The HiFiMAN Susvara – a breathtakingly beautiful and breathtakingly expensive headphone

Pros:  Detailed like an electron microscope, mostly flat frequency response, excellent sound stage height/depth/width, layering and instrument separation, incisive speed without excess, impeccable attack and decay, like being there (miniaturised) Cons: $6000, $6000, difficult to drive well (I still don’t know if I did) List Price: $6000 Product website: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/susvara.html Introduction I’ve been a big... Continue Reading →

Sony NW-WM1Z DAP

Twister 6 has another big ticket review up on Twister6 Reviews. Check it out here: Sony NW-WM1Z DAP. Twister6 is one of the best amateur reviewers on earth. If you haven't subscribed already, you should do so. Audio Primate has been watching Sony with interest after having a listen to the WM1Z and WM1A at... Continue Reading →

The HiFiMAN MegaMini – now in plastic, with a far better $99 price

Pros:  Tiny form factor, excellent build quality, nice looking, good even keeled sound, easy UI and intuitive control scheme, excellent value at $99 Cons: no external DAC, no gapless (on the way?), limited playlist capability, somewhat thin sound, dismal battery life (especially with HiRes) List Price: $99 Product website: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/hifiman-megamini-high-res-music-player-531.html Rating disclaimer: ratings for audio... Continue Reading →

Indulgence Show 2017: luscious speakers, hot headphones and cool IEMs. Time to listen. (Part 3)

This was the first show I went to as a member of the press, so I should press on, however slow. Audio Sanctuary and all the other sponsors put on a helluva show and I enjoyed myself, in spite of never feeling like I had enough time to explore everything while having the conversations I... Continue Reading →

iFi Nano iDSD Black Label: great genes in this DAC family, wallet happy price

Pros:  Excellent transparent sound, small size, outstanding price, driving power for HD600, iEMatch built in, iPurifier built in, excellent 3.5mm line-out, two good filters, huge format compatibility Cons: Silk-screen writing is damn near impossible to read, doesn’t come with short OTG cable (one would be better than none), doesn’t come with USB3.0 adaptor so not... Continue Reading →

64 Audio U8 – bass over APEX

Introduction I have always been fascinated by bass in music. That’s probably why I always feel a little bit of a fraud when someone calls me an “audiophile”, as my tastes quite often encompass a little more lower end substance than the current fashion for a more lean and mean sound. I can appreciate detail... Continue Reading →

Indulgence Show London 2017: pure pleasure (part 2)

In our last installment you were treated, or tricked, as the now post Halloween landscape may have you assess, into reading a long piece about wires. This piece isn't so controversial. This piece is about sound treatment, gin, and joy—Pure Pleasure. The Indulgence Show was not a showcase of wires, that was my particular perversion.... Continue Reading →

The Indulgence Show 2017 (part 1): mythos and metallurgy, controversy and consideration. What’s in a wire?

The Indulgence Show is a veritable feast of aural delights, so leave it to me to spend a substantial part of my time talking to people about wires, probably the most controversial topic in HeadFi. Amidst £100,000 speaker setups and £50,000 headphone setups, I decided to spend my time talking to people about the how,... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Andromeda – another stellar constellation from the stargazers at CA

Pros:  Great value, classy metal build and accessory package, superbly balanced tuning, clarity, large and airy soundstage, neutral yet musical Cons: Sharp edges on the shell casing can cause discomfort for some, not for bassheads Introduction Anyone with more than a passing interest in high-end in ear audio gear costing more than $100 will most... Continue Reading →

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