Hifiman HE-R9 - your Flashy Flamboyant Friend Lets get one thing out of the way immediately, HE-R9 is a flamboyant and quirky headphone both in its looks and its sound profile but one that you might also learn to love and one that at its current price of $109 deserves to be considered for your headphone collection. I would like to thank Mark from Hifiman for providing the HE-R9 for the purposes of review
Sundara Closed-Back - Ignore the name, this is a stunning headphone at its price It can be hard to look past a name but I believe early reviewers assumed this headphone would sound like the well-loved Sundara “Open back” but with more sound isolation, but of course it does not. And now that Hifiman have recently lowered the price of the Sundara Closed-back to $149, I believe it is time to revisit this headphone for what it is and not for it’s name.
Hifiman Svanar Wireless LE Review The Svanar Wireless represent Hifiman’s entry into the TWS market. There are 3 separate variations in this new TWS platform, the flagship Svanar Wireless, the mid-priced Wireless LE and the entry level Wireless Jr, as you shall see these models share a similar design and some technologies but Hifiman have done a nice job in having a clear delineation between each model in the platform.
Blafili RTX - A surprisingly useful audio transmitter / receiver Introduction I have been playing with the Blafili RTX for the past few weeks, looking it how it could be integrated into my home audio setup and I impressed with the different use-case I came up with for this device. I was especially impressed with what it can do for $59.99. So I thought I would share my opinions and the details of how you might use this device in your own setup.
Review of the Fiio KA17 DAC and Headphone Amplifier FiiO’s latest flagship model of USB-C dongle, encompasses an array of innovative features providing the very small and portable dongle with the power and capabilities of a desktop unit. The KA17 has been the perfect usb-c dongle for me for the past few weeks. I have been commuting by train each day to work in a ‘hot desk’ environment where I couldn’t use my normal desktop headphone amplifier, but I never missed that desktop amplifier even when I decided to bring my harder to drive Hifiman planar headphones.
FiiO KA11 USB-C/Lightning Dongle Review I have been looking for a suitable portable upgrade over the aging Apple usb-c / lightning dongle for a while. I want something small enough to essentially just feel like an extension of my headphone cable but powerful enough to really drive some of my harder to drive planars. So, as you will hopefully see in this review, I believe the KA11 is exactly that and is a very pragmatic choice for a portable usb-c / lightning dongle for your smartphone especially at its $29.
Rose Technics QuietSea Review In this review, I want to share my experiences listening to and enjoying the Rose Technics QuietSea over the past few weeks. As you will see the QuietSea is a quality offering from Rose Technics with some pretty unique features especially at it price point of $89.99 but given it can be found for as little as $49.99 it deserves to be heard. So how would the Rose Technics QuietSea fit into your collection, lets find out in this review.
A fantastic portable Bluetooth and USB DAC with PEQ Introduction The FiiO BTR15 is a significant upgrade over its predecessor the BTR5, aiming to offer an enhanced experience in a very compact Bluetooth DAC/amp package. One of the major upgraded features in this new model that caught my eye, was the ability to have PEQ on all the inputs (so USB as well as Bluetooth) and as a firm believer in EQ capabilities I decided to make this review focus on the PEQ capabilities in detail but I delve into the other aspects of the BTR15 also.
Nicehck DB2 Review In this review, I want to share my experiences listening to and enjoying the NiceHCK DB2 hybrid (1 DD + 1 BA) over the past few weeks. As you can see from the picture above the DB2 is a gorgeous IEM, but is it something that is right for you. I believe we are in the golden age for IEM’s especially for those that want to build a nice collection at very little cost.
A ‘Futurefi’ IEM at a bargain price This is one of the most pragmatic devices I have bought in the past few years. It is effectively a 2:1 IEM for less than $30, by ‘default’ the Tanchjim One DSP has an excellent sound signature which for the price I would not complain about but then once you open up the App (Android only I am afraid) you have a series of very well specified alternative EQ based ‘profiles’, effectively giving you lots of variety without needing to get fully into the number within the PEQ filters provided.
