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Reviews by: nmatheis

Meze 12 Classics Review with Video

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Pros: Sound. Scalability. Aesthetics. Comfort. Price

Cons: Microphonics. Over-ear wear difficult. No single-flange wide-bore tips.

INTRODUCTION   I want to thank Meze for giving me a spot on the 12 Classics tour. It's been fun giving these a listen!   This is the second time I've had the opportunity to review Meze products, and I want to make sure I say a few things about them before moving on with the review. The first Meze product I reviewed was a very nice pair of closed headphones, the 99 Classics (LINK to review). I really liked those a lot, but there were a few things holding them back from being just good enough for me to shell out my hard-earned cash for. What were those? Well, one was aesthetics. At the time I reviewed them, they only came in Walnut/Gold/Black or Maple/Silver/White. Neither of...
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TeriPlayer G1: A rare, handcrafted audiophile DAP from Indonesia that rocks!

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Pros: Dynamic, powerful sound in a small form factor. Can roll opamps to fine-tune sound. Simple controls.

Cons: No display. No gapless. No breakpoint resume. WAV-only (for now). Short battery life. No longer in production :(

Hi all! I'm back from a reviewing hiatus as I settled into a new job with more responsibility at a newer company. It feels good to be at the point where I can tell you about some of the cool, new audio gear I've found lately. The absolute most interesting audio gear I've had the pleasure of testing out recently has been from @tjstyle of Revamp Acoustics. If you haven't heard of them, I won't blame you. I stumbled across them completely by accident. My man @tjstyle is one cool cat. He's an Android developer who can also whip up a mean circuit board. He's working other cool stuff besides audio gear, too. Seriously cool dude!   Okay, so how did I hear about the TeriPlayer G1...
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T-PEOS RASIEL QUICK REVIEW

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Pros: Good build quality. Budget-friendly price.

Cons: Needs EQ. Ponderous bass. Non-ergonomic earpieces.

INTRODUCTION My first exposure to T-PEOS was back when the Altone 200 IEM was released. I pre-ordered it based on @H20Fidelity's impressions. It was my first hybrid IEM, and I really liked it for its killer combination of punchy bass, clarity, ergonomics, and price. Although I don't listen to them much anymore, Altone 200 are one IEM I'll keep in my collection if nothing more than for sentimental reasons. When T-PEOS released the follow-up to the Altone 200, the Altone 150, 250 and 350 lineup, I was able to extensively audition the lineup and provided impressions. The newer Altone lineup saw a break from the punchy, clear sound of the Altone 200. Instead, we got a more...
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HEM8: NuForce's New Flagship (With Comments on HEM2, HEM4, and HEM6)

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Pros: Good balance between musicality and detail. Very ergonomic. Good accessories package.

Cons: Mid-bass hump. No wide bore tips.

INTRODUCTION NuForce made its name under Jason Lim's leadership developing high-performance audio products that didn't break the bank. Jason Lim has moved on, but the NuForce brand is still going strong under the new Optoma NuForce brand name. Optoma is a well-known projector company that decided to diversify into the home and portable audio markets with its acquisition of NuForce. Recently, @jyri at Optoma NuForce reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their new HEM IEM lineup. This is an expansion of the work NuForce did with the Primo8 quad-BA IEM, with HEM2 single-BA, HEM4 double-BA, HEM6 triple-BA, and HEM8 quad-BA. I'd already heard their...
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Maestro & Miracle Universals: Unique Melody's Impressive Flagship IEM

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Pros: Balanced, refined sound. Holographic soundstage.

Cons: Large shells. Shallow fit.

INTRODUCTION Unique Melody. It's a CIEM brand that's been around for awhile. In fact, the UM Miracle was one of the very first CIEM I'd ever heard of and is still regarded as a classic. Despite being familiar with the brand, I knew very little about them, much less heard them. So imagine my surprise when MusicTeck reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in taking the UM Miracle V2 and UM Maestro for a test drive. Of course, I said yes. Since receiving them, I've gone from playing Mr. Mom to helping rapidly commission a brand spanking new production lab in a very short amount of time. This caused a delay in letting you all know what I think of these....
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JDS Element: Simple design. Warm, engaging sound

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Pros: Warm, engaging sound. Nice design. Simple functionality. Big knob.

