Audeze is exhibiting at NAMM, booth 6331 and CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram will be there to discuss new pro audio products and where he sees the company’s future in pro audio and consumer markets. 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 »

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 »

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 »

December was a busy month at Hifi Pig, catch up on the news we brought you here, just in case you missed anything.

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 »

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 »

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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 »

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 »

roksponsmallWell 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!

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roksponsmallMeters 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 »

roksponsmallNoble 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 »

roksponsmallHi Fi Racks’ Bradley and Julie got in touch to let us know about their Christmas gift ideas. More »

These are in ears that cost around €100 but the packaging really is tremendously clever. I loved it. At first glance the box containing the actual in ears appears to be a book, but as you open it you are rewarded with lots of little things to open, to read and to enjoy. We all know that packaging isn’t the point of Hifi but these guys have got it right and the packaging connects you with the product and gives you that Christmas morning feeling.  More »

roksponsmallNoble 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 »

roksponsmallNo 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 »

roksponsmallRuss Andrews has entered into a distribution agreement with world famous pro-audio designer, Rupert Neve, to bring the company’s RHNP Precision Headphone Amplifier to UK audiophiles.  More »

roksponsmallNoble Audio has launched Sage, a new universal-fit IEM which represents the most affordable proprietary-driver IEM in Noble’s range (£549)

The new Sage from Noble Audio is a US-made multi-driver IEM (In Ear Monitor) which features the company’s new proprietary driver technology. Sage offers the performance benefits of Noble’s bespoke drive units, as seen in its flagship nine- and ten-driver models, Katana and Kaiser Encore, but with an entry-level price tag. More »

roksponsmallOctober was a real whirlwind of a month, there were Hifi Shows including Hifi Show Live Windsor and The Indulgence Show plus a huge amount of news and we reviewed gear ranging from £89 IEMs to a £32,000 Power Amplifier.  Just in case you missed anything, here is a round up of what happened last month… More »

roksponsmallThe Chord Company is launching ShawCan — its first ever headphone cable at October’s headroom show, part of The Indulgence Show (14-16th October, Novotel London West).
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roksponsmallNoble 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.

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roksponsmallBowers & 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’.
More »

roksponsmallMeze Headphones, whose 99 Classics Janine reviewed earlier this year,  will be in the CanJam room at the 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Among the featured products that you can listen to at this year’s RMAF will be the newly released series of IEMs, the Meze 11 Neo, and the latest in the classics series, the Meze 12 Classics. More »

OPPO Digital today introduces an updated version of the a HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC, HA-2SE. ha-2se-top-view

Aesthetically, the HA-2SE continues the HA-2’s design – genuine leather casing with contrast stitching and bevelled aluminium edges. Inside, the digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) chip is upgraded to the ES9028Q2M, the top-of-the-line from ESS Technology’s SABRE32 Reference series for portable designs. The headphone amplifier is further optimized for very sensitive In-Ear Monitors, with a lower noise floor and higher signal-to-noise ratio over the HA-2.

Featuring hybrid class AB amplification and a USB DAC, the HA-2SE offers high performance digital-to-analogue conversion for Apple’s iPhone/iPod products, a wide range of Android devices, PC and Mac computers. Equipped with a 3000mAh internal battery and OPPO’s patented safe rapid charging technology, the HA-2SE may be conveniently used to charge mobile devices on-the-go and can itself be efficiently charged in 30 minutes.

Being a “Made for iPhone” certified device and coming with a Lightning cable included, the HA-2SE can charge the iPhone and play music at the same time. When used with the right apps, the HA-2SE supports bit-perfect playback of high resolution music, exceeding the 48 kHz sample rate limitation of using the phone’s built-in headphone output or headphone adapter.

In addition to the USB DAC inputs, the HA-2SE provides a 3.5 mm line-in jack for portable music players that do not have a USB-compatible digital output. The same jack doubles as line-out when the HA-2SE is used as a DAC. The headphone amplifier has two gain level settings. The High Gain mode is capable of driving large power-hungry headphones, delivering up to 300 mW into 16-Ohm headphones. The Low Gain mode is intended for sensitive In-Ear Monitor type earphones. For users who like a bit more punch and impact with their music, the HA-2SE offers a Bass Boost function that is implemented purely with analog audio circuits.

