Oddly enough, my audiophile journey started in a navy blue 1987 GMC Safari minivan. I don't remember the exact date, but I do remember the moment – sometime in the summer of 1994. I was listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn's soulful rendition of "Little Wing" from The Sky is Crying, and I decided right then and there I was going to learn how to play guitar.
About 7 to 8 years later, now in my early 20's, I started honing my production chops mixing demos and then records, and I continued this journey into audio in a professional capacity, producing hundreds of commercials and online videos.
The story of how I got into the personal audio side of things is really one of epic failure. I was working at an ad agency in Milwaukee, WI at the time. Our audio/video workload had been steadily increasing and it was becoming more and more impractical for me to do all of my editing and mixing on monitors in an office environment. I had to give my coworkers a break from the monitors and do some of the work in headphones. I know my little Sennheiser PXC 250 noise-canceling headphones weren't going to cut it. I tried Beats and Bose, but surely there had to be something better out there for cheaper. I mean $300? That's a lot of money. So I started Googling.
So many conflicting opinions. So little consensus. I had to start trying things for myself. First it was the Audio Technica ATH-M50, then the Sennheiser HD598, the Beyerdynamic DT880, followed closely by the DT990, Sennheiser HD650, AKG K701, HiFiMAN HE400, HE500, Sennheiser HD800....
Yeah, so I blew up that $300 budget pretty quickly. I mean really, could that have backfired on me more? But I have no regrets.
When I started going to Chicago area headphone meets, my eyes opened even wider. At my first meet, I heard the HiFiMAN HE6 and HE560, Fostex TH900, MrSpeakers Ether, and Stax Lambdas and I don't think I was ever the same. As I got more experience under my belt, I think my background in pro audio made it easier for me to understand and articulate what I was hearing.
In 2015, I went to my first Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, and after posting my impressions on Head-fi.org, Steven R. Rochlin reached out to me and asked if I'd like to write some reviews for Enjoy the Music.com, and I've been doing it ever since!
So here we are three years later and now I'm the Senior Editor for Personal Audio. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my reviews and show reports over the past three years. We're going to continue to work to give you the best, most in-depth and honest personal audio reviews on the web. We're a growing team and we've got lots of exciting things on the way!
DACs And Sources
Analog And Digital Cables
Power Cables And Conditioning