Stealth Sonics U4: love or hate bass

Pros: Confusingly powerful bass in a fully balanced armature setup—how the heck you do that Stealth Sonics!?, better with faceplate off, high quality stock cable, includes microphone cable (flexibility+), lightweight, ability to alter bass tuning (removable faceplate) Cons: bass rides everything (this may be positive for bassheads, but wasn't for me), midbass distortion (texture loss... Continue Reading →

WAVAYA Octa: a porcelain dream

Pros: Superlative upper mids, superlative treble, cymbals and violins are voiced wonderfully, drum timbre, excellent instrument separation, good stage depth, nice looks, well-controlled bass with good extension, beautiful leather case, Linum SuperBaX cable has great sound and fantastic ergonomics, less wax build-up with porcelain Cons: touch of warmth can lean a bit away from neutral,... Continue Reading →

Unique Melody Mason V3 review: mastering the details at terminal velocity

Pros: Remarkably detailed, natural treble extension, deep bass extension, speed to dominate even the fastest tracks, flexible tuning with dB-Go and ‘Dual Tone’ cable, big soundstage, timbre, bass texture, revealing details previously unnoticed and giving new life to old music, can battle with full size headphones for stage Cons: large universal shell, price, cable is... 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 →

Kumitate Lab KL-Sirius: four sweet drivers in a sexy acrylic shell

Pros:  Silky mids, delicate treble, scale with upgrades, excellent technical performance, good stage width and depth Cons: Reference bass (meaning light), minimal sub-bass, lack of accessories, stock cable is too thin List Price: $800.00 (¥90,000 JPY) Product Website: http://www.kumitatelab.com/kl-sirius/?sl=en Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio quality and value do not mean the same thing across... Continue Reading →

iFi DC iPurifier2: deeper stage, improved clarity, and texture from a power device

Pros:  improved depth, blacker background, crisper highs, more refined overall sound, small, flexible voltage/amperage/wattage (works with most DC wall wart type sources), great set of adaptors, inexpensive Cons: improvements are small (can’t rule out placebo effect), effect will depend on system quality (more noticeable with better headphone), will be more cost-effective improvements for many, attracts ridicule like... Continue Reading →

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 →

Aune S6: warm, thick, impressive low end grunt

Pros:  Full bodied sound, nice information display, balanced inputs and outputs, digital numeric volume display Cons: single-ended sound is foggy, soft treble, only DSD128 (DoP), volume control has no feel to it, could have more bass and treble extension List Price: $569 (Penon Audio, affiliate link) Product Website: http://en.auneaudio.com Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio... Continue Reading →

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