Priced at $299, the HA-2SE can be ordered from OPPO Digital’s web site or resellers. The HA-2SE will be available for audition and demo at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver during the weekend of October 7 – 9.

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Atlas Cables has added to its range of Zeno replacement headphone cables with the launch of the Zeno IEM – a light and compliant yet durable upgrade cable for those who use in-ear monitors. Zeno IEM combines Atlas Cables’ unique cable technology with its latest range of dedicated solder-free connectivity options called Metik.atlas_zeno_iem

Hand-built in Scotland and available now, prices range from £280.00.  Compatible IEMs from launch include Sure, Beyer Dynamic, Fit Ear and Ultrazone, with many more available upon request.

Zeno IEM features Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper conductors, which are covered in FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) low temperature deposition dielectric to protect the integrity of the OCC material. Wrapped within a protective soft PVC inner liner and finished with a tangle-free fabric outer jacket, Zeno is extremely durable and ideal for any level of usage.

Developed specifically for Zeno and covering a wealth of connection options, Atlas’ Metik non-solder crimp plugs provide signal consistency from socket to socket. Available in 3.5mm, 6.3mm and 4-pin XLR for the source end, Metik plugs provide a direct, airtight metal to metal contact.

Commenting on the launch of the Zeno IEM, Kevin Kelly, Managing Director at Atlas Cables, said, “With the launch of the original Zeno, we realised just how passionate users were as they sought to gain the best possible performance when using headphones.  IEM users are no different.  The development of this new cable comes about from demand as they set out to further refine the quality of their personal audio systems.  The increase in sound quality and durability makes the Zeno IEM the perfect upgrade for those looking to retrieve the very best from their music – both at home and when on the move.”

Atlas Zeno IEM UK SRP with Metik 3.5mm source connection plug:

1.00m   £ 280.00
1.50m   £ 290.00

* Custom lengths available upon request

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On September 24th and 25th, Europe’s largest  headphone  show  CanJam  Europe is returning to Essen, Germany.

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In addition to commercial exhibitors and the free lecture track, the headphone enthusiast community plays a central role     at the event. This year, the community will have its own, dedicated community tables right on the show floor to present private headphone setups and to chat   with fellow enthusiasts.

Interested parties can register for participation at the Community Lounge via buying a Community ticket. Enthusiasts participating on short notice can register at the show desks, minimum requirement is a personal headphone stack consisting of at least three components to receive the exclusive community wrist bands.

Canjam Europe visitors vote for their Best of Show awards

Visitors of CanJam Europe are once again invited to vote for the highlight products of the show in six different categories. Prizes with a total value of more than EUR 4,000 are raffled off amongst participants.

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Meze is an interesting newcomer to the headphone and IEM market, a company set up in London in 2009 that wants to change the opinion that you have to spend a fortune to get a good sound. Janine Elliot takes a listen to their £256 Meze Classic 99 headphones.  More »

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€

meze_12_classics_news

Specifications:

Frequency response: 16Hz – 24KHz

Impedance: 16Ohm

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

 

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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.’

Sony_signature_sept2016_hifinews

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 CAPHigh polymer capacitorhas 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.

 

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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.’

Audeze_isine20_launch_news
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.

Audeze_isine-launch_news_sept2016
The iSINE 10 will retail at 399$ and the iSINE 20 at 599$, both will begin shipping in early November 2016 and can be pre-ordered now.

 

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Bowers & Wilkins, the British loudspeaker company, today announces the new P7 Wireless headphones. B&W_P7 WirelessONLINE

P7 Wireless builds on the original P7 and the P5 Wireless..

P7 Wireless combines this with aptX™ Bluetooth®. Within seconds, P7 Wireless can be paired with any of the most popular Bluetooth-enabled devices such as a phone, tablet or computer. Once paired, it’s as simple as switching on and pressing play.

Playback is managed via intuitive on-board controls, and a rechargeable battery offers a healthy 17-hours of wireless playback, and can be easily charged via USB. For times when a cable is required, one comes supplied in the box.

