpods Pro play these notes evenly and convincingly. The Airpods Pro midrange will probably vary less among different users than the bass and treble, for various reasons, but the crucial factor is getting accurate tonality of instruments and voices. In my listening thus far (6 days), the tonality has been spot-on. Reviews often note how well or how poorly a headphone sounds with good quality recordings versus poor quality recordings. I haven't experienced anything different in that respect with the Airpods Pro compared to my other headphones, and that for me is a good indicator that this earphone is a high fidelity product - assuming of course a good quality source, good recordings, and a reliable and clean Bluetooth connection. Treble is the most difficult part of the sound spectrum to analyze, and if you have a look through some of the Innerfidelity test charts, you'll see why. Those very ragged lines representing the treble measurements stand in stark contrast to the much smoother parts of those lines that represent the midrange and bass responses. Given my experience with many quality IEMs to date, I'm confident that the Airpods Pro treble is either pretty smooth and reasonably neutral, or smooth enough in the neutral ballpark to be easily treatable with the iPhones' settings, or whatever the Android phones have to offer. Summarizing the above, the Airpods Pro may be a great Earphone, at full price, for users whose requirements are similar to mine: High comfort with no significant penetration of the ear canals; A good frequency response or one that's easily addressable with an effective EQ; Price that suits these factors plus the convenience factors.
  2. Youtube review: http://youtu.be/9oG6PZ5rbik Sources: iPad Pro 11-inch/iPhone XsMax/Various computers using the Chord Mojo/Oppo HA-2/AQ DragonFly Cobalt/Meridian Explorer2 DAC/amps, plus a custom-made tube amp. Looking over my recent review of the Grado White (WH1) headphone and my review of the PS1000e from 2015, and musing on the sound of the PS2000e that arrived two months ago, four key words stood out to me from those reviews and my impressions of the new PS2000e: Effortless, Breathtaking, Tactile, Palpable. Like the PS1000e and to some extent the WH1, the PS2000e impresses me as needing almost no effort to produce its very smooth** and very hi-fi sound. It may be a combination of superior drivers, earcup design, high efficiency and other factors, but compared to my other premium headphones, the sense that the sound is coming from a headphone is much less. Reviewer Steve Guttenberg made a video comparing the sound of Grado headphones to horn-driver speakers. Those comparisons are somewhat abstract of course, but the point I got right away is the effortless nature of horn drivers to make hi-fi sound, due to their incredible efficiency. **The PS2000e is much smoother (more neutral) than the PS1000e, and far smoother than the WH1. Those instances when something breathtaking occurs are rare - even moreso given my experience with the PS1000e where I noted such things. Still, in adding new music to my collection, I'm occasionally hearing things that amaze me, for example in the audiophile recordings of Baroque-era tracker** organs and their modern re-creations in churches and museums across the U.S. **Genuine tracker organs were designed with low-pressure pipes due to the lack of electric motors for pumping air into the organs during the Baroque era. The advantage of low-pressure pipes is a more acoustic type of sound, as compared to the somewhat artificial sounds of modern electric-action pipe organs. The confluence of acoustic sounds and the PS2000e is no coincidence, as the PS2000e was designed for the most accurate reproduction of voices and acoustic instruments. Tactile and palpable are similar in meaning, and in the case of the PS2000e, the sense that I can almost reach out and touch Diana Krall's piano keys, or the strings of Ray Brown's upright bass, practically defines tactile for me. Depending on the system you use with the PS2000e, and/or any tone controls etc. that you throw into the mix, you may already be hearing and feeling enough weight across the lows and mids to give you all the reality you desire from your music. In my case, the PS2000e's sound has just enough palpability to make the music real without coloring it beyond that. The foregoing are mere impressions of course, but they're based on owning eight other Grado headphones as well as a few others in the $1000 to $2000 USD range. The actual sound that I measure by ear, using live music as well as those other headphones for