The HiFiMAN MegaMini – now in plastic, with a far better $99 price

Pros:  Tiny form factor, excellent build quality, nice looking, good even keeled sound, easy UI and intuitive control scheme, excellent value at $99 Cons: no external DAC, no gapless (on the way?), limited playlist capability, somewhat thin sound, dismal battery life (especially with HiRes) List Price: $99 Product website: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/hifiman-megamini-high-res-music-player-531.html Rating disclaimer: ratings for audio... 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 →

Audio-Opus Opus #1: a transparent reference quality DAP and a great start for a promising company

Pros: Uber transparent black background, balanced out, easy operating system, build quality, up to 432 GB of storage, battery saving mode, nice leather case Cons: Android in name only, did not successfully scan all tags, operating system not fully featured List Price: £399 ($399), available from HiFi Headphones in the UK, Musicteck in the USA.... Continue Reading →

Trinity Phantom Hunter – unboxing pictures

UPDATE 21/05/17 - new comparison pictures added against various IEMs (Campfire Vega, Andromeda etc) After one of the most awaited (to put it mildly) product launches on the Head-Fi forums, the Trinity Audio flagship 5-driver IEM (the Phantom Hunter) is now starting to arrive in mailboxes around the globe. If you are one of the many... Continue Reading →

Unboxing: Effect Audio Arthur and Excalibur

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, mostly. These are the most expensive headphones that have ever been in my house. These are $3799, and they look it. They've got 14 drivers per ear in a 2 low, 6 high, 6 mid configuration. They've got a cable made of super flexible ultra-comfortable Hip-Hop jewellery grade... Continue Reading →

Unboxing: ALO Continental v5 Portable Tube Amplifier

First, I'd like to say thank you to ALO Audio and Headpie for running the Facebook give-away for the ALO Continental v5. I was surprised and happy when I won it. The ALO Continental v5 is a tiny little amplifier. It's only the size of a pack of cards, which I suppose I should have... 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 →

iFi Micro iCAN SE: Powerful, clear, excellent sound with some sonic flexibility

Pros:  enough power to drive the HE-6/AKG K1000/name it to sufficient volume, very good sound, flexibility for different sound preferences, good value Cons: sounds dull without switches engaged, demanding headphones don’t reach potential in spite of copious power, lesser amps may sound better with lower demanding gear Acknowledgment Thanks iFi for lending me this review... Continue Reading →

Aune M1S: one of the most transparent DAPs I have heard, and only $249

Pros: It sounds amazing: black background, excellent dynamics, accurate and spacious stage, brilliant tonal accuracy; good line-out function; 2.5mm balanced out; 3 gain levels; excellent power output; intuitive control scheme; build quality; price Cons: No tag based browsing even though it reads tags, CUE based gapless (annoying), no EQ, no standalone DAC, no USB OTG, buttons... Continue Reading →

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