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Reviews by: Loquah

Campfire Audio Orion - Single-Armature Perfection

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Pros: Great design and build quality, outstanding accessories, very enjoyable signature

Cons: Slightly rolled-off treble, may lack bass presence for some people

I recently reviewed the Campfire Audio Jupiter earphones and really liked a lot of what I heard and saw. Next up in the tour are the Campfire Audio Orion, a single-driver IEM cut from the same cloth as the Jupiter.   Before I talk about the Orions, I need to rectify an oversight in my last review by expressing my sincere thanks to @d marc0 for arranging this for local Australian and New Zealander Head-Fiers.   Overview   Frequency response:  10-16,000Hz Impedance:  14 ohm @ 1kHz Sensitivity:  113dB SPL/mW (@ 1kHz)   One of the common limitations with balanced armatures is their inherently limited frequency range...
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Campfire Audio Jupiter: Treble Perfected

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Pros: Great design, great accessories, amazing sound quality at all frequencies

Cons: Treble is amazing, but overshadows lower frequencies just a bit

The Jupiters are a stunning looking set of universal, multi-balanced armature IEMs fashioned out of aluminium and packaged with some of the best accessories I've ever seen. They employ a quad balanced-armature design with claimed frequency response extending from 10-28,000Hz!   Design & Comfort The Jupiters arrived in a compact cardboard box with colourful, but classy branding. Upon opening the box I was greeted by a gorgeous leather carry case which contains the earphones themselves in the plush, lamb's wool (or similar) interior. Also included was the second, TRRS cable for balanced use and a range of tips - foam, Comply Tx 400 (with wax guard), and silicone - in small,...
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Audioquest Nighthawk: Let them re-educate you

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Pros: Super comfortable, great sound, unique design, eco friendly

I got into music at a young age and my love of all types of audio gadgets stemmed from the joyous experience of hearing great music reproduced to its maximum potential. Along the way I have gotten lost at times and fallen into the trap of pursuing the technicalities over the musicalities. As Head-Fiers, the term 'musical' can sometimes be seen as a negative - a polite way of saying "Technically these aren't very good, but they make my music sound fun" but I want to pose a question to you: what do you think headphones are meant to do? Recognising that the answer to that question is different for all of us, you need to answer that question for yourself before you read on because it will...
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CustomArt Ei.3 - an amazing budget CIEM

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Pros: The price - are you kidding? Engaging and dynamic sound. Great balance between enjoyment and neutrality / accuracy

Cons: The clear acrylic on my set shows a few flaws, but it's so minor that I almost wrote 'none' here

CustomArt started out as a manufacturer of silicone custom IEMs and rapidly made a name for themselves with beautifully tuned and crafted IEMs. Piotr, the founder of CustomArt was a fan of IEMs before he became a maker of IEMs so you know that anything he makes will be built for both enjoyment and performance.   Overview The Ei.3 is CustomArt's first venture into acrylic IEMs and is priced at an insane sub-$300!! At that price it competes directly with brilliant universals like the AudioFly AF140, various DUNU and FIDUE earphones, and plenty of other contenders, but none of those competitors offer a custom fit which, if done right, will always out-fit and out-perform an equivalent...
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Aune B1 - a surprisingly versatile headphone amp

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Pros: Spacious, nuanced and textured sound, versatile with a range headphones, elegant design, well priced

Cons: Too powerful for IEMs, may have output impedance high enough to alter the sound of balanced armature IEMs

I received the Aune B1 for this review direct from Aune at no cost to me and may be given it for free or will be able to purchase it at a reduced price as part of the terms of the agreement Aune made with the 10 reviewers selected. Either way, the chance to get things for free doesn't influence my reviews - if it's no good, I wouldn't want it anyway and if it's good, I'll gladly say that regardless of the possible gain.   Overview   Based on their products thus far (like the S16, T1, and M1), Aune seem focussed on making affordable products with high performance. Sometimes that works extremely well, like the T1 DAC, and other times it backfires a bit, like the S16 with its...
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Fiio X3 2nd Gen - A Seriously Impressive Budget DAP

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Pros: Sound quality, size, build quality, UI, features, DAC functionality, native DSD

Cons: None

The unit I'm reviewing was provided courtesy of FiiO and Head-Fier, Brooko, as part of an Australia / New Zealand tour so thank you to both FiiO and Brooko for this opportunity! This unit is clearly marked as a review unit, but appears to be 100% production quality.   Overview   For a retail price of roughly $260 here in Australia, the X3K (as the 2ng gen X3 was known for a while) is a genuine bargain for a native DSD capable DAP boasting a comprehensive feature set. The biggest question for me though was how it would sound, but before we get to that, let's look at some of the features and specs.   Specifications Dimensions:  97mm x 58mm x 16mm Weight: ...
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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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Head-Fi.org › Loquah › Reviews by Loquah