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 →

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 →

RHA s500i and ma750: A tale of two sisters, the Thin White Duke and the Fat Bottomed Girl, excellent sound in two affordable flavours (A blast from the past review)

Blast from the past reviews Before we started up Audio Primate, many of us reviewed a ton of products on Head-Fi. Some of these reviews were great lyrically but terrible from a technique perspective, others were in touch with a past time, but tough to update. As reviewers, we have grown. Blast from the past... Continue Reading →

Audio Primacy – Quarter-Final 1: JH Rosie vs CustomArt 9-driver (custom tuned CIEM)

The general concept One of the downsides of being an IEM enthusiast and amateur reviewer is an ever growing collection of in-ear gear, and only two ears to listen to it with. While pondering the gear mountain that was building up in my man-cave after a few frosty beverages, I set to working out the... Continue Reading →

RHA CL1: the Richard Dawkins of IEMs: insensitive, brilliant, and not everyone’s cup of tea

Pros:  Excellent clarity and treble extension, good quality and quantity of bass Cons: intimate sound-stage; recessed mids; some mids details fade, veil or disappear; underdriven by many DACs and DAPs; need forward mids to sound totally right List Price: £349.95 (on RHA’s website)($449.95 from Moon audio in USA) Acknowledgment The RHA CL1 was provided to... Continue Reading →

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