Flares Pro: the best Bluetooth headphones I’ve heard

Pros:  Extraordinarily clear in Bluetooth, excellent resolution and speed, accurate timbre, black background, completely non-fatiguing, tiny and comfortable, cool packaging, super ergonomic tips, great Bluetooth range and battery life Cons: rolled off sub-bass, microphonic cable, USB micro, prone to electrical interference in Bluetooth, ugly poor quality cables List Price: £349 ($399) Product Website: https://www.flareaudio.com/products/flares Rating... Continue Reading →

Questyle QP2R: my favourite digital audio player

Pros:  beautiful natural timbre, full body without sacrificing detail, big driving power, solid and sexy construction, awesome volume knob, top-loaded audio outputs, format compatibility Cons: small screen, wheel control, hiss with a few IEMs (especially out of 2.5mm), no wireless connectivity (Bluetooth, DLNA, streaming, etc.) List Price: £1199 (Audio Sanctuary), $1299 (Todd The Vinyl Junkie)... Continue Reading →

Alpha & Delta D2M 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 →

Initial impressions: Unique Melody Mason v3

Introduction The Mason v3 is the flagship of the Unique Melody line. It is designed to be the technical master of the line-up. It doesn't disappoint. These are my first impressions off the Head-Fi Official European Unique Melody Mason v3 and Mentor v3 Tour. I posted an unboxing gallery here, and impressions of the Mentor... Continue Reading →

Initial impressions: Unique Melody Mentor v3

Introduction Over the weekend I gave you some pretty pictures, and I'm sure folks were thinking I was such a tease. I'm not! I put out [content], regularly. I'm not giving anyone blue-eyes here. Here are my initial impressions from the Unique Melody Mentor v3 to lead off the Head-Fi Official European Tour for the... 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 →

Unique Melody ME.1: a spacious stage with an organic and euphonic sound

Pros:  Big sound stage, smooth organic sound, no harshness to be found, euphonic, comfortable, open but not leaky Cons: Some detail is lost to give the euphonic sound, not extended on either side of the audio spectrum, source has bigger than average impact on sound (matching is important), isolation, big shell will not fit some... Continue Reading →

Empire Ears Zeus-XR – the pinnacle of the pantheon

Pros:  Sublime detail retrieval, very coherent tuning, switchable crossover modes, mid range clarity and expression, non fatiguing but truly transparent sound, superb build quality Cons: A little on the expensive side, prone to hiss with most sources, not a drastic difference between the two modes on some DAPs, not much else List Price: $2399 (empireears.com) Acknowledgment... Continue Reading →

Questyle QP2R – initial impressions (part 2 of 2)

Introduction This set of impressions follows on from my previous blog post about the QP2R (which you can find here), and concentrates mainly on the sonics and some comparisons with other gear. If you want to get the full picture, feel free to go back and read the first chapter - if you are the sort... Continue Reading →

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