Sound Advice: Optimal headphones for listening to jazz and classical music

By Don Lindich

Q. Can you recommend some good headphones for jazz and classical music? I do not need Bluetooth and would like to keep the price under $200. I will be using them primarily at home with my stereo amplifier and CD player, though I may take them on trips once or twice a year.

— J.L., Atlantic City, New Jersey

A. Planar-magnetic headphones are loved by audiophiles for their transparent, natural sound quality, loads of detail and great musical richness. Along with electrostatic headphones they are at the top of the audiophile food chain, and usually quite expensive as a result. Prices have been trending down and not long ago I gave top marks to the $300 Hifiman DEVA planar-magnetic headphones, which delivered high-end sound with both a wired and Bluetooth connection. At $300 they are beyond your desired budget, but Hifiman recently introduced a product I thought I would never see: quality planar-magnetic headphones for under $150.

The $149 Hifiman HE400se headphones bring planar-magnetic goodness to an impossibly low price point. They have the sonic performance expected of a Hifiman product and are a perfect match to your musical tastes. Please note these headphones (and most other planar headphones) are open-back designs, which offer the best sound but do not keep environmental sounds out. This makes them fine for your hotel room, but you may want to bring some earbuds to use on the plane on the way there. hifiman.com

Q. I saw your review of the ZVOX AV357 TV Speaker and it seems to be exactly what I am looking for to make my TV sound better and make the voices clearer. I went to the website and was very disappointed that they were not available, especially with the $100 off coupon code expiring. Do you know if they will be back anytime soon, and if not do you have another recommendation?

—T.B., Minneapolis

A. I heard from ZVOX when they saw I had written about the AccuVoice AV357 TV Speaker and their stock was getting low. Logistical problems related to the pandemic resulted in a container full of AV357s being delayed, and this resulted in an unanticipated sellout. The problem was resolved and the product is back in stock, so anyone who wants an AV357 can get one now.

ZVOX has extended their promotion to accommodate those who missed out. Until Nov. 1, use the coupon code SAVE357 at zvox.com to save $100 on the AV357 TV Speaker. Normally $349, it is currently on sale for $299 so the $100 off brings the price down to $199, a savings of over 40%. That is practically unheard of for a newly introduced, hot-selling product. The reader feedback on the AV357 has been just as strong, if not stronger than the AV157 I wrote about last year. Given the current sale price I am going to stick with it as my recommendation for you. zvox.com

Shake your iPhone: Did you know your iPhone has an “undo” function? If you have been looking for an undo or revert button on apps such as Notes and Mail, you won’t find it. Apple still provides a way to delete text without pushing the backspace button multiple times.

The next time you need to make a correction, shake your iPhone. A prompt will come up that will allow you to undo your typing. Shake it after you undo, and you can redo or undo another step.

I have found that many iPhone users are unaware of this feature. I am glad to pass it along and hope everyone finds it useful.

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