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 →

CanJam London 2018, Part 1: Vision Ears, Shanling, Unique Melody, Jomo Audio, Empire Ears, JPS Labs, and 600 Reapers

This year I only had one day for CanJam, so I made a checklist of things that I wanted to hear and the pictures I needed to take. I had 34 items on my list to hit in a little over 8 hours. I hit that number, I think, but not all the ones I... 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 →

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