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Reviews by: average_joe

Feature rich with great performance in a small and affordable package

Posted

Pros: Size, functionality, and sound quality

Cons: DAC playback sounds a bit better than standalone playback

Fiio has been around for quite some time, starting with a low cost, entry level amp, the E3.  It became a hot seller, especially with the limited digital audio player (DAP) choices available at the time, and followed-up by the vastly superior E5.  The next several years marked significant growth for Fiio, which has since released many amp and DAC/amps, and finally their first DAPs, the X3.  Recently Fiio released a higher-end DAP, the X5.   SUMMARY The X3 is a high-end full-feature player done right, with the ability to play high-res files from internal memory or as an asynchronous DAC.  Sound quality is a good step up from phones and lower-end players and the...
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Top overall performance for a [truly] portable digital audio player (DAP)

Posted

Pros: Small size, total memory capacity, user interface, charging via USB, battery life

Cons: Sound quality is bested by other (larger) DAPs

The AK120 is a portable player that is truly an ideal player for a traveler or those that prefer simplicity over complexity and the small annoyances that often come with top performing portable audio devices.  Sound quality is very good with more refinement than the lower end players, but lags behind other high-end players such as the DX100 and 901, but those players do have a disadvantage in battery life, UI, and size.     The AK120 may be for you if: - Portability and usability are two of the top qualities you are looking for in a DAP. - You have a large music collection that you want to take with you, especially if that music is in a high bitrate. - You want to...
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Well constructed cable with good looks and great sound

Posted

Pros: Price/performance ratio with solid construction and very good ergonomics. Pairs well with many CIEMs I tried it with.

Cons: While the cable is very flexible, it isn't quite as flexible as a stock CIEM cable.

OVERVIEW The Effect Studio Thor Silver IEM Upgrade cable is the new flagship made from quad-braided pure UPOCC silver that has been cryo treated and put together with Cardas silver solder.  The cable has a high-end look and feel, with a good thickness that has a relatively loose braid that won’t unravel below the hard plastic Y-Split and twisted above.  A custom-made cable slider with holes for right and left is a nice touch compared with the typical use of heat shrink.  The shell connectors are pre-formed from hard plastic and have a body that is larger than the typical stock plug, but on par with many other aftermarket cables.  The 3.5mm plug is an Oyaide,...
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The Apollo is an ergonomic dream; thin, light, flexible, tangle resistant, all resulting in excellent performance.

Posted

Pros: Ergonomics, fit & finish, value

Cons: Other similarly priced cables can offer better SQ improvements, although not with the same great ergonomics.

From my multi-custom IEM cable review thread.   Effect Studio [Apollo] Advanced upgrade Cable for UE/Shure ($88)         Effect Studio packaging; Y-split, plug, and shell connectors; free form; with old Effect Studio Crystal cable   I reviewed two Effect Studio cables previously, and while they looked amazing in photos and great in person, they didn’t score high primarily due to ergonomics.  Effect Studio revamped their lineup and contacted me to see if I was interested in trying their new cables.  The Apollo cable I received has connectors that fit Shure, Sensaphonics, and the Ultimate Ears UE900, among others.  The...
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My Thoughts and Comparisons

Posted

Pros: Accurate reproduction of the recording with the ability to recreate the space, dynamics, bass, and everything else originally present like no other!

Cons: None

Remember those essays you had to write in grade school? Well I do even if you don't. In honor of that memory, I am going to write: What does the EarSonics SM3 mean to me? Back in March I was going to order the EarSonics SM3 based off the few things I have read about them, even though it wasn't much. But then something stopped me. Could they really be that good, and the shipping cost was as expensive as my gateway IEM! I was not sure what exactly to expect, but did have some insider info from shigzeo, which was all positive. But were they going to be UM3X like and lacking they dynamics and excitement I want, especially for the price? Well, a month went by and search reminded me of the SM3,...
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Head-Fi.org › average_joe › Reviews by average_joe