December 2, 2017 § Leave a comment

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” the DAC section. I’d suggest the DAC in the InPol Ear should be a mandatory recommendation as it works exceptionally well, and matches the performance of the rest of the amplifier. It’s aimed more at sheer detail retrieval, and that works well with the overall InPol Ear performance. If I am being picky, I’d prefer more of an on-board streaming solution, so that aspects like Internet radio, TIDAL, and maybe even Roon were functions of the InPol Ear with the built in DAC, but for the most part, I suspect the InPol Ear will sit next to a laptop, and both the Ethernet streaming option and app control are more of a nice add-on than a useful function of the device. Judging by my own use, I used the Ethernet connection to evaluate the Ethernet connection, and listened through USB.”



November 25, 2017 § Leave a comment


“From the outset, the Black Label offered the smooth, engaging, and highly musical presentation we’ve come to expect from iFi and AMR components, but with a significant twist. Specifically, the Black Label offered audibly enhanced transient speed, definition, clarity, and resolution vis-à-vis the iFi models that preceded it. As a result the Black Label breaks with past iFi tradition in a good way, offering a sound that finds the just-right balance point between natural warmth and inviting musicality on the one hand, coupled with dramatic levels of focus, detail, and transient agility on the other. Musically speaking, this combination of sonic virtues is simply intoxicating.”


October 30, 2017 § Leave a comment

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“Aroma is a company to watch, their first offering hit it out of the park. If you have one of those really expensive DAPs that needs an external amplifier, or if you would just rather use your phone for your music source, then the A10 is a must have, even if you are only using IEMs, and at a reasonable price. If you are looking for a signal processor that will make a product that actively sounds bad, sound better, then the A10 is not that, but there are plenty of DSP apps that can do the job better than an external amplifier that is in effect degrading the sound (even if you like the results), but if you want to get the most out of your source and headphones then the A10 is a great choice.”

Fiio Q1 MKII Review

October 26, 2017 § Leave a comment


“The Q1 has nice bass extension but sub-bass notes have a slightly softer, looser impact. Mid-bass is slightly elevated, granting additional fullness to its low-end, but also some added bloat when compared to cleaner, more linear sources. This sap a little texture and definition from bass notes though more mid-forward or cooler earphones such as the Rose BR5 MKII find great synergy with the Q1 MKII’s slightly larger bass notes. The Q1 MKII also benefits from a larger stage and generally impressive clarity that aids separation. Otherwise, bass is surprisingly linear, the Q1 MKII is tighter and more defined than its predecessor and appreciably more balanced than similarly priced sources like the Hidizs AP60 that utilize the same DAC chip.”

McIntosh’s New MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier $700

October 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

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“Why am I covering the release of the new McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier? A few reasons; 1) McIntosh is one brand that sells itself because it has the best brand recognition in the industry (think blue glow), 2) Most people like to buy things that they find attractive (there’s nothing wrong with that, even in hi-fi), and 3) We tend to ignore these 2 very important things.

Massdrop $449.99 Chord Mojo Portable DAC/Amp

September 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

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“Price drop at massdrop $449.99

Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC / Headphone Amplifier $2,200 Review

August 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

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“What’s more, it was abundantly clear that the Hugo 2 was not holding either amplifier back. The Hugo 2 has a very nice, wide soundscape, and paired with the Rogue RH-5, which is one of the widest sounding amps I’ve heard, the sheer openness of the combo was absolutely jaw-dropping. Playing with the adjustable crossfeed on this combo with the Sennheiser HD800 was especially interesting, as you could hear the dimensions of the soundscape change in dramatic fashion.”

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