Lark Studio LSX Review: warm, refined, impactful, lush bassy goodness

Pros: Bass that competes with good dynamic drivers, silky mids, tiny shell size, excellent Rhapsodio cable, excellent overall build quality, good selection of tips, custom same price as universal, very competitive value proposition Cons: Rhapsodio cable currently only available single-ended, source dependent sonic precision, some sources will be too warm for some, trades some detail... 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 →

iFi iEMatch 2.5mm: hiss busting miracle worker in a tiny magnesium suit

Pros:  I can listen to sensitive IEMs on the Questyle QP2R now without being swallowed by hiss, nice diamond dust feel and look to the casing, simple to use, lightweight, takes pressure off of 2.5mm jack Cons: 2.5mm jack isn’t flush with barrel, original iEMatch less expensive List Price: $69 Product Website: https://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/accessory-iematch2-5 Rating Disclaimer:... Continue Reading →

iFi Nano iDSD Black Label: great genes in this DAC family, wallet happy price

Pros:  Excellent transparent sound, small size, outstanding price, driving power for HD600, iEMatch built in, iPurifier built in, excellent 3.5mm line-out, two good filters, huge format compatibility Cons: Silk-screen writing is damn near impossible to read, doesn’t come with short OTG cable (one would be better than none), doesn’t come with USB3.0 adaptor so not... 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 →

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 →

Unique Melody Miracle: a smooth operator

Pros:  Smooth pleasing signature, laid back, isolation, deep rich bass, detail retrieval and imaging Cons: Soft tonality, slightly diffuse bass, soundstage merely average, like some amplification to sound their best List Price: $1049 (musicteck.com) Acknowledgment I’d like to thank Lawrance of Unique Melody for loaning audioprimate.blog the Miracle V2 in exchange for honest opinions. You... Continue Reading →

Unboxing: Double Helix Cables Symbiote SP V3 OCC Silver Type 4 Litz IEM Cable 8-braid

Peter Bradstock of Double Helix Cables doesn't bullshit. He just makes awesome cables from the most conductive materials available. He uses OCC and Type 4 Litz because these improve sound not because they look fancy. Peter is super refreshing to talk to. He doesn't sell snake-oil, he just sells well-made (in the USA) cables that... Continue Reading →

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