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Ultimate Ears 4 Pro Custom In-Ear Headphones

Ultimate Ears 4 Pro Custom In Ear MonitorsUltimate Ears is one of the most well-known and respected names in the custom in-ear monitor (IEM) market (part of the general class: headphones). While historically custom IEMs were targeted at music and sound industry professionals, manufactures have more recently started marketing their monitors to audiophiles, recognizing that many of their attributes might be valued by this community as well. I recently had the opportunity to take a look at UE's entry level 4 Pro Custom IEM and am excited to pass along some thoughts.

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Audio-Technica ATH-AD900X Over-the-Ear Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-AD900X Headphones

Audio-Technica has been around for over 50 years making professional microphones, phono cartridges, and headphones. Given that it is nearly impossible to research audiophile headphones and not come across Audio-Technica in some fashion, I felt it imperative that I review a pair. Outside of brief, less than ideal listening at trade shows, the ATH-AD900X is the first headphone from Audio-Technica that I have used. In today's vast ocean of headphones, Audio-Technica's claim to fame is offering audiophile sound quality at an affordable price. The ATH-AD900X is the successor to the ATH-AD900 and unfortunately I haven't listened to the AD900 so this review will focus purely on the new ATH-AD900X. The only thing I will mention with regards to the model differences would be the subtle visual differences in the design. The open air cage that covers the back of the drivers is more spaced out on the newer AD900X, so much so in fact, that the insides are easily visible – a neat aspect. Also the logo and markings are in gold rather than the silver of the older model.

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Audeze LCD3 Planar Magnetic Headphones

Audeze LCD3 Planar Magnetic HeadphonesAt $1,995 MSRP, Audeze has produced an elite set of headhphones called the LCD3 that most would consider out of their financial reach. However, think about how much would it cost to build a two-channel full size speaker system capable of the performance of the LCD3? Maybe $4K?

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Onkyo ES-HF300 On-Ear Headphones

Onkyo ES-HF300 HeadphonesOnkyo, a long time player in home theater electronics, has set its sights on the personal audio market with the new ES-HF300 headphone. The ES-HF300 is a closed-back headphone design featuring two 40 mm titanium drivers, sub-chambers for optimized bass, and a rigid construction for optimal sound reproduction. With an MSRP of $179, Onkyo is aggressively targeting the rapidly growing market for premium headphones. Recent research by the NPD Group reveals a huge jump in sales of headphones over $100 and considering how many smartphones are in the hands of eager consumers, pricing a headphone correctly is an important key to its success. Of course, how a headphone looks and, most importantly, sounds are also keys to its success. Find out how the new Onkyo ES-HF300 headphones score in my review.

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Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint® Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint® Active Noise-Cancelling HeadphonesAudio Technica's ATH-ANC9 Over-the-Ear Headphones don't have an overly heavy duty look to them, which makes them unassuming and clean looking. But, of course, headphones are about functionality. Read our review to see how they functioned.

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Sennheiser Momentum Over-the-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser MomentumSennheiser will always hold a special part of my heart as the HD580 my first audiophile headphone. I can still remember the soft velvety fabric of the earpads and the revelation that was quality music playback. Since then, I have experienced the sound of many other headphones, including the Sennheiser Momentum over-the-ear headphones, which are reviewed here.

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PSB M4U 2 Noise Cancelling Headphones

PSB M4U 2 Noise Canceling HeadphonesPSB is one of the latest speaker companies - joining the likes of Focal, B&W, Velodyne, and Paradigm - to jump into the booming headphone arena. In this review, we take a close look at their M4U Over-the-Ear Headphones.

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HiFiMAN HE-300 Over-the-Ear Headphones

HiFiMAN HE-300 headphones

HifiMAN headphones are well known around these parts in the Secrets community. A Headphone of the Year award will do that for you. In a possible effort to "spread the wealth" and grant access to their awesome headphones without breaking the bank, they've introduced the HE-300 over the ear headphones.

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HiFiMan HE-500 Over-the-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones and EF-5 Headphone Amplifier

HE-500HiFiMan is a relative newcomer (2006) to the audio product scene. Their specialty is headphones (including over-the-ear and earbuds) and headphone amplifiers. We have reviewed several of their headphones, with positive and enthusiastic findings. The HE-500, reviewed here, are over-the-ear headphones, meaning that they completely enclose the ears. This model also uses planar magnetic drivers, which unlike cone drivers, are flat, very thin plastic membranes, on which is attached a thin conductor. The membrane is near permanent magnets, and when the signal flows through the conductor, the opposing electromagnetic field on the conductive membrane is pushed away from or attracted to the permanent magnets, producing the sound.

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MartinLogan Mikros 90 On-Ear Headphones

MartinLogan Mikros 90 HeadphonesNot wanting to be left out of the lucrative headphone market, MartinLogan has released the noise isolating Mikros 90. Instead of going the exotic, high-end route of designing a pair of electrostatic headphones to mimic their famous loudspeakers, MartinLogan has created a pair of lightweight, portable headphones called the Mikros 90 that at only $299, fall directly into the low-priced high-end headphone sector.

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Paradigm SHIFT E3m In-Ear Headphones (Earbuds)

Paradigm SHIFT E3m In-Ear Headphones (Earbuds)

It was almost impossible to not notice the abundance of headphone products being shown at CES 2012 this past January. It seemed that everyone had a solution for enjoying personal audio devices from large, multi-colored over-the-ear and on-ear headphones to in-ear headphones and earbuds. Paradigm's contribution to this exploding market include the SHIFT E3m earbuds, reviewed here.

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