Bristol HiFi 2019: best audio show in Britain, even better with friends

Bristol HiFi (previously known as Bristol Sound & Vision) organised by Audio T and What HiFi is the biggest audio show in the UK. It's huge, taking over 4+ floors of the Bristol Marriott with over 100 brands on exhibition. Many new technologies are debuted here and it's a good place to have identify gear... Continue Reading →

The HiFiMAN HE1000 v2 – a triumph of engineering and sonic performance

Pros: Beautiful sound, good stage, nice timbre, bass improved over v1, unique styling, super comfortable, price to performance, prefer it to the Focal Utopia Cons: included cables don’t look premium, mediocre cable sound quality, could use a practical carrying case, not the Susvara List Price: $2999 Product website: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/he-1000.html Introduction I’ve been a big fan... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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