headphones

Apple's New High End AirPod Headphones

AirPods Max

Episode 1758

Leo says that Apple's new $550 Airpod Max Headphones are too cheap for high-end headphones, and too expensive for just about everything else. But he says that while these fit into a gray area that's going to use computational audio driven by 10 core processors. So customers have a supercomputer in each ear. It will support things like surround sound and will take an imperfect stream of audio and make it better. But Leo will never buy them, even though while they are pricey status symbols now, they may end up being worth the price down the line as the technology improves. 

 

Scott Wilkinson ... Stelliar

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1755

This week, Scott reviews the Focal Arch DAC, which go along with the Stelia headphones, which he says sound pretty great, considering their $2500 price tag for the DAC, and $3,000 for the headphones. Scott says it seems ridiculous to spend that much on a pair of headphones and amps, but there's a point of diminishing returns as you increase costs to get better quality. Sooner or later it just doesn't prove to be worth it for a slight to moderate improvement.

Scott Wilkinson ... Black November

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1741

Scott joins Leo to talk about how Black Friday is already here with "Black November" deals already starting. Scott says that this means that we may see the end of the crowds fighting over doorbuster deals on the day after Thanksgiving.

Headphones like the Bose Quiet Comfort QC35 Mk. II are discounted 33%. 

Newegg is offering a deal on the Polk TL1600 Subwoofer Satellite speaker system for $179, a 60% discount. 

Scott Wilkinson ... Amplified and Converted

Scott

Episode 1723

Scott joins Leo to talk about the Helm Audio DB12 AAA pocket headphone amp. It uses THX amplifier technology. Noise measurements are far lower in total harmonic distortion than any chip-based amp. And while the price of the DB12AAA is $200, it does make a huge difference in audio from a mobile device. But since mobile phones have eliminated the headphone jack in favor of Bluetooth headphones, users would need an adapter to use it.

Scott Wilkinson and the High Priced Headphones

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1719

Scott joins Leo to talk about a pair of headphones he's been reviewing. They're called the Focale Stellia headphones and at $3000, they are easily the best sounding headphones he's ever used. The main word to describe them is CLARITY. These headphones are ideal for deep listening into complex mixes. The design "opens up" the recording and Leo mentions it gives each track or instrument some space to hear everything. But $3,000?! 

Read Scott's review in the link above.

Scott Wilkinson ... Playing the bass recorder

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1709

Scott joins Leo to talk about One More wireless in-ear headphones and he says that the Triple Driver in-ear monitors sound the best. They are Bluetooth and fit around your neck and then into your ears. It has cross overs that route the sound to each ear, and come with woofers, tweeters, and a middle channel. It's a very slick design. But they are around $150, so they aren't cheap. Great headphones though.

Are There Hearing Aids That Are Good for Live Music?

Quattro

Episode 1675

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny wants to know if the new Quattro hearing aids are good for attending live music concerts. Leo says all hearing aids are designed to focus on speech. So music isn't really going to be an optimum experience. Leo doesn't listen to music with his hearing aids. He just uses headphones and normalizes the sound with an equalizer. 

Why Aren't My Gaming Headphones Playing Surround Sound When I Watch TV?

ARCTIS 7

Episode 1667

Chris from Santa Barbara, CA

Chris wants to know why surround sound for gaming is different from Dolby 5.1 surround on his headphones.  Leo wonders if the gaming audio is set up to use an app to give surround in the headphones vs. just listening to the system. Scott says that has to do with the bitstream that has to be decoded and the app is required. So if he's watching TV with his gaming headphones, he may not get surround. That's why Leo suggests hardware encoding. Even if he figures out a workaround though, Chris will likely be going to have lag.