A little about me and this site

Hello, my name is Allen Underwood and I’ve created this site to share information with you about all things related to speakers that attach to your head.  I’ve always had a passion for audio, initially starting out with the obnoxious (what teenager didn’t want a couple of 12’s bumping in their car), to home audio, and finally onto one of my latest hobbies, direct to your ears audio.  In the past few years I’ve become increasingly interested in headphones for the quality of sound they can deliver for the price.  It’s not unrealistic to be able to achieve the sound quality of a set of speakers developed for home use costing in upwards of $20,000 by spending $200 on a set of quality headphones.  This audio ecstasy at a reasonable price intrigues and excites me.  So, with that being said, I’ve decided to try out headphones and related accessories and bring my findings to you.  One thing that was extremely frustrating for me when buying my first few sets of headphones were that there was really no way to audition many of them.  Sure, you can go into the Apple store and check out the newest Bose headphones and maybe a set or two of JBL’s, but you really are limited in what you can audition.  So that’s really what led me to creating this site.  I want to be able to bring you my honest reviews and opinions on headphones, amps, accessories, or anything even remotely related to personal audio.

How do I rate the products?

Seeing as how I’m going to be putting my blessing on certain products, I think it’s only fair that you understand how I plan to rate the products I’ll be reviewing.  My reviews will be based subjectively on the price range of the product being reviewed as well as how it compares to it’s competition within that price range.  So, if you’re reading a review on a $20 set of headphones, any ratings I give that product are going to be weighted as fairly as I can compared to other products in that same price range.  Are you going to see me give a $20 set of headphones a score of 10 in bass, midrange, and treble?  Highly doubtful – there’s a reason why there are much more expensive headphones on the market.  Does that mean that everything in the $20 range is going to be 3’s and 4’s?  Absolutely not.  Products that stand out from the crowd in one area or another will definitely receiver higher marks than the average product in the range.  So, how about a little about the scale.

Rating scale

1-4 – Terrible to slightly less than terrible
5-6 – Average, nothing all that notable: not great, not bad, just ho-hum
7-8 – Good to Very good
9 – Excellent
10 – Top of it’s class, the best you can get at the price point

One last thing to note on the rating scale – just because I have 10 headphones in the $20 range doesn’t mean that at least one of them will have a rating of 10.  A 10 is reserved for a headphone or accessory that has something exceptional to offer.

So what types of music do I listen to anyways?

You will all have different genres that you’ll have in mind when purchasing your own set of headphones and I will do my best to help you make your decisions by auditioning a wide variety of music for each set I review.  I have a very diverse collection of music and I like just about everything out there.  For auditioning purposes, I try to get a good mix of the following:

  • Rock
  • Rap
  • R&B
  • Smooth Jazz
  • Big Band
  • Pop
  • Bluegrass
  • Country
  • Classical
  • Male/Female Vocalists
  • Contemporary/New Age
About the only types of music that I have not taste for are grunge metal and industrial.  Otherwise, I think I give headphones a pretty thorough workout.
I look forward to bringing you news and reviews on as many products as I can get my hands on.  Many products are items I’ve purchased myself, but I will also be reviewing products directly from manufacturers.  Regardless of how I receive the products, I will always provide an honest opinion and I encourage you to join the comment threads at the bottom of each of my reviews.  If you have a particular set of headphones or an accessory you would like me to review, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to make it happen.