For sure on a blog for us "men of a certain age" you could think a post about Hi-Fi to be about the value of a High Fiber Diet. But this is about the good old Hi-Fi we talked about in college--the all important High Fidelity sound system. Need a refresher on what qualifies as high fidelity?
Seems the kids-these-days are discovering what we've known for a long time: headphones are a great way to enjoy high fidelity without busting the bank account. Of course their main criteria for choosing a pair seems to be about celebrity rather than quality. Now let me clearly admit I've yet to put on a pair of "Beats" (although I would be happy to give them a go, if the good Dr. Dre would like to send me a a trial pair.
For me almost all of my music listening these days is done through headphones. When I'm in the car the radio is always on NPR, if it's on at all. Headphones give me the ability to sit anywhere in any room and still get a great listening experience.
I have three sets of phones: Sony MDR-7506, Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, and Grado SR80i. Although I like them all, my favorites are the Grados. The are the only open concept of the three, which works great for me. Being open gives a sense of actually hearing the music in the room so to speak as opposed to in my head. Also, by being open I can hear my Amazing-Missus when she is reminding me to take out the trash. Being present is important.
I won't give you a full review here, you'll do your own research and believe me there are plenty of great reviews out there for the Grados. Click for reviews.
I do want to point out though that Grados do a superb job across all frequencies whereas so many of the newer phones seem to want to accentuate the bass like the subwoofer-heavy systems out there today. Also I love the fact that they are an old family-owned company and the phones are built in Brooklyn, New York.
When you give in and buy those Grados, be sure to give them a workout with some headphone worthy songs like these:
Chicago -- 25 or 6 to 4
Steppenwolf -- Magic Carpet Ride
Santana -- Black Magic Woman
Ray Charles & Nora Jones -- Here We Go Again
Crosby, Stills & Nash -- Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Blood, Sweat & Tears -- God Bless The Child
The Beatles -- While My Guitar Gently Weeps
So what are your favorite tunes for listening through a great pair of phones? Feel free to take a stand for your favorite headphones.
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