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…


While Blur’s “Magic Whip” bass slider situation was straightforward (see below), things are more complicated with Depeche Mode’s “Delta Machine Deluxe Edition” (CD rip to FLAC Archiving with Music Bee, playback Fiio X1). There was no clear winner among the three bass positions. The lowest bass setting gave it a more classic Depeche Mode sound, while the other two gave it a more bassy feel. The maximum bass setting did not really ruin it, although it is not exactly the best performance of the album either. For example, it didn’t ruin some of the more fragile vocal passages (eg “The Child Inside”).

One reason I use this album is because it can expose some of the consumer-bassy headphones that have bloated and out of control bass. I did not get the visceral winces with the Beyerdynamic Street that I get with some consumer-bassy models. But it wasn’t the best or ideal “tastefully bassy” performance either.

Speaking of that album, for the life of me I cannot understand why those four songs were relegated to the “Deluxe” edition. One can easily make the case that each and every one of them belonged to the main album. Perhaps it was a matter of space. On the physical CD purchase, there are two discs. Or perhaps they wanted to end the album with the song “Goodbye”, whose last word sang is …”Goodbye”. That’s one way to make sure the listener knows the album is over 🙂

Continue reading “Beyerdynamic Custom Street On-Ears Review Diary”

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 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…


Continue reading “Unboxing the Beyerdynamic Custom Street On-Ears”

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…



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 🙂

Continue reading “VE Monks Plus Earbuds (red) Review Diary”

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


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 🙂



Continue reading “Unboxing the VE Monk Plus Earbuds (red)”

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)…


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

Continue reading “New Headphones at IFA 2016”

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.

Continue reading “Using Back To School Doorbusters as Cheap Earphone (and Headphone) cases”

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.



Continue reading “Unboxing the Chromecast Audio (text and pictures only)”

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.


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

New Headphones at CES 2016

How time goes by! CES 2016 is already here, so this is a good opportunity to summarize some of the many new headphones that got revealed over there. CES is a tech show, so the announcements tend to lean more on the tech side of things, while more esoteric audiophile products tend to get revealed at related events. But that’s only a blanket rule of thumb! This time around we are grouping the new products by category, not by manufacturer…

NOTE: this post includes embedded YouTube videos by the manufacturers. Often, the hype is strong with manufacturer videos, so take everything you see and hear with a grain of (sea) salt!

NOTE #2: this article is a work in progress… More and more will be added in the next few hours and days…

LATEST ADDITIONS: added various Audio Technica products… Apologies for the delays in updates…

Continue reading “New Headphones at CES 2016”

New Headphones at CES 2015

CES 2015 is here and while the focus *cough* hype *cough* is on wearables and the “internet of things”, there is action in the world of headphones as well, not just ones “touching” the hype 🙂 There’s wooden Denon, new Monster flagship, more from Philips, lambskin BeoPlay and a brand new four figure audiophile Sony Walkman (among other things).

This is just the beginning, more will be added in the next few days as I go through all the CES 2015 action. If you need a refresher or a comparison point, here’s our round-up of the CES 2014 action.

Latest Update: 1/20/15 at 11:57pm EST – added Sennheiser Momentum M2, along with Bluetooth versions of Momentum and Urbanite, and new RS xx5 wireless series…

Continue reading “New Headphones at CES 2015”