Griffin Silver

Griffin Silver

@Listener

I’ve been calling myself “Listener” in the audio space for a while now, but I wager the name fit long before I ever needed an audiophile-tinged pseudonym online. As I've said often: Music is a lifelong friend.

Our relationship began in the car with my mother, listening to her sing along to The Beatles. I credit my ear for music largely to her, both in her musical taste as well as the way she interacted with it. She always seemed to prefer harmonizing with the vocals of songs we listened to, instead of just singing the main melody, and I became accustomed to hearing the way she processed it all at an early enough age that it was forever imprinted on all subsequent interactions with music: Listen, understand, react, and listen.

My experiences with music became more personal around 9-10 years old, through a pair of wired earbuds out of a pre-iPod MP3 player with room for about 30 or 40 songs. I loaded it up...and listened constantly. At home, on car trips, and on the bus to/from school, I was hooked on the feeling I got from being ensconced in the separated space-time bubble that music could always put me in regardless of where or when I actually was.

Fast forward to 11 years old, and my sister (whom I credit equally with my upbringing along with my mother and father) started to get into music, both as a serious listener and as a guitarist. Her being musical was a massive boon for me, and her enthusiasm for new music rubbed off on me just as the guitar did.

By age 13 or 14, I was a goner. Radiohead was now my favorite band, I was starting to write and record my own songs, and there was nothing in my world that was even close to as important as music was. Constantly being online looking for new music, guitars, amps, pedals, microphones, anything, led me to forums, publications, and imageboards wherein I was first exposed to, among other things, headphones other than those that came free with an MP3 player. At this time, my thoughts while listening began to change from “I like what I’m listening to!” to “Why do I like what I’m listening to?”

The answer was a resounding “I have no idea, but I wanna hear more.”

Along the quest to hear more, I happened upon InnerFidelity and Tyll Hertsens. We now collectively recognize Tyll as being the preliminary resource for headphone enthusiasts at the time, and he was my first legitimate contact point with this hobby (& I wager I’m not the only one). He’d reviewed ATH-M50, which I had already owned and enjoyed, and had even more recommendations further up in price, as well as for different form-factors. Having never tried IEMs before, I decided to try the Etymotic ER4p...

And this is when the reproduction of music itself became one of the foremost emotional, intellectual, and communal pursuits of my entire life. These earphones revealed a level of texture, micro-detail, and intimacy that I'd never been exposed to prior. This is when I became an audiophile.


In the time since, I’ve spent my life with almost equal time in carefully monitoring music’s creation, playing multiple instruments, and “listening, understanding, reacting, listening” to any piece of music I came across. I was doing so with a pair of earphones exceptionally capable of providing honesty, clarity, and nuance thanks to Tyll, as well as a few other headphones along the way too... until 2020, when I’d realized that I never even scratched the surface.

From 2020 onward has been a heck of a ride. I’ve learned and unlearned more things than I can name, I’ve tried more headphones than I ever thought I would, and I've written with both friends and personal heroes of mine. Here's to that journey continuing!

Latest posts from Griffin Silver

View all
Diffuse Field: Calculate, Characterize, Calibrate

Diffuse Field: Calculate, Characterize, Calibrate

Head-Related Transfer Functions have become a common topic of discussion now that Headphones.com have incorporated the Brüel and Kjaer Type 5128 into our roster of measurement fixtures, but some still aren't sure what HRTFs are, how we're using them, or most importantly—why we're using them. Join listener as they break down the myriad reasons why Headphones.com chooses to calibrate measurements using the Diffuse Field HRTF.

Audeze MM-100: Mid-Fi Mainstay or Missed Opportunity?

Audeze MM-100: Mid-Fi Mainstay or Missed Opportunity?

MM-100 is advertised to target those who need a solid headphone for mix referencing, similar to what it’s big brother MM-500—as well as the legendary Sennheiser 6x0 series—attempt to offer. But does it do so well enough to be a compelling option in the headphone world's most competitive price bracket?

Hisenior Mega5EST: Task Failed Successfully

Hisenior Mega5EST: Task Failed Successfully

Hisenior claim their $550 tribrid is tuned to Harman's IE Target, yet it has garnered recognition for measuring closely to the beloved—and not Harman IE compliant—Subtonic Storm. Is it Harman? Is it a "baby Storm"? Join listener as they discuss why Mega5EST is one of the happiest accidents in today's IEM market.

Truthear Nova: On a Theme

Truthear Nova: On a Theme

Nova’s release was met with some pretty massive hype due to it being Truthear’s first product over $100. But does the Nova actually improve upon its predecessors enough to command a price roughly double that the Hexa?

Symphonium Crimson: The Heir Apparent

Symphonium Crimson: The Heir Apparent

With the Crimson, Symphonium is seemingly counting on a sonic midpoint between their two best performing products being compelling enough to justify placing it in the flagship seat of their catalog. Does Crimson live up to the expectations placed upon it by being the next in Symphonium’s already stellar lineup?

The Shape of IEMs To Come

The Shape of IEMs To Come

IEMs sound pretty different to headphones, but why? Why isn't there an "HD 650" of IEMs? Is it even possible to make one? Join listener as they discuss the Brüel and Kjaer Type 5128 Head and Torso Simulator, the previous generation of IEMs, and where we might be heading to capture the sound of over-ear headphones in IEMs.

Bass: The Audiophile's Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

Bass: The Audiophile's Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

Bass is tough to get right, and it’s crucial to people's enjoyment of music. Many of us have our own take on how bass is best done, but even in acknowledging that preferences may vary wildly: Is there one headphone or IEM that rules them all? Join listener as they explore some of the best, all in search of the answer.

The Case for Comfort: Why Sound Quality Isn't Everything

Is sound quality really the most important quality of a headphone, or could it be something else? Join listener as they share research and hands-on experience in an effort to answer this question, as well as options they feel excel at a variety of things a headphone user may find important.