Doctor Mom calls in to talk about the 2nd generation Amazon Echo Earbuds. The Earbuds are always listening and if you have a smart home, you can just tell Echo to do just about anything. The sound quality is a big improvement. They're also smaller and lighter. The case is also redesigned, looking a lot like Apple's ear pods case design. They are also USB-C now.
Scott joins Leo to talk about the news that Sennheiser recently got sold to a hearing aid company. They promise to keep things as they are, but it's a strange acquisition for an audiophile equipment company. Scott recently reviewed the Sennheiser IE300 In Ear monitors, which he says sound fantastic. Well balanced from bass to treble. He gives them 5 out of 5 stars.
Joe would like to connect a pair of headphones to his LG TV. But when he does, the volume is very faint. Does he need some sort of amplifier? Leo says that most TVs get their audio from HDMI and the Audio Return Channel. If Joe has a home theater system or AV receiver, it's better to plug into that instead of the TV. What Leo thinks is maybe Joe needs to enable the setting in the TV menu. There are headphone amplifiers. Check out headphones.com for suggestions on which to get. There's plenty of options out there.
Scott joins Leo to talk about a new pair of headphones he's been reviewing. The great thing about a good pair of headphones is that they take the room's acoustics completely out of the music experience. This pair is called the Focal Clear MG headphones. They're an open-back design, which allows the back wave sound to escape into the room without sacrificing sound quality. Scott says this provides for a neutral tonal value, and the sound is a bit creamier and brighter.
Scott has a review of a new pair of headphones, the Grado GW 100 v2 Bluetooth Headphones. Grado has been making headphones since 1991 and the GW100 is their first wireless Bluetooth headphones. What's interesting about them is that they have Bluetooth, but not active noise cancellation. The choice was deliberate in order to focus on better quality sound. It's also a better quality experience with AAC and other codecs which are transmitted over Bluetooth 5. Battery life is about 40 hours, which is very impressive. The cost is about $250.
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.
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 joins Leo to talk about the ELAC speakers that Leo finally decided on. Scott says they are very affordable and offer a lot of bang for the buck.
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 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.