Introduction to Headphone and Earphone Reviews

From the days of the huge, over-the-ear headgear, with the coiled phone cable, that we used with our parents’ home hi-fi, to the latest wireless Bluetooth earbuds, headphones have been with us forever. In fact, without them, the category of “Personal Audio” couldn't properly exist.

In recent years, a spate of technological and material advances has increased both the sound quality one can expect and the available types and sizes of headphones to choose from. From the lowliest cell phone earbuds to reference quality electrostatic headphones, as consumers and audiophiles today, we are spoiled for choice. Closed-backed, open-backed, dynamic drivers, planar magnetic, electrostatic, balanced armature drivers, noise cancelling, Bluetooth, and that's just the tip of the iceberg! We haven't even touched on the available styles and aesthetics of these products we wear as well as listen to.

Typically, of course, the most cutting edge models command higher prices. Truly eye watering sums can be spent by committed souls who want “the best” out there. But we also have seen those same technologies that make the best headphones so special, gradually trickle their way down to genuinely improve the models that reside a little closer to Earth for most of us.

While we don't typically bench test headphones, we do rely on extended critical listening combined with our experience to provide honest feedback that will help you wade through the seemingly endless headphone and earphone choices out there.

Headphone and Earphone Reviews

HiFiMAN HE1000 V2 Planar Magnetic Headphone Review

When I reviewed the original HiFiMAN HE1000 Planar Magnetic Headphones about two years ago, I was pretty much bowled over by their performance, looks and sound quality. They were, at the time, the best pair of headphones that I had ever heard and still remain amongst a handful of reference headphones that I would consider as my all-time favorites. Ever the busy little bees that they are, the engineers at HiFiMAN have not seen fit to leave well-enough alone and recently released the HE1000 V2. The updated model is said to incorporate several modifications gleaned from customer feedback along with HiFiMAN’s general desire to keep refining their designs.

RBH EP-SB Bluetooth Earbuds Review

The RBH EP-SB is a well-designed wireless earbud featuring both excellent fit and top notch sound quality. The battery life is solid and more than enough for a day of casual listening or long workouts. The internal amp provides plenty of volume, helped in part to the excellent seal provided by the included Comply foam tips.