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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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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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Headphone and Earphone Round-up

Headphone and Earphone Round-up

Check out the Headphone and Earphone Round-up, a summary of all the new Headphone and Earphone reviews...more to come through the end of August!

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Sennheiser IE60 In Ear Headphones (Earbuds)

Sennheiser IE60 In Ear Headphones

Sennheiser is a very well known name in the headphone game. My first good headphones, and the center of my first high end audio system, were the Sennheiser HD580s I had in college. The company has always been known for high quality over the ear headphone, but they also make In Ear Headphones, a.k.a., Earbuds, and that is what we review here, namely the Sennheiser's IE60.

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HiFiMAN HE-400 Planar Headphone and HM-601 Slim Portable Player

HiFiMAN HE-400 Planar Headphone and HM-601 Slim Portable Player

HiFiMAN was founded in 2007 by Dr. Fang Bian, a man with a passion for portable audio. His love for music and sound quality is immediately present in his HiFiMAN products. HiFiMAN has been known for producing some very well regarded planar magnetic headphones, like the HE-6, but up until now, those reference headphones required a lot of power.

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HiFiMAN HE-6 Planar Headphones and EF-6 Headphone Amplifier

HiFiMAN HE-6 Planar Headphone and EF-6 Headphone Amp

After reviewing a true bargain in the planar magnetic headphone market, the excellent sounding and easily driven HiFiMAN HE-400, I moved onto their top of the line HiFiMAN HE-6, and also included the EF-6 Pure Class A headphone amplifier to drive the headphones.

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Velodyne vPulse In-Ear Headphones (Earbuds)

Velodyne vPulse In-Ear Headphones (Earbuds)With the prevalence of portable music players to the point that you must be from Mars if you don't own one, there is a huge aftermarket for high quality earphones (headphones is the category, with over-the-ear headphones, on-ear-headphones, in-ear headphones, in-ear-earphones, and in-ear earbuds being the specific type of headphone one is referring to). Velodyne, renown manufacturer of subwoofers, not to be left out of this trend, has released a set of in-ear headphones called the vPulse....and best of all, they sound like Velodyne all the way . . . a.k.a. very, very good.

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Audeo PFE 232 Earphones

Audeo PFE 232 Earphones

Audeo was founded in 2008 as a subsidiary to the Swiss corporation, Phonak, which is the largest maker of hearing aid systems in the world. Audeo was formed with the simple goal of becoming the worldwide leader for high end in-ear monitors (IEM's) by 2016. Here is a review of their model PFE 232, which are classified as earbuds.

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Howard Leight Noise-Blocking Stereo Earmuffs

sync-earmuffs-teaserMost of us use portable players at least now and then to listen to our music, using earbuds. But what if there is a lot of ambient noise, such as on an airplane, or if you are in a Starbucks enjoying a refreshment while you are using your laptop, or if you are playing in a band and want to hear not only your own instrument (in my case, it is the drums), but the other musicians and a click track, while the audience is nearly as loud as you are? Noise-reducing over-the-ear headphones are the answer, and the unit reviewed here, the Howard Leight Sync Noise-Blocking Stereo Earmuffs are an inexpensive and very effective solution.

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Focal Spirit One Over-the-Ear Headphones

Focal Spirit One HeadphoneMany people now listen to their music through headphones. On their commute to work, at their desk, in the gym, or anywhere else, you're very likely to find people using headphones. As part of our headphone roundup, this review covers the Focal Spirit One Headphones, which are of the design that, generically, are called "Over the Ear", which means they completely cover the ear in a chamber, which may be sealed on the outside or open to the surroundings. The Focal Spirit One's are sealed.

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NuForce NE-700X Earbuds

nuforce-ne-700x-earbuds-teaserNuForce is a small company that has recently become quite visible due to their special editions of the venerable OPPO Universal Players. But, they also make their own products, including DACs and earbuds. The latter, namely the NuForce NE-700X earbuds, are reviewed here. They are inexpensive, fit in the ear canal in the most comfortable way I have ever experienced, and have low distortion. The price? $65.

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