HiFiMAN RE2000 Gold and Silver: fantastic audio quality, fubar construction

Pros:  Well controlled extended bass, tight linear sound, impressive stage width, excellent resolution and dynamics, lovely timbre Cons: Slight recession in mids, poor shell design for mid to small size ears, there are better built IEMs for under $200 List Price: $1500 (Silver), $2000 (Gold) Product Website: RE2000 Silver, RE2000 (Gold) Pros and cons are... Continue Reading →

Kumitate Lab KL-Sirius: four sweet drivers in a sexy acrylic shell

Pros:  Silky mids, delicate treble, scale with upgrades, excellent technical performance, good stage width and depth Cons: Reference bass (meaning light), minimal sub-bass, lack of accessories, stock cable is too thin List Price: $800.00 (¥90,000 JPY) Product Website: http://www.kumitatelab.com/kl-sirius/?sl=en Rating Disclaimer: ratings are subjective. Audio quality and value do not mean the same thing across... 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 →

Initial impressions: Unique Melody Mason v3

Introduction The Mason v3 is the flagship of the Unique Melody line. It is designed to be the technical master of the line-up. It doesn't disappoint. These are my first impressions off the Head-Fi Official European Unique Melody Mason v3 and Mentor v3 Tour. I posted an unboxing gallery here, and impressions of the Mentor... Continue Reading →

Initial impressions: Unique Melody Mentor v3

Introduction Over the weekend I gave you some pretty pictures, and I'm sure folks were thinking I was such a tease. I'm not! I put out [content], regularly. I'm not giving anyone blue-eyes here. Here are my initial impressions from the Unique Melody Mentor v3 to lead off the Head-Fi Official European Tour for the... 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 →

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 →

QP2R Cases: Miter vs. Spyker

Introduction The Questyle QP2R is a nice-looking piece of kit, and I want to keep it that way, so I was already looking for a case for it before anybody offered me one to review. I looked at Dignis, but they were way expensive, unavailable, or both. I looked at Miter, but I wasn’t sure... 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 →

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