CanJam 2010 • TABlog

by Marc Mickelson | June 5, 2010

When I heard that Tyll Hertsens, founder and former CEO of HeadRoom, had left the company, I immediately wondered what his next project would be. Tyll is not someone who sits still. The answer was provided at CanJam, where Tyll was measuring headphones as part of the launch of what he describes as "a non-profit organization serving the headphone industry." Tyll's Headphone Hobby Lab will approach its goals from four distinct directions. First, his organization will measure headphones and headphone amps with the goal of creating an online index with powerful tools for comparing different models. Second, Headphone Hobby Lab will educate both consumers and people within the industry in an attempt to create a body of established knowledge on headphones and headphone amps. Third, there will be a DIY emphasis in order to help people with building their own projects. Finally, Tyll will put together subjective-evaluation kits with a custom comparator unit that members can use to organize their own mini headphone-listening meets.

Tyll brought an impressive array of equipment to CanJam, this large crate being the thing that immediately caught people's eyes. It was...

...a sort of portable anechoic chamber for measuring headphones. Tyll was offering this service to CanJam attendees, many of whom brought their own 'phones with them. In this regard, Tyll's interest was not so much in measuring the latest, greatest headphones on the market, but instead "odd 'phones," as he called them -- modified pairs or pairs hard to find in the US. He is truly trying to create a comprehensive listing of objective data, and that means measuring everything he can get his hands on.

Tyll ran a battery of tests on each pair of headphones, including frequency-response sweeps, isolation and distortion tests. He then printed a single sheet of graphs. The 'phones to be measured were beginning to pile up when I visited, a good sign that Headphone Hobby Lab is off to a good start.

We will be following Tyll's work on TAB, and hopefully using some of his measurements.

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