• The Muse Erato II Modular Digital Player

    The Muse Erato II Modular Digital Player

    Kevin Halverson, the man behind the Muse electronics, represents one of the unsung luminaries of digital development. Starting out nearly twenty years ago with a range of innovative amplification, many of the concepts that debuted ...
  • Esoteric X-01 D2 SACD Player

    Esoteric X-01 D2 SACD Player

    Ever since we were mistakenly and somewhat naively promised “perfect sound” back at the launch of Compact Disc in the early 80’s, the format has suffered at the hands of those who continuously compare it ...
  • Audio-Technica ATH-A700 Headphones

    Audio-Technica ATH-A700 Headphones

    Audio-Technica describes its mid-priced ATH-A700 headphones as a models designed to deliver “audiophile-quality acoustic performance with full, rich balanced bass.” At $299, the ATH-A700 is less expensive than many of the ’phones in this survey, ...
  • BeyerDynamic DT 880 PRO Headphones

    BeyerDynamic DT 880 PRO Headphones

    BeyerDynamic has been building headphones and microphones since the company was founded in Berlin in 1924, and today the semi-open-back DT 880 PRO headphone is the second-from-the-top model in the firm’s lineup. In a sense, ...
  • Denon AH-D1001 Headphones

    Denon AH-D1001 Headphones

    The AH-D1001s are the lightest, smallest headphones in this survey and for this reason are among the most comfortable. They are arguably the only ’phones in this group light, compact, and sensitive enough to be ...
  • Grado RS 2 Headphones

    Grado RS 2 Headphones

    The RS 2 is the number three model in Grado’s headphone lineup, but among headphone aficionados it enjoys a reputation for capturing much of the essential goodness of the very expensive, top-tier Grado models (the ...
  • Sennheiser HD 650

    Sennheiser HD 650

    The HD 650 has been Sennheiser’s flagship audiophile headphone for several years now, but it is only recently that the firm decided to buck contemporary pricing trends to reduce the product’s list price from around ...
  • Ultrasone PRO 2500 Headphones

    Ultrasone PRO 2500 Headphones

    Ultrasone is a German firm that makes headphones for DJ, hi-fi, and professional applications, though it is perhaps best known in the United States for its pro-series models. I debated whether to sample one of ...
  • Klipsch Custom-3 In-Ear Headphones

    Klipsch Custom-3 In-Ear Headphones

    Late in 2007 the venerable speaker manufacturer Klipsch entered the high-performance earbud fray, introducing three Custom-series in-ear headphones (the -1, -2, and -3, in ascending order of performance and price), plus the distinctive, top-of-the line ...
  • Klipsch Image In-Ear Headphones

    Klipsch Image In-Ear Headphones

    If you are in the “bigger is better” camp, then Klipsch’s Image in-ear headphone will come as quite a surprise. The Images, you see, are not only the firm’s flagship earbuds, but also—by a significant ...
  • Shure SE-110 In-Ear Headphones

    Shure SE-110 In-Ear Headphones

    Although the SE-110 is lowest-priced in-ear headphone in Shure’s SE-series lineup, it also enjoys the distinction of being a product that many big-box retailers treat as the top-shelf offering displayed in their stores. So, from ...

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