The way I see it, high-end audio is all about the pursuit of excellence, and Audeze headphones exemplify that philosophy. Now sure, most headphone manufacturers try to make the best products they can, but mass-market brands have to satisfy a broad range of tastes, load on features like Bluetooth and phone controls that don't enhance sound quality, and design their products within real-world price constraints. Audeze engineers focus on doing whatever it takes to make the world's best-sounding headphones, and the results speak for themselves.
Happy National Consumerism Day, everyone! By which I mean, of course, Black Friday. Feel like maybe it's lost its mojo? Like you couldn't possibly discover any deals better than what you see all year long? Think again. I come to you bearing not only some surprisingly excellent bargains, but also a smattering of Cheapskate exclusives. Starting with this one:
Talk to the hand You know how it's winter? And you know what a hassle it is to hold your phone up to your ear when it's freezing cold out? Forget that -- just hold your gloved … Read more
When I first set eyes on the Koss KTX Pro 1 headphones I wasn't expecting much. The silver plastic on-ear has an all-too-generic look, but as soon as I started listening the sound had my full attention; they were very decent! Most cheap on-ears sound claustrophobic and pinched, but the KTX Pro 1's sound was big and spacious. The 60-ohm design is exceptionally comfortable, and the foam ear pads exert minimal pressure, so you can wear these things for hours without fatigue setting in. Like all budget headphones the KTX Pro 1's cable lacks an inline mic … Read more
A long, long time ago, before the Age of the Walkman came along and revolutionized the devices in the 1980s, headphones were big and clunky. In those bygone days, headphones were stay-at-home things, relegated to late-night, LP music listening. That was then; the latest generation of slimmed-down headphones injects high-resolution music or home-theater sound directly into your ears.
Audio-Technica's ATH-M50s are among the best over-ear headphones for less than $200, but definitely check out the Bose QuietComfort 3 if powered noise-cancellation is at the top of your features list. On the other hand, if you're shopping on a … Read more
When I first spotted the Sony MDR SA5000 headphones at a local Head-Fi meeting in Bayside, Queens, my first impression was that it was eerily similar to Sennheiser's HD 800 headphones. The MDR SA5000 is clearly derived from Sony's old flagship $3,000 Qualia Q10 headphones; both Sonys were first announced in 2004. The HD 800 was introduced in 2009.
The magnesium-framed, open-back MDR-SA5000 is superlight (260 grams) and remarkably comfortable. The real leather earpads' head-clamping pressure is oh-so-gentle, and the sound is remarkably detailed, spacious, and open -- I found the MDR-SA5000 extraordinary in those regards. I … Read more
When it comes to tuning out the world, nothing beats a good pair of headphones and your favorite playlist. Of course, any wired pair necessarily keeps you tethered to your smartphone or tablet, which can be a hassle. If only you could somehow endow them with the magic of Bluetooth.
Presto! For a limited time, you can get the Outdoor Tech Adapt Bluetooth Headphone Adapter for $24.95 shipped. There's no coupon code required; just use that special link to save $15 straight away. This is a Cheapskate exclusive, folks; you won't find this deal anywhere else.
The … Read more
The House of Marley Liberate headphones don't look or feel like any other $100 pair. Most are flimsy plastic things, while the Liberate's metal, wood, hemp cloth, and vinyl construction gives it the feel of a more expensive design. The Liberate features 40mm drivers and an unusually flexible cable with an iPhone/iPad-compatible mic and inline controls. The headband isn't hinged and the earcups don't fold flat, but the upside to those design choices is the Liberate will probably withstand rough treatment better than most hinged models. Then again, the Liberate's cable isn't user-replaceable, … Read more
Like anyone who regularly reviews headphones, I've noticed that the majority of them have no unique features or qualities. So for example, it's rare to find headphones in the T 51 P's price class that aren't made in China, but this little $289 Beyerdynamic is made in Germany. The lightweight, 174 gram, mostly metal design doesn't have a hinged headband, but the ear cups fold flat for easy storage in the supplied, beautifully designed carry case. The headphone lacks a mic or inline controls, marking it as a design intended for the serious audiophile who … Read more
If I can just get my juvenile snickering out of the way right up front... Heh-heh, "Privates," heh-heh.
Now, then. I've featured a ton of Bluetooth speakers in this space, but surprisingly few Bluetooth headphones. All that changes starting...now!
For a limited time, you can get the Outdoor Tech Privates touch-control Bluetooth headphones for $79.95 shipped. That's $20 off the regular price -- and you can't even get these right now on Amazon, they're so popular.
The Privates are overon-the-ear headphones with swipe-able controls on the right earcup. You swipe up or … Read more
Headphones Volume Booster doesn't live up to its claims to raise your smartphone's audio. It makes matters worse by hitting your phone with some nasty ad packages that are sure to frustrate you. If you're looking for a way to improve your phone's sound quality, perhaps it's a better idea to look for a media player with an equalizer.
If you look closely in the fine print of this app's Google Play page, it admits to not working and being "a prank." Sure enough, Headphones Volume Booster didn't boost our headphone'… Read more