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 →

Mee Pinnacle P1: breath rarified sound in this price bracket

Pros:  Clear, transparent sound, detailed, tight measured bass, sveldt and sexy metal shell, top tier price to performance ratio, brilliant accessories Cons: power hungry to get full performance, can be a touch bright List price: $199 (£139) Acknowledgment Thanks Tony at HiFi Headphones for letting me participate in the UK tour. It was fun as always.... Continue Reading →

Unique Melody Miracle: a smooth operator

Pros:  Smooth pleasing signature, laid back, isolation, deep rich bass, detail retrieval and imaging Cons: Soft tonality, slightly diffuse bass, soundstage merely average, like some amplification to sound their best List Price: $1049 (musicteck.com) Acknowledgment I’d like to thank Lawrance of Unique Melody for loaning audioprimate.blog the Miracle V2 in exchange for honest opinions. You... Continue Reading →

Astell & Kern / JH Audio Angie V1 – the original Siren song

Pros:  Clarity of sound, spacious soundstage, pinpoint imaging, engaging sound, adjustable bass, great vocals Cons: Like sticking a carbon-fibre gobstopper in your ear cavity Acknowledgment and preferences This unit was purchased for listening pleasure (and review purposes) from the For Sale boards on Head-Fi – I have no affiliation with Astell & Kern or Jerry... Continue Reading →

Rhapsodio Galaxy V2 – another single dynamic all-star constellation

Pros:  Excellent detail retrieval and driver speed, crisp punchy sound, fantastic texture, sound superb with guitar based music Cons: Housings can get a little heavy, a slightly thicker midrange and bass would be ideal, can be a little sharp on occasion Acknowledgment These IEMs were very kindly loaned to me for a few weeks by... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Vega: the diamond constellation with stellar sound

Pros: Huge bass presence while still managing to sound balanced, texture, incredible fullness, detail retrieval, treble clarity, emotional delivery of vocals Cons: Might be too heavy for some die-hard fans of a lean sound signature, not much else List Price: $1299 Acknowledgments Thanks to Ken Ball and the team at Campfire Audio for giving me... 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 →

Noble Kaiser Encore: balanced bliss distilled into a soaring aerie of superlatives

Pros:  Vast soundstage with natural placement—doesn’t sound like an IEM, natural body, perfect timbre, speedy, micro-details-a-poppin Cons: Hiss on many sources; pinholes on the small side, making aftermarket cables a bit scary; potential side effects of purchase: living with one kidney, spousal waves of wrath, incredulous friends List price: $1850 (£1699) Acknowledgment Thanks @BangkokKid, otherwise... Continue Reading →

Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (UERR): who says reference isn’t musical?

Pros:  Airy big soundstage, lovely treble and bass, precision and speed, noise isolation, neutral tonality, excellent tool for reviewing, look awesome Cons: Can’t share how wonderful they sound with friends, can be a touch thick on some vocals List price: $999 (£870) Acknowledgment Thanks Mike Diaz at Ultimate Ears for supplying these as a review... Continue Reading →

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