The new P7 Wireless is priced at $399.99

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The world’s most expensive earphone, the £3,699 oBravo EAMT-1, has arrived in the UK exclusively through Audio Sanctuary, London.

Priced at a cool £3,699, the oBravo Audio EAMT-1 is the flagship model from the headphone specialist’s portfolio of headphones, earphones, speakers and accessories, and incorporates a number of world-first technologies and exotic materials.eamt-1c (2)WEB

EAMT-1: Hybrid-Planar Drive Unit

The new EAMT-1 features an advanced Hybrid-AMTdrive unit specially developed by oBravo, (who created the world’s first Hybrid-Planar headphone). oBravo has now successfully miniaturised the technique for earphones. The Hybrid-AMT driver is a coaxial design (two driver types combined in one unit) and the configuration is one of the most advanced driver technologies available for headphones says the recent press release.

The coaxial drive unit features an implementation of Air Motion Transformer tweeters with Neodymium Dynamic Drivers. The unique combination, an 8mm AMT with a 10mm NDD, “delivers luxuriously life-like sound quality”, across a wide frequency range (15Hz – 45kHz) far beyond that of human hearing.

The EAMT-1 body is hand-crafted from Precision-Ceramic and the supplied ‘Comply’ ear-tips give a huge range of interface options ensuring the perfect fit. Lightweight at just 35g and sensitive enough for compatibility with a huge range of smartphones, portable audio players and electronic devices, the EAMT-1.eamt-1c(1)WEB

Specification:

  • Frequency response: 15Hz-45kHz
  • Tweeter: 8mm Air Motion Transformer Tweeter
  • Dynamic Driver: 13mm Neodymium Driver
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 105dB
  • Weight: 35 g
  • Balanced 2.5mm cable connection option

Air-motion transformers AMT 

The AMT diaphragm is made of a Mylar ribbon bonded with conductive aluminium strips. It is equivalent in surface area to a conventional seven-inch cone-type mid-range driver, but is accordion-folded down to a compact one-and-a-half-inch grouping for point-source dispersion. The low-mass diaphragm is suspended within a dipole magnetic field concentrating an intense field around said diaphragm. When signal current passes through the aluminium strips, the ensuing bellow-like motion of the folded pleats moves air five times faster than with a conventional cone driver.

People now demand that they have their music with them at all times, even when at the gym or out exercising and In ear monitors are becoming increasingly popular for this. Add Bluetooth and you make them even more portable. Janine Elliot takes a listen to the Optoma BE6i Bluetooth in ear headphones.  More »

Up until now, all the headphones GadgetyNews has had to review are from a purely musical point-of-view. As gamers have equally specific requirements we have the Astro A40 TR headset and amp bundle to test.

The Astro A40 TR headset comes bundled with the MixAmp Pro external soundcard and can also be customised thanks to some clever interchangeable bits.

Astro is a well-known brand for US gaming fans and, looking at the base of the amp, it is in Europe via the Skullcandy brand.

Check out the review over at GadgetyNews.com

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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.

Audio_sanctuary_london_news_1

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.

 

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Designed by Arcam’s founder and Class-G design Guru John Dawson, the new Arcam rHead is a discrete true-linear Class-A analogue headphone amplifier, built for the highest possible performance and to outperform competition at anywhere near the affordable price, says the company’s latest press release.

Arcam of Cambridge: The rHead is a discrete true-linear Class-A analogue headphone amplifier, designed for the highest possible performance, outperforming all competition at anywhere near the affordable price. www.arcam.co.uk - www.robfollis.com

This compact, solid analogue product is designed to complement the audio system of any headphone lover. It delivers enough power to drive small speakers, let alone the least-efficient headphones.

Arcam say the the rHead is “ultra-low-distortion, ultra-low-noise and totally musical. Timing is fast and precise, with well-controlled bass and although the output is very wide-band, the extended treble is smooth and flat with no artificial exaggerations. Dynamic headroom is massive and all headphones we know of are handled with ease”.

Key Features 

– Class A design delivers zero crossover distortion for the purest sound.

