FiiO M6 DAP Review

June 16, 2019 § Leave a comment

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ASUS high-end smartphone DTS:X Ultra Audio

June 8, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Post-processing audio algorithms for speakers and headphones have also been redesigned for the Zenfone 6 to provide enhanced bass response, an “ultra-realistic” head tracker, and custom audio tuning for up to six pre-loaded headphone profiles, DTS said.

“Consumers choose smartphones based on their features and performance capabilities,” said Sumat Mehra, senior vice president and general manager, mobile at DTS parent company Xperi. “DTS:X Ultra technology enhances smartphone-based audio content, delivering a truly premium entertainment experience.”

DTS:X Ultra is also included in the gaming-focused ROG (Republic of Gamers) phone ASUS introduced last fall. DTS says the technology gives gamers a competitive edge by delivering “console-quality” audio on a mobile phone through both headphones and speakers”
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ASTELL&KERN A&FUTURA SE100 DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER $1699 REVIEW

June 3, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Headphone compatibility wasn’t an issue with the SE100. It had sufficient gain, even from its single-ended output, to drive Abyss Diana headphones and Beyerdynamic DT-990 600 Ohm headphones with no issues. At the other extreme, the SE100 exhibited no extraneous noise or hum when playing music through a set of 115 dB-sensitive EarSonics EM10 CIEMs.

Sonically the SE100 delivers the goods. If you want to tailor the sound, you can make and save your own EQ settings. My early Rolling Stones albums especially benefitted from some EQ adjustments. When I compared the default “normal” EQ settings with EQ off, the normal EQ setting had slightly lower volume coupled with a tighter, more controlled low end. I made several “UserEQ” configurations for “bad” recordings such as my Charlie Christian box set. I especially like the fact that you can easily erase especially egregious EQ experimentations.”

FIIO M11 $449 REVIEW

June 1, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Connection with all Bluetooth devices around is smooth and the experience is very much alike when you use your phones with other Bluetooth devices, no reconnection/ connection lost happened when I bring the device around for normal use and the signal strength is quite alike M6. Higher resolution codecs will only allow short distance connection as usual and the M11 works perfectly with Hiby W5 on LDAC mode. You could change the priority of Codec used for connection in the Audio menu.

The M11 doubles as a Bluetooth receiver and you could pair it with phones/ PCs for wireless playback, there are no glitches and it supports the ALL TO DSD function as well which means you could up-sample your songs from another host device during Bluetooth mode!”

Astell & Kern KANN Cube $1,499 Review

May 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Spending time with the Cube makes one realize the level of flexibility it offers owners. While it was initially easy for me to experience the Cube as a portable player, in today’s networked home it fits in as media server too. Hooking it up to the KEF LSX Wireless Speaker System I have at home was a snap, with the Cube seeing the LSX immediately. Playback through the two-channel wireless KEFs was less warm or analog-sounding than through wi-fi with Roon, but that’s a direct reflection of the Cube’s accuracy to source and its pull-no-punches playback ethos. This is a device of incredible resolution to its sonic signature; there’s no sweetening to the sound happening with the Cube. What you hear is what’s on the recording, great or not-so-great.”

IBASSO DX220 $899 REVIEW

May 13, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The DX200/AMP1 sound has this slight bloom of warmth in the lower mids, nothing extreme but enough to create a little softness in the tone of the DX200. The DX220 timbre is more neutral to my ear, not as soft and not as warm but nothing I would describe as overly analytical or cold sounding.

The control on the treble presence on the AMP1 MK2 is excellent and partly why the DX220 sounds a little more neutral in timbre compared to the AMP1 first gen. It injects a little more odd-harmonic presence in the DX220 instrumental and vocal timbre so notes sound a touch cleaner and more articulate.

The accuracy and details levels seem to have gone up a notch even if the overall lower-midrange instrumental body drops down marginally.”

FIIO M9 DAP REVIEW

May 10, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Using FiiO Link is easy and FiiO is promising even more integrated support. To start, make sure your smartphone has FiiO Music installed and the Bluetooth is enabled. Then on the M9 or other FiiO link supported device, enable Bluetooth and hit the switch on “Bluetooth decoding amp mode” and then turn Bluetooth on again. Open the FiiO Music app, hit the gears Settings icon and enable FiiO Link. Then on the smartphone’s FiiO Music app, also go down to FiiO Link, enable that and hit Client. And you’re good to go. This needs to be done every single time and so is painful at the moment but FiiO says they are working on making it more seamless. The experience of using FiiO Link with the M9 DAP is mind-boggling with it still in a beta phase. It feels like you are untethered from having the headphone wire going to your device as you go to change your song since you are now using your DAP remotely. The speed is great and delays are rare. You can effectively do almost all the functions of the M9 as you would normally using the app, from searching for songs, browsing your playlist, changing the volume and even favoriting. Album art gets downloaded only when you click into the song and what is shown is lower quality to save on size of caching, but is good enough as is.”

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