comparison, is more objective - i.e., if the music you hear live sounds exactly like your headphone system, then you're very close to accurate and neutral reproduction, assuming your recordings are accurate facsimiles of the live music they represent. In the case of my PS2000e, the tonality varies slightly depending on the amps I use, and especially the quality of the recordings I play. True audiophile remasters are nearly always the most satisfactory. Users who are experiencing the PS2000e for the first time, but who have other Grados or much experience with them, will likely be thrilled. Users of closed-back headphones who are making the PS2000e their first open-back headphone (or first in a long time) might not be as thrilled, noting that the bass doesn't get the same "reinforcement" as with closed headphones. In the latter case, a bit of research might be needed to clear things up. My purchase of the PS2000e was - oddly enough - inspired by my purchase of the Grado White headphone a couple of months ago. I hadn't had an open-back headphone for a very long time, and I used a parametric equalizer to minimize some of the problems unique to the closed-back headphones I enjoyed in the interim. What I experienced with the WH1 was not just the open-back sound, nor the basic signature (note my EQ comments), but a whole new (for this year at least) listening experience that was as different from my other headphones as night and day. I can't attribute that difference to the open-vs-closed designs, so I'll just say that it's due to the confluence of multiple factors. My experience with the PS2000e has - not surprisingly - surpassed the WH1 in a few key areas: The bass is clearer and goes deeper, the low-mid warmth is less colored, the mids are more neutral, and the treble is much more neutral. The EQ I did for the WH1 definitely helped, but does not make for a PS2000e-level improvement. Of the four words I noted above, the last two were the critical difference for the PS2000e. The overall clarity, detail, and tightness in the lows contribute greatly to the tactile reach-out-and-touch moments, and the greater palpability from the increased sonic range as well as dynamic range. Certain reviewers who've compared the PS2000e to other Grados (particularly the GS2000 or GS3000 models) have described a warmer sound for those "woodie" headphones, and a cooler or even more clinical sound for the PS2000e. In direct comparisons, "more clinical" might seem apt, but the truth is the PS2000e is not at all clinical. Pull the earpads off of the PS2000e and observe the wood used in its earcups. It's a more neutral sound, but still warm - and sounds as crystal clear as anything I've heard anywhere near its price tier. That's my summary of the sound, and while I've been disappointed in the musicality (or lack thereof) with other pricy headphones, I'm completely satisfied with my PS2000e purchase. Note that this headphone has a substantial amount of metal in the earcups, which makes it somewhat heavy for a full-size large-earcup headphone. The redesigned headband compared to the PS1000e makes it more comfortable than that older model, but the PS2000e is still not designed for walking around with significant head movements. You'll need to sit still, but then, you're not paying for an uber-premium headphone to use while doing chores around the house. I'm going to skip the sample music tracks for this review, as there is essentially nothing to test - i.e. there is some lack of deep bass weight or low-frequency pressure with the PS2000e compared to many of the closed-back headphones, but if you have an opportunity to spend some time with this headphone, you may begin to appreciate its genuine acoustic bass tonality that carries just the right amount of weight - like you'd experience in person. I'll also skip most of the physical descriptions, as this basic design has been around for many years and its parameters are well known. What I noted above about sitting still when listening bears one more bit of explanation, by way of comparison. I once owned the Final Audio Pandora VI - a very fine and quite heavy headphone, which was unstable on my head with even slight head movements. The PS2000e is not like that, i.e. it sits very comfortably and allows modest head movements as long as the user stays reasonably still and focused on listening. Summing things up, I highly recommend the Grado PS2000e to those who are 1) Willing to invest the money, and 2) Prepared for a headphone that will virtually disappear of its own accord, and allow the music to come through essentially unaltered.