– Extensively optimised 2 layer fibreglass PCB for cleanest sound and lowest crosstalk

– Multiple low noise power supplies eliminate cross-interference between sections

– Fully direct coupled signal path from the volume control for cleanest bass

– Ultra-linear resistive-ladder analogue volume control, eliminates L/R volume tracking errors

(taken from Arcam’s $6000+ flagship A49 amplifier)

– Precision metal film resistors in the signal path for lowest distortion

– Phono socket and balanced XLR inputs

– 3.5mm and 6.25mm headphone outputs

– Output impedance <0.5Ω eliminates frequency response errors

– Enough power to drive the least-efficient headphones

Other Bullet Points 

– Very high build-quality

– Die cast metal case for mechanically stable structure

– World-class analogue circuitry

– Vibration damped non-slip rubber base

Tech Specs

Frequency response – 10Hz – 20kHz / +/- 0.1dB 20Hz–20 kHz

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise – 0.001% at 2V output, 32Ω load
Signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighted) – 109dB at 2V output, 32Ω load
Headphone output power
– 2.0W, 16Ω load
– 1.1W, 32Ω load
– 0.13W, 300Ω load
Headphone recommended impedance – 16Ω – 600Ω, 3.5 or 6.35mm plug
Output impedance <0.5Ω
Input levels – 0-4V (RCA) – 0-8V (XLR)
Dimensions – W194 x H44 x D135mm
Weight – 0.71kg
 £399.00 UK inc VAT / US $600 + sales tax
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Double Tap Audio, officially launched their Kickstarter mid-July to officially sell and distribute their handmade Double Tap R1 headphones with the goal of raising $9,000 by Aug. 18, 2016.double_tap_headphones_3

Each pair is handcrafted with the use of modified 40 caliber brass bullet casings. Including rare earth magnets and multi- layer cording to create durable tangle free headphones.

By pledging $55 or more to the Double Tap Audio Kickstarter backers will be the first to receive a pair of Double Tap R1 headphones, once fully backed.

All suppliers are lined and ready to ship then begins assembly preparation. Once the Kickstarter is officially backed assembly is expected to begin in Sept. and all backers with a pledge of $55 or more will receive their headphones by Dec. 2016 at the latest.

All products are assembled in Southern California. Every pair is tested by the maker before being shipped to assure customer satisfaction as well as a quality product.

Randy May, creator of Double Tap audio designed the headphones for durability and comfort to overcome the struggle of finding quality headphones for every day wear.

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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.

Meze_11_NEO_release_hifi_news_july

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

Price 49€

 

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Noble Audio, announces its new flagship model Katana, complete with nine proprietary drive units for each ear and available in both universal- and custom-fit versions Katana White Lean WEB

Noble Audio has launched a new flagship in-ear monitor which, for the first time, features proprietary Noble drive units. The range-topping Katana IEM benefits from nine custom-made drive units for each ear and is principally manufactured in the USA.  Featuring a two-part US-made precision-machined aluminium chassis, Katana is smaller and lighter than the previous Kaiser 10U flagship.

Key Features

  • New US-made flagship model with nine proprietary drive units per side (ear)
  • Most advanced Noble IEM and sound performance to date
  • Updated Noble form factor and geometry featuring refined US-made precision-machined aluminium housings
  • Sensitive enough for use with smartphones and portable audio devices
  • Detachable cable with industry standard 2-pin configuration (0.78 mm diameter)
  • Universal-fit as standard, custom-fit available (using alternative materials)

Noble Audio’s aluminium-chassis IEMs are no ordinary IEMs: they have been designed and manufactured in conjunction with specialists in California whose clients include Louis Vuitton, Dior, Marc Newson and Holly Hunt. The nine-driver Katana configuration is also available as a custom-fit model, using alternative construction materials from the Noble range, including acrylics and exotic solid woods (Prestige range). A 3D-printed option (SLA range) is also available for faster builds.

Supplied accessories include a Pelican 1010 case (crush-proof carrying case); a black velvet soft pouch; 12 pairs of ear tips (four kinds in three sizes); two Noble Audio bands or amp bands; a cleaning tool; a Noble cable and an ownership card.

