Unboxing the Sennheiser HD 4.20S

We have another text and pictures low-friction unboxing. As unglorified as unboxings may be, they are often the most objective part of a review 🙂 In this post, we take a look at one of the many new Sennheiser headphones revealed at IFA 2016, the closed-back over-ear HD 4.20S, with a 1-button mic and remote, and non-detachable cable. Plus it has a very special model number 🙂

As before, I did the unboxing before I listened to them, so their use would not color the unboxing process (I’m not sure exactly why I am doing this, but it somehow feels useful) 🙂

The stand is not included, I am using it to give you a better look at the headphones:

sennheiser_hd420_on_a_stand

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Unboxing the Fiio X1 DAP (First Generation)

I bought the first generation Fiio X1 in late 2015, and took a handful of unboxing pictures. But I couldn’t find them until last week. It turns out, I had only stored them on the cloud, and I was desperately looking for them on local internal and external storage 🙂 So this is a fashionably late “text and pictures” unboxing. Note that as of late Fall 2016, the second generation X1 is coming out. This post is for the first generation model!

NOTE: more on this in upcoming posts, including a review. I’ve had it for about a year, so there’s no needed to do an in-progress review diary.

THE BOX

It comes in a vinyl-themed sealed package, measuring around 5 by 5 inches, and about 1 inch tall. Packaged and sealed, as you buy it from the retailer, weighs around 9 ounces.

fiio_x1_box_size

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Beyerdynamic Custom Street On-Ears Review Diary

And so it begins. This is a “review diary” of the closed-back on-ear Beyerdynamic Custom Street headphones. It is a companion to the Text and Pictures Unboxing post. This is presented in reverse chronological order and will be updated many times in the next few days/weeks/months… I will be calling them “BCS” for short below…

EXPOSED: Heliotrope’s “Over There That Way”

During a music discovery session I started on Heliotrope’s 2016 album “Over There That Way” with the bass slider in the middle position. This definitely exposed the BCS. They sounded very closed, and not enjoyable. I am pretty forgiving, but in this case, no, no, no. However, switching to the minimum bass setting makes it listenable. I would have expected the highest bass setting to be like that, but not the middle.

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Unboxing the Beyerdynamic Custom Street On-Ears

Welcome to our “Useful Unboxing” of the Beyerdynamic Custom Street On-Ears! These should not be confused with the more famous Custom Over-Ears. Here you will find text and pictures of practical interest, no annoying video or audio or animations. If you’d like to see any other view of the headphones please leave a comment. This was an impulse + curiosity purchase when they were a lightning deal for $67~ at amazon.com. Curiosity because I haven’t listened to BeyerD’s custom slider before…

I haven’t heard these before preparing the Unboxing post, so how they sound does not influence the Unboxing part. I’m not sure where that idea came from but I’m sticking with it 🙂 A brand new “review diary” is now under way [UPDATE!]…

Here’s a teaser of the headphones before we go to the timeline-based unboxing sequence…

bcs_posing

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VE Monks Plus Earbuds (red) Review Diary

This is a very impromptu thing, a new Review Diary (review developing in progress, diary-style) for the …VE Monk Plus in red. This is a companion to the useful Text and Pictures Only Unboxing post that includes close-ups of things that can help in deciding (plug size, earbud diameter, etc). I forgot to weigh them, but I’ll do that soon…

vemonk_in_the_bag

COFFEE SHOP TEST Part II

This time I sat by the door, with busy weekend traffic, and music playing over the speakers. This is where their limit is. The outer sounds often won over them, and I had to increase the volume to higher than I usually listen to, just so I can listen to the music instead of the noise. Again, not a surprise given that these are just basic earbuds, but they are not miracles, they have real-world limitations 🙂

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Unboxing the VE Monk Plus Earbuds (red)

Temptation won, and the price was definitely right (under $9 delivered), so I jumped on the red VE Monk earbud bandwagon! These are true earbud, I haven’t put on earbuds for so long, I forgot how they feel, muscle-memory wants to put them inside the ear :)… UPDATE: for more these earbuds, check our on-going diary-style review

Delivery

I purchased them from Massdrop, and they arrived in a typical 9×7 inch bubble mailer, with Massdrop logo tape on the back. The earbuds are in the black shiny pack, which one may confuse for treats at a market 🙂

vemonk_package_size

vemonk_red_massdrop_tape

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New Headphones at IFA 2016

Time flies and the annual IFA 2016 has arrived. This post will track some of the many new headphones that are revealed at the trade show and elsewhere in parallel with the trade show (smaller manufacturers may not be able to afford a big trade show presence with fanfare and presentations and such, so they have their new launches at home).

LATEST UPDATE: this post will be updated many times as I find and add more and more headphones… TIP: if you are not seeing the correct video embeds, do a hard refresh of the page (eg CTRL-F5 on Firefox)…

TABLE of CONTENTS

The following have been posted below in this long post:

  • Apple: Goodbye Headphone Jack, Hello Lightning, and Wireless Earpods and new Beats 3 and X
  • LG V20 “Phone as DAP”
  • Sony Walkman NW-A30
  • Beyerdynamic Byron Earphone Trio
  • Sony Signature line Head-Amp and two new Walkman DAPs
  • Schiit Jotunheim non-DAC/amp DAC/amp
  • the Sennheiser consumer models (4/2 series)
  • RHA two in-ears and a DAC/amp
  • Sony MDR-Z1R flagship
  • Audeze Planar In-Ears (Sine and i3)
  • four new Sennheiser HD-5xx headphones
  • B&W P7 Bluetooth
  • Sony MDR-1000X ANC/BT
  • Bragi “The Headphone” and IBM Watson co-operation

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Using Back To School Doorbusters as Cheap Earphone (and Headphone) cases

From late June until September every year, many of the big chain stores across the country run a variety of “Back to School” sales. Some of the items that are featured as doorbusters or on sale or as freebies can be repurposed by the thrifty as …earphone and headphone cases.

Having said that, the price of the headphones has to match the price of the doorbuster “cases”. Not a good idea to put $1000 Custom IEMs in a $1 box, but $10 earphones, why not? 🙂

$1 Office Depot Clearance (more details on these coming later)

As of mid-September 2016, Office Depot and Max has put some of their house-brand supplies on clearance for $1 each. These could make great earphone containers.

I plan to post about each one of the above here, “modeling” with earphones inside, but until, then you can get a brief description of each one of the six boxes at this post. UPDATE: they are also available via the Office Depot website.

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Unboxing the Chromecast Audio (text and pictures only)

This is the first in (hopefully) a series of posts on the Chromecast Audio. It is a practical text and pictures unboxing of the device. As ridiculous as unboxings may feel to some, they are the most objective part of a review since they don’t depend on one’s ears or biology or audio-philosophy or musical preferences 🙂

The packaging is practical and recyclable, nothing fancy but pretty good considering this is a $35 item. Here’s the front and the back, the ruler for size purposes.

cca_front_box

cca_box_back

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Skullcandy Grind Wireless: What’s Inside The Box? (Unboxing Pictures and Text)

If you are a fan of bluetooth headphones, in this post, we use pictures and text (no audio, no video) to show you what’s included with the Skullcandy Grind Wireless (bluetooth) headphones and close-ups of the important parts. A review will come later. Given the nature of audio and human perception, physiology and psychology, one could argue that an unboxing is the most objective part of a review 🙂

The Box

This is the front of the box, followed by the side of the box that describes the main features. The “12 hour battery” is a testable specification, something I’ll be paying attention to during the review later on.

skb_box

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