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Reviews by: ClieOS

Good Runner-up among the Sea of sub-$200 Protable Amps

Posted

Pros: Build Quality. Unmatch EQ with XBass and 3D Halographics Sound. Better than Average SQ.

Cons: Too High a Gain for Sensitive Headphone. EMI issue. Bulky as Protable.

[Impression] iFi nano iDSD and iCAN with a splash of iPurifer iFi Audio has gained a great success over its Micro line of small sized desktop gears, and now it is pushing into the portable world with the Nano series. The nano iDSD is USB DAC that not only works with PC, but also has OTG support for the iDevice with OS7 (via camera connection kit / CCK) and Android that have USB Audio Class driver built-in (*for older Android that doesn’t have the driver, there is still a chance that USB Audio Player PRO will work). The nano iCAN on the other hand is a pure portable amp, but infused with the magical XBass and 3D Holographic Sound we have seen on the micro iCAN. Both are retailed under...
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Great USB DAC with Decent Headphone Amp

Posted

Pros: Well built, features rich as a DAC with native PCM/DSD/DXD support, OTG for smartphone.

Cons: Headphone amp section isn't the best, Slight bulky for portable use.

[Impression] iFi nano iDSD and iCAN with a splash of iPurifer iFi Audio has gained a great success over its Micro line of small sized desktop gears, and now it is pushing into the portable world with the Nano series. The nano iDSD is USB DAC that not only works with PC, but also has OTG support for the iDevice with OS7 (via camera connection kit / CCK) and Android that have USB Audio Class driver built-in (*for older Android that doesn’t have the driver, there is still a chance that USB Audio Player PRO will work). The nano iCAN on the other hand is a pure portable amp, but infused with the magical XBass and 3D Holographic Sound we have seen on the micro iCAN. Both are retailed under...
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Stick of All Trade

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Pros: Lots of features. Good price point.

Cons: Master of None.

With desktop PC sale declining and mobile devices on the rise, thumb drive sized USB DAC has become the quick fix for poor sound quality that is all too common in portable computer and smart devices. Creative’s answer to that demand is the new Sound Blaster E1 – a multipurpose USB DAC + headphone amp + mic that boosted with quite a few impressive features.     Spec SBX Pro Studio: Supported CrystalVoice: Supported Scout Mode: Supported Max. Playback Quality: 24-bit / 44.1kHz (Stereo) Max. Recording Quality: 16-bit / 44.1kHz Output: Stereo Battery Life: Up to 25 hours SNR: 106dB Headphone Out: 1 x 3.5mm jack Headphone Out / Mic In: 1 x 3.5mm jack Line In:  1 x...
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Heck of a Bargain

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Pros: SQ, Build Quality, Price.

Cons: Rather simple accessories, but not a real issue at its price.

The Korean company really needs no introduction at this point. They have proven themselves as a capable IEM maker with a series of top of the line hybrid as well as some good sound yet budget friendly dynamic IEM. The new Altone 200 is the continuation of the company’s hybrid line of IEM, with a never-heard-of price point nonetheless. The best part? You are not getting lesser of SQ just because you are paying a cheap price.     Spec Driver Units: Knowles' TWFK Double Balanced Armature + 8.0mm Single Dynamic Unit Impedance: 22 ohm @ 1 kHz Sensitivity: 105 dB @ 1 kHz Power: 100 mW (Max) Frequency Response: 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz Connector: 3.5 mm / 24 K Gold coated L-Type...
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Decent if not a bit Pricy

Posted

Pros: BUild Quality, Accessories.

Cons: Price.

Almost a year ago, I reviewed the XP series (XP1, XP2 and XP3) from beyerdynamic, which is sold only in Asia. The company has since introduced a few higher end models, including the DX 160 iE that is going to be reviewed here. Priced at about US$120, is it going to sound double as good as the half-priced XP series?     Spec Driver: Closed Dynamic Impedance: 47ohms Frequency Response: 10Hz ~ 25kHz SPL: 107dB/mW @ 500Hz Cable: 0.9m + 0.3m, 3.5mm stereo plug Weight: 32g       Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality   Packaging is pretty good on the DX 160 iE. It isn’t particularly outstanding, but it isn’t bad in anyway either. It is...
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Yet Another Great Budget IEM

Posted

Pros: Price. Overall Build Quality, Sound.