  3. Youtube review: http://youtu.be/6gaw0L6PSDU Photos: http://dalethorn.com/Photos/iPhone_XsMax/Headphone_Edifier_P841_01.jpg http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Edifier_P841.jpg Sources: iPhone XsMax/iPad Pro 11-inch with Oppo HA-2/AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt DAC/amps, various computers using the Meridian Explorer2/AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt DAC-amps. Review note: My first impressions of the sound of the Edifier P841 headphone ('P841' hereafter) are based on direct comparisons to other headphones, particularly those that resemble its design (Full-size closed-back), but also to a few premium headphones for reference. I'll describe how I relate to the P841 (i.e., my objectives and how I use the headphone) only after covering all of the technical issues. Users who've followed Edifier for the past few years, particularly the H850 and its incarnations under various OEM brandings, tend to be very respectful of its sonics, and its physical quality to some extent. Although the P841 is ostensibly a replacement for the lesser H840, I'd place it above both the H840 and H850 in sound quality. Compared to "classic neutral" headphones like the Sennheiser 600/800 series and Beyer Teslas, the P841 is significantly darker, having a ~4db recess in the midrange (700 to 1500 hz), a ~5db emphasis in the upper bass (65 to 90 hz), and a ~5db emphasis in the upper treble (7 to 9 khz). After reviewing a number of other headphones from the P841's price level up to $700, I'd place the P841 right alongside most of those, with the exception of a couple (but not all) of the open-back models. Naturally, I stick to the High Fidelity standard** rather than the convenient fashion standards, and so I simply EQ'd the frequency ranges noted above and enjoyed hi-fi sound from the P841's superbly engineered earcup/drivers design. First impressions score big with me, and right out of the box playing some familiar tracks, I was surprised by the P841's clarity, dynamics, and detail - particularly the superior bass quality compared to the popular brands sold at (for example) the Apple Store. In spite of my EQ that suppresses the upper bass by 5db, the P841's bass still has great impact on my familiar test tracks. **When your headphone and music sound like live music, you're on the right track. Also note that while every headphone benefits from some period of burn-in, the P841 is very close to its final sound right out of the box. Although the P841 isn't considered to be a "high resolution" headphone, it has more than enough clarity and detail to appreciate the differences that can be heard with lossless and higher-resolution music tracks. Every popular headphone has some individual quality that leads to its popularity, but the cost versus quality factors of the P841 are well beyond any nit-picking I'd apply to most other headphones. I've purchased all of the headphones I've reviewed in the past couple of years, and so naturally I tend to like what I purchase, or send it back. Had I paid $300 for the P841, I might wonder about how much I paid given the minimal retail packaging and the included accessories (none), if not the headphone's plastic build, but I wouldn't question the sound at that price. I won't spend more time on the P841's sound for now, for these reasons: 1) The music tracks listed below, which were included in my tests of the P841, feature a wide range of music tonalities that highlight any sonic weaknesses in the headphone. 2) The sound is much better than I expected, and far better than competing brands anywhere near this price level. 3) The history of Edifier's better headphones and their attention to both build quality and sonic quality are a good heads-up that this P841 is building an even better future on exactly those qualities. The P841 comes with good-quality soft-plastic covered earpads, which are among my favorites because they don't tend to accumulate sweat and oils that can change the sound over time. The soft squishy foam inside these earpads make for an extremely comfortable fit, assuming a user's ears aren't unusually large. I've had headphones with shallow earcups, and worse yet - spiky protrusions on the driver covers inside the earcups. Neither of these occurs with the P841. The thin 4-ft "Y" cable goes into both the left and right earcups, and is terminated with a 3.5mm Apple-style miniplug. The cable includes an Apple-compatible 3-button control box, mounted just below the left earcup. The padded headband's size adjustment range is about one inch on each side, and given that my average head fits the middle of that range, it should accomodate a wide range of head sizes. Isolation is good - average or better for a circumaural closed-back design - good enough for most home use and outdoor use where it's not extremely noisy, but probably not good enough for public transport for critical listening. Leakage is just enough that playing music in a quiet office might not work, unless the volume is kept fairly low. In previous reviews I've included the following music samples with comments about how the headphones sound with each track. My suggestion is instead of reading each one as an absolute unto itself, you could compare my notes here to those other reviews and see how the P841 compares with each individual track. Animotion - Obsession (1980's New Wave/Techno): The upper bass synth has great detail and tone, and both male and female vocals sound natural without favoring either. The P841 plays this extremely well. Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead (~1980): Strong midrange sound effects - this is a good worst-case test for resonant-type sounds in the most sensitive midrange area. Handled perfectly by the P841. Beethoven Symphony 9, Solti/CSO (1972): Excellent overall sound. Of special note here are the bass impacts beginning around 10:30 of the fourth movement. Those impacts are soft and well in the background, but you can really feel the weight they carry with the P841. Black Sabbath - Iron Man (Classic Rock): Very good instrumental detail and the vocal sounds very natural. As with most classic rock tracks, there is very little or no deep bass. The P841 plays this music very smoothly, and the lack of deep bass doesn't unbalance the treble. Boz Scaggs - Lowdown (1976): Great sound quality - this is a good test for any nasality in the midrange. Handled very well by the P841. Cantus - Danny Boy (Traditional/Male Choral/Acapella): The P841 plays the voices with enough low end warmth and weight to sound very natural, yet there is no added emphasis of the lower register of the male voices on this track. Cath Carroll - Moves Like You (1980's New Wave/Techno): This track's percussion and voice are bright, crisp, and well-balanced, and there's a good sense of space or soundstage around the voices and instruments. The P841 reproduces the space and detail very well. Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic (~1991): Goth with industrial overtones - I like this since it's a great music composition and the sound effects are smoothly integrated into the mix. This may sound distorted or mushy with some headphones, but the P841 renders the deliberate instrumental distortions clearly. Chris Isaak - Wicked Game (Pop/Rock): The P841 plays this high treble energy recording very smoothly - the voice and instruments are very detailed but not edgy - very musical in fact. Chromatics - I'm On Fire (Synth-Pop, female lead): This track has a good amount of space around the voice and instruments, making for a very pleasant stereo image. The voice is excellent, and the tambourine sound is clearly identifiable. David Hazeltine - Fur Elise (Jazz): A very high-quality recording from HDTracks. The P841 reproduces the instruments smoothly with a spacious ambiance. The wire-brush-on-cymbal harmonics are very extended and detailed, and the upright bass is amazing. Grieg (Beecham-Royal Philharmonic) - Peer Gynt-Solveig's Lullaby (Classical): This very old (late 1950's) stereo recording must have been made on the most expensive gear in the world, since the overall sound quality and especially Ilse Hollweg's amazing voice are as close to "being there" as I've heard with some of the better classical recordings made since the year 2000. The P841 plays this music perfectly. Hans Zimmer - Dark Knight-Aggressive Expansion (Soundtrack): The percussion in this track hits really hard, and the bass tones beginning around 0:45 have the ultra-deep "shuddery" kind of sound that indicates an excellent deep-bass response. Overall, the P841 plays this music very well. Heaven 17 - Let Me Go (1980's New Wave/Techno): The bass instrument (guitar?) has excellent detail, and the voices and ambiance have a "you are there" quality that's uncommon in early 1980's pop music. The P841 plays this track extremely well. Hugo Audiophile - 15-16 (Electronic): I'm not sure what the 15-16 stands for - perhaps track numbers from a CD album. The deep-bass tones that start around 33-34 seconds into the track reproduce very well with the P841. This is a great recording for evaluating whether a headphone's bass will be sufficient for most environments, since for many headphones that have a weaker bass, the deep bass gets absorbed and mostly lost when the environment contains a lot of low-frequency energy. Jimmy Smith - Basin Street Blues (early 60's): This track has several loud crescendos of brass and other instruments that don't sound clean and musical with some headphones. The P841 provides excellent reproduction. Listen particularly to the second crescendo at 15 seconds in for best-case detail. I'd like to emphasize that these crescendos are probably the worst-case test I have for instrument separation and detail, and the P841 plays those extremely well. Kellogg Auditorium, Battle Creek Michigan, Aeolian-Skinner Organ (1933) - Pedal, 32', Resultant, Arpeggio: This 16 hz organ pedal tone differs from other