Audeara, which the makers claim are the world’s first ‘full fidelity headphones’ with an in built hearing test to protect users ears, is currently a live project on Kickstarter. The project reached its funding target within the first 15 hours and has now more than doubled its original target. More »
The Chord Company will be demonstrating the benefits of its recently launched ShawCan headphone upgrade cables to the public at the headroom show, Metropolis Studios, London, 24th-25th March. More »
Rupert Neve is a name that will trip of the tongue of anyone who has been interested in or worked in recording studios; put simply he is a giant/demi-god in the industry. Neve has now put his name to a £469 headphone amplifier and who better to put it through its paces than Janine Elliot. More »
London based ‘boutique’ hifi dealer Sonata, is showcasing the high-end Goldmund Telos ‘Reference’ DAC/Headphone Amp at the Headroom Show on the 24th and 25th March 2017. More »
Audeze have teamed up with Relativity Education, Ableton and SubPac and have announced the next edition of their Electronic Music Sessions educational program. More »
Meze Audio, the Romanian headphone manufacturer, have introduced a range of accessories for their products. More »
Designed with the active music lover in mind the NuForce Sport3 In Ear Monitors cost £80. Janine Elliot gets gets physical with them. More »
Headroom, London’s headphone and personal audio event, is returning to Metropolis Studios in March with new product launches, the latest audio tech, plus an enormous range of demonstrable headphones. Held at Metropolis Studios, the most successful independent recording, mastering and production facility in Europe, headroom at Metropolis will once again be bringing the latest portable audio tech to the capital, when it returns in March for its third successive year. More »
Janine Elliot checks out the multi-driver Optoma HEM4 In Ear Monitors costing a penny short of £250. More »
Erzetich make a habit of telling you their products are evil animals, and that they need to be tamed after the company cage them in the cardboard boxes ready for their new home. Even the company logo looks like a bull ready to charge at you, being a circle with two horns. Janine Elliot runs with the bulls with the Perfidus Class A headphone amp costing £999. More »
Chord Electronics has unveiled three new products at CES 2017: Poly, Blu Mk II and Hugo 2, all will be available early this year. More »
At CES 2017, new consumer audio brand Meters Music kicks off the roll-out of its range of home audio devices with the launch of the OV-1 headphones. The OV-1s feature “a high-quality and exquisitely engineered design with a dash of studio cool, via their unique, fully- functioning VU meters, together with a sound performance designed by the team – from parent company Ashdown Engineering – who make musical instrument amplifiers for many of the world’s biggest bands.” More »
Mytek, of New York City, manufacturer of the Brooklyn and Manhattan II DACs, is introducing their new Mytek Clef, a mobile hi-res audio headphone amplifier + DAC, offering up to 24 bit/192k and DSD128 playback, with driverless USB Class 2, MQA capability, plus AptX Bluetooth and AAC. More »
We would like to wish all of our readers the very best for 2017, may your year be happy, healthy and full of great music! More »
1More is a Chinese brand that make a range of headphones and in-ears. Here Stuart Smith tries out the £89.99 dual driver C1002 and the three driver E1001 costing ten pounds more from their UK website. More »
Lehmann are a German manufacturer headed up by Norbert Lehmann and make a range of widely respected electronics. Here Janine Elliot pops on her cans and takes a listen to the Linear D Headphone amplifier and DAC costing £1050. More »
Christmas is coming and whether you are wanting to find those special gifts for your nearest and dearest, or you want to treat yourself, you are bound to find some inspiration in our Christmas Gift Guide Promotion! More »
The original nano iDSD was aimed squarely at the US $200 price class. The new nano iDSD LE (Light Edition) in dark titanium is a $129 reboot. It features the same ‘True Native’ Burr-Brown PCM/DSD chipset., headphone power output of 130mW with 10-hour battery life and RCA outputs on analogue volume control. More »
Ifi got in touch to let us know about their new DAC. They claim that “the micro iDSD ‘Black Label’ is the world’s most powerful DSD/PCM/DXD battery-powered DAC.”. They go on to say, “Perhaps ‘Double Black’ is a more apt description because it is different on the outside as well as the inside”. More »
Well November was a very busy month. Hifi Pig went to Poland for the first time to attend the amazing Warsaw Audio Video Show 2016 , we launched our new look Music section and we brought you all the latest Hifi news and Hifi reviews…check out what we covered below, just in case you missed anything!
