CanJam London 2018 was held at the prestigious Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge this year, just over the River from the Houses of Parliament. The hotel itself was very luxurious and a great setting for consumers, companies, designers and music lovers from the U.K, U.S, Canada, Japan, Singapore and many other countries to come together for this event.

The market for headphones and related componentry is an exciting and rapidly growing one, and rightly so given the innovation and technology involved, which as I found out, leads to some serious musical enjoyment.
This friendly event was ‘Jam’ packed with exhibitors & customers, and very busy.
I managed to speak to Audeze, who were demonstrating their soon to be released Mobius 2 – their affordable high-res closed back planar, that become awesome 360 degree audio with the flick of a switch, great for audiophiles and gamers alike.
V moda with their slightly bling interchangeable remix headphone amp/Bluetooth speaker.
The lovely folk at Roller, who were launching their new MK202 (chip free!) headphones, which were uniquely styled and gorgeous sounding.
The very knowledgeable Sarah and Hannah from Ifi were showing their new ITG cables, purifiers and ubiquitous x dsd headphone amp/dac.
Dita Audio demoing their Fidelity, Twins and Fealty I.E.M’s. Periodic Audio with their own unique outlook demonstrating their Be, Mg, C and T models, all named after different elements..
The electrostatics from Sonoma were also jaw droppingly gorgeous sounding.
This event presented so many excellent contributions from Fiio, Elite Audio, RHA, Manley, Schiit Audio, AKG, Meze Audio, Beyerdynamic, Focal, HiFi man, Meze Audio, Mr Speakers, STAX, Westone, Astell & Kern among many others, from the more budget to the high-end, everything was catered for.and unlike a hifi show, all elbow to elbow, getting stuck in, and having a great time, which was great to see.
There really was an absolute plethora of headphone goodness at this show, ample for the casual on-the-go listener, the technophile, and the hifi purist alike, made even more interesting by the variety of style, design and technologies on display.
The release of the Chord M-Scaler (really, its own class of product) was a significant example of how things have moved forward this year.. Delivered by the charming Rob Watts, longstanding designer/engineer at Chord, this was a thoroughly enjoyable presentation. I’m really not technically minded, but Rob gave a fascinating breakdown of how the new M-Scaler works. There was much talk of sincs, time enclosures, FGPA, filter architecture, millions of lines of code, a world beating over 1 million taps.. A land where things come down to what happens in a picosecond.. Oh yes, and no troublesome ferrites, for those who are interested…Basically culminating in a superb new groundbreaking product.
It has been said that the ear is an awful device, but something weird happens when the brain processes sound at this level, yielding quite extraordinary results to sound quality..
I didn’t have as much time as I’d wanted, I could easily have stayed and enjoyed these products for many more blissful hours, until the morning cleaners came in.
Listening to many of the headphones and associated kit was a real pleasure. I’d compare it to the feeling of placing the needle on a record, when it feels like the world just disappears- perhaps even more so.
Suffice to say CanJam was a fun event, with some serious, yet understated things going on, that was a real eye and ear opener and I’m now firmly convinced that headphones are something that everyone should find the time to enjoy, because there definitely is a pair for everyone.
anyway, here’s some of the pic I took on the day…

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Grant Birch

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