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Reviews by: a_recording

Sony NWZ-ZX1 Review: High Resolution Faffery

Posted

Pros: Beautifully built hardware, hardware music controls, generally good interface

Cons: Reflective LCD, relatively slow CPU, noticeable hiss with some equipment, does not meet 24/16 bit audio spec?

I will try to keep this short.   Firstly, to disclose: I purchased the NWZ-ZX1 with a 25% off discount coupon given to me by Sony Australia after attending a demonstration event for their high resolution audio products. I was invited to this event in my capacity as a Youtube reviewer.   The Sony NWZ-ZX1 is a beautifully built piece of hardware. Hardware music controls are wonderful. The interface is by and large easy to use.   The LCD is quite reflective and not particularly bright in direct sunlight. This seems to be because it appears Sony did not use a bonded glass display assembly like modern smartphones, which causes reflections due to the air gap between the LCD...
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NAD Viso HP50: A Beaty and a Beast

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Pros: Incredibly well balanced, textured sound, great price.

Cons: Looks a little goofy on the head, earpads are a bit stuffy, cable a little thin.

This is my video review of the NAD VISO HP50 with some short notes to follow. Please note that I received this headphone as a loaner unit from NAD!     Build   The VISO HP50 is a well built headphone that is a surprisingly mature design for a first effort from NAD. Since the design is so simple and the materials used are good quality, it feels like a well built premium product. I am not a big fan of the black glossy plastic because it gets fingerprint smudges very easily, and I am not so sure about look of the lettering and branding on the headphone. This is just aesthetic preference though.   On the head the VISO HP50 feels very stable and quite comfortable....
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One driver good, two drivers better? Not quite.

Posted

Pros: Good isolation, smooth sound, light weight

Cons: Large earpieces, wind noise, real lack of treble extension and sense of space

Here is my video review of the XBA-H1. If you like the video please check out my channel :) Below the video is a quick summary of my opinions.     Design & Comfort   The XBA-H1's earpieces are quite large, and may not suit every user's ears. Thankfully they are quite lightweight. The cable is good quality and doesn't tangle easily, and microphonics / cable noise is reasonable even when worn down. Isolation is good, but with the large earpieces wind noise can be a problem. Given the large size of the earphone, Sony should perhaps had gone for a negative profile design.   Sound The H1 does really sound as if someone took a XBA-1/10/C10 driver and added a...
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Great design, boomy bass, muffled mids.

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, lightweight, detachable cables

Cons: Boomy bass, muffled vocals, nasal treble, unbalanced sound

Disclosure: I received these headphones from Sony Australia as a review sample to keep.    Here is my video review of the 10R, as well as some brief notes about the sound and build of the headphone. Please check out my channel if you enjoyed the video!     Summary:   The 10R has a comfortable, lightweight design that is pretty much best in class for the ~$99 street prices I've seen for this headphone. However, the sound is extremely unbalanced, skewed towards a very boomy low end with vocals that sound muffled, while simultaneously having a peaky treble region that while it isn't super sibilant, ends up sounding somewhat nasal. Overall I really did...
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B&O H3: Bang for buck?

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Pros: Warm, pleasant sound, open natural soundstage, fine metal finishing

Cons: Poor quality cable, lacks some definition, relatively pricey

This written review was essentially my script for the following video review, so the information contained in both is more or less identical. If you want a closer look at the H3, watch the video review! :)     INTRO   The H3 was something of an aspirational purchase for me, as ever since I began getting interested in audio I was always fascinated by Bang and Olufsen’s fantastic speaker and telephone designs. In recent years Bang and Olufsen have been releasing products targeted at a younger market under the ‘Beoplay’ name, and the H3 is the company’s first in-ear earphone in this range. It has a recommended retail price of $299 Australian or $249 American dollars,...
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Tralucent Dreaming

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Pros: Visceral bass, great sense of scale, smooth articulate sound, drivers well integrated

Cons: Disappointing build quality, lacks a little high frequency extension, vocals a little unengaging, extremely expensive

*Please ignore the audio quality / comfort / design / isolation / value sliders for this review. As far as I can tell, they seem broken*   This is a universal in-ear monitor with a two balanced armature drivers and a dynamic driver. This earphone costs $1250 IEM with a cable that costs about $800, or as a package together, about $1400. I'm part of an Australian listening tour for this earphone and I spent 2 weeks with it. Let me say this first: I found this IEM really hard to review for a number of reasons, and all of them are related to the price of this earphone.  The most expensive earphone that I own is a second hand pair of Sony MDR-EX1000, which at the time of release...
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Skullcandy Navigator: Fantastic Design, Pity About the Sound

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Pros: Great build quality, Clever folding design, folds up, good noise isolation, comfortable

Cons: Very very thick, dark sound, earpads not replaceable

Along with the summary below, I have posted a Youtube video review of the Skullcandy Navigators. If you like the video, check out my channel for more reviews :)     Summary   BUILD   The Navigators have good build quality, with metals used in most parts of the headphone frame. They are lightweight and fold up into a more compact shape. The earpads are very isolating, though perhaps a little stuffy. The detachable flat cable is somewhat prone to tangling. They are comfortable headphones but I found I had to use the maximum headband size adjustment and I do not believe I have a particularly large head, so it may be worth making sure they will fit...
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Logitech UE4000: Sensible design, congested sound.

Posted

Pros: Great build quality, comfortable design, 3.5mm detachable cable

Cons: Congested sound quality, doesn't fold up, earpads not replaceable

Along with the summary below, I have posted a Youtube video review of the UE4000. If you like the video, check out my channel for more reviews :)     Summary   BUILD   The UE4000, like all the new Logitech UE headphones, has some really nice build quality for the price. Solid feeling headband with metal parts, supple synthetic leather earpads. The detachable cable with iPhone remote is a great touch because it terminates in a 3.5mm jack and can be replaced with any off-the-shelf cable. The earcups pivot in all directions which makes getting a good fit easy. Unfortunately the ear pads are not replaceable and the UE 4000 does not fold up into a...
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RHA MA450i: Something To Trumpet!

Posted

Pros: Durable metal earpieces, comfortable fit, deep bass, good included accessories

Cons: Tangly cables, lacks a little clarity, driver flex

I'd like to think RHA for sending me these earphones for review.   Along with the summary below, I have posted a Youtube video review of the MA450i. If you like the video, check out my channel for more reviews :)       Summary   BUILD   The MA450i has an interesting build, with a reverse horn / funnel shape. This is actually the opposite of a horn speaker design in principle, and means that the MA350 fits very comfortably in the ear. The aluminium in the earpieces is very welcome and makes the earphone feel quite durable, but the fabric wrapped cable is tangly and microphonic. Luckily the MA350's are well suited for over-ear use....
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RHA MA350: Something to Trumpet!

Posted

Pros: Durable metal earpieces, comfortable fit, deep bass

Cons: Tangly cables, lacks a little clarity, driver flex

I'd like to think RHA for sending me these earphones for review.   Along with the summary below, I have posted a Youtube video review of the MA350. If you like the video, check out my channel for more reviews :)     Summary   BUILD   The MA350 has an interesting build, with a reverse horn / funnel shape. This is actually the opposite of a horn speaker design in principle, and means that the MA350 fits very comfortably in the ear. The aluminium in the earpieces is very welcome and makes the earphone feel quite durable, but the fabric wrapped cable is tangly and microphonic. Luckily the MA350's are well suited for over-ear use. The strain...
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