If you have ears, prepare to open them now.
I've just reviewed a bunch of contenders for the world's best full-size, over-the-ear headphone: Audio Technica ATH-W5000, Denon AH-D7000, Grado PS-1000, Sennheiser HD 800, Stax SR-007Mk2, and Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones--and all boast higher MSRPs than the JH Audio JH 13 Pro in-ear headphone.
Sure, full-size headphones can be used with iPods and MP3 players with varying degrees of success, but they're a lot more of a hassle to lug around than the JH 13 Pro. Honestly, I prefer the sound and comfort of over-the-ear models compared with in-ear headphones. Then again, the JH 13 Pro is a very different type of in-ear design, it uses six drivers--two woofers, two midranges, and two tweeters--to lower distortion compared with other in-ear designs. It's a difference I can hear.
The JH 13 Pro's resolution of fine detail is extraordinary, drums sound more realistic than I've heard from any other type of headphone. The JH 13 Pro is "fast," cymbals' shimmer and sparkle the way they do in real life, and when a drummer whacks his sticks against the drums' metal rims, the sound is more realistic. Dynamic oomph and slam are the best I've heard from an in-ear headphone.
The JH 13 Pro's bass goes deeper than any in-ear headphone to date, but it's the way these headphones decode palpable bass textures that's highly addictive. Electric, acoustic, and keyboard basses sound more different from each other with the JH 13 Pro. Switching over to Monster's excellent new Turbine Pro Gold in-ear headphone ($299) is startling, the Turbines sound mushy and muddled by comparison. The Monster has more mid-bass fullness, which some listeners may prefer. I do not.
The JH 13 Pro's midrange clarity is radically better than any in-ear 'phones I've used to date. Its bass, midrange, and treble are better balanced and accurate than what I'm used to from in-ear designs. … Read more
Lucky me, I've reviewed most of the world's very best headphones, including the Audio Technica ATH-W5000, Denon AH-D7000, and Sennheiser HD 800. But now there's something even better: the Woo Audio WES headphone amplifier ($4,500) and Stax SR-007Mk2 headphone ($2,410). The complete review can be found on the Home Entertainment Web site.
Yeah, it's a lot of dough, but the Woo/Stax combo creams the other contenders for world's best headphone sound, and the pair goes for less than the price of a world class, high-end camera, like the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. The camera's great now, but in a couple of years it'll be hopelessly out of date. Great audio is simply a better long-term investment.
Stax headphones use a very different operating principle than dynamic headphones (pretty much every headphone from lowly earbuds to full-size headphones are dynamic designs). Stax has been making electrostatic headphones since 1960 in Japan, and the company's current flagship model, the SR-007Mk2, is what I'm using with the Woo WES amplifier. The Stax is a big and comfy design.
The Woo WES is an all-triode tube drive, fully balanced design; the prototype unit I'm reviewing has a total of 10 tubes (four EL34 power tubes, four 6SL7 drive tubes, and two 5AR4 rectifier tubes), but production models will have 11 tubes. It works with Stax and Sennheiser electrostatic headphones only. The machined, all-metal dual chassis is beautifully crafted.
The WES, like all Woo amps, was designed by Wei Wu, and handcrafted in Woo Audio's factory in New York City. Each WES will be built to order over a four-day period; it's slated for release in October 2009. The preintroduction price is $4,500, and full retail is expected to be $4,990. Woo prices start at $470 for the WA 3. All Woo Audio electronics are sold direct from the factory, the waiting list is three to four weeks.
A look inside reveals no circuit boards; all wiring will be "point to point." That's a very expensive way to manufacture amplifiers, but Woo Audio thinks point-to-point wiring makes for better-sounding amps. The amp also features handmade inductors, and even the machined cone feet are designed specifically for the WES.
The clarity of the Woo/Stax combo with acoustic jazz mimics the way live, unamplified music sounds in a good concert hall or club. The Woo/Stax is the closest thing to being there I've heard to date.… Read more
You know a car is famous when a mere clone of it can fetch $300,000.
Such may be the scenario when an Aston Martin DB5 that isn't even connected to James Bond's goes online for bidding on March 12.
Liquidation house Eddison describes the car as "identical" in its "metallic silver grey" (ahem, that should be called "Silver Birch") and leather upholstery, which unfortunately is cordovan rather than the correct black. So much for "identical."
But even if this car trades on the Bond legacy like a distant cousin … Read more
The Swedes, it seems, like to add a touch of flair to everything they do. Take Internet service provider Bahnhof's new underground high-security data center built in a former nuclear bomb shelter. Royal Pingdom says it looks like something a Bond villain would have for his headquarters, and I must agree. I think it looks like a combination of all the levels from the N64 game Goldeneye put together.
I want to live here.
Look at the amazing steam waterfall machines! They can be powered by German submarine engines! If that doesn't evoke Thunderball, I'm not sure what else could.
I haven't had a chance to see Quantum of Solace yet as it just opened Friday, but after looking at the amazing photos of the Stockholm structure after the jump, I'm not sure if I have to.… Read more
Well, maybe not quite 007. I mean, for one thing, could you imagine James Bond walking around with a huge flashlight sticking out of his back pocket? Well, maybe the Timothy Dalton 007, but he was never that cool to begin with. Dalton did redeem himself in my eyes with Hot Fuzz, however.
Anyway, before this becomes a huge diatribe about how Daniel Craig is second only to Sean Connery as the best Bond, let's get back to the issue at hand. Swann Communications, a company that specializes in security monitoring devices, today announced a covert surveillance tool, the … Read more
Ever since we saw From Russia With Love and, more specifically, James Bond's super-tricked-out attache case, we've always wanted one of our own. Even without the AR-7 and pop-out blade, it seemed the like ultimate accessory for that age when men were men and neckties were skinny.
That was the first thing that came to mind upon seeing Mezzi's superslim aluminum briefcase on Gear Patrol, which is meant to stow smart phones and GPS receivers instead of tear gas canisters. And with gadgets getting slimmer all the time, you'd be surprised how much you can fit … Read more
The Chinese manufacturer that came up with this "VIP 007" phone apparently had its decades mixed up when contemplating the retro-styled handset. Either that or it was particularly fond of Roger Moore, because the design of this so-called James Bond phone looks distinctly like one of those caveman versions (sorry, Geico guys) from the early '80s, though 50 or 60 pounds lighter.
True to that unfortunate form, this GSM handset sports a gigantic antenna and has its receiver on the edge of the phone, as shown on Akihabara News, but it does apparently have a color display to … Read more
Porsche may rule the road in many eyes, but it has a ways to go on the open seas. While its much-publicized $300,000 racing yacht boasts a top speed of 88 mph, for example, the new XSR48 claims to exceed 100 mph.
Called "the world's fastest diesel production boat," it will attempt to break various world records this year, according to Luxist. Its speed isn't the only thing that will hasten heartbeats: Its price is estimated at nearly $2 million.