music tones in that you won't "hear" the tone - you'll only feel it. Although most music tones have harmonics (including this one), the harmonics from this tone will be too weak to provide any "feel", so whatever you actually hear would not be part of the fundamental 16 hz tone. There are ~30 hz sounds in the outdoor environment in big cities, generated by large trucks, buses, and subway trains, and they have a quality of "rumble" that's similar to some deep-bass tones found in music. This 16 hz organ tone is easily distinguished from those sounds when compared on a headphone that has good undistorted response at 16 hz. The P841 plays this with enough weight and detail that you can hear/feel the 16 cycle per second "beats" of the fundamental tone. Mantovani - Sunrise Sunset (Easy Listening, ca. 1972): A master musician and conductor** who specialized in light classics and orchestral pop music, Mantovani's accomplishments were overshadowed by music critics who couldn't tolerate the notion of "light classics" or "semi-classical" music, even when those recordings were no threat to the classical music genres. In any case the later Mantovani recordings from the mid-1960's through mid-1970's had the advantage of being mixed for much better hi-fi systems than those which the music critics possessed at the start of the Long Playing (LP) record cycle. Here in 2019, at least some of those digital remasters have improved the sound further, although it's not always the case. This track as played on the P841 is a perfect example of the sheer musicality lurking in those later recordings, and is highly recommended for soundstage, instrumental tone, and musical balance. **Mantovani developed the "Cascading Strings" sonic effect circa 1950, a famous "Wall of Sound" effect for mono hi-fi systems that predated Phil Spector's own famous Wall of Sound effect by 10 years or so. Michael Tilson Thomas - Rhapsody In Blue (20th Century Classic): Great sound and soundstage, and terrific piano playing and tone. There are some very deep bass impacts starting around 38 seconds into the 17:24 length track, and the weight of those impacts is impressive with the P841. Pinback - Non Photo Blue (Pop-Rock): Crispy sound with "crunchy guitars and bashing drums" - the P841 renders this music as perfectly as I've heard an energetic pop-rock recording played with any headphone. Porcupine Tree - Trains (Pop-Rock): This track opens with some nicely-detailed string sounds and a forward-sounding male voice with a higher-than-average register. There are a series of "clip-clop" effects starting at 3:19 that should sound like they were made with wooden blocks of some kind. The P841's reproduction of the 'clop' sound is not completely accurate. Richard Strauss (Mester-Pasadena) - Also Sprach Zarathustra (opening) (Classical): The granddaddy of bass is in the opening 1:50 of this recording, and I've heard it only once on a large and expensive loudspeaker system in Cleveland. For most people, that experience would be indistinguishable from being in a fairly strong earthquake. The P841 conveys that experience pretty well. The tympani also have good impact here. Scarlatti-Kipnis - Sonata in E Major K381 (Classical, Harpsichord): The harpsichord here is fairly bright and highly detailed, and the P841 renders the tones and transients extremely well. Tiger Okoshi - Bootsman's Little House (Jazz): The trumpet here is recorded fairly close up and is somewhat bright with a significant "bite". The P841's reproduction is excellent, and the close-miked piano is also a treat. For comparison, I have several Maynard Ferguson tracks that feature a similarly strong trumpet with lots of brassy bite. Trombone Shorty - Backatown (Jazz-Funk): The deep bass impacts here are strong and work extremely well with the horns and other instruments. The P841 delivers the impacts with great weight and detail, and the horns have the kind of bite that gives them a wonderfully realistic sound. -------------------------------- What would a review of a full-bass headphone be like without a selection of EDM music tracks? Incomplete - and so I continue with with the best of that genre here: Above & Beyond - We're All We Need (feat. Zoe Johnston): A very nice tight but impactful bass with crystal clear vocals - the P841 plays this with great ambiance. Anamanaguchi - Planet: A complex mix of percussion sounds and hummed vocals. The bells and other high-frequency percussion are highly detailed, the bass line has average weight, and the bass detail is excellent. Armin van Buuren - J'ai Envie de Toi (Orig Mix feat Gaia): Good bass impacts, breathy vocals, lots of fun noise - the P841 plays this perfectly. Avicii - Feeling Good: Classic female vocal in movie-theme style - the P841 brings this to life like few other headphones I've heard. Carl Kennedy-Tommy Trash ft Rosie Henshaw - Blackwater (Original Master): Nice strong tight bass impacts, female vocal, rendered delectably by the P841. Crystal Castles - Wrath