Nighthawk Stereo Headphone
Company: Audioquest
$599 U.S.

Audioquest Nighthawk

YouTube review

Sources: iPhone6+ with Oppo HA-2/Beyer A200p DAC/amps, various computers using the HRT Microstreamer/Audioquest Dragonfly/FiiO E17k/FiiO E07k DAC/amps.

How to describe the sound of the Audioquest Nighthawk? The term liquid comes to mind, as a smoothness that’s like water on a plate. As I’ve been listening the past few days I thought “This is like listening to average solid-state amps for years, and then hearing a highly-regarded tube amp for the first time.” That’s an imperfect analogy, since I’m dealing with the complexities of sound, and audiophile sound at that.

There are aspects of audiophile sound that fall into a hierarchy of sorts – frequency response, balance, signature – those three terms describe the thing that’s most obvious to beginners and advanced users alike. There are theories and there are preferences. My personal take says that the Nighthawk is both warmer and softer (less harsh) than the classic hi-fi flagships from Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, to name some examples. But that’s also my impression of good tube sound, so the question then is “How much does the Nighthawk actually differ from those ‘flagship’ headphones?”

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About Dale Thorn

Computer programmer, audio specialist, photographer.

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MyMac Podcast #494 – Doing it on the run

On February 12, 2014, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

Sponsored by OWC

Because absolutely no one asked, Guy goes over in detail how he’s going to podcast using just iOS at the Macworld Expo. You’d think he’d have the process pretty much worked out by now. Meanwhile Gaz is excitedly testing rechargeable batteries in Apple devices that don’t have Apple’s logo, that rebel! While it all sounds rather mundane, this was a pretty funny show.

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Download the show here
Subscribe in iTunes
Guy’s audio on the floor was pretty bad (Tim has the GOOD Microphone), so Guy waited until he got home to try and clean it up. You can be the judge of how well he (or didn’t) do. These are the last five developer interviews on the Macworld Expo floor from Guy and Tim.

Some links:
Comixology by comiXology Free
CoPilot iOS GPS app by ALK Technologies
Sennheiser Microphones
iRig products by IK Multimedia
Other World Computing

Music from:
Fresh Body Shop – Bring Me Down

Sennheiser CX 680i Headphones

On March 30, 2011, in Earphones, Headphones, Review, by Mike Breed

Sennheiser CX 680i Adidas Sport In-Ear Stereo Headphones
Company: Sennheiser
Price: $79.95-$99.95 USD — depending upon vendor

Ever since my first iPad, I’ve been using Apple’s traditional white earbuds. When I got the opportunity to take a look at Sennheiser’s CX 680i Adidas Sport In-Ear Stereo Headphones, I suddenly realized what I’ve been missing all these years. Priced at around $100, these headphones aren’t Sennheiser’s highest-end headphones, but anything I take a look at is going to sound great compared to the white earbuds I’m accustomed to.

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About Mike Breed

Writing for since August of 2009, Mike Breed is an Earth Science and Biology teacher at Chenango Valley High School in Binghamton, New York. He is currently acting as the Science Department Chairman in his school district as well. Mike has received numerous grants to incorporate Apple products into the laboratories and activities of his students, with the hopes of adding a new element of learning to the teaching of science in a demanding learning environment. A lifelong resident of Cortland, New York, Mike enjoys spending time with his family when not busy with his duties at school. An avid fan of the Macintosh platform, Mike also spends a great deal of time reading and working from his iPad and iPhone, where he is reading his way through the entire chronology of Star Wars novels. Mike is also passionate about fishing and enjoys spending time each weekend fishing with his father on the waters of central New York State’s Finger Lakes.

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Review – Sennheiser PX210BT Headphones

On May 24, 2010, in Features, by Sam Negri

Untitled Document

PX210BT Headphones
COMPANY: Sennheiser

Price: $147 on Amazon

The Sennheiser PX210BT earphones are a comfortable against-the-ear headset designed to be used wirelessly with any newer Bluetooth compatible device. They also come with a USB cable that can be plugged into an external power source or computer output so that when the built- in rechargeable battery is low or exhausted you can still listen to music as you would with any other set of wired earphones. If you’re going to use them with an iPhone, keep in mind they do not come with a microphone.

