Kumitate Lab KL-Sirius: four sweet drivers in a sexy acrylic shell

Pros:  Silky mids, delicate treble, scale with upgrades, excellent technical performance, good stage width and depth Cons: Reference bass (meaning light), minimal sub-bass, lack of accessories, stock cable is too thin List Price: $800.00 (¥90,000 JPY) Product Website: http://www.kumitatelab.com/kl-sirius/?sl=en Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio quality and value do not mean the same thing across... 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 →

RHA CL2 in-ear planar magnetic, with wireless and balanced, coming September

RHA is bringing new tech out! Yay! CL2, baby! I get excited when new tech comes out. I geeked out over graphene when I first heard about it on twitter. I geeked out when I heard about the Unique Melody ME.1, and I thought it was pretty cool when RHA released a ceramic shelled, dynamic... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Cascade – substance with style

Pros:  Solid metal construction, stellar bass, outstanding physical texture to the sound, big sound, musical but balanced tuning, emotive midrange, crisp treble Cons: Bass will be too much for some, have to detach cables to fold and stow in carry case, pretty much nothing else Price: $799 Product site: https://campfireaudio.com/shop/cascade/ Acknowledgement These headphones have been provided... 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 →

Focal Elear: dynamism with a dash of French flair

Pros:  Incredible dynamics and punch, crisp and detailed sound, good balance through the frequencies, rock solid build and comfort, decent bass weight, highly engaging sound Cons: Small soundstage for an open-back, dip in upper mids may not be to everyone’s taste, “always on” dynamics make this a little excitable for more mellow genres Price: £769 ($799,... Continue Reading →

Double Helix Cables Symbiote SP v3 OCC Silver Type 4 Litz IEM Cable (8-Braid): extravagantly beautiful

Pros:  Gorgeous, top notch wire, refreshing company, excellent resolution and stage, made in USA (for those who care) Cons: Expensive, law of diminishing returns, slight treble emphasis List Price: $789.99 (for 8-braid, $409.99 for quad braid) Product Website: https://doublehelixcables.com/product/dhc-symbiote-sp-v3-occ-silver-type-4-litz-iem-cable/ Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio quality and value do not mean the same thing across... Continue Reading →

Unique Melody ME.1: a spacious stage with an organic and euphonic sound

Pros:  Big sound stage, smooth organic sound, no harshness to be found, euphonic, comfortable, open but not leaky Cons: Some detail is lost to give the euphonic sound, not extended on either side of the audio spectrum, source has bigger than average impact on sound (matching is important), isolation, big shell will not fit some... Continue Reading →

64 Audio U8 – bass over APEX

Introduction I have always been fascinated by bass in music. That’s probably why I always feel a little bit of a fraud when someone calls me an “audiophile”, as my tastes quite often encompass a little more lower end substance than the current fashion for a more lean and mean sound. I can appreciate detail... Continue Reading →

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