RHA CL2 Planar Review: exudes class but sonically outclassed by less expensive units

Pros: Generally crowd-pleasing sound signature: not bright like RHA’s other products, more warmth; forgiving sound signature; ceramic shell is pretty, nearly indestructible, and ergonomic; 3 good cables included alongside tons of tips; build quality; 3 year warranty; active customer service Cons: soft veil over the mids, some mid-bass emphasis and minor bleed, needs more treble... Continue Reading →

HiFiMAN Jade II Electrostatic Headphone and Amplifier Review: inviting electrostat

Pros: Silky mids, balanced sound signature, fluid and detailed treble, treble that contrasts favourably to other electrostats, comfortable earpads, lightweight, that cool jade green dust-cover on the drivers Cons: Tangle prone flat cable, amp isn’t completely silent and takes several hours to warm up (leave it on if you like listening), not as comfortable as... Continue Reading →

WAVAYA Tria Live! Review: balanced beautiful porcelain

Pros: balanced sound, crisp clear mids, good bass texture, value for money, beautiful leather case, Linum BaX cable has fantastic ergonomics and has a solid tour-proof connector, less wax build-up and better thermal management with porcelain vs. acrylic Cons: case not big enough for most aftermarket cables, case not a bombproof piece of tour kit,... Continue Reading →

Stealth Sonics U4: love or hate bass

Pros: Confusingly powerful bass in a fully balanced armature setup—how the heck you do that Stealth Sonics!?, better with faceplate off, high quality stock cable, includes microphone cable (flexibility+), lightweight, ability to alter bass tuning (removable faceplate) Cons: bass rides everything (this may be positive for bassheads, but wasn't for me), midbass distortion (texture loss... 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 →

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 →

Campfire Audio Atlas; the hills are alive with the sound of BASS

Pros: glorious subwoofer bass, detailed mids, balanced treble, precise stage, bass is powerful with rest of the signature balanced Cons: heavy housing can make fit difficult Price: $1299 Website: Campfire Audio Introduction and acknowledgement For most audiophiles following the current in-ear monitor scene, the brand Campfire Audio should require no introduction. The Portland outfit sprang... Continue Reading →

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