Bristol HiFi 2019: best audio show in Britain, even better with friends

Bristol HiFi (previously known as Bristol Sound & Vision) organised by Audio T and What HiFi is the biggest audio show in the UK. It's huge, taking over 4+ floors of the Bristol Marriott with over 100 brands on exhibition. Many new technologies are debuted here and it's a good place to have identify gear... 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 →

Focal Utopia: a detail and instrument separation monster with some limitations

Pros:  detailed, revealing, outstanding depth and instrument separation, punchy engaging listen, speedy like a coked up F1 driver Cons: compact soundstage for a flagship (small width/height), poor accessories, long-term comfort, listening fatigue, $$$$, sensitive to accessory cables (you’ll probably buy at least one) List Price: £3499 (UK, Audio Sanctuary), $4000 globally Product Website: https://www.focal.com/uk/headphones/home/utopia Rating... Continue Reading →

Acoustica show 2018 impressions: some speakers are magic

The Acoustica Audio Show is an small audio show that Geoff Coleman of Acoustica has been putting on for the last 5 years. It attracts a pretty good local crowd and has a good variety of exhibitors with about 25 brands represented across the rooms. This was my first time going to a small scale... Continue Reading →

Headed off to the Acoustica Show in Chester

I'm heading off to another audio show today. This one isn't so well known outside the region I'm in, but if you are near Chester, the Acoustica show is worth checking out. The show will feature product debuts from ATC Loudspeakers, AURALiC, Kudos, Leema Acoustics, Roon, and Spendor. There is also loads of vinyl to... Continue Reading →

Bristol Sound & Vision 2018: AKG, Creek, EPOS, Rega, ELAC, Exposure, Audioquest, Focal, Wilson Benesch and Best in Show

In which I listen to two of my favourite headphones of the show, the AKG K812 and the Focal Clear, do a power demo and listen to some more speakers. Links to part 1 and part 2. Stay tuned all the way to the end to be rewarded with my ‘best-in-show’ items. AKG The AKG... 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 →

Bristol Sound & Vision 2018: Pioneer, Audio Technica, Quad, Ophidian Audio, Acoustic Energy, Prism Sound (part 2)

Read further for tiny speakers with big sound and professional audio produced for consumers. There's headphones too. Pioneer The Pioneer setup was running the SE-Master 1 (£1699) from the Pioneer U-05 (£540) DAC/Headphone Amp combo with the Pioneer XDP-300R (£459). I’ve checked all these elements out before, but haven’t covered them for the blog. I... Continue Reading →

XIAUDIO (Eleven Audio) Formula S: Power and clarity sublimated

Pros:  Crystal clear, exceptional imaging and depth, resolution and detail (especially bass texture) power for HiFiMAN Susvara, grace for Focal Utopia, excellent outputs, built like a tank Cons: not for low impedance high sensitivity IEMs, price List Price: $3499 Product Website: http://www.theevolutionofsound.com/xiaudio-formula-s/ Introduction Alex Twister introduced me to Michael Xiao, proprietor of Eleven Audio, formerly... Continue Reading →

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