Hifiman Jade II $2,500 Revoiew

April 15, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The amp is as about as solid state as you can get in terms of a sound signature with a fast, punchy and precise sound that err’s a little to the dry side with a slightly bright upper register. It actually sounds very good with the MrSpeakers VOCE and Stax 007 MK2 and there does not seem to be any lack of power either.

Just as a quick test we switched all the headphones to the Enterprise Lite E tube stats amp and the Jade II headphones did sound wetter with a bit more body in the lower-mids. Treble also sounded a touch smoother as well. Quite an impressive pairing overall.”

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Ultrasone Edition 15 Headphone Review $2999

April 10, 2019 § Leave a comment

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The icing on the sonic cake is Ultrasone’s choice of treble balance. The Edition 15s are ever so slightly rolled off or shelved in the upper registers, but this avoids calling unnatural attention to the upper octaves. Many high-end audio products sound a little edgy, clinical, sharp, or brittle in an effort to maximize perceived resolution. This is not, however, how live music actually sounds when it is most engaging. By avoiding gratuitous brightness the Edition 15 invites you to enjoy the music. At the same time, it offers clear, extended high frequencies, successfully revealing venue acoustics and overtones.”

HiFiMan Jade II Electrostatic Headphone System Full $2499 Review

March 30, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Finally, I’d like to comment on soundstage. This may seem like a strange thing to discuss when evaluating headphones because we’ve all come to expect any imaging produced by a pair of headphones to be inside of our heads. I expected no more or no less when I first donned this pair of Jade II’s and to be honest, I was not disappointed. The soundstage was indeed in my head just as I expected. But, after giving them a hundred hours of break-in, I was flabbergasted to find that these phones actually image in a much more speaker-like manner than any headphone set that I had ever experienced before! For the first time the image was outside of my head and in front of me. I realize that it’s an illusion, but it is a very satisfying one! If one keeps one’s head relatively still, the soundstage that one hears is stable with great image specificity and a wide deep presentation. You’ll not be fooled into thinking that you are listening to stereo speakers, But it will be such a breath of fresh air after living with ordinary headphones, that you won’t really care.”

IBASSO SR1 REVIEW $500

March 30, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The SR1 has an interesting tuning on the low-end. It does not have an obvious sub-bass bias like Beyer’s DT1170 Pro but it is nevertheless very solid and planted sounding. Part of that is the punch and warmth delivered from an elevated midbass bias and a moderate elevation right at the very low-end of the FR around 20-40Hz.

In between, there is a slight dip in the measurements so it is not a linear tuning, suggesting a little bit of separation which, compared with the DT1770 Pro, might explain why it is not as dominating as it could have been on the SR1.

 

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HiFiMAN Shangri-La Electrostatic Headphone and Tube Amplifier $8000 Review

March 24, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Junior’s attractive amplifier is more compact and less ambitious than the awesome one provided with Senior, but it is still a honey. It borrows a similar circuit from the larger Senior amp’s design and also uses a stepped-attenuator volume control to keep the signal pure. While certainly not portable, the Junior amplifier is easily “luggable” and fits comfortably on a desk, tabletop, or nightstand. Its input stage, using four matched 6SN7N tubes, produces a wide soundstage and musicality in spades. The Junior amp is a hybrid, mating a Class A solid-state output stage with the tube input stage. It is able to drive difficult loads, and at the recent AXPONA show drove both the Shangri-La Senior and Junior simultaneously via its two five-pin electrostatic headphone jacks. Some show attendees plugged their Stax headphones into the amp and reported very good results. The Junior’s amp (available separately for $5000) is worthy of a separate review—it’s that good!”

Sony WH-1000XM3 vs. TaoTronics TT-BH060: Comparison

March 21, 2019 § Leave a comment

Audeze LCD-4z Planar Magentic Headphone $3995 Review

March 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“In many respects, the Audeze LCD-4z comes surprisingly close to the performance of the best electrostats in fine-detail retrieval, transparency, coherence, openness, and clarity. It should appeal to those who want top-tier performance in an easier-to-drive and more comfortable package than the in LCD-4. While its price tag may be a bit daunting, when compared to reference headphones, as well as loudspeaker systems costing many times more, the LCD-4z is arguably something of a bargain. If you want the best, make sure you audition the LCD-4z”

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