In this review, we will get into the details of the Fosi Audio new AB speaker switcher the LC30, with it’s gorgeous VU meters providing a very nice retro look, lets see if you have room for a “switcher” in your home setup. Fosi Audio LC30 - A bit of Retro nostaglia Fosi Audio new kickstarter project the LC30 is a distinctively stylish and functional device. This review delves into the LC30, a unit that not only caters to the pragmatic needs of audio enthusiasts with might want to do a bit of AB switching but also appeals to the retro aesthetic with its visually captivating VU meters.
Blafili B3 - An impressive device from an ambitious new audio startup Introduction Blafili have an appealing new product with their initial ‘audiophile’ offering the B3. Specifically it is a 2 in 1 Bluetooth and USB DAC but what I found interesting (and the main reason for this review) is the appeal of the XLR outputs at the price point of $109. Beyond the XLR outputs, I was also impressed with it’s bluetooth implementation, so read on to find out if it’s a device you should add to your audio stack.
A nicely balanced IEM at an incredible price The Nuo is Ziigaat’s entry level IEM and entries the market in the super competitive sub $25 price range. Luckily, if you are interested in an excellently tuned IEM, the Nuo may well be one to add to your collection. Read on to find out why … What is in the box The Nuo comes in a fairly simple box, typical of this end of the IEM market.
Surprising good Bluetooth TWS Design and Build Quality The Soundcore P3i earbuds exhibit a sleek and modern design, complemented by a sturdy build that promises durability. The materials used in the construction of these earbuds provide a premium feel, which is not always common in this price range. Attention to detail is evident in the ergonomic shape and the minimalist aesthetic, which aligns well with the contemporary user’s preferences. Whats in the box Upon unboxing, you will find the Soundcore P3i earbuds accompanied by a charging case, which is compact and functional.
The All-time classic Headphone that is still relevant today The Sennheiser HD 600 remains a benchmark in the world of high-fidelity headphones, renowned for its natural sound reproduction and exceptional build quality. This model has been a favorite among audiophiles and professionals for years, thanks to its balanced sound and durable design. This is my favourite headphone for tonality with perfect midrange and treble but is the overall package still a benchmark and are there a few things that I would like to see changed.
Ziigaat Cinno - A discerning IEM with a lovely warm sound Ziigaat are a fresh entrant into the very competitive IEM market and so as well as their new dynamic driver IEM the Nuo (reviewed here ), the Ziigaat Cinno is their more premium offering featuring a nice hybrid configuration of (1DD+4BA). Read on to find out more… Introduction With the combination of a 10mm Liquid Crystal Polymer dynamic driver and four balanced armature drivers, 2 dedicated to the midrange and 2 for the upper treble regions, the Cinno promises an excellent balanced sound signature.
A gorgeous IEM to add to your collection If you are at all interested in building a collection of IEM’s, I believe that you should have at least 3 different IEM ’tunings’, a balanced ‘Harman’ IEM, mid forward/centric tuning and finally a V-shaped ‘fun’ IEM tuning. Having a small collection with at least these 3 options really allows you to get the best from a wide range of your music, each IEM in your collection can extract different aspects of the music and the Forteza makes a great choice for those looking for a V-shaped tuning.
FiiO K7 Long term Review Introduction So early this year I decided to upgrade my headphones from the usual Sennheiser and AKG ones and I decided I needed some Planar magnetic headphones and while my previous headphone amp, a Fosi Audio one was fine with the dynamic drivers I had previously it only sounded ok with these harder to drive Planar’s. It didn’t seem to have sufficent power especially with the low frequencies bass, to get these new headphones sounding as good as I expected.
