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Reviews by: JoeDoe

Some Quality Aesthetic Improvements Over the Younger Brother

Posted

Pros: Ear 'Fins', BT Connection, Accessories, Value

Cons: Bass bleed,

The BLU-200 from Brainwavz is an update to their first foray into Bluetooth listening, the BLU-100. The 200 features a new tuning, some welcome ergonomic upgrades, and as per usual, a healthy accessory package.     The Breakdown    Test Songs:   "Light Up the Sky" - The Afters - Light Up the Sky "Attaboy" - Yo Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, & Chris Thile - The Goat Rodeo Sessions "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber - Purpose "Washed by the Water" - NEEDTOBREATHE - The Heat "A Good Name" - Shad - TSOL     Source: iPhone 5C running Spotify Premium (Streaming 320)   Build/Accessories: From my review of the...
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Astell & Kern 100ii: The Gatekeeper

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Pros: Aesthetics, Sound quality, Design, Additional features

Cons: MSRP, File transfer for Macs

The AK100ii is a DAP I've had my eye on for quite some time. At first glance, it's obvious that it's a premium piece of kit, with it's clean efficient lines, quality touch screen, minimal physical interruptions, and compact size. Reading up on it's specs and the fact that it keeps (and improves) on it's previous iteration leads one to believe that for the asking price, this should be a one stop product, where a bunch of tweaking, additional cables, outboard DACs or amps shouldn't be necessary.   And ya know what? It lives up to the hype.   The Hits  Support for every lossless format under the Sun USB DAC capability Wi-fi and Bluetooth capabilities Smoothest, most...
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Quintessential USB DAC

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Pros: Aesthetics, size, SQ!

Cons: Availability

Until I saw one posted in the classifieds a few weeks ago, I'd never heard of the Bladelius brand. From my reading, they are more known for things like power amps and media servers - two things I have no use for. I saw another B-DAC online earlier last week and figured I'd make an offer as most of the write-ups I'd seen about their first foray into the mid-fi DAC world was positive. Let me just tell you... I'm very glad I did!   The Breakdown:     Test Songs (all FLAC, ALAC, or AIFF either 16/44 or 24/96): "You Give Me Something" - James Blake - Undiscovered "Gold" - Chet Faker - Built on Glass "Blue Monk" - Chick Corea Trio - ...
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The New (Grado) Kid on the Block is Here to Stay... well, Kind of...

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Pros: Comfort, Sound, Value, Versatility

Cons: Availability, Lack of Premium Packaging

So Grado's newest headphone, the limited edition GH1? Well, the total of it all is that it's the best sub $1000 offering from Grado yet. It marries several of the best qualities of the RS, PS, and GS series in one gorgeous maple package. Read on to see why!   From my 325e review, "I've listened to a lot of headphones. A lot a lot. More than anyone should. And as such, I've developed some preferences. To keep this from dragging on... Grado is where it's at if you want lifelike reproduction. Back when I reviewed my RS1i, I mentioned that it was the first and only headphone (to that date) I'd heard that made me feel like I was listening to actual instruments. The 325e was the...
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(New) Best Modified T50rp Out There

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Pros: SQ, Comfort, Looks, Customizability

Cons: Scarcity

While any avid head-fier is likely to know of at least one, if not multiple versions of a modified Fostex T50rp, knowing which versions are likely to fit one's personal preference is a whole other story. If you like rich mids and a little heft down south, Mad Dogs are likely to please. A more neutral tuning? LFF is your guy. Somewhere in between has largely been filled by the excellent ZMF Master Model.    However, there is a newcomer who's made quite a name for himself as far as I'm concerned. He's a head-fier and he goes by PETEREK. His modified T50rp (I'm told a snazzier title is forthcoming, but for the remaineder of this review, I'll call it the PTKT50) bests all of the...
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Delta: A Testament to Quality Engineering

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Pros: Build quality, cable, accessories, filters, value

Cons: Housing shape

It's been a while since I felt compelled to write an IEM review that I purchased on my own. With the steady influx of new 'budget-king' or 'mid-fi champion' IEMs, it's become a little hard separate the cream from the crop. Well, luckily for this head-fier, I found a pair of these touted hybrids on eBay for a steal and decided to pull the trigger. After several hours both at home and in the car, I'm happy to report that these are living up to their hype. Read on for why!     The Breakdown    Test Songs (all FLAC either 16/44 or 24/96):   The Curtain - Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest - Sylva Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself A Good Name -...
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Sound: Good, Extras: Great

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Pros: Build quality, Accessories, Relaxed sound

Cons: Nozzle size, Not a great value at current price

[Disclaimer: Pandora from Brainwavz reached out to me for a review. I'm in no way affiliated with the company and frankly, I'm quite humbled that I was asked to post my thoughts!]   Short Review The S3 is yet another sub-$100 offering from Brainwavz (this time with inline controls) that, like its siblings, yields quite a bit of bang for your buck. It has what I'd call 'a conservative' sound signature that is pretty good at most things, but not really great at any.   Here's the breakdown:   Packaging/Accessories/Build Quality   Well, Brainwavz has made a name for itself through it's trademark packaging/accessory kit. The S3 comes with an excellent hard case,...
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Killer Sound AND Looks?! - A Review of the Woo Audio WA7

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Pros: Aesthetics, size, volume control, upgradeable, value

Cons: Not great for rolling tubes, fingerprint-prone

Ah, the WA7 "Fireflies" from Woo Audio. As stunning to behold as it is to hear! This is my first piece of amp/DAC kit that retails for over $1k and well, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I think you people who spend that kind of dough on these things are only slighly less crazy.  Here's why:   The Breakdown:     Test Songs (all ALAC either 16/44 or 24/96):   Limit to Your Love - James Blake - James Blake What About Me, Kite, Lingus - Snarky Puppy - We Like It Here Rich Girl, I Want You Back - Lake Street Dive - Fun Machine The Twilight Zone - Rush - 2112 The Table - Chris Tomlin - Love Ran Red Make It Mine - Jason Mraz - We Sing, We...
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Small Size: Big Sound

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Pros: Size, design, power, easy to use

Cons: Heat, no external volume control

This is my first product made by Audioengine and you can color me impressed. It's the third USB stick-style amp/DAC I've used (others are Dragonfly v.1 and GO1000), and honestly I think I like it best. It's got power for days, a tiny footprint, and it's plug-and-play!    As for the sound? Well, just read on...   The Breakdown:     Test Songs (all ALAC either 16/44 or 24/96):   Limit to Your Love - James Blake - James Blake Something - Snarky Puppy - Family Dinner, Vol. 1 What About Me - Lake Street Dive - Bad Self-Portraits Prelude from Cello Suite #4 - Yo Yo Ma Hot for Teacher - Van Halen - 1984 Make it Mine - Jason Mraz - We Sing, We Dance, We...
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Best Bang for Your Buck Angle Pads Out There

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Pros: Value, Comfort, Versatility

Cons: Nope

The HM5 Angled Pads are an affordable, versatile, and comfortable pad for the Brainwavz HM5 and most large circumaural headphones. I was offered a review sample from Brainwavz and have the following to say regarding these and their stock counterparts:   1. Comfort: Both the pleather and velour pads are exceptionally comfortable. The memory foam is very soft and pliable and distributes weight very well. Even though the Brainwavz HM5 is a bit of a clamper, the lightweight and soft design of the pads alleviates most of the discomfort making these great for long listening sessions. I'll go ahead and make note here however, that the HM5 cups don't swivel too much, which may mean...
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Head-Fi.org › JoeDoe › Reviews by JoeDoe