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 →

iFi iEMatch 2.5mm: hiss busting miracle worker in a tiny magnesium suit

Pros:  I can listen to sensitive IEMs on the Questyle QP2R now without being swallowed by hiss, nice diamond dust feel and look to the casing, simple to use, lightweight, takes pressure off of 2.5mm jack Cons: 2.5mm jack isn’t flush with barrel, original iEMatch less expensive List Price: $69 Product Website: https://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/accessory-iematch2-5 Rating Disclaimer:... Continue Reading →

QP2R Cases: Miter vs. Spyker

Introduction The Questyle QP2R is a nice-looking piece of kit, and I want to keep it that way, so I was already looking for a case for it before anybody offered me one to review. I looked at Dignis, but they were way expensive, unavailable, or both. I looked at Miter, but I wasn’t sure... 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 →

Effect Audio Ares II+: Smooth shimmering heavy metal value

Pros:  Beautiful, a bit more airy and detailed than stock cable, smoothed some sharper treble on Kaiser Encore, perfect size pins, precise tight bass with good impact, bigger stage than stock Cons: chunky, a bit heavy on the ear, paint wears off easily, 2-pin connector shell is glued List Price: $219.90 Acknowledgment I received the... Continue Reading →

Lear BTC-01: a sound surprise in wireless

Pros:  Good sound, clean amplification, good driving power, lightweight and comfortable, price, many pin outs [2-pin (standard CIEM, UE CIEM, UE TF10,), MMCX, IE-8/80, AudioTechnica (IM, LS series), FitEar] Cons: Pin fit (standard 2-pin CIEM), Bluetooth noise floor and EMI (Bluetooth general flaw), no aptX, not sweatproof, limited battery life List Price: $65 at time... Continue Reading →

Effect Audio Arthur: $3800 of win? Yes.

Pros: Stunningly beautiful statement piece, exceptional natural sound, Excalibur cable ergonomics are excellent Cons: Price, difficult fit, huge shell, narrow nozzle doesn’t fit several Comply Isolate series tips or similar size tips (200 series fits), probably better to buy as custom List Price: $3799 Acknowledgment Thank you Eric at Effect Audio for making the HeadFi... Continue Reading →

iFi iPurifier2: USB clean-up value king in a pocketable size

Pros: Increased soundstage width and depth, better note definition, timing smears fixed, cleaner vocals and treble, price better than a midrange USB cable and gives greater performance boost Cons: Didn’t feel like it pushed higher end cables to their limits, not as good as Micro iUSB3.0 List Price: Acknowledgment The iPurifier2 was loaned to me... Continue Reading →

WyWires Red HD600: well-built, tangle free cable with a deep black background and big soundstage

Pros:  Oval design eliminates tangles, heavy duty durable construction, light weight, good connectors Cons: Utilitarian looks Acknowledgment Thanks Alex Sventitsky, founder of WyWires, for providing this sample in return for my honest opinion. An earlier version of this review was published on HeadFi. Introduction This is a first for me. I’ve never reviewed a cable.... Continue Reading →

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