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Reviews by: Loquah

A great mid-tier universal / custom hybrid IEM

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Pros: Great bass, coherent v-shaped signature, good finish, good imaging

Cons: Can sound slightly artificial with the wrong source

The Advanced Acoustic Werkes A3H hydbrid IEMs were lent to me by fellow Head-Fier, @anupong, so I am very grateful to him for allowing me to complete a full review of these little beauties.   The A3H has a recommended price of roughly $500 Singapore Dollars and is available in either a custom or universal style. On the AAW site there is an A3H-V model which is slightly more expensive and is tuned specifically for vocals, but the model Anupong lent me was the standard A3H.   I've completed a full review with plenty of images over on my blog so please check it out if you need more info, but here's a summary of my thoughts about the Advanced Acoustic Werkes A3H:   The...
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HUM Pervasion - an amazing sounding mid-priced DAP

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Pros: Feature-rich thanks to Android, good on-board amp, brilliant neutral DAC implementation via line-out, compact, well priced

Cons: Bluetooth is choppy when using the screen, Wi-Fi reception is a bit weak, on-board amp can be a little warm sounding

HUM is a new player in the audio world as far as I can tell, but they've started strong with the Pervasion DAP. I've written an extensive review here: http://passionforsound.lachlanfennen.com/?p=1414, but here's a quick summary.   Overall I'd say that the Pervasion is an excellent DAP for those looking for great sound quality with all range of 16-bit audio files. It has its quirks in terms of extra features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but when it comes to audio quality and interface, the Pervasion is bordering on perfection - particularly on the interface side of things.   The very slight warmth from the on-board amp is subtle enough to be musical without getting slow or thick...
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Brainwavz M1 - a great bang-for-buck budget earphone

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Pros: Price, compact size, light weight, slightly warm, but generally neutral sound

Cons: None at the price

Introduction   Brainwavz are making another push on their M series earphones and that’s good news for those of us looking for a well-priced, high performance earphone. The M1s use a single dynamic driver in a compact plastic and metal shell to deliver a tiny, lightweight earphone with sound that’s reminiscent of their more expensive R3 model, but in a much more comfortable package. They're not as good as the R3s, but for their price they’re impressive nonetheless.   A big thanks to Audrey and the team at Brainwavz for sending me this pair to review!   Specifications Drivers:  10.7mm dynamic (1 per earpiece) Impedance:  32 ohms Frequency range:  20...
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Shozy Alien - A Brilliant Screenless DAP

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Pros: Beautiful design, compact size, rich organic sound, very well priced

Cons: Slight hiss with sensitive IEMs

Overview   The Alien is a well-priced (~$250 AUD), compact, screenless player that plays only WAV and FLAC files – no MP3, no AAC, just the two major lossless options. For some people that will be an instant turn-off, but others may realise that this dedication to limited formats means a possible emphasis on playing those formats flawlessly – that’s what I was hoping for.   Specifications   Recommended headphone impedance:  8 – 32 ohms Signal to noise:  >98dB Power:  2 x 55mW (into 16 ohms) Battery life:  8 hours Charge time:  2 hours   The specifications I’ve seen published all say the Alien is designed for up to 32Gb microSD...
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Noble Kaiser 10 - In-Ear Perfection

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Pros: Detailed sound, smooth sound, great bass, excellent bass and treble extension, build quality, design options

Cons: None (so long as you can find the dough)

Overview   In the world of personal audio, the ultimate sound experience generally comes from custom molded in-ear monitors (CIEMs). In recent times, top of the line (TOTL) CIEMs have gone from 3-6 balanced armatures per side to 10 and even 12 BAs per side. The Kaiser 10 is an example of a 10 driver CIEM and has 10 individual drivers in each ear-piece – a pretty awesome piece of spatial design, but also a challenge of epic proportions when it comes to ensuring that all of those drivers are delivering their frequencies in time with and in support of the other drivers in each ear piece.   One of the largest challenges of any multi-driver setup (including speakers) is to have...
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Sennheiser Urbanite XL - Sexy, Rugged and Punchy