of God: Atmospheric tune with vocal sound effects and strong bass line, plus some unique treble percussion sounds. The P841 brings these unique sounds to life. Digitalism - Pogo: A driving beat with a detailed bass synth and great vocals ("There's something in the air...") - the P841 makes this very enjoyable. Dino Lenny-Lino Di Meglio - We Will Make It: Atmospheric tune with mixed vocals - the female vocal is a special treat with the P841. DJ Shadow - Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt: High-pitched tones and strong deep piano chords with a hummed female vocal - ultra-cool with the P841. Fairmont - Poble Sec: Awesome detailed bass impacts with some nifty pingy guitar/synth effects. I discovered this tune at the time I purchased my 3rd v-moda M100 - the P841 makes this even more enjoyable. Giuseppe Ottaviani - Lost for Words (On Air Mix feat Amba Shepherd): Strong bass impacts behind a female voice - a large-scale sweeping sonic image reminiscent of epic adventures in an exotic land. The P841 is playing on a whole new level here. Hecq - Enceladus (With Skyence): Prodigious deep bass and clean at that. This tune's melody is more abstract than most of the others here, but the P841 makes it a real adventure. Katy B - Crying For No Reason (Tom Shorterz Remix): Oh myyyyy, I love Katy B. The vocal mix here is awesome and the bass is solid. This is the P841 at its best. Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch: I first heard this in The September Issue film and soundtrack, as the backdrop for the opening catwalk (watch Andre grinning at 1:51 - all you need to know) - the P841 plays this amazing tune perfectly. Lee and Malinda - Truth Will Set You Free (V-Moda Mix): Lee Kalt is the master, this is the masterpiece. The drum (or tom-tom) hits here have a very realistic skin-tone, the female vocal is seamlessly integrated into the driving beat, and the synth effects also blend well - the P841 just owns this. Markus Schulz - Mainstage: The granddaddy of bass is in this track, and the P841 plays it smooth and clean. -------------------------------- Continuing my review with a few additional music samples, the following are some of the "odds and ends" I've picked up in the process of reviewing headphones. The sound of most of these tracks is good enough to complement any decent headphone, but they show off the P841's sonic qualities as well as anything I've heard. Some of these may be hard to find, particularly in the exact mix/remix listed here. One thing to be aware of when evaluating these music tracks (or any music tracks) is that the lower bass is easily drowned out where there is a lot of ambient low-frequency noise. For example, I would walk city streets with my original v-moda M100 using the latest iPod Nano (no EQ with the little square Nano), and the sound was perfect for those walks. Playing the same music at home, my perception of the bass was completely different. Le Voyage Dans La Lune: Soundtrack to a hand-painted color movie. A terrific variety of sounds that show off the excellent audio qualities of the P841. Muse - Madness: Awesome bass line with mass vocals. Clearly delineated by the P841. Mylene Farmer - Desenchantee: French vocal over a driving bass beat. Very enjoyable with the P841. Robyn Hitchcock - Autumn Is Your Last Chance: Acoustic/electric guitar with compelling vocal. Pure class as reproduced by the P841. Samantha James - Amber Sky: Reverberant instrumentation and ethereal vocal. Dreamy stuff that sounds amazing on the P841. Satchmode - Best Intentions: Atmospheric vocals over a very decent bass line. Exquisite reproduction by the P841. Sneaker Pimps - Underground (Nellee Hooper Mix): Slow-paced club music with female vocal and subtle but very effective bass impacts. The bass in this track will be fully appreciated only in a quiet listening spot. Soliquid - Shibuya (Paul Keeley Remix): Eight minutes and 50 seconds of heavenly beats and awesome musical synth effects as heard with the P841. Stones and Bones - Love Lockdown: Ibiza 2014 track with a very spacious atmosphere and a bit of contrapuntal vocal. Outstanding on the P841. Susanne Sundfor - Accelerate: High-ambiance noise with decent bass impacts and reverberant vocals. The P841 makes this track come alive. Third Sex - Monster Snack: One of the best of the Goth/RiotGrrrl genre, available on the Free To Fight CD. Somewhat primitive sound with aggressive vocal, but there ya go - as good as it gets with this headphone. Three-11 Porter - Surround Me With Your Love: Pleasant male-female vocal mix against a big-ambiance backdrop. Lush presentation by the P841. Visage - Fade To Grey: Atmospheric and reverberant recording supported by a luscious synth line. The P841 plays this perfectly. When Saints Go Machine - Love And Respect: Super-energetic music with reverberant vocal counterpoint. Strong bass impacts delivered cleanly by the P841. Yaz - Situation: Bright pop-EDM music from the past. Played exquisitely by the P841.
