Head-Fi.org › Currawong › Reviews by Currawong

Reviews by: Currawong

Oppo's HA-1 is a very flexible headphone amp and home theatre DAC/pre-amp and about spot-on for the money.

Posted

Pros: No lack of inputs, including Bluetooth; Headphone amp is good all-round with plenty of power; Functionality is well thought-out.

Cons: Mute function for the pre-amp output only accessible on the remote. Knob feel for the volume is terrible. Display text is hard to read at a distance.

  Thanks to Oppo Digital Japan for allowing us to borrow the PM-1 and HA-1.   Oppo coming out with a pair of headphones was quite a surprised, especially a pair of planars. Likewise the HA-1, though it is logical that a company would provide an appropriate matching amp to do with their own headphones.    The HA-1 is based upon the BD-105 essentially, but with fewer features and a better headphone amp, in this case with balanced output. Like the BD-105, apart from the lack of disc playback, it is still designed to be the centrepiece of your home theatre system with no less than 8 inputs: RCA and XLR (balanced) analogue and S/PDIF, optical, AES and Bluetooth...
(read more)

The Calyx M is a solid entry into the high-end DAP market for people looking for a good, all-round unit.

Posted

Pros: Easy to use and attractive user interface. Good sound, significantly better than an iPhone and close to AK240. Full-size SD cards can be used.

Cons: Quite large and somewhat thick. User interface is laggy in 0.95 and doesn't cache album art. DAC performance isn't as good. No folder browsing.

  Thanks to Calyx for allowing Team Tokyo to borrow a unit for review.   Note: Version 0.6 and 0.95 of the software were used for this review. The first thing many people wanted when they heard about the Calyx M was an AK240-level device without the price tag. Good luck! But in all honesty, if there is another company (other than Sony) that might be capable of invading the market with something competent, it would be another Korean company. Having owned a Calyx DAC in the past, the DAC 24/192, I was curious to find out how their portable would fare, so when the CEO of Calyx introduced himself at the May 2014 headphone festival in Tokyo, I didn’t hesitate to ask for a...
(read more)

Oppo has created a great successor to the old vintage Yamaha and other orthodynamic (planar) headphones with the PM-1.

Posted

Pros: High quality design, light weight with an excellent selection of accessories and a lush sound. Scales well with better equipment. Readily portable.

Cons: "Dark" sound wont be good for everyone nor all types of music.

  It was certainly a big surprise to find out that the company famous for multi-media everything-and-the-kitchen-sink players had come out with a pair of headphones and planar ones at that. With the revival of planar (orthodynamic) headphones we have had had one consistent thing: Weight. Audeze’s and Hifiman’s headphones have been heavy and that hasn’t always been good. One of the endearing things about the old, circular diaphragm planars from Yamaha and others was that they were light and portable and pleasant to listen with. Oppo’s PM-1s, on the other hand, are light and more like a conventional pair of headphones in size. They are beautifully finished and their design is well...
(read more)

The remarkably small and well-built Pico Slim does a fantastic job with sensitive custom IEMs.

Posted

Pros: Tiny, excellent build quality, volume control is excellent, sound is grain-free, charges off USB and the battery life is long.

Cons: Not suited to cables with large plugs. Designed for IEMs only.

  As if portable amps didn't have enough limitations to begin with, using them with sensitive custom IEMs could introduce a number of problems. First was that they require a very low gain, they would draw out hiss out of even good amps and amps that use regular volume pots often have channel imbalance. Portable amps are also bulky. So it was that Justin at HeadAmp came up with the Pico Slim, which addresses all of these problems.          As the Jerry Harvey JH-13s were becoming popular, they ran into all of the above-mentioned problems, which anyone with multiple-driver IEMs are likely to have encountered at some stage, so the Pico Slim is fitted...
(read more)
Head-Fi.org › Currawong › Reviews by Currawong