Head Gear Reviews by Ichos
  1. KIWI EARS Allegro

    4.00 star(s)
    Kiwi Ears is a renowned earphones manufacturer with many successful and well regarded models, like the Kiwi Ears Quintet. The Allegro is their first portable USB DAC dongle. Non Audio stuff Digital to analog conversion is assigned to the ES9028Q2M DAC chip by ESS which supports audio decoding up to 32bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256 while the headphone amplifier chip is the ESS9603. The Kiwi Ears Allegro has a USB Type-C interface with a detachable cable and two headphone outputs, 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm single ended. A high quality and durable USB...
  2. FIIO LL-RD 2024

    4.50 star(s)
    The FiiO LL-RD 2024 is an upgrade cable for headphones that support the dual 3.5mm interface on their ear-cups. The LL-RD 2024 utilizes high-end audiophile grade pure silver as its conductor material. The cable has a total of 400 cores across 4 strands, with a total cross-sectional area of 24AWG. The larger cross-sectional area of monocrystalline silver wires effectively reduces resistance and minimizes signal transmission loss, ensuring signals are transmitted quickly and reliably. The FiiO LL-RD 2024 is coaxially braided. Each of the 4 main...
  3. HIDIZS S8 PRO ROBIN

    4.00 star(s)
    Hidizs is producing a great variety of USB DAC dongles like the S9 Pro plus, the XO and the SD2. Their most recent product is the S8 Pro, with the nickname Robin. You can read the whole history and why they chose to name it after this little bird here. Technical highlights The S8 Pro is a compact USB DAC dongle with a detachable USB type-C cable and dual headphone outputs, 3.5mm single ended and 4.4mm balanced. This is a new model upgraded from the previous generation S8 DAC dongle. The Hidizs S8 Pro features a dual 32-bit DAC balanced...
  4. MEZE Audio ALBA

    4.50 star(s)
    For the past few years Meze Audio was very busy developing their full sized headphones with the sole exception of the Meze Audio Advar, a $699, single dynamic driver earphone. Rumors were also that Meze had abandoned entry level products to allow more time and resources for their higher end headphones. Reality proved far from the opposite though. It was at the Munich 2024 High End show where Meze Audio presented the Alba, a very affordable in-ear monitor bundled together with a USB type-C to 3.5mm DAC adapter. Priced at just $159, the package...
  5. BGVP Q3 - TWS in-ear monitors

    4.00 star(s)
    The BGVP Q3 is a Bluetooth 5.3 TWS set of earphones with additional MMCX connectors for wired use. It uses the Qualcomm QCC3072 Bluetooth chip that supports the following protocols: aptX Adaptive/LE Audio/AAC/SBC/A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/HSP/SPP/PBAP. Bluetooth connectivity is strong and stable without any interference noise and with a good working distance that can be as long as about 10m without much obstacles in between. The Q3 has a hybrid architecture that consists of one dynamic driver for the mid-low frequencies and one balanced armature for the high...
  6. Cen.Grand 9i-906 Silver Fox

    5.00 star(s)
    Cen.Grand Cen.Grand is a high end audio manufacturer from China, a company that was founded in 2011 by experienced audio engineers. This brand might not ring a bell in western audiences but is very famous in China where they used to be one of the largest manufacturers of HiFi Blu-ray players. They focus not only on audio but also on video because they believe that products with leading technology both in audio and video are competitive. Currently, their catalog consists of various audio products including, but not limited to, DACs, headphone...
  7. Letshuoer Cadenza 4

    4.50 star(s)
    The Cadenza 12 is LETSHUOER’s flagship in-ear monitor, an exceptionally well sounding earphone that is one of my favorites and I regularly use it for music listening and as a reviewing reference. The Cadenza 4 is a scaled down version of their 12 driver flagship, a hybrid earphone with four drivers per side, a 10mm dual-chambered beryllium coated dynamic driver and 3 BA drivers. The 10mm dual-chambered dynamic driver is beryllium coated, a metal which possesses the characteristics of being light and extremely rigid. The balanced armature drivers...
  8. FiiO M23

    5.00 star(s)
    FiiO M23 Technical highlights FiiO M23 is a new mid-range DAP, the successor of the much acclaimed FiiO M11 Plus ESS. As you may well remember, the M11 Plus was originally launched with dual AKM AK4497EQ DAC chips but after the devastating AKM factory fire, FiiO has switched production to dual ES9068AS chips. For the M23, FiiO has returned back to AKM and the new device utilizes the flagship AK4191EQ + AK4499EX combo. This DAC chip is a new design that totally separates the digital and analog portions and also features the “DWA ROUTING Technology”...
  9. Letshuoer Nebula cable

    4.00 star(s)
    This is a brief review of the LETSHUOER LR-Nebula cable which is an affordable upgrade cable for earphones with the 0.78mm, 2-pin interface. The LR-Nebula features 6N high-purity monocrystalline copper imported from Taiwan with a diameter of 0.08mm. There are a total of six cores of 10 x 0.8mm strands. The cable utilizes a proprietary balance pairing construction, with one positive core and two negative cores in order to reject RF noise, enhance conductivity and reduce transmission loss. All connectors are made with a high-quality 5μ gold-plated...
  10. Penon Liqueur Series Silicone Eartips

    5.00 star(s)
    Penon Liqueur ear-tips The Penon Liqueur are premium silicone ear-tips that feature a special non-slippery coating that makes them stick in your ears. They are a great option for people that sweat a lot or have excessive wax in their ears. They are also very suitable when you want to achieve a more tight and secure fit that isolates better than the average silicone ear-tips that are included as stock with most earphones. They are available in two variants, Penon Liqueur O (Orange color) and Penon Liqueur B (Black color). Both have a tube diameter...
  11. I/O Audio Volare

