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

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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.

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HiFiMAN HE-400i Planar Magnetic Over-the-Ear Headphones Review

The HiFiMAN HE-400i is an updated version of their entry model HE-400 featuring the new design changes introduced in the terrific HE-560 planar magnetic headphones. Believe it or not, at $499 the HE-400i is an absolute steal in the headphone world. Planar magnetic designs are often tricky, with drivers that require strong housings for the magnets which add extra weight along with needing plenty of wattage to drive. HiFiMAN has successfully solved both of these drawbacks with the HE-400i. They are easy to drive, light, and incredibly comfortable and that's just the icing on the cake. These bring phenomenal tonal quality, clarity, and depth to the music they deliver.