Pricing

Universal-fit £1,350/$1,850

Custom-fit £1,350/$1,850

SLA (3D-printed) £1,199/$1,650

Prestige custom-fit from £1,999/ $2,850

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MrSpeakers, is a San Diego-based manufacturer of high performance headphones, and is introducing ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow with patent pending TrueFlow and V-Planar technologies. “TrueFlow technology elevates award-winning ETHER and ETHER C headphones to the next level in performance (and fun) while Italian leather ear pads lend a plusher feel to the headphone” says the company’s recent press release. Cropped_ETHER_Flow_Side

As sound waves pass magnets in the headphone motor they experience diffraction and reflection, adding resolution-cloaking noise to the music. TrueFlow aims to reduce these effects by smoothing the path of the sound wave, resulting in a major increase in clarity and resolution.

“Whilst developing electrostatic headphones Mr Speakers contrasted them to there planar magnetics and concluded that mass alone didn’t adequately explain the differences they heard. They hypothesised diffraction and reflection might be degrading sound more than we’d thought,” says Dan Clark, Headmaster of MrSpeakers. “So they created a motor structure that’s acoustically similar to an electrostatic stator, which really allowed the music to flow out of a deep-black background with exceptional texture and clarity; hence the name TrueFlowTM.”

“With the performance gains MrSpeakers has given its planar magnetic ETHER platform with ETHER Flow (and ETHER C Flow), their upcoming electrostatic ETHER has its work cut out for it,” says Jude Mansilla, Founder of head-fi.org. “The ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow bring extraordinary clarity while still being impactful and smooth.”

TrueFlow works by filling spaces between magnets with a perforated material to form a perforated flat surface that’s acoustically similar to an electrostatic stator. “By reducing the negative effects of the motor assembly on the audio waveform, TrueFlow significantly increases clarity and detail retrieval”.

“The new headphones is are our most engaging, fun and immersive to date,” says Dan Clark. “They’re quite versatile, and the voicing is closer together than it is for ETHER and ETHER C. ETHER C Flow is the automatic choice if you need isolation. Otherwise, tonally the greatest difference is the upper bass to lower midrange. ETHER’s richer upper bass region delivers a punchier experience with jazz and rock, while for EDM fans the sub-bass of ETHER C Flow is a kick. Surprisingly ETHER C Flow is also great with acoustic and classical music.”

ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow include MrSpeakers’ hand-made DUM Cables or Premier Cables, and will available purchase for £1750.

Also, ETHER and ETHER C Headphones will have a slight price change at the end of August with a DUM Cable are £1575, and once the standard cables which we have in stock run’s out these will also no longer available (6ft @ £1450)

Upgrades to ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow will be available for existing owners in the near future; upgrade price and timing is to be determined (these will have to be returned to USA)

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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.

Focal_utopia_elear_listen_headphones

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

UK Prices:

Utopia     £3250

Elear        £800

Listen       £150

 

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Hesh 2 from Skullcandy are over-ear style headphones and, because no one likes getting tangled up in cables, Skullcandy have unleashed a wireless set, which I happen to have here to review.

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth headphones are what I would describe as being full-sized cans.

You have the option of running these fully wireless or wired – but are these mid-range priced headphones anything to get excited about?

Get the full review at GadgetyNews.com.

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TIMBER Audio was founded by Braden Wiscombe who’s passion for guitar building inspired the design process of TIMBER Audio. The company aims to provide listeners with unique audio products that are driven by the use of wood to be aesthetically and acoustically stunning. The Prelude, the company’s first product, is an “Acoustically Beautiful” headphone made from solid wood and Aluminium, set to release on Kickstarter on June 6thPackage

For the past nine months, TIMBER Audio has been working to perfect their design of an “acoustically superior headphone, the Prelude”.

TIMBER Audio’s real advantage, says the company’s press release, is in combining the acoustic material of solid wood and the innovation of wireless connectivity. You’ll be able to connect to your smartphone or other Bluetooth capable device and free your hands from cables to listen to music or take and make phone calls.

With their KICKSTARTER release just around the corner, early-bird supporters can look forward to discount prices up to 50% off the estimated retail price of $198 to help the company reach their funding goal of $55,000 in 30 days.

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