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The Inner Ear

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There’s something about the single-minded obsession of an audiophile that commands respect. So while we’re not personally ready to drop more than a thousand dollars on the perfect earbud, we have to admit that these are pretty awesome.

CrunchGear dug deep into the world of high-end earbuds—the kind of stuff discerning musicians wear on-stage to check the mix—and came away with three fantastic pairs of in-ear devices, each decked out with more audio-tweaking gadgetry than we can possibly hope to understand. This is what the very high-end looks like.

Here’s one bit we did follow: the process of picking one up starts with the artisans making a mold of your ear. The resulting device is perfectly fitted to your body, and it won’t fit anyone else quite as well…kind of like those suits we’re always gushing about. And about as expensive.

Listen Carefully

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The deep end of the hi-fi pool can be hard to manage, but it’s worth a dip or two—especially if you’ve ever wanted to hear every last backup singer in Pretzel Logic.

The Gizmodo kids have spent all week detailing the particulars of the stereo kingdom—including an economic breakdown of six-figure speakers that should come in handy for anyone considering a stereo that costs more than their car—but our favorite post is this gem taking you inside the ear of a bonafide audiophile, with the help of a $350,000 stereo setup.

The real surprise is exactly which music gets play on such a system. Naturally, the Buzzcocks don’t do terribly well, but the 70s seem to have been a pretty fertile decade for audiophile fodder. Gizmodo’s particular trip down the rabbit hole featured an Eno-assisted David Bowie (“Heroes”), a post-Eno Roxy Music (“Avalon”) and a remarkably lush sidetrip into the world of French techno (Air’s Talkie Walkie).

All rich, nuanced sonic landscapes…but was a little Daft Punk too much to ask for? We’d say journalistic integrity demands nothing less.