Wednesday, September 26, 2012

HiFiMAN HE-300 Headphones

HiFiMan is a highly regarded audio company known for superior studio quality audio equipment. Today, I will take a look at their entry level headphone, the HE-300's. Unlike other CelebHeadphones, style isn't a selling point with HiFiMan. Their claim to fame is 100% premium sound quality. With that said, design-wise, these are not your average set of headphones. At first glance, it's impossible to not notice the sheer size of the ear-cups. When worn, there's almost impossible no way of looking "cool." However, the size does have its benefits.  I can say without question, the HE-300's are the most comfortable headphone I have ever reviewed. HiFiMan has been able to make them extremely light for their size. At only 270 grams, the weight of the HE-300's are more on par with headphones half their size. My biggest problem lies with its cable. Not only do you have to screw in both cables into each ear-cup, the cable itself is simply way too long. I understand that these are are studio headphones. I just wish they came with a cable that was atleast a foot or two shorter.

Since these are more of a studio headphone, premium sound quality is critical. After testing all genres of music, I found something completely different than with any other previous CelebHeadphone I have reviewed. The HE-300 sound fantastic when listening to acoustic music, jazz and most "classic" genres. The headphones make listening to classic music a pleasure since they offer clear reproduction of each individual instrument. Pop, rap and electronic genres don't sound bad, they just don't sound nearly as good compared to other similarly priced headphones.

If you're someone who is really into acoustic music or any of the "classic" music genres, someone who does not expect to travel with your headphones, and someone who is willing to spend the extra money, the HiFiMan HE-300's are for you.

Price: $250
Available Now

  • Extremely Comfortable
  • "Classic" Music Genre Sound Quality
  • Durable

  • Massive Ear-cups
  • Pricey
  • Cable is too long

Overall Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DJ Pauly D STREET by 50 Headphones

SMS Audio has just unveiled the STREET by 50 DJ Model. At launch, there will be 3 color options available: Black, Grey and a Limited-Edition DJ Pauly D version. They are currently available for pre-order and will begin shipping on October 2. As soon as they become available, I will have a full review. For a full review of the original STREET by 50 Headphones, Click Here.

Price: $300
Available: October 2 (Pre-Order Here)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quarkie "Audio Art" Headphones

Their slogan is, "You've never seen headphones like this before," and it couldn't be any more true. Quarkie Headphones are the result of a team of widely imaginative and creative British and Asian-Pacific artists, music lovers and electronic engineers who wanted to combine each of their passions into one project.

Their first line of headphones, the "Audio Art" line, have got to be one of the most eye-catching pieces of technology ever. With designs like yellow viper snakeheads, cat eyes, purple gemstones, and rusty bolts, there's nothing "normal" about them. Since they are in fact art, each headphone comes individually numbered and detailed by hand. I received the Snake Eyes model, and they look so real that you might just be able to convince some to think they were real.

Although the unique design is the primary focus, these headphones are not just all show. The folks behind Quarkie also wanted them to sound great as well. Although not at the same audio quality of some similar priced earbuds, the Quarkie Headphones aren't far behind. As with most premium earbuds, the Quarkie's have sound isolation technology which makes them good for plane or subway rides, but not so good for walking around crowded cities. They do, however, come stocked with an inline mic, which I found worked well. My only gripe is with their heftiness. I know they are art, but I wish Quarkie could have found a way to lighten them up a bit.

If your into fusing technology and art, and are looking to shock your friends, the Quarkie Headphones are for you.

Price: $109
Available Now

  • Extremely Well-Crafted
  • Unlike Anything Anyone Has Ever Seen
  • Inline Mic
  • Design is Not For Everyone
  • Heavy
  • Average Sound Quality

Overall Rating: 7/10

Monday, September 10, 2012

Simon Cowell's X-Factor Themed Sony MDR-X10 Headphones

Sony has entered the celebrity headphone market with a surprising choice, Simon Cowell. The new X Headphones will be featured during the upcoming new season of the hit show, The X Factor. The X Headphones cost $299 and are now available online.

This is the second television-headphone collaboration we've seen in the past week alone! Just a few days ago, Monster Audio announced a joint venture with Viacom with its new DNA Headphones. It's looking like having a celebrity endorsement deal isn't good enough anymore. Now you need your own television channel or hit network show.

Stay tuned for a full review coming soon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lil Wayne Debuts His New Beats Headphones at VMA's

If you watched last nights MTV Video Music Awards, there's no way you didn't notice Lil Wayne. Not for his "unique" fashion, or his performance with 2 Chainz, but for his outrageous Red Beats by Dre Headphones. Turns out, those are going to be sold as the Beats by Dre X Lil Wayne Edition Headphones. There have been some rumors in the past that Lil Wayne would be releasing his own Beats, but now it's reality. While they aren't the million dollar blinged-out Beats he wore a few months ago, they still command a lot of attention. At this point not much is known about this special edition headphones, but since they look awfully similar to the Beats by Dre Pro's, it could just be a color change. Be sure to follow on Twitter for updates.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tivoli Audio Radio Silenz Headphones

Tivoli Audio is a company known for their premium tabletop radios and portable powerradios. While I've never tried their products, I've heard their products are known for having excellent designs and great performance. The Radio Silenz Headphones are their first step into the crowded headphone market. The most unique aspect of the design is its incorporation of real wood. While all other headphone companies can only offer a choice of color, Tivoli gives you a choice of wood: walnut, cherry or black ash. Besides this nice design touch, the black plastic construction gives the headphones a cheap look. The overall size of the headphones are much smaller and lighter than I expected. In order to keep the headphones light and travel-friendly, the padding is minimal which doesn't help with comfort. Overall comfort is average at best.

The Radio Silenz Headphones are the first noise-canceling headphones with an on-ear design. Unfortunately, this extra feature does have its drawbacks. It requires a AAA battery which is located in a plastic housing hanging half way down the cable of the left ear-cup. The extra weight is a major annoyance. I've never been a huge fan of noise canceling in general due to it's tendency to cause sound distortion and create a slight hiss in the background. However, the noise-cancelling feature works surprisingly well for the headphones extremely small size.

Overall sound quality is dependent on whether the noise cancellation is turned on or off. With it off, sound quality is balanced and neutral compared to with it on, overall sound quality drops. Either way, there's not much bass, so those looking for thump should look elsewhere.

I had high hopes for the Radio Silenz Headphones, but it's extremely high price tag, and unspectacular features keep it from getting a high rating. Overall, the Radio Silenz Headphones are a good start for Tivoli Audio, but with today's vast options, they just don't cut it.

Price: $160
Available Now

  • Lightweight
  • Real Wood Finish
  • Slim & Portable
  • Requires AAA Battery
  • Pricey
  • Flimsy

Overall Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monster Audio Partners with Viacom on New DNA Headphones

Monster Audio continues its revolution of the headphone market with another new marketing scheme. First, they sign rapper/producer, Dr.Dre, and create the Beats by Dre headphone line. Next, they partner with upscale clothing brand, Diesel. Today, Monster announced they will be collaborating with television giant Viacom for their newest product, the DNA Headphones.

With the deal, the new DNA Headphones will be on display all over Viacom's cable television channels, specifically MTV and VH1. During this Thursday's MTV Video Music Awards, each presenter and performer will receive special chrome versions of the new headphones.

Monster hasn't revealed much about the new DNA Headphones, although they have announced the headphones include a new "sound technology." The headphones have a September release in the United States, and an October release in Europe. The over-ear model will retail for $200 and will be available in black, white, cobalt blue and teal. The in-ear model will set you back $100, and are available in black and white.

For more details, click here.