Meters Music is the creation of Ashdown Engineering, makers of musical instrument amplifiers for many of the world’s biggest music stars. The likes of U2, Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, System of a Down and many other artists use Ashdown amplifiers on stage and in the studio. More »
Noble Audio has collaborated with the community-driven commerce site, Massdrop, to create an exclusive IEM. The new Noble X, which is available for a time-limited period on Massdrop, features Noble’s new proprietary drive units for $249 (around £200), a price point not seen before in a Noble product. More »
The Mojo DAC/headphone amp from Chord Electronics is being supplied with a free protective case* throughout the holiday season in store at participating retailers, internationally. The promotion offers the protective case (worth £65) with all new Mojo purchases bought in retail stores up until 14th January 2017. More »
Noble Audio,has announced its Black Friday/Cyber Monday event: 15% off all IEMs and CIEMS, plus a free BTS Bluetooth adaptor with its new co-flagships, Kaiser Encore and Katana. Noble will be offering the 15% discount on all models: both its universal-fit and custom-fit in-ear monitors for a four-day period. More »
No one could ever accuse Kostas Metaxas of creating something “boring”. Yet again, this eccentric artist has presented us with his unique take on a very utilitarian subject, the headphone amplifier. Combining a historic art oeuvre – “memento mori”, contemporary sculpture and technology, his latest Marquis “Memento mori” is a minimalist Preamplifier-Headphone amplifier designed, says Kostas, “for music-loving audiophiles who require few functions but insist on the purest sound”. More »
CanJam Global got in touch to let us know about their shows for 2017. Part One of their line-up features CanJams in New York, Los Angeles, London and Singapore.
German headphone company, InEar, contacted us to tell us about their new IEM, the ProPhile-8. They said of their new product: ‘To achieve a studio reference tuning across the whole frequency range, we have equipped our InEar ProPhile-8 with a 4-way crossover and 8 balanced armature drivers per side. Additionally, there are two switches on the inside of the earphone to separately boost low frequencies by +3dB and high frequencies starting at 8 kHz by +2dB. Based on a linear reference tuning for professional mixing and mastering, you can choose one of totally four different sound signatures to adjust to your audiophile preferences outside of the studio. You will rediscover your music thanks to easy natural reproduction of music in highest resolution, uncovering of subtle details, breathtaking transparency, huge sound-stage and perfect imaging!’.
Noble Audio, the Californian in-ear monitor specialist, has appointed London’s biggest headphone and portable audio specialist, Audio Sanctuary, as an official UK partner (alongside Aid2Hearing). This makes Noble available directly in the UK, both online and in-store. Audio Sanctuary now stocks all models in the new five-strong Classic line-up of universal-fit IEMs, the K10U and the brand new nine-driver Katana.
Visitors to CanJam Europe on Sept. 24th and 25th have picked their favourite products in six categories of the Best of Show Award. They had to choose between over 1,000 headphones, audio players, amps and accessories that more than 100 brands exhibited at the headphone show at the Congress Centrum West in Essen, Germany.
Bowers & Wilkins today announced the P9 Signature. Which they say is their ‘best sounding and most luxurious headphone to date.’ P9 Signature was conceived to celebrate Bowers & Wilkins 50th anniversary. Engineered by the same team responsible for the 800 D3 loudspeaker, P9 Signature is Bowers & Wilkins’ largest over-ear headphone. They have positioned the transducer to provide a more natural listening experience. They say that the wearer hears sound as if they are listening to a pair of stereo speakers rather than headphones. The headband adds strength, but is decoupled from each ear cup, stopping unwanted vibration from distorting the sound while also offering ‘the very best in comfort’.
The world’s leading audio brands are descending on London’s headroom™ show which returns to the capital this autumn as part of a wider audio and luxury goods event, The Indulgence Show. The autumnal headroom is set to be the biggest event to date and features the latest in portable audio and headphone tech, plus a wide range of new launches, including key models from Bowers & Wilkins, Audeze and Sennheiser.
This year sees the continuation of the ‘International KEF Month’ anniversary celebration taking place throughout October. Following the success of the celebrations in previous years, KEF are celebrating their 55th Year Anniversary with a full month-long festivity, allowing even further participation for enthusiastic consumers.
