Head Gear Reviews by Aornic
  1. Inspire by Dennis Had IHA-1 Dragon Version

    5.00 star(s)
    Introduction The IHA-1 is the concoction of Dennis Had, formerly of Cary Audio, who has a reputation in the audio community for his tube power amps. After Drew Baird, CEO of Moon Audio, used an Audeze LCD-3 to showcase to Dennis just how far headphone technology had come, he decided to give a commercial headphone amplifier a go – distributed by Moon Audio exclusively. He also sells his other amps on eBay separately, but I have no experience with those. Essentially, the IHA-1 was Dennis taking elements from his years of designing highly-regarded tube...
  2. Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000

    4.00 star(s)
    Thanks to Audio Sanctuary in New Malden, London, for once again providing me with their display model of a headphone for in-house review. Specifications Type: Open-back dynamic Driver Diameter: 58 mm Frequency Response: 5 – 50,000 Hz Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mw Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW Impedance: 420 ohms Weight: 270 g Cable: Detachable 3.0 m (9.8') cable with A2DC connectors Connector: 6.3 mm (1/4") gold-plated stereo plug Accessories Included: Hard carrying case Build Quality, Comfort & Features The build quality of the ADX5000...
  3. Focal Clear

    4.50 star(s)
    Thanks to SCV Distribution for lending me this unit to review I previously owned the Focal Elear and now have a Utopia as a daily driver and reference headphone. Seeing the Clear’s announcement on Head-fi a few months ago, I was interested in what this very familiar and yet different headphone brought to the table at a price point between the two existing models. Specifications Circum-aural open-back headphones Impedance 55 Ohms Sensitivity 104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz THD 0,25% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL Frequency response 5Hz-28kHz Loudspeaker...
  4. HiFiMAN HE-1000

    4.50 star(s)
    Once again, a big thank you to Audio Sanctuary (based in New Malden, London) for lending me this demo unit of the HE-1000 V1 Introduction Hifiman and I have come quite a way. It was their HE400i that was my first ever planar magnetic headphone. I had gotten a great deal, for the time, on it from Taobao and was over the moon to see what the fuss was about regarding planar tech. While I liked it, I found their classic HE-500 more to my liking. Continuing my tradition with reviewing phased out Hifiman products, I’m tackling their former flagship today...
  5. Sennheiser HD 660 S

    3.50 star(s)
    Special thanks to Audio Sanctuary in New Malden, London, for lending me their display units of the HD660S, HD650 and HD600. Specifications Impedance 150 Ω Connector Stereo jack plug, gold-plated 6.35 mm, unbalanced, 3-pin 4.4 mm, balanced, 5-pin Frequency response 10 – 41,000 Hz (-10 dB) Sound pressure level (SPL) 104 dB at 1V 1kHz Ear coupling Over-ear (circumaural) THD + N, total harmonic distortion and noise < 0,04% (1 kHz, 100 dB) Transducer principle (headphones) Dynamic, open Weight w/o cable Approx. 260 g (without cable)...
  6. Schiit Audio Yggdrasil

    4.50 star(s)
    Background My journey with DAC units has been rather tied to Schiit Audio. I started with the original Modi in 2013, my first DAC ever and one which I used with the Schiit Asgard 2. I used it all the way up to January 2016, when I upgraded to the Modi 2 Uber. A few months later, I grabbed a Delta-Sigma Gungnir – which I then upgraded in January of 2017 to a Gungnir Multibit. I’ve been quite happy with the price-to-performance ratio that I’ve attained at each step – but several demos with the Chord Dave at my local audio store gave me a sense of...
  7. Feliks Audio Elise

    5.00 star(s)
    After several years of only owning solid-state headphone amplifiers, I decided to see what the fuss was about with tube amps earlier this year. On the surface, people seemed to be likening the technology with vinyl – something that sounded more natural to some folk but was antiquated in the modern world. Indeed, tubes have their disadvantages – a limited lifespan being the most immediate of them. After hearing the Cavalli Liquid Tungsten at Can Jam London 2016, especially with a Sennheiser HD800, I knew there was more to it than just mere...
  8. Audeze Sine

    3.50 star(s)
    Build Quality, Comfort & Features The barebones version of the Sine that I bought is slightly cheaper than the one that comes with a Lightning cable. Utilising a 3.5mm connector, this is ready to be plugged into pretty much anything. The cables are completely removable, which is a plus, and the look of them is a bit unique in that they are completely flat – like two rubber tapeworms that travel to the drivers. The earcup shape is also a bit unusual to me. It looks really nice, but from a practical standpoint I’m left scratching my head. This is...
  9. Schiit Lyr 2

    4.00 star(s)
    Specifications Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 2Hz-500KHz, -3dB Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 6.0W RMS per channel Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 4.0W RMS per channel Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 660mW RMS per channel Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 330mW RMS per channel THD: < 0.01%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS, gain = 8 mode (worst case, stock tubes) IMD: < 0.01%, CCIF at 1V RMS, gain = 8 mode (worst case, stock tubes) SNR: > 98db, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS, in gain = 1 mode Crosstalk: < -65dB, 20 Hz-20KHz Output Impedance: 0.7 ohms (high gain), 0.3...
  10. MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed

    4.00 star(s)
    My first impressions of MrSpeakers’ headphones were very positive. I was at Canjam London in 2016 and spent a long time at the joint Cavalli + MrSpeakers + Kimber Kable booth, primarily listening to the Ether C Flow with the Cavalli Liquid Tungsten. I really liked what I heard, despite some shortcomings, like the bass extension not being very deep – and I looked forward to reviewing them someday. Although the opportunity has not come by yet, I have listened to them quite a bit in my local store (Audio Sanctuary in New Malden, London). When they...
  11. OPPO PM-3

