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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

NAD Viso HP30 measurements can be found by clicking this link.

On-ear headphones such as NAD’s Viso HP30 model rarely appear among audio websites’ top picks. There’s good reason for that. First, it’s difficult to make comfortable on-ear headphones, because the earpads, rather than encircle your earlobes, mash directly against them. Second, it’s difficult to ensure that the earpads seal correctly on the ear -- and without a good seal, it’s impossible to get consistently good sound.

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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

HiFiMan HE1000 measurements can be found by clicking this link.

Reviewers' ChoiceTry to build the ultimate loudspeaker and you’ll end up with something costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The ultimate pair of headphones, on the other hand, might cost less than a midpriced high-end stereo amplifier. We’ve recently seen attempts at creating the ultimate headphones, including such models as the Audeze LCD-3 ($1945 USD), the Abyss AB-1266 ($5495), and the resurgence of the classic Stax line, which tops out with the SR-009 ($4450). Now come the HiFiMan HE1000 headphones ($2999), from the company that did much to inspire the recent interest in high-end ’phones.

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Originally published on SoundStage! Xperience

I’ve been a great admirer of Outdoor Tech.’s imagination and innovation in producing products unlike everyone else’s. They’ve done it again with the Tuis headphones ($129.95 USD), but this time their efforts have not been as successful.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Latest Comments

Brent Butterworth 1 days ago The Biggest Lie in Audio
@DustinNow that I think of it, I've heard a few well-regarded brands used as whipping ...
Dustin 1 days ago The Biggest Lie in Audio
@Brent ButterworthB&W?
Brent Butterworth 1 days ago The Biggest Lie in Audio
@Kevin Voecks1) I so wish we could expose more people to blind testing. It'd be a ...
Kevin Voecks 2 days ago The Biggest Lie in Audio
Bravo for telling the truth Brent! I should add one observation: People who "like," or ...
Dustin 2 days ago The Biggest Lie in Audio
@Brent ButterworthYou make good points. Here is one of the flaws that Floyd Toole has ...