  4. The lowest-price full-size B&O Bluetooth headphone is much better than I expected it to be. I paid $300 USD for this gem, and it's so good that I have no desire to buy the more pricy models they sell. Works great on Bluetooth, and it can be used wired with a good DAC and headphone amp. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/b-o-bang-olufsen-h4-bluetooth-stereo-headphone-review.4447/
  5. It was my good luck to get another Audio-Technica headphone for review this month, on loan from MyMac for a couple of weeks. To be honest, I like most headphones I do get, since I choose only those that interest me. That said though, this A1000z is one of the better bets in a more-or-less neutral 'monitor' headphone, and I commented after the review that the only headphones I've had that are comparable in the A1000z's price range are the MrSpeakers Mad Dog and the AKG K712 (albeit they don't sound quite as neutral). I think the cheaper AKG K553 Massdrop edition was nearly as good as these, and probably the best bargain. http://www.mymac.com/2017/01/audio-technica-ath-a1000z-art-monitor-headphones-review/
  6. Listening to the $350 Audio-Technica ESW990h wood-earcup headphone has been my most pleasurable hi-fi experience in a long time. The $1000 Focal Elear could have been even better if it weren't so recessed. Even though the ESW990h doesn't have quite the Elear's detail (when the Elear is EQ'd), the overall accuracy of musical tone puts the ESW990h in that rare category of mine - headphones that sound right, right out of the box. http://www.mymac.com/2017/01/ath-esw990h-portable-wooden-on-ear-headphones-review/
  7. Here is a very, very nice on-ear wood-earcup headphone from Thinksound. I previously reviewed their On1 headphone and Rain2 IEM. This time around, the On2 has a much better non-glossy wood finish, and I suspect better drivers, since the clarity is phenomenal. It isn't the easiest thing to have mellow sound with great clarity, so there ya go. http://www.mymac.com/2016/10/on2-headphones-review/
  8. Almost identical to the Yuin PK2, except this PK1 is even thinner sounding than the PK2, and is 3 times the price. EQ can bring a measure of audiophile quality to the sound, but cannot recover the low bass. I like it, but I'm pretty flexible. http://rockgrotto.proboards.com/thread/11090/audiophile-stereo-earbud-earphone-review
  9. The MH30 is a work of art and metal, and I find it very charming... http://rockgrotto.proboards.com/thread/11087/master-dynamic-luxury-stereo-headphone
  10. This is an earbud, so the expectations will be low. The tonality is definitely better than the Apple earbuds (not earpods), but not as good as the Yuin PK2 (and likely the PK1). I wouldn't be inclined to review an earbud as-is, but with the magic of parametric EQ, it sounds very hi-fi except for the deep bass, which can't be recovered any way that I know. http://rockgrotto.proboards.com/thread/11081/fiio-em3-stereo-earbuds-review
  11. Here is a very nice earbud with a good hi-fi sound and soundstage, when properly equalized. Played without EQ, it's bright and very thin sounding. Why would anyone want this? Low cost, great potential, very small size to go anywhere. One of my favorites... http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/yuin-pk2-earbuds-not-ear-canal-stereo-earphone-review.4349/
  12. Here's a very small on-ear headphone you can probably enjoy with no need for bass, treble, or any other adjustments. $19 USD - ridiculously good - say no more.... http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/meelectronics-ht-21-on-ear-portable-stereo-headphone-review.4348/
  13. Here's a headphone I had on my wishlist for ages, but if I knew how it really sounded, I could have skipped it. Anyway, here it is, for better or worse: http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/creative-aurvana-live-around-ear-stereo-headphone-review.4347/
  14. This headphone has as much build quality as it does bling, and the quality is fantastic. But the sound is somewhat muffled, and burn-in didn't change that. But, because of the amazing physical quality for less than $90 USD, and because the simple bass reducer setting found in Apple players (as well as other devices) renders the sound very good for portable use, I recommend it highly on condition of using the player's bass reducer setting. Well worth checking out in my opinion. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/xiaomi-1more-mi-on-ear-stereo-headphone-review.4341/
  15. Taking a break from the very low-budget headphones and reviewing the Philips Fidelio X2 (which I missed in the initial intro), I was actually surprised at how good the X2 is. You'll appreciate the X2 if you've been using small plastic headphones like I've reviewed recently, even when you carefully EQ those small headphones, because Philips corrects the X2's resonances or other sonic anomalies with a much larger and better build, etc. I paid $199 at Massdrop, which is one heckuva deal. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/philips-x2-around-ear-open-back-stereo-headphone-review.4337/
