Steve Guttenberg

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Steve Guttenberg  |  Oct 23, 2018  |  1 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Stunning design with consummate build quality
Pleasurable sound balance
Plush ear pads
Minus
Sound balance may be too rich for some tastes

THE VERDICT
Campfire Audio’s Cascade is a class act, with distinctive good looks and a sweet, easy sound.

Even before I start listening to headphones, their look and feel on my head can have an influence on my first impressions of the sound. On that score, Campfire Audio’s Cascade headphones really had my hopes up. The satin black machined aluminum earcups felt like they could survive a close encounter with a city bus and escape unscathed. The plush, real lambskin-covered earpads promised good times ahead. Yesiree, the Cascade makes a mighty fine first impression. What about the sound, you ask?

Steve Guttenberg  |  Jun 26, 2018  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $179

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Accurate sound, with a gentle bass bump
Best-in-class noise isolation
Two-year replacement warranty
Minus
Requires deep ear tip insertion

THE VERDICT
The Etymotic ER3XR delivers accurate, transparent sound at a very affordable price.

Have you noticed that most headphones, including plenty of models with audiophile aspirations, have pumped-up bass and highs? That intentionally less-than-accurate sound is likely due to their designers knowing that most people enjoy boosted bass and the extra “detail” of tipped-up treble. Etymotic is a company that doesn’t play by those rules, and its new ER3 Extended Response (ER3XR) is just the ticket for anyone who craves accurate sound from in-ear headphones.

Steve Guttenberg  |  May 15, 2018  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Comfort
Value
PRICE $499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Eighty percent thinner diaphragm
New HiFiMan aesthetic
Improved comfort
Minus
Can’t hush external noise

THE VERDICT
HiFiMan ups its game with Sundara’s new headband design that makes for a more comfortable fit and a new diaphragm that improves sound quality.

HiFiMan rocked my world back in 2009 with its revelatory HE-5 headphones. These were the first planar magnetic headphones I’d ever heard, and the sound was so clear and sweet, I’m pretty sure you’ll feel the same way about HiFiMan’s latest planar, the Sundara.

Steve Guttenberg  |  May 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Comfort
Value
PRICE $1,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Solid machined wood earcups
Rich sound balance
Bio Dynamic drivers
Minus
So-so comfort over long sessions

THE VERDICT
At last, with the Heritage HP-3 there’s finally a Klipsch headphone founder Paul W. Klipsch would be proud of.

The Heritage HP-3 is a clean break from all of Klipsch’s previous full-sized headphones. Although Klipsch’s previous headphones were decent, I never felt they put the same passion into their headphones as their speakers. Maybe that’s why the HP-3 feels like a new beginning. Klipsch is finally going up against the big boys in the high-end audio headphone biz.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Mar 28, 2018  |  0 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $249

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent isolation from external noise
Lightweight yet rugged design
Plentiful, but not overdone bass
Minus
Can sound too bright with harsh or overcompressed recordings

THE VERDICT
The Focal Listen delivers lots of detail and vitality, and the bass is to die for.

Focal is best known as France’s leading speaker manufacturer, but in 2016 they turned a corner and entered the fiercely competitive high-end headphone market with two extraordinary ’phones, the Elear and the deliriously great Utopia.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Mar 14, 2018  |  0 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $2,695

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Designed and handcrafted in Brooklyn
Best-ever sounding Grado
Freewheeling dynamics
Minus
The non-removable and not very flexible cable

THE VERDICT
The Grado Labs PS2000e takes the classic Grado sound to new heights, but it won’t please everyone.

Grado headphones all have a sound, and they sound like Grados. They’re some of the most viscerally dynamic and lively headphones I’ve heard, and they’re so open and spacious, you never feel like the sound is confined to the space between your ears. The new flagship, the PS2000e, takes the Grado sound to new heights.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Feb 13, 2018  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $2,495

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Extraordinary sound quality
Planar magnetic in-ear
Open-back design
Minus
Doesn’t block external noise

THE VERDICT
The Audeze LCDi4 sound like no other in-ear or full-size headphones. Audeze has once again radically changed the way we hear music.

I’m going to come right out and say it: The Audeze LCDi4 are hands down the best-sounding in-ear headphones I’ve heard. They’re the most transparent and open, have the flattest tonal balance, and the bass—OMG—is deeper and faster than any other in-ears on the planet...

Steve Guttenberg  |  Jan 23, 2018  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $399

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Most affordable ever three-way from the designer
Uber comfy
Vivacious sound
Minus
The voluptuous bass might be too much of a good thing

THE VERDICT
The Astell & Kern Michelle brings JH Audio headphone sound down to a new, more affordable price.

Sound & Vision readers probably know about Astell&Kern’s portable high-resolution digital audio players. But I’m guessing you’re less aware of Jerry Harvey Audio’s in-ear headphones, which have found favor not only with audiophiles, but also musicians and pro sound engineers who make up a sizeable percentage of Harvey’s customer base. The Michelle Limited in-ear headphones from Astell&Kern were designed by Jerry Harvey.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Dec 13, 2017  |  2 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Oval planar magnetic design
Easy to drive
Nice and comfy
Minus
Cable lacks phone mic or inline controls

THE VERDICT
Acoustic Research knocked one out of the park with the AR-H1 — it’s a real contender.

Acoustic Research has a long, proud history dating back to 1954 with the introduction of the AR1, the world’s first acoustic suspension speaker. But rather than run through a model-by-model inventory of their innovative speakers and the brilliant AR turntable, let’s fast-forward to 2018 where the AR's current owner is based in Hong Kong and they’re getting serious about making audiophile headphones. Witness the AR-H1, an ambitious reboot for the brand.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Oct 31, 2017  |  0 comments
Ti In-Ear Headphones
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
Be In-Ear Headphones
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value

Mg In-Ear Headphone
Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $99, $199, $299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clear sound, great bass
Five-year warranty
Now made in the U.S.
Minus
Tangle-prone cable
No phone controls

THE VERDICT
Periodic Audio’s three in-ear headphones—the Mg, Ti, and Be—may only differ in the driver material but sound more different than you might expect.

Periodic Audio is a brand-new company that launched with just three in-ear headphones, the Mg (Magnesium), the Ti (Titanium), and the Be (Beryllium), for $99, $199, and $299, respectively. The three headphones look nearly the same, differing only in the color of the earpiece end caps. The Mg and Ti are similar shades of silver, while the Be is gold. The three models’ 10mm drivers are all mechanically exactly the same but differ in their diaphragm materials—magnesium, titanium, and beryllium—so it made sense to look at all three models as a group.

Pages

X