TFZ Series 2 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 →

Focal Elear: dynamism with a dash of French flair

Pros:  Incredible dynamics and punch, crisp and detailed sound, good balance through the frequencies, rock solid build and comfort, decent bass weight, highly engaging sound Cons: Small soundstage for an open-back, dip in upper mids may not be to everyone’s taste, “always on” dynamics make this a little excitable for more mellow genres Price: £769 ($799,... Continue Reading →

Focal Utopia: unboxing and initial impressions

After reviewing the HiFiMAN Susvara, I wondered, and I'm sure many readers on this blog wondered, which of the Focal Utopia and the Susvara would be king of the mountain. Unfortunately, during the Susvara review, I didn't have both on hand to compare. Now I do, but I'm not going to tell you the result... Continue Reading →

Kinera H3: Unboxing and initial impressions

I was contacted about the Kinera H3 out of the blue. I had no idea who Kinera was, what they had done or whether I should say yes to reviewing their latest offering. Their representative gave me some time to think about it, I looked at their previous offering's reviews, and decided to go ahead.... Continue Reading →

HiFiMAN RE-2000: Initial impressions and unboxing

Tomorrow I'll be heading to Canjam London 2017 to meet once more with many audio geeks and average consumer's alike. I'll be seeing a good deal of audio friends, including Mark of HiFiMAN, who has provided me the opportunity to review their new single dynamic driver flagship IEMs, the RE-2000, and a few other things.... 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 →

Mee Pinnacle P1: breath rarified sound in this price bracket

Pros:  Clear, transparent sound, detailed, tight measured bass, sveldt and sexy metal shell, top tier price to performance ratio, brilliant accessories Cons: power hungry to get full performance, can be a touch bright List price: $199 (£139) Acknowledgment Thanks Tony at HiFi Headphones for letting me participate in the UK tour. It was fun as always.... Continue Reading →

Campfire Audio Vega: the diamond constellation with stellar sound

Pros: Huge bass presence while still managing to sound balanced, texture, incredible fullness, detail retrieval, treble clarity, emotional delivery of vocals Cons: Might be too heavy for some die-hard fans of a lean sound signature, not much else List Price: $1299 Website: http://campfireaudio.com/shop/vega/ Acknowledgments Thanks to Ken Ball and the team at Campfire Audio for giving... Continue Reading →

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