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 →

RHA CL750: excellent value, assuming you have a decent amp on your portable gear

Pros:  Stellar build quality, excellent price, comfortable, fantastic quality cable, excellent clarity, good bass control, balanced signature Cons: Hard to drive, average soundstage List Price: £99 ($129) Acknowledgment The RHA CL750 was provided to me in exchange for running the UK leg of the RHA world-wide tour for the release of the DACAMP L1, CL1,... Continue Reading →

Massdrop x MEE Audio Pinnacle PX: the MEE Pinnacle P1 gets even more affordable

Pros: Stellar balanced sound, an absolute steal at $113.99, top of the class instrument separation in the price tier Cons: Difficult to drive, your phone won't do it justice, abandon all hope ye' iPhone as source people. Average soundstage. List Price: $113.99 Acknowledgement The Massdrop x MEE Pinnacle PX was supplied to me by Massdrop in exchange... Continue Reading →

Questyle QP2R – initial impressions (part 1 of 2)

One of the most popular and critically acclaimed digital audio players (DAPs) in audiophile circles over the last few years has been the QP1R from Questyle Audio. Audio Primate have been lucky enough to be given a sneak preview of the successor to Questyle's current flagship (the QP2R), which is due for global release in... Continue Reading →

TheBit Opus #3: stellar sound, Android features still under construction

Pros:  Excellent tonality, good soundstage width, very detailed, balanced output with good power, solid build quality, leather case (not included by default everywhere) Cons: Horrible app implementation, navigation niggles, DLNA music app sounds substantially worse than standard music app, tiny hardware buttons, wobbly volume knob Price: $899 (€899) (Haven’t found UK shop with it yet)... Continue Reading →

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 →

Blue Microphones Ella – the new first lady of planar magnetic headphones

Pros:  Crisp and detailed sound, good dynamics, excellent sense of musicality for a “neutral” tuning, exceptional spatial cues, good comfort, onboard amp circuitry to make the driveable by just about anything, ON+ mode for a more “analogue” sound Cons: Unusual headphone construction leaves you feeling like an extra from Dr Who, could do with a... Continue Reading →

FiiO X5iii: the giant killer that wasn’t

Pros:  Size is nice in the hand, solid build, 2 micro-SD slots for tons of storage, Google Play Store, minimal skinning on Android, good functional interface, Quick Charge, excellent USB DAC function, full-featured Cons: Sound is very mid-fi, hiss with sensitive IEMs, button layout not terribly ergonomic, weak/poor Bluetooth, limited amplification, crowded bottom end, coaxial... Continue Reading →

Effect Audio Ares II+: Smooth shimmering heavy metal value

Pros:  Beautiful, a bit more airy and detailed than stock cable, smoothed some sharper treble on Kaiser Encore, perfect size pins, precise tight bass with good impact, bigger stage than stock Cons: chunky, a bit heavy on the ear, paint wears off easily, 2-pin connector shell is glued List Price: $219.90 Acknowledgment I received the... Continue Reading →

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