    3.00 star(s)
    Shoutout Again, a big thanks to Armand for lending me his PM3 for my honest opinions. This is the third headphone of his that I’ve reviewed and I truly appreciate the support for my YouTube channel and written reviews. Headphone Specifications Acoustic Principle Closed back Ear Coupling Circumaural Nominal Impedance 26 Ohm Sensitivity 102 dB in 1 mW Clamping Pressure 5 N Cables 3 m detachable cable (3.5 mm with 6.35 mm adapter) 1.2 m detachable cable (3.5 mm) Cable Connectors Output...
  12. SIMGOT EN700 Bass In Ear N50 High Magnetic Composite Moving-Coil Dynamic Driver Earphone (Red)

    4.00 star(s)
    Thanks to Simgot for reaching out to me and providing this review unit for my honest opinions. Build Quality, Comfort & Features The EN700 Bass’ look is quite unique to me, at least based on my limited knowledge of the in-ear monitor world. It reminds me of the Hifiman HE-1000 in a way, with a grill design on the shells themselves. Unlike the Hifiman headphone however, the Simgot IEMs are very much closed off and not prone to leaking sound either way as isolation is quite good on these. Do I like how it looks? Certainly, although I did go for the...
  13. Audeze EL-8 Open-Back

    3.00 star(s)
    A big thanks to Armand, who has again sought to lend me a headphone for my honest opinion and, thus, supporting my YouTube channel and written review portfolio. Specifications Style Open circumaural Transducer type Planar magnetic Magnetic structure Fluxor magnets Magnet type Neodymium Driver Size 100 mm Maximum power handling 15W (for 200ms) Maximum SPL >130dB Frequency response 10Hz – 50kHz Total harmonic distortion <0.1% (1kHz, 1mW) Impedance 30 ohms...
  14. ZMF Headphones Atticus dynamic TPE driver over-ear full size headphone

    4.50 star(s)
    Build Quality, Comfort & Features The weight of this Atticus is lighter than the Eikon, but only because of the cherry wood. If you choose a padauk version, it will be of similar weight to my padauk Eikon. Weighing about 542g, it is only a few single-digits under the weight of an Audeze LCD-2, but is far more comfortable due to superior support and weight management. I, and several owners I have spoken to, found this and the Eikon to not feel their weight – which is a good design choice for something that could have gone overboard so easily. The...
  15. Audeze LCD2 Planar Magnetic Headphones

    4.00 star(s)
      I would like to thank the guys over at Audio Sanctuary in New Malden, London, for lending me their display unit of the Audeze LCD-2 (2016 Edition) for a review. Check them out at https://www.audiosanctuary.co.uk/ and do visit their brick-and-mortar outlet if you are in the area for a terrific selection of high-end headphones and speakers.   Specifications   Style:  Circumaural - open   Transducer type:  Planar magnetic   Magnetic structure:  Proprietary self-closing design, acoustically transparent   Magnet type:  High-grade Neodymium ...
  16. ZMFheadphones Eikon

    5.00 star(s)
      It’s been a year since I started writing/filming reviews, and it all began with the ZMF Vibro Mk. I in cornflower blue. I found the sound very fun, found the bass ports interesting and thought they looked splendid and unique for headphones – my first wooden ones. However, I did take issue with the sound a bit, finding the treble too rolled off for my taste and pairing with my Schiit Asgard 2 too stuffy, necessitating that I buy the less warm Magni 2.   However, unbeknownst to me and most others, ZMF CEO Zach Mehrbach was already working on fully...
  17. iFi audio Pro iCAN

    4.00 star(s)
      iFi's response to my criticism as a disclaimer for this review:    'The unit may have needed to be run in longer in each mode. It requires 24/7 burn in for each mode (3 weeks total) so this maybe why he says the sound wasn't a big jump between the settings'.   I had the Pro iCan in my possession for almost a month and ran it near non-stop, mostly in tube mode.   ---------------------------------------------------   Having previously found the IFI Micro iCAN SE impressive with its small factor yet high power, along with the synergy between...
  18. Focal Utopia

    5.00 star(s)
      The dust has settled, in my opinion, a bit since the summer of 2016 – when the two new dynamic-driver headphones by Focal exploded onto the market. The Focal Elear and Utopia were the biggest draw of the show floor at Can Jam London 2016, and the latter was named the best headphone in the world by Tyll over at InnerFidelity.   Such a statement had been met with a small amount of backlash, with some in the headphones community calling the Utopia overpriced at $4000 and overhyped. More than this, to my eyes, the Utopia is being seen as the next...
  19. Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones

    4.00 star(s)
      Costing me only £16, these are one of those bang-for-your-buck kind of items in the audio world.   Build Quality, Fit & Comfort   The packaging reflects the budget-fi nature by looking like something hanging on a checkout aisle at a Walmart somewhere. The build itself is expectedly not stellar, the cups are made of hollow plastic with holes. The foam is not particularly soft but not particularly rough either. The cable is another issue, being really flimsy and rigid. I would not recommend being too rough with the cable or headphones, as it...
  20. Cascadia Audio Talos

    4.00 star(s)
        Background:   My very first review, in March of 2016, was of a Fostex T50RP mod – specifically the ZMF Vibro Mk. I. Any in-depth impressions I have of the prolifically modified T50RP were of ZMF Zach’s tuning of the Mark II driver. This was used in the ZMF Vibro and both ZMF Ori/Omnis that I have owned and reviewed in the past – but the Mark III Fostex driver was what Zach has switched to for the Vibro Mk. II. Confusing right?   In any case, it has been months since I sold my last planar magnetic headphone and chose to focus on the two...
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