iFi DC iPurifier2: deeper stage, improved clarity, and texture from a power device

Pros:  improved depth, blacker background, crisper highs, more refined overall sound, small, flexible voltage/amperage/wattage (works with most DC wall wart type sources), great set of adaptors, inexpensive Cons: improvements are small (can’t rule out placebo effect), effect will depend on system quality (more noticeable with better headphone), will be more cost-effective improvements for many, attracts ridicule like... 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 →

Flares Pro: the best Bluetooth headphones I’ve heard

Pros:  Extraordinarily clear in Bluetooth, excellent resolution and speed, accurate timbre, black background, completely non-fatiguing, tiny and comfortable, cool packaging, super ergonomic tips, great Bluetooth range and battery life Cons: rolled off sub-bass, microphonic cable, USB micro, prone to electrical interference in Bluetooth, ugly poor quality cables List Price: £349 ($399) Product Website: https://www.flareaudio.com/products/flares Rating... Continue Reading →

Questyle QP2R: my favourite digital audio player

Pros:  beautiful natural timbre, full body without sacrificing detail, big driving power, solid and sexy construction, awesome volume knob, top-loaded audio outputs, format compatibility Cons: small screen, wheel control, hiss with a few IEMs (especially out of 2.5mm), no wireless connectivity (Bluetooth, DLNA, streaming, etc.) List Price: £1199 (Audio Sanctuary), $1299 (Todd The Vinyl Junkie)... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Atlas; the hills are alive with the sound of BASS

Pros: glorious subwoofer bass, detailed mids, balanced treble, precise stage, bass is powerful with rest of the signature balanced Cons: heavy housing can make fit difficult Price: $1299 Website: Campfire Audio Introduction and acknowledgement For most audiophiles following the current in-ear monitor scene, the brand Campfire Audio should require no introduction. The Portland outfit sprang... Continue Reading →

Jackpot77’s Canjam London 2018 impressions (part one) – StealthSonics, JH Audio, InEar, Jomo Audio

Introduction There is a special place in most European Head-Fi'ers hearts for the global institution that is Canjam. Living in a country where trialling in ear monitors in most stores is prohibited on hygeine grounds,  it is the one time of year where you can get to hear all of the new stuff from brands... Continue Reading →

Unique Melody Mentor V3 – the pupil has become the master

  Pros: multiple tuning options with the bass port and multi-metal cables, solid design, great build quality, supremely musical signature, detail retrieval, ability to capture emotion Cons: Proprietary cable system limits cable swapping, DB-Go bass ports are a little loose in use, not a huge amount of difference in the tuning when switching cables or tweaking... 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 →

AKG N90Q – the tunable TOTL over-ear

Pros: Tunable sound, noise cancelling in a TOTL headphone, high detail levels, dynamic sound, packed with unusual tech, bomb proof storage case and bags of accessories Cons: Tuning capability less useful at the extremes, flimsy 2.5mm cable connectors, thin cables, onboard DAC not same quality as rest of package, slightly dry tinge to the sound... Continue Reading →

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