Cons: No coaxial input. No visual gain indicator.

Photo courtesy of JDS Labs. INTRODUCTIONI've been looking around for a pair of full-size cans, and one of my Head-Fi buddies was raving about his new pair of ZMF OMNI. In fact, he's so in love with them that he wanted to share the love and ended up loaning them to me for a couple weeks. In addition to the pair of ZMF OMNI, he also threw in the JDS Element for me to try. He said that was a good pairing, so I thought I'd relate my experience with that combination to you in a "quick review". In addition to the Element, I also paired the OMNI with the Apogee Groove, Aune X1S, and iFI Micro and will provide some brief listening notes on those pairings.   ABOUT MEWhile I'm primarily a portable...
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Meze 99 Classics: Great all-around woodie!

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Pros: Very nice, smooth sound. Fancy-schmany design. Pretty comfy.

Cons: Small cups. Shallow pads. Microphonic cable.

November 2016 Update​I wanted to come back to these and let you all know that I bought my very own pair of Walnut and Silver 99 Classics at RMAF. I also had Maze send me the new, deeper pads. I'm so impressed with how Maze has responded to the community here on headfi. I'd suggested a less bling-bling design with silver instead of gold in my review, and they quickly responded. I also suggested deeper pads, and they responded to that, too. With that, the only complaint I have is with microphonics and would suggest that Maze look into putting a plasticized sheath above the y-splitter to cut down on the rubbing microphonics I get with the fabric cover. Other than that, Meze's got it nailed...
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LZ-A2 Quick Review: Audiophile Fun!!!

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Pros: Smooth, fun sound with deep, powerful bass. Inexpensive for a triple hybrid.

Cons: Wide nozzles. Need third-party tips to sound their best. Discontinued :(

INTRODUCTION I first heard of LZ-A2 from @RedJohn456 and @Hisoundfi. They were both talking about this Chinese DIY triple hybrid that had amazing bang for your buck. At that time, I was deep into the FLC8S (still am, by the way - LINK), so I didn't think too much about LZ-A2 and went about my business jamming the FLC8S. Then @peter123 joined in the LZ-A2 love-fest, and I thought to myself, "Nikolaus, you need to get yourself a listen to these LZ-A2." So I reached out to the now defunct Faith Audio and secured a pair for review. Little did I know that they would end up collectors' items, as the LZ-A2 was discontinued right after I received them. After spending some time...
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HiFiMan Edition X: Easy to drive, great sound, comfortable, could be better built, spendy.

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Pros: Smooth balanced sound with good soundstage. Comfortable. Very easy to drive.

Cons: Ginormous. So much plastic. Spendy.

INTRODUCTION I'm a HiFiMan HE400 owner. They were my introduction to both planar and higher-end headphones. Yes, I know HE400 isn't really a high-end headphone, but at the time I bought them it was the most headphone or IEM I'd purchased to date. I've given the old HE400 a lot of love over the years and have recently started down the path of modding them with velpads, a Lohb suspension strap, and (soon) some Sorbothane. I'm hoping they'll take me farther into the future with a little love. So as you might be able to tell, I've got a bit of a soft spot for HiFiMan headphones. I've also taken a two-week test drive of the HE400S. While those were nice, they weren't quite what I was...
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q-JAYS 2.0: Possibly the most ergonomic IEM you'll ever meet!

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Pros: Superb ergonomics. Good design. Balanced sound. Good spacial cues. Tiny. Beautiful.

Cons: Lack bass impact. Hits my sensitive spot for treble. A bit on the spendy side.

Image courtesy of JAYS  INTRODUCTIONHi guys. I recently got a chance to listen to the new q-JAYS courtesy of @shotgunshane and thought I'd let you know what I thought of them. Prior to this, I'd heard of JAYS but had no experience with their IEM, so I started looking into them a bit and found out I've got a bit of a tangential connection. Not really a connection to JAYS but to where JAYS come from. You see, my wife's father moved to the US from Sweden after university. My wife still has family in Sweden, and I've been to Stockholm (where JAYS are headquartered) twice since we were married. We walked all over Stockholm. I probably walked past JAYS HQ and never even knew it. I can tell you...
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Head-Fi.org › nmatheis › Reviews by nmatheis