Empire Ears Athena – unboxing and initial impressions

Introduction At the recent Canjam London expo, I had the privilege of spending some time with @Jack Vang and the team at Empire Ears, working my way through their current and unreleased IEM range. As an owner of the Zeus-XR, I was interested to find out what the rest of their lineup offered in terms... Continue Reading →

Questyle QP2R – initial impressions (part 2 of 2)

Introduction This set of impressions follows on from my previous blog post about the QP2R (which you can find here), and concentrates mainly on the sonics and some comparisons with other gear. If you want to get the full picture, feel free to go back and read the first chapter - if you are the sort... Continue Reading →

Pocket Class A DIY Headphone Amp by XRK971

I crossed paths with XRK971 a few months ago on the diyaudio.com forums as we worked concurrently on Class A single-ended headphone designs. Although we did not collaborate and our parts choices differed, our overall topologies share a strong resemblance. After chatting a bit, we exchanged some parts so that each could hear what the... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Dorado: Campfire’s search for audio gold, a triple driver hybrid with added sparkle

Pros - Full bodied bass, great extension at both ends of the spectrum, forward vocal ranges, unusual W shaped tuning, great airiness and treble sparkleCons - W shaped sound can push mid-range instruments a little further back in the sound, long nozzle may not be ideal for everyone List Price - $999 (Campfire Audio) Acknowledgement... 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 →

Audio Primacy – Quarter Final 2: Campfire Audio Vega vs Cardas EM5813

Introduction For those of you who haven't read the first article in this series, welcome to my informal "deathmatch" between various IEMs currently in my possession. As outlined in the original post (link here), I have come to a stage of my audio journey where I just don't have enough ears for all my gear.... Continue Reading →

RHA CL750: excellent value, assuming you have a decent amp on your portable gear

Pros:  Stellar build quality, excellent price, comfortable, fantastic quality cable, excellent clarity, good bass control, balanced signature Cons: Hard to drive, average soundstage List Price: £99 ($129) Acknowledgment The RHA CL750 was provided to me in exchange for running the UK leg of the RHA world-wide tour for the release of the DACAMP L1, CL1,... Continue Reading →

Massdrop x MEE Audio Pinnacle PX: the MEE Pinnacle P1 gets even more affordable

Pros: Stellar balanced sound, an absolute steal at $113.99, top of the class instrument separation in the price tier Cons: Difficult to drive, your phone won't do it justice, abandon all hope ye' iPhone as source people. Average soundstage. List Price: $113.99 Acknowledgement The Massdrop x MEE Pinnacle PX was supplied to me by Massdrop in exchange... Continue Reading →

Questyle QP2R – initial impressions (part 1 of 2)

One of the most popular and critically acclaimed digital audio players (DAPs) in audiophile circles over the last few years has been the QP1R from Questyle Audio. Audio Primate have been lucky enough to be given a sneak preview of the successor to Questyle's current flagship (the QP2R), which is due for global release in... Continue Reading →

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