Cons: Lack of Accessories.

The Korea based T-PEOS surprised the IEM world with their hybrid IEM a few years ago and still continues to push for more innovative design. The RICH200 is meant to be a step up from the company’s first dynamic model D-200, but keeping the same high value-for-money factor. Spec Transducer: 8mm Dynamic Power: 3mW / 30mW (normal / max) Impedance: 32 ohm @ 1kHz Sensitivity: 102dB @ 1kHz Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 15kHz Cable: 1.2m Half-Flat with single button + mic Connector: 3.5mm L-shaped TRRS 24K Gold Plated Plug MSRP: US$28 Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality Nothing spectacular about the packaging , but nothing to really complain about either. As you might have expected,...
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The Warmer Sounding Hydird

Posted

Pros: Price. Overall Build Quality, Sound.

Cons: Not exactly an upgrade over previous model

The Korea based T-PEOS surprised the IEM world with their hybrid IEM a few years ago and still continues to push for more innovative design. As the name suggested, the H-100J is related to T-PEOS’s original flagship hybrid, the T-100. However, the T-100J isn’t meant to be a continuance but rather a rebalance, in order to appeal to those who do not like the V-shaped sound of the original T-100. Spec Transducer: 1 BA + 1 Dynamic Dual Driver Hybrid Power: 3mW / 20mW (normal / max) Impedance: 30 ohm @ 1kHz Sensitivity: 102dB @ 1kHz Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 10kHz Cable: 1.2m with single button + mic Connector: 3.5mm L-shaped TRRS 24K Gold Plated Plug MSRP: US$98 Packaging,...
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Well rounded USB DAC

Posted

Pros: Leather wrapped housing. Good performance.

Cons: Volume control

[Impression] miniwatt n4 The Hong Kong based company miniwatt has quite an interesting history as they have the tendency to focus on one product at a time. I actually won their first product a few years ago in a contest, and it was the tiny tube based speaker amp called S1. The n4 under review here however has nothing to do with tube anymore, but a DAC + headphone-amp aiming toward the PC audiophiles.     Spec USB 2.0 Async Mode (driver required) supports up to 32bits/192k (upsampling) DAC: PCM1795 DAC Filter and Headphone Driver: LM4562 with independent L and R channel circuit at output stage Headphone Output: 100mW at 32Ohm Line Output: 1.8V rms (auto mute when...
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Lean, Neutral, Good Sounding Budget Headphone

Posted

Pros: Neutral, Good sounding for a fairly low price

Cons: Long cable, Could a bit too lean for some, though EQ helps.

When it comes to Edifier, they are best known for their desktop PC speaker range and acquiring the prestigious electrostatic headphone company Stax. But just because they now own Stax doesn’t mean they are going to negate their own headphone production line. The current top-of-the-line H850 can be found online for just under US$60. Okay, maybe not quite the Stax level of headphone solely judging by the price, it still swings out quite a heavy punch in the feather weight class. Spec Rated Power: 50mW Frequency Response: 20Hz~20kHz SPL: 96dB Impedance: 32ohm Cable Length: 2M Accessories and Build Quality The packaging is fairly plain, with the only included accessory being a 3.5mm...
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A big improvement over stock Lear cable

Posted

Pros: Excellent price and builb quality that rival aftermarket IEM cable that is much more expensive.

Cons: None

Early in the year, I reviewed the Lear LCM-5. Though it is excellent sounding, the stock cable does look a little dull. At the time, Lear already announced they will release an upgrade cable for those who want to complete the whole package of sound and look. It has been released a few months ago and it is called the C2. Oh, it is actually quite affordable too. The wire inside the new cable is actually similar to the stock wire, made out of high purity silver plated OFC. However, there is where the similarity ends. First of all, the new cable has a much better finishing than the old cable. It is made in Tinsel wire fashion to ensure better flexibility as well as durability. So even...
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