Meze have launched another new in ear monitor, the Meze 12 Classics. They say that the are ‘conceived to hide the high-end audio tech beneath a sense of style. Design should be like a great performance: you have to make it look easy!’ They feature a mic and remote compatible with all 3.5mm port smartphones, tablets and audio devices, copper-clad aluminium voice coil, titanium coated driver membrane and a walnut wood housing. Includes 4 sets of silicone ear-tips and a set of Comply foam tips. Available now at 69€
Frequency response: 16Hz – 24KHz
Sensitivity: 101dB (+/- 3db)
Total harmonic distortion: < 0.5%
Noise attenuation: up to 26dB
Titanium coated 8mm mylar driver
Copper-clad aluminum voice coil
3.5mm gold-plated jack plug
7N OFC cable, lenght: 1.2m
Designed to complement each other, the Signature Series comprises of pure audio headphones, Walkman® and amplifier. Celebrating its 70 anniversary year, Sony has taken a look back at its audio heritage, like the world famous Walkman®. Using the very latest technology, the design and engineering teams have created this series to give ‘the highest quality, pure audio sound; this is Sony’s signature for sound quality.’
The MDR-Z1R headphones have a wide frequency range with up to 120kHz playback in High Resolution Audio and feature a 70mm HD driver unit. Sony have used luxury materials such as genuine leather ergonomic ear pads, lightweight beta titanium headband, and a stainless steel wire mesh housing protector.
MDR-Z1R is priced at £1,700 / €2,249
The iconic Walkman® has been revamped with the flagship WM1 series, including NW-WM1Z and NW-WM1A. These digital music players that can handle any music file from the High Resolution Audio end of the scale to low quality mp3. They feature new DSEE HX™ technology which gives five modes that you can select based on the type of music you are listening to; Standard, Female Vocal, Male Vocal, Percussion or Strings. A newly developed FT CAP（High polymer capacitor）has been built into the power supply of the amp section plus they feature Bluetooth®, LDAC™ so you can play your audio files from multiple sources. The WM1Z has a gold plated oxygen free copper chassis. The cable used inside the WM1Z is four wire braided cable engineered with KIMBER KABLE® used as the wiring material from the amp to the headphone jack. For those who prefer an aluminium finish on the chassis there is also the NW-WM1A..
NW-WM1Z is priced at £2,500 / €3,299
NW-WM1A is priced at £1,000 / €1,299
The TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier will deliver the sound of High Resolution Audio (Up to DSD 22.4MHz/PCM 768kHz/32bit) The D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit gives the combination of Sony’s full digital amplifier S-Master HX™ together with analogue amplifier. The newly developed Frame/Beam/Wall (FBW) chassis combines Wall structure with the familiar FB chassis that has been cultivated in the ES series. The Wall is created by shaving extruded aluminium and realises a ridged body that can suppress unnecessary vibration. The TA-ZH1ES also has new DSEE HX and DSD Remastering Engine which converts PCM source to DSD 11.2MHz..Sony say ‘Compatibility is key with the ZH1ES and although this product is best enjoyed with a combination of the new Z1R headphones and WM1Z/WM1A, it is compatible with other models. With various inputs and a wide range of balanced outputs, plus unbalanced connections, you can enjoy music in very high quality with variety of headphones, without any compromise’.
TA-ZH1ES is priced at £1,600 / €2,099
The Signature Series headphones and Walkman®’s will be available in store from October 2016. With the amplifier joining them from end of November.
Audeze have launched the word’s smallest planar magnetic headphones, their in ear iSINE range. Audeze say ‘The iSINE 10 sounds and looks like no others, an innovative design without a care for the same old status quo of balanced armature or dynamic driver designs. The Fluxor Magnets and large 30mm planar magnetic diaphragms deliver precise control and fast response times without distortion so music always sounds alive. Add the included Lightning cable with DSP and there’s no other in-ear headphone that even comes close to its performance.’ Of the iSINE 20 they say ‘The iSINE 20 is one step up from the iSINE 10 featuring an even longer Uniforce voice-coil that covers the ultra-thin diaphragm to a greater extent, enabling better control and responsiveness for better bass, clarity, and improved imaging.’
They have miniaturised their planar and the iSINE series weigh barley 20g. Both the iSINE 10 and iSINE 20 are hand crafted in Audeze’s California factory and the company have worked with DesignworksUSA, a BMW Group Company, in the design and development of the new IEMs.
Thank you so much to Mitchell & Johnson who have donated a pair of their MJ2 Headphones to the fundraiser! The headphones combine Mitchell & Johnson’s lightweight hybrid electret-electrostatic flexible transducers with a dynamic driver and retail at £499.
