grado sr-60

Higher-fi, making the best-ever sounding recording

It may be a lofty goal to try to make recordings that sound as close as possible to real, live music. But every now and then the state of the art advances.

I attended such a recording session in mid-December and was treated to the best, most realistically natural sound I've heard. Over monitor speakers the sound was excellent, but the sound over my Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor in-ear headphones was vastly better. I could listen to the music "live," and then rush back to the control room and don the headphones. The gap between live and … Read more

Will your headphones last 10 years?

Most of the high-end gear I talk about in this blog is designed to sound great and last a long time. Granted, it's more expensive than mass-market audio, but quality gear is more expensive to build, market, and sell. Mass-market audio is not so different than cell phones, computers, or digital cameras; they're all designed to be disposable. So would you consider paying $100 or more for headphones that could last 10 or more years? Or would you rather buy 10 cheap headphones in that time? For that kind of money you could have bought one really nice … Read more

The future is here, and all I got were these awful little speakers

When I was a kid in the 1960s I was obsessed with the future. The space program was in all its glory, the moon landing was within our grasp, and that, combined with rock music being at its creative peak, what more could a teenage boy ask for? The future looked bright, science would soon feed the starving, cure all disease, and technology would bring prosperity to the entire world. Once those humdrum needs were satisfied we could get to the fun stuff and develop personal flying gear, teleportation machines, and start colonizing other worlds. For kids, at least nerdy … Read more