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 →

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 →

Flares Gold – gold plated sound

Pros: organic tonality, detailed but not analytical sound, resolution, balanced tuning, bling factor, excellent imaging, stellar Bluetooth implementation Cons: Bespoke cable limits swapping options, apart from shells build isn't "premium", possibly too neutral for some, "audiophile" foam tips very fragile Price: £999 (Flare Audio website) Specifications Introduction I've always been fascinated by IEM technology various different... Continue Reading →

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 →

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