    5.00 star(s)
    I\O Audio Volare I\O Audio is a new audio brand that debuts with a hybrid in-ear monitor named Volare. A rather unusual debut with a flagship product rather than something more affordable, this is a sign that I\O Audio are aiming high right from the start. The I\O Volare has a nine driver array that combines one dynamic driver, four balanced armatures and four electrostatic drivers, thus using three different kinds of drivers for their respective frequency bands. One dynamic driver is responsible for low-frequency and part of vocals, four...
  12. FX-AUDIO DS07 / Balanced DAC

    4.00 star(s)
    FX-AUDIO DS07 I didn't know about FX-AUDIO until HiFiGo suggested that I should test their DS07 DAC. The brand has a ten year history and except for the DS07, they also make a compact sized DAC/headphone amplifier named the DR07. The FX-AUDIO DS07 is a desktop DAC without a headphone amplifier. It uses a single ES9068AS DAC chip by ESS in a fully balanced configuration with five OPA1612 op-amps in a typical Chi-Fi implementation that is used by brands like SMSL and Topping. Nothing really new or innovative, just the beaten track that we have seen...
  13. iBasso 3T-154

    4.50 star(s)
    The 3T-154 is a brand new and affordable, single dynamic driver earphone by iBasso. The rather strange name is a combination of the two key features, the 15.4mm diaphragm, a maximized size of diaphragm for an IEM, and the 3T magnetic flux for the best possible performance. The beryllium-plated diaphragm possesses remarkable internal resistance and exceptional rigidity. Additionally, the embossing technology further enhances the diaphragm's rigidity, which drastically minimizes distortion while enhancing sound precision. You can read more about the...
  14. FiiO Q15

    5.00 star(s)
    The Q15 is FiiO's mid-range, battery powered, portable DAC and headphone amplifier that also features a desktop working mode. It is a model positioned behind FiiO's flagship, the Q7 and the successor of the legendary FiiO Q5s Type-C. Technical highlights FiiO is back to using AKM DAC chips and the Q15 utilizes their flagship DAC combo AK4191EQ+AK4499EX, the same configuration with the FiiO K9 AKM. The fully balanced headphone amplifier is not based on THX modules but is designed with op-amps. The FiiO Q15 uses a meticulously designed, complete...
  15. ddHiFi TC44Pro E2

    4.00 star(s)
    ddHiFi was established back in 2017 by an audio engineer who had long working experience in both OPPO and FiiO. It is a very well known brand that specializes in making high quality, small sized USB DACs, cables, various audio adapters and accessories. Their products are innovative and distinguished by the use of high quality materials and exquisite craftsmanship. ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 The ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 is the latest addition to the brand's extensive catalog of thumb sized USB DAC adapters. This is the second and updated version of the ddHiFi...
  16. FiiO x Jade Audio JD1

    3.50 star(s)
    The J series of earphones is created jointly by FiiO and Jade Audio, the company's sister brand that focuses on producing budget friendly and cost effective audio products. The FiiO JD1 is an entry level, single dynamic driver, earphone suitable for someone entering the hobby or everyone else who needs a second pair of lightweight earphones for daily music listening on the go and answering phone calls. The JD1 is equipped with a 10mm liquid crystal polymer (LCP) dynamic driver that is both lightweight and highly rigid. It also uses FiiO's...
  17. Schiit Audio Midgard Desktop Headphone Amplifier

    5.00 star(s)
    Schiit Audio is one of the most sought after and renowned manufacturers of audio gear on the planet. They have started their audio journey by making small sized headphone amplifiers and DACs but after all these years they have expanded to produce almost every device that an audio enthusiast will ever need. From desktop DACs to speaker amplifiers, hardware equalizers, all kinds of headphone amplifiers, even a CD transport and a turntable. If you don't know about Schiit then you better visit their website to do your homework and then come back to...
  18. Questyle CMA18 Portable / CMA18P

    4.50 star(s)
    Questyle Audio is dedicated to the research of high-tech lossless audio systems with perfect sound aesthetics and convenient listening experience, and provide the corresponding products, system solutions or key components according to customer requirements. They are famous for their Current Mode Amplification topology that uses current, instead of voltage, to amplify audio signals. Questyle CMA18 Questyle Audio is a high-end brand with many successful products like the desktop DAC/amps CMA15 & CMA18, and the portable USB DAC, the M15i. The newly...
  19. iFi Audio GO Bar Kensei

    5.00 star(s)
    iFi currently produces three portable USB DAC dongles. The entry level, iFi Go link, the regular sized iFi Go bar and its limited edition, the iFi Go bar/Gold edition which is now sold out. The brand new addition to the family is the iFi Go bar Kensei which incorporates all the extra technical features that were to be found in the Gold edition plus a few more. Technical stuff The DAC section of the GO bar Kensei uses a powerful 16-core XMOS micro controller to process the audio data received at the USB input and ensure a perfect partnership with...
  20. Lavricables Master (V3) Power Cable

    4.50 star(s)
    Lavricables Lavricables is a Latvia based company that was created back in 2012 as a hobby. To ensure the highest quality of their products they use pure silver which is the best conductor available nowadays. Silver is also known for its neutrality, resolution and soundstage openness. Moreover, braided solid core cable geometry allows to eliminate radio frequencies and electromagnetic interferences and with increased number of cores skin effect is also minimized on high frequencies. Currently they make cables for headphones and earphones, as well...
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