iDAC2: an excellent portable performer especially with the iPurifier2

Pros:  Transparent neutral/cold signature, good sound, good value, plenty of outputs, nice soundstage, USB bus powered so no power cable or brick to carry around Cons:  Slight treble emphasis may be off-putting to some, timing imperfect without iPurifier2 List price: $299 Acknowledgment The iDAC2 was provided on loan to me by iFi along with the... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Vega: the diamond constellation with stellar sound

Pros: Huge bass presence while still managing to sound balanced, texture, incredible fullness, detail retrieval, treble clarity, emotional delivery of vocals Cons: Might be too heavy for some die-hard fans of a lean sound signature, not much else List Price: $1299 Website: http://campfireaudio.com/shop/vega/ Acknowledgments Thanks to Ken Ball and the team at Campfire Audio for giving... Continue Reading →

Lear BTC-01: a sound surprise in wireless

Pros:  Good sound, clean amplification, good driving power, lightweight and comfortable, price, many pin outs [2-pin (standard CIEM, UE CIEM, UE TF10,), MMCX, IE-8/80, AudioTechnica (IM, LS series), FitEar] Cons: Pin fit (standard 2-pin CIEM), Bluetooth noise floor and EMI (Bluetooth general flaw), no aptX, not sweatproof, limited battery life List Price: $65 at time... Continue Reading →

Effect Audio Arthur: $3800 of win? Yes.

Pros: Stunningly beautiful statement piece, exceptional natural sound, Excalibur cable ergonomics are excellent Cons: Price, difficult fit, huge shell, narrow nozzle doesn’t fit several Comply Isolate series tips or similar size tips (200 series fits), probably better to buy as custom List Price: $3799 Acknowledgment Thank you Eric at Effect Audio for making the HeadFi... Continue Reading →

Glassmonkey’s Headroom at Metropolis Studios 2017 Impressions

On March 25 I hopped on a coach from Southampton to London with the Effect Audio Arthur IEMs in my ears and the Aune M1S pumping tunes through my cranium for the two hour coach ride. Upon touching down in Hammersmith and marching my way down to the study I immediately asked where I needed to... Continue Reading →

Unboxing: Echobox Explorer

So the long IndieGoGo wait is over. The Echobox Explorer has taken a long while to get here. This was planned for April 2016, but arrived in March 2017, which actually isn't unusual in crowdfunding. I was prepared. Many were not. The player still has some wrinkles to iron out, but Echobox is projecting confidence.... Continue Reading →

Unboxing: Effect Audio Arthur and Excalibur

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, mostly. These are the most expensive headphones that have ever been in my house. These are $3799, and they look it. They've got 14 drivers per ear in a 2 low, 6 high, 6 mid configuration. They've got a cable made of super flexible ultra-comfortable Hip-Hop jewellery grade... Continue Reading →

Fostex TH610 Reference Headphones: luxurious wood and big bass

The Good: Bass - in plentiful supply Mids and highs - nothing grating here The price - it's just been reduced The versatility of a closed can The finish - wooden finish is very tasteful The Bad: Lacking the airiness of an open can Meze 99 Classics are close to this in sound quality (although not quite there)... Continue Reading →

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