CanJam London 2019, part two: a tour of IEMs (InEar, oBravo, Acoustune, HiFiMAN, 64 Audio, FiiO)

CanJam London is the biggest headphone and portable audio show put on in the UK every year. It is the highlight of the HeadFi enthusiasts calendar and something that I have attended since the inaugural CanJam London in 2015. This year was the 5th annual edition and it lived up to its billing. I’ll be... Continue Reading →

Stealth Sonics U4: love or hate bass

Pros: Confusingly powerful bass in a fully balanced armature setup—how the heck you do that Stealth Sonics!?, better with faceplate off, high quality stock cable, includes microphone cable (flexibility+), lightweight, ability to alter bass tuning (removable faceplate) Cons: bass rides everything (this may be positive for bassheads, but wasn't for me), midbass distortion (texture loss... Continue Reading →

Wavaya Quadra – porcelain powerhouse

Pros: Ultra comfortable porcelain shells, surprisingly detailed and resolving sound, good musicality, decent bass for an all-BA model, emotional delivery Cons: Custom only (at the moment) Website: https://wavaya.com Price: $690 / 690 Euros (starting prices) Introduction Wavaya are a recent entrant into the In Ear Monitor marketplace, launching recently with an initial in-ear product range... Continue Reading →

IMR Acoustics R1 Zenith Review – Part 1 (initial impressions and unboxing)

Introduction and acknowledgement The R1 Zenith is the sophomore outing from UK based IEM manufacturer IMR Acoustics, following on from their well received R1 model. The Zenith is a revision of the original rather than a completely different beast, sporting an improved design and some refinements to the unique tuning and porting system that the... Continue Reading →

Bristol HiFi 2019: best audio show in Britain, even better with friends

Bristol HiFi (previously known as Bristol Sound & Vision) organised by Audio T and What HiFi is the biggest audio show in the UK. It's huge, taking over 4+ floors of the Bristol Marriott with over 100 brands on exhibition. Many new technologies are debuted here and it's a good place to have identify gear... Continue Reading →

StealthSonics U4 and U9 – unboxing and initial impressions

Introduction As regular readers of the blog will know, StealthSonics are a brand I had heard rumblings about in the usual HF blogs, but only came across properly for the first time at the recent Canjam London event. Some more details about the firm are available on the original blog post, but suffice to say... Continue Reading →

Aune S6: warm, thick, impressive low end grunt

Pros:  Full bodied sound, nice information display, balanced inputs and outputs, digital numeric volume display Cons: single-ended sound is foggy, soft treble, only DSD128 (DoP), volume control has no feel to it, could have more bass and treble extension List Price: $569 (Penon Audio, affiliate link) Product Website: http://en.auneaudio.com Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio... Continue Reading →

NCM Bella – the Bella of the TOTL hybrid ball

Pros:  Sub bass presence and overall bass capability, beautiful and non-recessed midrange, exceptional treble, lots of air and sparkle, very coherent tuning Cons: Fit is shallow, nozzle bore is very large List Price: 23,500,000 (Vietnamese Dong) / c. £735 (UK) Product Website: http://www.nguyencustoms.com/ncm-bella/ Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio quality and value do not mean... Continue Reading →

IMR Acoustics R1 – unusual ceramic/beryllium hybrid with bags of tone

Pros:  Smooth and organic sound signature, good all metal build, serious bass prowess, nice texture and weight to the sound, smooth and clear treble, very coherent and musical tuning, multiple tuning options with filters, capability to open up the soundstage with the open/closed port mechanism Cons: Not massive amounts of micro-detail, could potentially be a... Continue Reading →

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