I’ve tried many different earphones but none that were Bluetooth enabled. I’ve been told that on some Bluetooth headphones the sound quality can be weak or inconsistent, but this is decidedly not the case with the PX210BT headphones. The sound is clear, distortion-free, and lifelike. The Sennheisers have a wonderful mid and upper range and are free of the thundering bass that makes you feel like you’re trapped in the percussion section of a 110-piece orchestra. Which is not to say that the bass is anemic. It is not. It is simply well-balanced, which makes the listening experience infinitely more satisfying.

I compared them with an older set of Sony against-the-ear earphones that I’ve had for many years and the difference was striking. The Sonys had a deeper bass that bled through every other tone, creating an indiscriminate muffling effect. The sound on the Sonys was so muffled by the bass boost I felt like I was listening under a pillow. Switching to the Sennheisers, by contrast, was like listening to a finely tuned piano that produced music that was crisp and precise.

The headband and earcups on the PX210BT headphones are nicely cushioned and comfortable enough to be worn for extended periods of time without wearing you out. Controls on the right earcup allow you to increase or decease the volume whether you’re using them wirelessly or connected to the computer, but only in Bluetooth do you have the added functionality of being able to change tracks.

There are several positive features about these earphones. The setup was simple. I went to System Preferences, clicked on the Bluetooth icon and OS X quickly discovered the Sennheisers and paired with them. After that, any time I wanted to use the phones wirelessly I just powered them on by pressing the middle of the right earcup. A message would appear on my iMac’s screen asking if I wanted to use the Sennheiser headphones. Click on yes and off you go.

In order for this to work as effortlessly as I’ve described, the included lithium battery must be fully charged. The battery will last for up to 10 hours, so to be really useful I found it best to plug mine into a USB port and let it recharge whenever it’s not in use. A full recharge takes three hours.

This is the first set of Bluetooth earphones I’ve tried, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed being free of any wires. The wireless range of 30 feet isn’t exactly enormous, but it’s decent enough if you’re just using them in your office or a short distance from your home computer.

I found them particularly convenient when playing my midi-controller. Usually I would plug my earphones into my monitor speakers and spare my wife the pain of listening to me practicing piano, but it was always a little distracting having the earphone wire dangling nearby. The Bluetooth earphones eliminated that annoyance, but keep in mind that for this to work the battery in the earphones must be fully charged. If you start playing on your keyboard and the music sounds dizzy, the reason is a weak battery. Recharge the battery and before you know it you’ll be sounding like Keith Jarrett again.

The PX210BT headphones are lightweight and collapsible. They fold into a small pouch and can easily be be used when traveling. A nice inclusion is four different AC wall plug adapters, for international usage and travel charging.

MyMac Review Rating: 8 out of 10

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About Sam Negri

Sam Negri is a desert dweller and professional journalist. During a 50 year career based in Tucson, Arizona, USA, he traveled and wrote about every corner of the Desert Southwest. Sam is an active bicyclist, photographer, opera lover, and piano student.

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EH 150 Headphones

On March 7, 2007, in Headphones, Review, by Guy Serle

EH 150
Company: Sennheiser

Price: $39.99

After playing around with cheap headphones I came to the conclusion that many do with devices like this; you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a decent set of headphones without spending a fortune though. Case in point, the Sennheiser EH 150 headphones. For less than 50 bucks, you get a pleasant sounding, easy to wear, and quite comfortable set of headphones that while you might not want to use them exclusively with a high-dollar audio setup, they work great with your laptop or portable media player.

The well-cushioned padding will fit around most ears and allow for some pretty decent noise cancellation as well for those who spend a lot of time say on planes or trains. They are light, but don’t fold so whatever manner you transport them in, make sure there’s enough room to store them out of the way while not in use.

Pluses: Comfortable, decent sound, light, good noise reduction
Minuses: Doesn’t fold, so you need some space to carry them Rating: 4 out of 5


About Guy Serle

Guy is a long-time Mac user (since 1987) and insists on inflicting his opinions on technology even when others around him wishes he wouldn't. He's married and the father of two sons. He used to take Tae Kwon Do until the shame of being beaten up by teenagers became too great.

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