  16. Another unusual product - a very light plastic headphone - so light that it needs no headband padding, and yet this headphone has a near-reference signature for monitoring etc. The reference signature doesn't always mean perfect tone quality however, but still it's fantastic I think for under $30 USD. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/audio-technica-sj-11-on-ear-portable-stereo-headphone-review.4334/
  17. And here's the best of Edifier, in one sense anyway - though the H850 has a more classic neutral bass, both the H840 and H850 share an excellent midrange and treble. But should you prefer the warmer bass, say, half to 2/3 the strength of a v-moda M100, at 1/6 the price of the M100, here for your consideration is the H840: http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/edifier-h840-around-ear-budget-audiophile-stereo-headphone-review.4332/
  18. Here's a new one for me, low-cost (~$35 USD) but decent sound quality and build quality. The H840 review follows tomorrow. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/edifier-h750-on-ear-stereo-headphone-review.4331/
  19. Here is a very nice on-ear headphone that sells for $28 USD, in the U.S. It should be available world-wide. The downsides are 1) Very lightweight and plastic, with a possibly fragile non-detachable cable, and 2) A neutral-to-light bass response. All else is good to excellent. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/edifier-h650-on-ear-portable-stereo-headphone-review.4328/
  20. Here's a Beyer I missed - I've had the Custom One Pro(2), Custom Street, DT48(4), DT770-32, DT1350(4), DT1770 Pro, T1, T51p, and T90, but this is the first T70p for me. I like it - a lot. It has a strong midrange emphasis, but overall very hi-fi with the Tesla drivers. It's not an ideal on-the-street portable, in that isolation is compromised if wearing glasses, and insofar as when pulled down around the neck for ordering coffee or schmoozing with people, it bumps against my chin. The cheaper Custom Street has no such problem. I like the comfort better than the T90, but it's easily as comfy as the T1 or DT770. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/beyerdynamic-t70p-around-ear-portable-stereo-headphone-review.4327/
  21. Here is a delightful little portable headphone from Beyerdynamic, and unlike most of their other low-end portables, this is a real (made in Germany) Beyer with their famous earcup forks and all. The signature is much flatter than the Beyer mini-Teslas (T51p, DT1350, ....), with better extension on both ends - I love it. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/beyerdynamic-custom-street-on-ear-stereo-headphone-review.4322/
  22. Another unique and best-of, with these differences: Very near neutral/flat, but not bright or treble-peaky, and bass solid from top to bottom (really). Plus, the best upper-harmonics reproduction I've heard outside of the Sennheiser HD800. Highly, highly recommended. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/beyerdynamic-dt-1770-pro-around-ear-stereo-headphone-review.4311/
  23. I've read reviews of Music Hall components for years in Stereophile, and the manufacturer's comments in the back of the magazine, containing entertaining banter between the reviewer and manufacturer. I was hoping for a hi-fi or mid-fi headphone from these guys, and my expectations came up short. A light bass impact, some very slight treble peaks, or a modest treble rolloff - any or all of these can be had in many headphones that sell for $200 USD or less. In the case of the DE-BE however, the sound required significant EQ to be usable for hi-fi listening indoors or out, and so this is an "EQ review" that's intended only for people who are OK with using equalizers. http://rockgrotto.proboards.com/thread/10834/music-portable-stereo-headphone-review
  24. This is my first Grado 'woodie', excepting any Grado headphones where the wood parts are inside of the earcups only. I describe the sound compared to the SR325e, since I don't have a sense of how any of the Grado 'RS' series sound. This is a very good headphone, but be aware that some of the $650 USD price is because of the limited material from that Brooklyn tree. http://rockgrotto.proboards.com/thread/10824/grado-brooklyn-stereo-headphone-review
  25. Here's my review of the Nighthawk, and this time in a nicely-formatted pasteup. I cover the solidly good points as well as any objections I found in other reviews. http://www.mymac.com/2015/07/audioquest-nighthawk-stereo-headphone-audiophile-review/
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