Chord Electronics Hugo TT 2 Review

August 23, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The Hugo TT 2 sports a host of useful digital inputs: two optical, two coaxial BNC, one driverless USB (for use with tablets and smartphones), one USB Type-B, and an aptX Bluetooth interface. Analog outputs include: stereo XLR, stereo RCA, two 6.35mm headphone jacks, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. One set of dual DX BNC digital (expansion) outputs is also provided. By design, the Hugo TT offers three distinct operating modes: “DAC mode” with fixed line-level outputs, “Amp mode” with variable-level rear-panel outputs, and “Headphone mode” with variable-level outputs from front-panel-mounted headphone jacks.

The amplifier section of Hugo TT 2 is very powerful, delivering up to 7.3W at 8 ohms in single-ended mode or a stonking 18W at 8 ohms in balanced mode. For this reason, and with headphone/hearing protection in mind, Chord Electronics advises owners to start out with extremely low volume level settings and to proceed with appropriate caution. ”

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Cocktail Audio HA500H MQA DAC, pre-amp and HP ampc Review

August 16, 2019 § Leave a comment

Cayin iHA-6 Headphone Amp, iDAC-6 DAC, and iDAP-6 Digital Audio Player Review

August 5, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“I was delighted, too, to find the iHA-6/iDAC-6 pair had sufficient transparency and power to take full advantage of my reference Abyss, Final, and HiFiMan headphones, which is saying a mouthful (especially in the case of the very difficult to drive HiFiMan Susvara). At the same time, with its gain setting backed down to “Low,” the iHA-6 proved quiet enough for use with my extremely sensitive Campfire Audio Atlas earphones.”

Sony DMP-Z1 digital music player $8500 Review

August 3, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Until I began working exclusively from home, my constant companion on my daily commute was the PonoPlayer I’d bought after reviewing it in April 2015. It may seem absurd to compare the $8500 Sony with the Pono, which cost $399 when last available, but I’ve racked up more hours listening through headphones with the Pono than with any other product. With the Audeze LCD-Xes, which are more revealing than the AudioQuest NightHawks, the high frequencies in “The Mooche” had more top-octave air with the DMPZ1, letting me better hear the subtle acoustic of Blue Heaven Studios, in Salina, Kansas. At the other end of the spectrum, the double bass in James Brown’s “Please, Please, Please” had a weightier body tone through the Sony, though this recording’s rather rough mid-treble sounded a touch smoother through the Pono. A case of Authority (Sony) vs Acceptable (Pono).”

Keces S3 DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Preamplifier Review

August 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The Keces Audio S3 really does everything one might ask of it, and does it impressively well. While it can be used as a quality stand-alone headphone amp, a highly resolving dedicated DAC, or even a simple but excellent preamp, I believe the biggest value comes when combining multiple functions. The headphone listener who wants a single-box DAC/amp solution capable of driving pretty much any full-size headphone should give it serious consideration. And if said user might also integrate speakers into the mix – either active monitors or passives with a separate amp – they will find the S3 to be a superb control center for the entire setup. It satisfies my previously mentioned criteria of features plus sound quality, in a compact and well built package, for a price that is surely advantageous compared to buying separate components. For that, the S3 is enthusiastically recommended.

Schiit Audio’s Modi Multibit DAC Review

July 31, 2019 § Leave a comment

CanJam London 2019 Preview

July 22, 2019 § Leave a comment

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