Head Gear Reviews by Armaegis
  1. Burson Audio Cable+

    2.00 star(s)
    I have a more comprehensive review posted here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=150423 But in summary, the Cable+ is an active buffer held back by needing a good power source (better than the one supplied). Without one, you're not doing the sound any favours. With one, it's a bit of a tossup whether you'll find improvement or not, and at that point the setup is complex enough you might as well consider adding an active preamp to your chain. The build quality itself is nice. Cable length is sufficient for most uses, although the supplied...
  2. iFi audio Pro iCAN

    3.00 star(s)
    I had the iFi Pro iCAN on loan for a few weeks and have assembled my notes below. They will remain mostly in point form, because no one wants to read an essay. I ran it through a fairly extensive gamut of different headphones and speakers. Since there is a lot of "stream of consciousness" in these notes, it would be prudent to not examine any particular section by itself. At the very least, read the section immediately above it so you know where the relevant comparison is coming from. Also be aware that in point form, my notes are very nitpickish...
  3. HIFIMAN Edition X Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

    3.50 star(s)
    This here is a micro review and formatted primarily as a direct comparison vs a fully modded HE-6. There are enough flowery reviews here to paint you a pretty picture, so this will be all point-form and very direct.   - potentially more comfortable - lighter weight, larger cups - personally I find the cup slightly too long and it presses down into my jaw - headband kinda big overall; I am on the smallest setting and it still feels too low   - that said, the HE-X needs to hang low on the ear to sound right; too high and it seems off   - does...
  4. Encore mDSD DAC & Headphone Amplifier

    4.50 star(s)
    See my full review here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/797668/preview-encore-mdsd-dac-amp-a-new-pocket-rocket-to-make-you-hum   Concluding paragraph from my review: It's a decent amp, an even better DAC, and a snazzy usb-optical bridge that brings some pizazz to your regular dacs. Based on those pieces alone I'd expect something around $150-200, but all this for $60-70? Jimminy crickets what are you waiting for? If this is something that you've been shopping around for, you've got nothing to lose here and the value is fantastic.   The crowdfunding...
  5. Encore RockMaster OE

    4.00 star(s)
    The Rockmaster OE (along with its sister product the Rockmaster IE) is a new offering from Encore that explores crowdfunding as a way to produce high quality yet low priced items. They can do this by selecting OEM manufacturers and customizing the tooling to save on time and costs, and the crowdfunding angle allows them to significantly reduce operational costs such a advertising, storage, distribution, and all those other things that we as consumers don't really think about. The result is the ability to offer products to us at a fraction of the cost...
  6. Encore RockMaster IE

    4.00 star(s)
    The Rockmaster IE is a new offering from Encore that explores crowdfunding as a way to produce high quality yet low priced items. They can do this by selecting OEM manufacturers and customizing the tooling to save on time and costs, and the crowdfunding angle allows them to significantly reduce operational costs such a advertising, storage, distribution, and all those other things that we as consumers don't really think about. The result is the ability to offer products to us at a fraction of the cost of typical consumer good.   This would be all...
  7. Alpha & Delta AD01

    2.00 star(s)
    My longer impressions here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/773148/alpha-delta-ad01/75#post_11824251 (post #83)   The short version: A nice first try by Alpha & Delta, and the tuning is obviously geared towards a bass heavy "consumer" sound which isn't bad by itself... but there's much more to sound than just the frequency response. I suspect there's some heavy distortion and decay products in there, because while it "sounds" ok at first, it "feels" awful. That said, the build quality and accessories are really nice.
  8. Noontec Hammo S Over Ear Headphone Audiophile Sound Stylish Looking Votrik 50mm Driver SCCB technology High Definition Portable Foldable Comfortable (

    4.00 star(s)
    Full review here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/771679/   Here are my closing thoughts from my review: The HammoS markets itself as a competitor with the M50, but I think that's the wrong comparison. The fit and styling is all Beats, not the M50 (nor other “studio” headphones). Soundwise, I actually think the overall shape is reminiscent of open Sennheisers, except closed if that makes sense.   I've reviewed quite a few closed-back headphones in the past that all floated around the $200 range. I feel the HammoS competes quite well against all of...
  9. OPPO PM-3

    4.00 star(s)
    Mini review of the Oppo PM-3   Build quality is very nice, and unless you look really close you wouldn't even notice the difference from the PM-1/2. The pads are different though, and not nearly as nice or comfortable as the PM-1. They're good pads, but the PM-1 pads are extra comfy and real leather makes a difference. These ones don't breath very well and get warm very quickly.   The frequency response is reasonably balanced with a gentle downwards slope, except for one dip in the treble and the early rolloff, but no peaks (remarkable for a...
  10. NuPrime uDSD Hi-resolution USB-powered Portable DAC (PCM 384, DSD 256) & Headphone Amp

    4.50 star(s)
    See here for my full review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/765642/   TL/DR: A clear step up from the uDAC-3, and is equal in price with the trade-in program. A very neutral sound from all outputs, enough power for most headphones, all while maintaining a small form factor.
  11. Oppo HA-1 Integrated Headphone DAC and Amplifier.