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Pros: Enjoyable sound, excellent imaging, good sized soundstage for a closed headphone, brilliant looking, feels high quality

Cons: A bit bulky, sound can be a bit artificial, mid-bass boost can sound a bit loose, cable seems cheap

Overview   The Urbanite XL is a new addition to the Sennheiser range and was offered to me for review by Head-Fi user, White Lotus, as part of an Australian review tour made possible by Sennheiser so thank you to ‘Lotus’ and Sennheiser for making this possible.   I’m not sure what the plans are for the Urbanite (on ear) and Urbanite XL (over ear) models – they may be intended to replace the existing Momentum range or they may be intended to offer an alternate style of headphone and therefore be a completely separate line so I’ll review them without any direct comparison to the Momentum range.   Throughout this review I’ve been lazy and just typed “Urbanite” each time,...
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Thinksound On1 - Portable Woody Perfection

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Pros: Beautiful wood finish, warm detailed sound, excellent soundstage size

Cons: On ear headphones are never comfortable for longer sessions, some of the plastic finishes don't look great

Thinksound is a company that’s focussed on sustainable and environmentally conscious headphones. In fact, they even offer a recycling program for headphones with a bonus if you recycle their headphones, but I doubt you’ll be doing that any time soon with the On1s – you’ll be hanging on to these puppies with everything you’ve got!   Overview   Thinksound’s On1 headphone is a foldable, portable, closed, on-ear design that retails for roughly $350 (AUD).   Frequency response:  5 – 22,000 Hz Impedance:  50 ohms Drivers:  40mm dynamic Cables:  4.5 feet (2 equal length cable options with / without phone mic and remote)   At $350, the On1s...
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Fiio X1 - The budget standard for high resolution audio

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Pros: Performance at its price, nice UI, line-out option, compact size, light weight

Cons: Slightly flat (not dynamic) sound

Thank you to FiiO and @Brooko for arranging the tour of the FiiO X1 (and E11 amp). This review is based on my brief use of the tour units and comparison with a few other "alternatives" that I personally own.   I'm going to keep the review fairly brief because there are already lots of reviews out there so I'm guessing you don't need to read the basic features again. Also, I've been unwell this week so my thought processes are a little foggier than usual so the simpler I keep things the better for everyone I think.   Overview   After releasing the X3 and X5 portable players (DAPs), FiiO turned its hand to creating an entry point offering that still played the major...
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Brainwavz R3 - a beautifully neutral sounding budget IEM

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Pros: Great sound quality, smooth and natural sound with plenty of detail, but no fatigue

Cons: Fit can be problematic and cable is a bit funky

I recently had the pleasure to review the Brainwavz S5 IEM and the team at Brainwavz were obviously OK with my objective thoughts (I really liked the S5, but wasn't shy about its short-comings) and offered to send me their R3 model for my next experience. Thanks to Audrey and the Brainwavz team for providing this review unit at no charge.   Overview The R3 is a dual driver IEM, but not a dual balanced armature as you might expect. No, the R3 is a dual dynamic driver IEM using two opposed dynamic drivers firing into a single sound chamber / nozzle. It's an unusual design, but one I had heard good things about so I was keen to check it out for myself.   The R3 model retails...
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A Really Solid Budget Earphone

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Pros: Great bass, very comfortable, well made

Cons: Treble has some holes, flat cable behaves strangely

Overview   The Brainwavz S5 is a new IEM priced at around $100 and is getting a lot of exposure thanks to a concerted effort from Brainwavz to push out review units to reviewers just like me. Thank you to Audrey and the Brainwavz team for arranging this pair of S5s for me to review at no charge. I'm really glad that they've decided to make this push too because Brainwavz have never been on my radar, but the S5 is a surprising package that has me seriously interested in their future offerings.   Specifications   Driver:  1 x 10mm dynamic Impedance:  16 ohms Frequency range:  18 - 24,000 Hz Sensitivity:  110 dB at 1 mW   Design &...
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Head-Fi.org › Loquah › Reviews by Loquah