Flares Gold – gold plated sound

Pros: organic tonality, detailed but not analytical sound, resolution, balanced tuning, bling factor, excellent imaging, stellar Bluetooth implementation Cons: Bespoke cable limits swapping options, apart from shells build isn't "premium", possibly too neutral for some, "audiophile" foam tips very fragile Price: £999 (Flare Audio website) Specifications Introduction I've always been fascinated by IEM technology various different... Continue Reading →

TRN V80 first impressions, $50 IEM shootout

One of the coolest phenomenons in audio right now is the big improvements moving forward in the budget sector. $100 headphones can and do compete with $400 headphones, and $25 headphones sometimes compete with $200 headphones. It’s a great time to be an audiophile, even if your budget isn’t as large as you’d like it... Continue Reading →

KZ ZSA first impressions, $25 IEM shootout

$25 IEM shootout pre-amble One of the coolest phenomenons in audio right now is the big improvements moving forward in the budget sector. $100 headphones can and do compete with $400 headphones, and $25 headphones sometimes compete with $200 headphones. It’s a great time to be an audiophile, even if your budget isn’t as large... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Solaris – sound like the sun

Acknowledgement The Solaris were very kindly provided by Ken Ball at Campfire Audio for the purposes of writing a full review. I paid nothing for these, and there is no obligation to or input from Campfire Audio with regards to the content of the review. Allegations was (politely) asked for was a few brief impressions... Continue Reading →

Tin Audio T3, first impressions

I received a surprise package the other day from Linsoul. I was notified the day before delivery during Chinese New Year, which is unusual. Linsoul told me that the T3 was going live on Massdrop at an introductory price of $59. It will apparently be $69 at retail. The T3 is a follow-up to the... Continue Reading →

The HiFiMAN HE1000 v2 – a triumph of engineering and sonic performance

Pros: Beautiful sound, good stage, nice timbre, bass improved over v1, unique styling, super comfortable, price to performance, prefer it to the Focal Utopia Cons: included cables don’t look premium, mediocre cable sound quality, could use a practical carrying case, not the Susvara List Price: $2999 Product website: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/he-1000.html Introduction I’ve been a big fan... Continue Reading →

Lark Studio LSX Review: warm, refined, impactful, lush bassy goodness

Pros: Bass that competes with good dynamic drivers, silky mids, tiny shell size, excellent Rhapsodio cable, excellent overall build quality, good selection of tips, custom same price as universal, very competitive value proposition Cons: Rhapsodio cable currently only available single-ended, source dependent sonic precision, some sources will be too warm for some, trades some detail... Continue Reading →

HiFiMAN RE2000 Gold and Silver: fantastic audio quality, fubar construction

Pros:  Well controlled extended bass, tight linear sound, impressive stage width, excellent resolution and dynamics, lovely timbre Cons: Slight recession in mids, poor shell design for mid to small size ears, there are better built IEMs for under $200 List Price: $1500 (Silver), $2000 (Gold) Product Website: RE2000 Silver, RE2000 (Gold) Pros and cons are... Continue Reading →

SOUNDAWARE P1 Headphone Amplifier Review: big power, big performance

Pros:  Powerful (drives Susvara easily), clean neutral sound, transparent, compact, nice construction with no visible screws, attractive smokey glass display top, balanced inputs and outputs alongside single ended inputs and outputs, 2 gain settings Cons: Not very useful as pre-amp due to no remote control, not built for low impedance sensitive IEMs, input selection button... Continue Reading →

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