Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 $300 Review

March 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

“Time waits for no tech, especially in the world of wireless earbuds. Battery life is ever-increasing as new models arrive on the scene, as is the list of features on offer. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2s, to their credit, have evolved just as we hoped they would.

They are more comfortable and nicer to use than their predecessors, battery life is better and noise-cancelling is now included as part of the package. They’re easy to live with and you could happily listen to them for hours on end without reaching for the pause button. If your budget allows, your ears will be handsomely rewarded.”

Revel F226Be Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review

March 27, 2020 § Leave a comment

As with the Beryllium tweeters, there is more to the midrange design than simply utilizing exotic driver materials. The PerformaBE midrange and bass drivers have new motor structures designed for greater efficiency, dynamic range, and power handling, with reduced distortion and compression. As noted in our F228Be review, the crossovers in the PerformaBe series are high-order crossovers, which utilize all film capacitors and air core inductors in the midrange and tweeter circuits. The crossover point between the Beryllium tweeter and DCC midrange is 2.1kHz, with the midrange giving way to the woofers at 260 Hz. Given the similarities between the F228Be and F226Be, one should not be surprised to learn that they are both eight-ohm speakers with a rated sensitivity of 90 dB, although given the smaller size of the F226Be is overall, its 6dB-down point is at 36Hz instead of 27Hz in the F228Be.

Constellation Centaur II 500 Power Amplifier £64,998 Review

March 27, 2020 § Leave a comment

“But the amplifier is just as magical with the solo piano of Paul Lewis playing Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition [from Harmonia Mundi HMC 902096; 96kHz/24-bit], not only with the punchy rhythms of the faster-paced ‘pictures’, but also with the lovely limpid sense of the slower ones, with every note from Lewis’s instrument hanging in the acoustic of Berlin’s Teldex Studio. It’s a delicious sound, both lush and rich but at the same time tightly defined, just as it should be.

That this amplifier can rock is beyond question: its combination of speed, grip and sheer grunt ensures it drives speakers hard and tight with everything from the histrionics of Queen’s ‘Keep Yourself Alive’, from the band’s eponymous first album [Universal/Island UIGY-9510; DSD64] through to the refined soft rock of ‘Listen To What The Man Said’ from Paul McCartney’s Pure McCartney retrospective [Concord Music Group/MPL HRM-38690-02; 44.1kHz/24-bit]. The agility of this amp, belying its apparent status as a big ol’ bruiser, is consistently in evidence, to exceptionally satisfying effect.”

Meze Rai Solo In-ear Monitors Review

March 27, 2020 § Leave a comment


March 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

“It’s a very ordered and beautiful sound, which might not bond it to those who equate bright and thin with ‘better’; this is a full, rich, and satisfying presentation and to many, it will be like trying good chocolate after years of cheap candy bars. That sense of naturalness comes across as an expansive, dynamic, and detailed sound that makes you listen deeper. Oddly, I found myself less bothered by itchy ear cups, as I sat in front of entire movements or whole opera acts. No, it doesn’t come with built-in anti-histamines; instead the HVA‑1’s performance is so musically honest, it takes you longer to reach your listening limits. But perhaps the biggest part to the c-j sound is that it just keeps on going. Your headphones sound as if this was where they always wanted to be, music seems to be an effortless element that you hear without any form of electronicky hash or harshness, and all’s right in the sonic world. The traditional audio world has its share of very expensive products that go for ultimate sound quality above the traditional roll-out of specifications, and now that happens in the personal audio world, too. Some will be infuriated by the sheer existence of this product, others will just hear it and buy it!”

Astell&Kern KANN CUBE

March 26, 2020 § Leave a comment


March 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Although the Elegia uses a closed enclosure, it has two vents; one is part of the driver itself while the second vent is actually built into the logo design in the centre of the earcup. The entire earcup design has been optimised to an ideal volume for optimal decompression and damping. It uses both internal diffusers as well as EVA foam to break up any standing waves and spread the energy evenly throughout the enclosure. According to Focal, “The main objective here being at all costs to prevent the energy emitted by the back wave from returning to the speaker driver cone and thus turning into an additional unwanted sound signal.” Even Elegia’s microfiber earpads got a redesign so as to optimize their isolating abilities while enhancing their comfort and preserving Elegia’s high acoustic impedance.”

The HEDDphone!

March 25, 2020 § Leave a comment


March 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

Perhaps the acid test of the No. 5805 came when casually listening to a series of YouTube clips through the optical input, being fed from my TV. I had a few friends come round, and I’m not ashaimed to say we all got a bit ‘refreshed’ and had given up on regular music and video entertainment and engaged in a spot of random YouTube clip watching instead. Over the course of the evening, we churned through everything from Frankie Boyle insulting his audience, through the ‘let’s play the most obscure piece of music you can find’ game, and eventually to essentially giggling at silly memes and Mitchell & Webb clips. Eventually, we gave up when trying to count just how many SS soldiers Clint Eastwood shot up in each clip of Where Eagles Dare, and carriages (well, Ubers) awaited the revellers. Then it struck me. I had managed to turn on, use, enjoy, and turn off, a high-end audio system – while drunk and in the company of fellow members of the ‘inebriati’ – switch it to play from TOSlink, play it loud and enjoyable enough to shout down ‘The Knights Tippler’ and nothing went ‘bang!’, nothing required adult supervision, and fun was had. In contrast, had I been using a more conventional high-end system, I’d have never even thrown the first switch!”


March 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

I tried some of the adjustments on the back and got the sort of results that are predicted in the manual; increasing Presence makes the balance a bit fruity and increasing the Mid setting makes the midrange a little bit exposed for my room/system/ears. However, it’s great to have these options which can be used like sophisticated image and tone controls, albeit without bass adjustment, which is often necessary to compensate for room vagaries. I preferred them flat especially where drums are involved, here the dynamics and speed of the bass, in particular, comes into its own — revealing everything that’s going on in the mix with phenomenal timing accuracy. “

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