February 10, 2023 Comments Off on ASTELL&KERN KANN MAX REVIEW

With the KANN MAX, you get the typical Astell&Kern approach to sound. That means a more neutral tuning with a normal amount of body (weight), and a high technical level with plenty of energy. Combine all that and you get a precise yet musical sounding DAP.

The MAX has excellent PRaT and the presentation is spacious and airy, especially in the mid region. Sound stage-wise the MAX also performs well, even though the highest-end DAPS still up the level a bit. What I really like with the MAX is the depth and layering you get, especially in the bass and mid sections. With the ESS DACs, you just know the KANN MAX will be a strong performer when it comes to precision, detail and revealing all the musical details. The note extension is a pleasure to the ear. I must admit, I really like listening to AK DAPs.

The Astell& Kern KANN MAX is the kind of DAP that grows on you. It doesn’t seem to be spectacular at first sight, but for some reason you keep going back to it. That’s usually an indication the DAP is doing multiple things right!

I have been mostly using KANN MAX when on the go, but it also often (together with the SP3000) is my to go to DAP at home for late night listening sessions. The MAX doesn’t only sound good (typical AK style), it also is beautiful, well built and very easy to use. It also has a nice number of features and personalization, as well as streaming possibilities.

The only thing I am missing with the KANN, is the new UI of the SP3000. I am not sure we’ll see something similar in the future with the KANN series, but I do hope it will improve and fix the screen reactivity. While it certainly is a powerful DAP, I with the majority harder to drive headphones didn’t quite find them to perform at the same level as with a desktop setup. But hook up a not so tough to drive full-sized headphone, and the KANN MAX will impress.



January 14, 2023 Comments Off on SHANLING M6 ULTRA REVIEW

The M6 Ultra, just like the other Shanling DAPs, feels great in the hand, and the aluminium chassis has good weight and toughness. The premium feeling is close to the A&K and Sony players. The sides of the player feel great in particular when holding the device. This is one of the best portable compact players I’ve held in terms of overall feeling and quality. It even gives a better feeling than the flagship M9 with its compact body. That M9 is massive.



Sometimes I wonder what the 17-year-old me would think of the incredible equipment I use to listen to music now. I’m sure the FiiO FD5-BTR7 would have blown me away. To have such a sweet-sounding device for music playback in the palm of my hand, is still mind-boggling. I may not have the same ears as I did back then, but my love of music is as strong as ever. Listening to music through the BTR7, reinforced that love.

FiiO M11S Review

December 16, 2022 Comments Off on FiiO M11S Review


November 30, 2022 Comments Off on ASTELL&KERN A&ULTIMA SP3000 DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER $3,700 REVIEW

The Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP3000 is like having the portable audio equivalent of a high-performance luxury sport sedan in your jacket pocket. It’s heaver, has all the bells and whistles (more than you can count in many respects), is built to an impeccable luxurious standard, is intuitive to use, brimming with technology, and with a particular focus on edge-of-the-apex performance. It is a thing of both sonic and physical beauty and as such you will pay dearly for it. It is not meant for someone who merely wants a good quality DAP. It is for the audio enthusiast who demands the very best on all counts. Does its price and position cause it to suffer the pitfall of being just another pretentious status symbol consumer product? Go out and listen to one and then give me your answer. As far as I’m concerned, it is the finest portable digital audio player I have ever come across.


November 16, 2022 Comments Off on FIIO M11S REVIEW

The Hi-Res Audio Wireless Certified logo is well-endowed at the back of the player, with the Hi-Res Audio logo and THX blazon. Like the Shanling M6 21 or the M11 Plus, the M11S supports duplex Bluetooth allowing you to use the player as a Bluetooth receiver with a smartphone, computer, or any Bluetooth emitter. 

The Bluetooth 5.0 chip can transmit in SBC/AAC/aptX/aptX-HD/LDAC but only supports SBC/AAC/LDAC when receiving.

Basically, with a compatible headphone or receiver, you’ll always get the best quality available. Of course, if you have a TOTL IEM or a massive can, a wired connection will always be the best one.

Astell&Kern SP3000 DAP Music Player Review

October 26, 2022 Comments Off on Astell&Kern SP3000 DAP Music Player Review


October 17, 2022 Comments Off on TEMPOTEC VARIATIONS V6 REVIEW

In parallel, the Variations V6 also uses its own in-house FPGA-Master chip, working as the brain of the audio circuit. This audio system controller receives the data from the CPU, synchronizes and generates all audio clocks at the same time, then sends it to the dual DAC in I²S, or DSD.

Thanks to that, the DAC also supports ultra-high-resolution files, up to 32bit-768kHz in PCM, DSD up to DSD512, and full MQA decoding with MQA 16x, instead of the usual MQA 8X. In the real world, this means that the player is able to offer bit-perfect playback, with any kind of file, in every situation.


October 16, 2022 Comments Off on HIBY RS2 $500 REVIEW

the release of the flagship R8, HiBy is quite serious about music playback, and the RS2 is surprisingly good sounding in that regard. The DAP technology has evolved very well, so we see budget players that can perform on a high level. You don’t need to pay a premium price for good sound anymore. Hence, the competition is very high but HiBy has some things to say here.

The RS2 is, unsurprisingly, a warm-sounding unit. Their “Darwin” RS6 is also like this with the ladder DAC design, so the RS2 carries the trend over, in a smaller package. The unit sounds organic, natural and lively. The midrange is vivid, the bass is controlled and full, and the treble is softer but well-defined.

Astell and Kern SP3000 Review

October 15, 2022 Comments Off on Astell and Kern SP3000 Review

It may not be hard to find a portable source that has a great interface and allows for easy music playback. If that is your only goal then look no further than Apple’s ecosystem. It also may not be as hard to find a portable player that is capable of rendering digital files back with pristine transparency. It may also be possible to find a portable device that offers a massive amount of connectivity, both wired and wireless, in an

d out. And yet again, it may be possible (albeit much harder) to find an amplifier that expresses supreme control over headphone transducers. What you get from the Astell and Kern SP3000 is all four of these things in a single package. And that collective is what hopefully adds some value to consumers for the high end ticket price. Once you tack on a layer of luxury aesthetics you start to see the vision that AK was taking when they set forth to produce the top of the line for their top line. The SP3000 has all the tech, specs and high fidelity sound available at the moment, get it while it’s hot.

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