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 →

Campfire Audio Lyra II – the comeback constellation: a smooth and soulful sequel to the original Campfire Audio single dynamic driver

Pros - Warm and engaging sound, powerful but not overdone bass, great build and ergonomics, beautiful midrange, smooth and clear treble Cons - Treble may be too laid back for some, not for fans of lean "audiophile" style bass List Price - $699 (Campfire Audio) Acknowledgement The Lyra II were provided to me free of... Continue Reading →

Blue Microphones Ella – the new first lady of planar magnetic headphones

Pros:  Crisp and detailed sound, good dynamics, excellent sense of musicality for a “neutral” tuning, exceptional spatial cues, good comfort, onboard amp circuitry to make the driveable by just about anything, ON+ mode for a more “analogue” sound Cons: Unusual headphone construction leaves you feeling like an extra from Dr Who, could do with a... Continue Reading →

Trinity Phantom Hunter – unboxing pictures

UPDATE 21/05/17 - new comparison pictures added against various IEMs (Campfire Vega, Andromeda etc) After one of the most awaited (to put it mildly) product launches on the Head-Fi forums, the Trinity Audio flagship 5-driver IEM (the Phantom Hunter) is now starting to arrive in mailboxes around the globe. If you are one of the many... Continue Reading →

Blue Ella – unboxing

Some unboxing shots from my upcoming Blue Microphones Ella headphone review... http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/o701/Jackpot77/Blue%20Ella/IMG_20170507_160519111_HDR%20-%20watermark_zpsdkdba2wc.jpg    

iFi iDSD Black Label: Swiss Army knife utility, top tier sound and flexibility that does everything extremely well, so much value it’s just unfair to the competition

Pros:  enough power to drive an HE-6 while having enough finesse to feed a Kaiser Encore, plays everything natively, flexible inputs and outputs, flexible sound through XBass and 3D that leaves the core of the mids alone Cons: 3D can sound artificial on some tracks, black on black fonts, difficult to see volume knob level... Continue Reading →

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