oBravo Cupid – first impressions of something unexpected and brilliant

Would you believe me if I told you that I'm enjoying the £249 oBravo Cupid as much as any oBravo I've listened to? The oBravo line-up is notoriously picky with amplification, including the £8999 Ra C-Cu. Each of the ERIB and EAMT hybrid series has several flavours with different sound according to housing material (warm wood, 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 →

IMR Acoustics R1 Zenith Review – Part 1 (initial impressions and unboxing)

Introduction and acknowledgement The R1 Zenith is the sophomore outing from UK based IEM manufacturer IMR Acoustics, following on from their well received R1 model. The Zenith is a revision of the original rather than a completely different beast, sporting an improved design and some refinements to the unique tuning and porting system that the... 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 →

Unboxing(s): Unique Melody Mason v3 and Mentor v3

These came in late last week. They've now headed off to the first participants in the European tour. Twelve lucky participants will enjoy one of this pair. If you'd like to follow the impressions of the tour participants and see as their reviews on Head-Fi pop up, go check out the tour thread. Box worship... 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 →

Empire Ears Athena – the goddess of Olympus

  Ratings Pros: Impeccable build quality, balanced but musical tuning, incredible sense of smoothness, good note weight, fantastic midrange, good clarity Cons: May lack air in the treble for some, can take a little time to adjust to the tuning, extension/quantity in the sub bass area could be better Price (as of Dec 2017): $1299 Website:   Empire Ears... Continue Reading →

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