This Week In Headphoolia, First Edition

This is a brand new (experimental) weekly feature, where we round up some interesting and potentially-interesting and potentially-funny headphone-related action from across the internets…

Please leave a comment letting us know what stories and things you’d like to see covered in these round-ups, or summarize it in 140 characters on Twitter

NEWS

The Samsung chief was arrested in South Korea, but that did not discourage the Harman shareholders for voting YES on the Samsung merger. So that’s one more step into the Borgification of Harman. So Samsung will soon have the AKG, Harman, JBL, and Yurbuds brands under their …Galaxy of products (sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

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Unboxing the Samson SR850 Over-Ear Headphones

In this post, we have a text and pictures practical unboxing of the over-ear semi-open Samson SR850 headphones. A review will follow at a later date. I am posting the unboxing before I even listened to them, so how they sound will not color my unboxing 🙂 Because the unboxing is the most objective part of a review. It sounds silly but when you think about it, it’s true 🙂

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New Headphones at CES 2017

Time flies and here we are again, another CES trade show! In this post, we round up some of the new headphones (and related amps/DACs and DAPs) revealed around the Vegas show which this year runs from January 5-8.

LATEST UPDATE on 1/10/17: added the new Audio Technica “Live Sound” IEM line, their new “Sound Reality” line, and more from “Solid Bass” and “Sonic Fuel”. It’s Crazy-technica alright 🙂 You can find them below all grouped together after the DSR9BT and DSR7BT duo…

TECHNICAL NOTE: if you are not seeing the correct YouTube video below at the correct place, do a hard refresh on the page and it will be corrected. It’s an issue with caching and the YouTube embed widget or so…

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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…

YOU CAN PLAY TWO MUSIC SOURCES at the SAME TIME

You can indeed play two music sources at the same time. Each side is independent, so I have the Fiio X1 playing on one side, and a Clip+ playing on the other side. This is nice 🙂 Whichever one has the higher volume, is louder (obviously).

In terms of practical applications, you can do this if you listen to an audiobook with a layer of classical or jazz or other instrumental music in the background.

In terms of music playing, you can use this to simulate being about and out in a busy place where you have all kinds of sound and music. It is obviously not an ideal music appreciation combination, but if your brain needs more than background signal to help you concentrate, this may work.

More so, if the two music sources are not fast or loud, it is kinda interesting. I am doing this with Depeche Mode’s “Delta Machine” on one side, and Lady Gaga’s “The Fame”. This perhaps works better if you are already familiar with the music, so your brain’s musical “autocomplete” function can fill in the gaps as it gets two musical inputs instead of one 🙂

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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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