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 →

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 →

Sonus Faber Pryma 0/1 – darkly fashionable

Pros:  Quality build, unusual look, rich sound with a smooth and velvety midrange and warm, enveloping bass, decent layering Cons: Can sound veiled / rolled off in the treble compared to other over-ears in the same price range, slightly closed in soundstage Price: £399.00 (PRYMA) Acknowledgment I acquired these over-ears in a trade deal with a... Continue Reading →

iFi iDSD Black Label: Swiss Army knife utility, top tier sound and flexibility that does everything extremely well, so much value it’s just unfair to the competition

Pros:  enough power to drive an HE-6 while having enough finesse to feed a Kaiser Encore, plays everything natively, flexible inputs and outputs, flexible sound through XBass and 3D that leaves the core of the mids alone Cons: 3D can sound artificial on some tracks, black on black fonts, difficult to see volume knob level... Continue Reading →

RHA DACAMP L1: flexible like a yogi [with the right headphones]

Pros:  Good tonality, 12 steps of treble and bass adjustment, lovely volume knob, good pairing with RHA CL1 and CL750, power output good for all IEMs, excellent format compatibility, fantastic sound when fed by a DAP Cons: Impedance too high on balanced output (4.4Ω), soundstage somewhat small compared to competition, amplification too weak for hungry... Continue Reading →

Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered (UERR): who says reference isn’t musical?

Pros:  Airy big soundstage, lovely treble and bass, precision and speed, noise isolation, neutral tonality, excellent tool for reviewing, look awesome Cons: Can’t share how wonderful they sound with friends, can be a touch thick on some vocals List price: $999 (£870) Acknowledgment Thanks Mike Diaz at Ultimate Ears for supplying these as a review... Continue Reading →

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