Planar on a Budget Hifiman make exceptional open back Planar headphones ( though their closed backs so far have been disappointing ) but can we really expect that planar experience for little over $100. What is the planar ’experience' If you are new to headphones you might wonder why would I want a planar magnetic headphone instead of a traditional dynamic driver headphones. Well Planar’s typically provide better detail retrieval, a much more even frequency response resulting in a much more balanced sound.
A long term review Of all the IEM’s I have used this year the Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite have proven the most resilient. Time and again these are the IEM’s I have gone back too when I want to really hear a new release the way it should sound. It is also my goto IEM when out walking, the all BA design and the seal mean it has the best passive noise isolation of any IEM in my collection.
ZA3 Review In this review, we will get into the details of the new Fosi Audio ZA3 Amplifier - the latest TPA3255 amplifier Fosi Audio. I received my via their Kickstarter program at roughly $125 with the 48V power supply. What is in the Box, internals and overall Build Quality The ZA3 arrives in a larger package compared to other Fosi amplifiers. Contents include the ZA3 amplifier itself, a robust 48V 5A power supply unit (PSU) similar to the one that comes with the V3, and a comprehensive manual detailing connectivity options.
Schiit Audio Midgard Review In Norse mythology Midgard is the name for Earth (the realm of the mortals) so in this review let’s see if Schiit Audio new Midgard headphone amp and preamp is earthly treasure for us mortals that can play heavenly audio. Note: I would like to thank Schiit Audio for providing the Midgard for the purposes of this review. The Midgard’s shares the same gorgeous design language with the majority of Schiit products.
FT5 Review FiiO have been on a roll this year with a huge range of product offerings and they have already released some quality headphones with the FT3, but with the FT5 this marks a significant audiophile step up, into the world of planar magnetic headphones, a segment of the industry traditionally dominated by brands like HIFIMAN, DCA, Meze and of course Audeze. So with the FT5, priced at an $449, this firmly puts FiiO into the competitive mid-fi planar segment against some well regarded HifiMan planars like Sundara and Edition XS and some recent Moondrop offerings like the Venus and the Para.
hifiman-RE400 Review I would like to thank Mark from Hifiman for providing these IEM’s for this review I came across this IEM maybe 10 years ago - it was then a steal at $99 for its then reference sound. But allot has happened in the IEM market in 10 years so has this ‘old dog’ still got tricks for the ‘young pups’ of the IEM market. And mostly importantly how does it sound stack up against its competition.
FiiO K11 Review The K11 is FiiO’s new entry level headphone amplifier. But is both an incredible nice looking device and also incredible feature rich, this might be the only headphone amplifier you will ever need, to find out why read on: Thanks to FiiO for providing me with the K11 for this review. A note about FiiO Naming: I think its worth clarifying FiiO’s new device naming conventions. With a device name like the K11 - you might expect this headphone amplifier to be the top of FiiO range, considering FiiO already offer a K9, K7, K5 and even a K3.
Aiyima A07MAX - An outstanding Amplifier for the price The A07MAX is Aiyima’s latest class D amplifier based on the TPA-3255 chipset. In this review, you will find out if it’s their best yet. I will provide some measurements, but also lots of details on the features and some comparions so hopefully by the end of the review you will have a clear idea of what the A07MAX provides.
Hifiman Edition XS - A Long-Term Review Only maybe 3 or 4 times in this hobby have I come across a product that completely upgrades my expectation of the quality that I should expect when listening too music. The Hifiman XS has done that for me for headphones. It’s been about 6 months now since I upgraded to the XS, so I felt it was a good time to write a long term review.
Gizaudio x Binary Acoustics Chopin I have been listening to this IEM as my daily driver, using it both while working but also while commuting (so both in quiet and noisy environments) and I can’t think of a better IEM for listening for long periods. The Chopin is the 2nd collaboration of Timmy of Gizaudio YouTube channel fame and I think he has put all his experience into providing Binary Acoustics with excellent tuning guidelines for this IEM.