Kralk Audio BC-30 FL loudspeakers in Statement Silver Oak & Tellurium Q Black speaker cables up to 2.5m in length
Chord Company £600, 1.5m Signature Array Power Cable (county designated plug)
IsoTek mains loom (UK plugs and sockets) From Sound Fowndations £750
Studio Connection interconnect and mains cable (country designated plug) £600 and £200
Signed Brian May photo
Audio Suspension ASU-100 Turnatble Shelf, £240
Sanus VuePoint 47-80” Tilting TV Mount, £69.99
Two Audiomica MAGNET GOLD power cables, worth 400 CHF each. One cable has a Schuko plug and the other a 16 amp Swiss plug. Donated by Artizan Audio.
Lyudmila Gorbulya handpainted plate from Voyla Audio
Flare R2S earphone £300 and Isolate Pro,£46
1.5m pair of GamuT Reference interconnects, £2700
Mitchell&Johnson MJ2 Headphones, £499
Donate just £5 for each entry, so if you donate more then you get more chances to win! Please donate in multiples of £5, leave your full name and if you win, you will need to email me your confirmation email with shipping details.
CanJam Europe, the largest headphone show in Europe, will return to Essen, Germany on September 24th and 25th 2016 for its fourth session Visitors get to try thousands of headphones, hundreds of portable and desktop players, headphone amps, DACs and other accessories for portable hifi from more than 60 exhibitors
Highlights include Sennheiser’s brand new Orpheus HE-1, with a price of 50,000 Euros currently the most expensive headphone in the world or Shure’s electrostatic earphone KSE 1500 at 3,000 Euros. Many manufacturers of custom in-ears will be showcasing demo units of their earphones, which are fitted individually to the customers ear shape and will be taking ear impressions right at the show. If you’re looking for something a little more common, there’ll be headphones for sports, travel, daily commute or hifi at home, which won’t break the bank. In addition to headphones, exhibitors will also be showing portable audio players, which go way beyond MP3, desktop and portable headphone amps for demanding headphones or external DACs, which convert every smartphone into a hi-res hifi device.
Custom Cable has changed its name to Audio Sanctuary and has introduced a host of improvements to both its in-store (New Malden, Greater London) and online shopping experience. Along with the name-change comes an all-new website, a bigger and better in-store experience, plus new brands and product lines, all of which are available 24/7 online. Consumers will still be able to enjoy one of the UK’s widest range of demonstrable headphones, Custom Cable’s customer service (now under Audio Sanctuary), plus an unrivalled accessories range. The retailer has improved its in-store experience, with additional rooms in which to discover the new product ranges.
The new Audio Sanctuary offers more choice, more space, plus an even better shopping experience whether shopping in-store or online. Audio Sanctuary also offers repairs and can even refresh existing headphones. A worldwide provider for Sennheiser, the retailer can access parts and spares for most major brands, from Shure to Audeze, to Beyerdynamic and B&W. Audio Sanctuary is also the main retailer behind London’s headroom show and headroom at Indulgence.
Romanian company Meze Headphones has announced that the new line of earbuds, the Meze 11 Neo, is now available for pre-order. Coming in two colour variations, Gun Metal and Iridium, Meze say that the 11 Neo earbuds are ‘designed for the user to elegantly stand out from the crowd.’ They have an ergonomic shape aiming to make them comfortable and ‘non intruding’ to the ear. The aluminium housings hold the titanium coated dynamic neodymium drivers and the earbuds are compatible with all audio playing devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows.
The complete package of the Meze 11 Neo will include the following:
• One pair of Meze 11 Neo
• Hard EVA carrying pouch
• Spare silicone eartips, in four sizes
• Set of Comply™ foam tips
Focal, the French loudspeaker manufacturer renowned for its speaker driver technology, is unveiling three new models of headphones. They bring ‘major innovation in acoustic components and mechanical design’. Initiated four years ago, this huge project has now given life to Listen, Elear and Utopia. This month also sees the inauguration of Focal’s new production line at its site in Saint-Etienne, (which Hifi Pig visited a while ago) France which will be entirely dedicated to manufacturing Elear and Utopia headphones.
