This Week In Headphoolia, 4th Edition

Another week flew by, which means it’s time for a new edition of “This Week in Headphoolia”, a light-hearted attempt to summarize some of the action of the week that was in the world of headphones. You can find all previous editions in the Headphoolia Archives.

We have our usual segments, news-related action, review round-ups, a dive into the forums, more streaming service updates, and some opinions and audio-learnings.


Bose is getting under lawyer fire. Doppler Labs are suing them for appropriating some of their technology for the Bose Here earphones. Bose even appropriated the name. According to the allegations, one Bose employee was among the first to scoop them up on Kickstarter. More at Business Insider.

Eight billion dollar deals have a lot of bureaucratic hurdles to clear, but it looks like the Samsung-Harman is officially official. So now Samsung owns the AKG, Harman Audio, JBL, and Yurbuds headphone brands.

Another look at the MWC 2017 Sony Xperia Ear “digital assistant” headphones at the more technically oriented Anand Tech.

Singapore is just finishing up a two-day headphone show. The products that are/were featured there are featured in a 38-minute video by Head-Fi. Detailed time-stamps for each brand mentioned are included in the YouTube video description. A total of 35 of them (yes, I can count!).

Horses have big ears which makes it hard for them to get a good seal, even with those monster studio-caliber over-ears. But horse fans come to the rescue, the Inner fidelity “headphones for horses” post is not clickbait 🙂


Bluetooth audio. Convenience versus audiophile anathema is often the tug-of-war headline and/or forum-post clickbait. The resident audio-writer at Android Authoritae takes a look at the current state of Bluetooth. This is a good primer if you want to get a high-level look at Bluetooth without having to read the specification documents. Which are a homeopathic cure for insomnia 🙂

Is MQA another “magic cable” format or the next big thing? Digital Audio Review rounds up some of the issues at hand. They even have a technical paper to read as part of your homework. Me? I’m still listening to my 32kbps mp3 files on my 32MB cassette-tape-player sized mp3 player 🙂

How are all the audio gear made in the real world? A new series at takes a look at the VIP factory.


Knock, on wood! The Fostex Purpleheart TH-X00 (of Massdrop fame) get discussed in a brand new review published by the Audioholics.

It’s not a highlander tea pot. Don’t let the ceramics fool you. It’s an earphone 🙂 The RHA CL1 get tested out at Headfonics!

The reviews keep coming but the headphones are still hard to come by at big retailers. Steve Guttenberg has a longer (than his typical CNet columns) review of the Sony MDR-1Z at Sound and Vision. Waiting for the gift of $3000 sound (and forget the vision) 🙂

Speaking of Sony, their new BT-ANC combo, the MDR-1000X gets another review, this one at Android Central. Meanwhile the older Bose QC15 Over-ear noise-cancellers get revisited at Hear Fidelity.

If you like the Wirecutter style, they have picked (in their opinion) the best USB Audio Interfaces.

Meanwhile, over here, we have began to take a look at the Philips SHP9500S, first up, the useful text & pictures unboxing. Next up, the review diary will begin.

With Apple’s infusion of near infinite mountains of cash into the Beats brand, Apple/iOS users have more choices. The Sound Guys Youtube opines on Beats X versus AirPods vs Powerbeats 3:


We rounded up the first week of reactions to the new Monoprice Monolith M1060 headphones in last week’s edition, but the discussion continues, even though the headphones themselves are out of stock until Tax Day 2017. Here’s some of the latest action:


Spotify continues to grow, they now celebrate over 50 million subscribers. Not resting on their laurels, they continue to expand, they have scooped up audio-detection service Sonalytic according to Le Tech Cruncheaux.

It is interesting to see Google progress in the world of digital content. A company whose DNA is hard-core engineering with aversion to “consumer” level interactions has morphed into having a big media persona, even getting their own live TV streaming service. Another step in the “humanization” of Google is a launch of a trio of music-related podcasts, “price-matching” Spotify’s earlier announcement 🙂

The world of streaming services is getting more and more crowded, and according to some business sources at re/code, Soundcould is facing a bit of a cash crunch. Which may explain their recent announcement of a $5/month plan to get more paying customers?

Despite almost everything (even refrigerators) being able to play music, Grace Design is making another attempt to launch an “internet radio” device, the Mondo+, and they are taking their idea to Kickstarter where they are about $5130 away from getting funded (it’s an “all or nothing” Kickstarter project).


In this week’s segment, we take a dive into the reddit /headphones forum…

Do you want to build your own amp? Here’s a reddit thread to get you motivated and inspired 🙂

A couple of those loaded headphone terms are discussed, do you prefer “fun” headphones or “reference” headphones? Audio utopia nirvana of course is when a reference headphone is also fun _AND_ when a reference headphone is fun 😉

A useful discussion is in progress, especially if you are interested in listening to vinyl records with headphones, on when to use and when not to use pre-amps.