    3.00 star(s)
    Micro review of the Oppo HA-1:   rankings (because the bars to the side for some reason are not representative of the rank I gave) audio quality: 2/5 design: 4/5 quality: 3.5/5 value: 2.5/5   - build quality is great - nice pot, motorized, smooth and solid feel - user interface is simple and clean, intuitive menu system - connectivity is top notch - I can easily see this becoming the centrepiece of a system - but I couldn't get the usb drivers to work - bluetooth from your smartdevice, operate both as a streaming device and as remote...
  12. Celsus Sound Gramo One Reference-grade Open-back In-ear Headphone

    4.00 star(s)
    Full review here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/761288/review-celsus-sound-gramo-one-a-fantastic-open-backed-earbud   These were my closing thoughts: Headphones and iems have come a long way in terms of public acceptance and what “typical” consumer pricing should be, but earbuds still have this stigma of being poor both in price and sound quality. Well, I hope the Gramo One will start changing people's minds on that (yeah yeah, probably nothing will actually do that unless your name is Apple or Sony).   I consider the sound quality on par with IEMs...
  13. OPPO PM-1

    4.00 star(s)
        I was part of the Canadian leg of the Oppo PM-1 loaner program. For reference, my primary rig is my modded HE-6 (significantly “darker” than stock): regrilled, removed rear and front foams, J$ leather pads with additional front damping, modified “fuzzor”. Amping is from a pair of Nuforce HA-200 monoblocks. My dac is an Echo2usb. Most of the review will be point-form-ish because who wants to read a long blather of purple prose? I also haven't read any other existing reviews or impressions, so I'm coming at it rather blank slate.   My very...
  14. FiiO X1 Ultraportable Hi-Res DAP

    3.50 star(s)
    Buid/Usage/Etc   Overall build seems quite nice. It has a solid metal feel in your hand and there's some heft to it (good or bad, depending how you feel about weight). Edges are all clean, and there's no looseness. Buttons are firm and responsive. The only thing I don't like is the wheel, which feels a bit wobbly. If there are no buttons built into the wheel, it should be steadier than that. It's also too smooth for my liking; a more textured surface would have been better for grip and being able to feel if I'm actually spinning the wheel or not...
  15. HiFiMAN HE-560

    4.00 star(s)
        Presentation   That's a lovely box it comes in. I'm not being snarky at all; it really is nice. Totally for presentation though, not for transport/portability.     Construction   The headband of the new Hifiman models is a great improvement over the old ones. The suspension design is more comfortable, and the gimbals feel more solid. The headband adjustment has more of a reassuring feel to it, unlike the old headbands which had a tendency to become loose over time. Gripes: there's a higher clamp force though (for me it pressed under the...
  16. Wadia 121 Decoding Computer Digital to Analog Converter

    3.50 star(s)
    Just some brief notes and impressions since no one else has put one up yet.   Nice compact form. The little rubber cone feet are useless though and start wearing out. Surprisingly lightweight (the power supply is in the "wall wart" as far as I can tell and provides the multiple voltages required)   Remote control is a plus. The downside is that there is *only* remote access to the dac. The remote itself is functional, though I wish labeling were better (or perhaps colours, so I didn't have to squint to read the buttons each time). Volume...
  17. HA-200 High Performance, Single Ended, Class-A Headphone Amplifier (Black)

    4.50 star(s)
    Here is the link to my full review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/724153/review-nuforce-ha-200-affordable-class-a-monoblocks   Earlier thread and discussion: http://www.head-fi.org/t/691255/nuforce-ha-200-high-performance-single-ended-class-a-headphone-amplifier     This is the summary from my review:   So it's obvious I'm quite happy with the Nuforce HA-200. As a single ended amp it's fantastic. As dual monos, doubly fantastic and totally worth the price. If you can't afford the mono setup, start with one and upgrade later! Of course if you're...
  18. Sennheiser Amperior On-Ear Headphones

    4.00 star(s)
    Just a point form review... really just notes for myself comparing vs the HD25-1-ii. If you want something with more sonic impressions, read any other Amperior or HD25 review below or the excellent one over at InnerFidelity.   pads: Amperior has this supple pleathery material which is way nicer than the HD25 pads and more comfortable isolation: but somehow the HD25 pleather pads isolate better clamp: really the same build quality: Amperior clearly better in every way with nicer cups and cable assembly (and changeable cables with iDevice...
  19. NuForce Icon uDAC-3 - High-Resolution USB Digital Audio Converter (DAC) - Silver

    3.50 star(s)
    Full review and images here... http://www.head-fi.org/t/693047/
  20. Munitio PRO40 High-Performance Headphones

    2.00 star(s)
    Gallery: http://www.head-fi.org/g/a/820286/munitio-pro40     The Pro40 is Munitio's first foray into full sized headphones. The manufacturer is well known for their range of iems, though I haven't heard any of those so I carried no expectation of “brand sound” at all into this review.   So let's start off with outward appearances. The box is pretty standard: Nice picture, specs are listed, feels solid and probably something you could wrap in paper and mail to somebody without worrying about it getting crushed. Pop open the box and you'll find...
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