Utopia and Elear headphones are the result of a rather risky challenge: to offer an audio experience worthy of the brand’s high-fidelity loudspeakers through two new products. In order to achieve this, Focal approached the design of the various components in these headphones very differently to other players in the market. Focal’s desire was to bring the sound and feeling of listening to its high-end Utopia loudspeakers to headphones. The next step for Focal’s mechanical engineers and designers was to improve the comfort of the headphones. There are still many high-end headphones which no doubt offer excellent performance, but comfort is a difficult issue over long periods. So, Focal focused on designing a headband with a constant bend, regardless of the size of the user’s head size. This spreads the weight of the headphones evenly over the head to avoid the feeling of pressure on the head or ears. As part of the project, Focal designed the very first voice coil without former (patent pending) that also features a monolayer coating to make it even lighter. The result is a voice coil measuring 25mm in diameter by 4.4mm in height which is actually lighter than voice coils measuring 15mm x 1.5mm used in other high- end headphones on the market. The goal is to have excellent mechanical coupling to the dome considering its diameter, and to ensure the voice coil is always controlled by the magnet’s magnetic field regardless of the excursion of the moving part.
Utopia is Focal’s flagship product. Focal say ‘The sound quality is striking in terms of realism, neutrality, dynamics and clarity. The user will forget the headphones are even there, and the reproduction of the audio signal is of unrivalled clarity.’ They feature a Beryllium “M” dome, carbon fibre yoke and New Zealand lambskin leather. Supplied with a 4m OFC cable, including a Neutrik® 6.35mm (1/4“) stereo plug and two shielded Lemo® connectors with self-locking bayonet system.
Elear are the brand’s audiophile headphones. In essence, they are the same as Utopia headphones when it comes to the loudspeaker design and the mechanics. They feature a solid aluminium yoke and microfibre ear cushions, the key difference being an Aluminium/Magnesium alloy dome. Supplied with a 4m OFC cable, a 6.35mm (1/4“) stereo Jack and two 3.5mm (0.14“) Jacks with self-locking system.
Listen are premium mobile headphones and like all of Focal’s other headphones, they are designed in France. They provide excellent noise isolation and feature heat-sensitive, very high density memory foam and a 40mm driver. A Mylar cone has been used on the entire driver, and the dome has been given a titanium coating. Listen also benefits from all the research that went into designing Utopia and Elear headphones with the aim of keeping the shape of the headband constant, regardless of the size of the user’s head. Listen are supplied with supplied with a flexible carrying case and an aircraft adaptor. A 1.4m cable is also provided with a 3.5mm jack and a bayonet connector locking device, an in-line omnidirectional microphone and a large remote control with just one button.
Available: September/October 2016
Pioneer has announced the launch of its SE-MHR5 headphone as an addition to its Pure Audio headphone range that also features its range-topping SE-Master 1 model. Featuring a closed back design with a folding mechanism for easy portability, the SE-MHR5 a headphone for those on the go.
Key Features of the SE-MHR5 Include:
- Closed back dynamic design for noise isolation
- Dedicated 40mm drivers producing 7Hz to 50kHz wide frequency range and high power
- Ported driver housing for increased bass quality
- Foldable design allows for simple storage within the supplied carry case
- 2 x cables supplied – standard and balanced – both fitted with 3.5mm stereo plug
- Type: Closed dynamic type
- Driver Unit: 40mm
- Frequency Response: 7 Hz to 50 kHz
- Input: 1,000 mW
- Sound Pressure: 102 dB / 0.2V (in input) at 1kHz
- Impedance: 45Ω
- Cable: Detachable and one-sided,1.2m (Connector: 3.5mm/I-shape/Rocked type)
- Plug: Stereo mini/ L-shape
- Weight (g): 240
- Accessories: Balanced cord/ Carry pouch
- Available in the UK, the SE-MHR5 is finished in black and has a UK SRP of £199.99.
New York City-based, Master & Dynamic, will be showing their growing line of headphones and earphones at High End Munich 2016.
New York City-based, Master & Dynamic, will be showing their growing line of headphones and earphones at High End Munich 2016. You can find them in the MOC Munich in Halle 3, stand J08 from May 5th to 8th 2016. Among the models they will be exhibiting will be their MW60 Wireless Over Ear Headphones.
headroom 2106 is an annual event held at the world-famous Metropolis Studios in London. It is a showcase for all that is portable audio and headfi. In this special Hifi Pig and GadgetyNews e-magazine we take a look at the event, some of the exhibitors and, of course…there’s lots of lovely photos for you to enjoy. Click here to download your free copy or click on the image.