Head Gear Reviews by nmatheis
  1. Meze 12 Classics

    4.50 star(s)
    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...
  2. Revamp Acoustics TeriPlayer G1 Hi-Res DAP

    4.00 star(s)
    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...
  3. T-PEOS RASIEL

    3.00 star(s)
    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...
  4. NuForce HEM8 Reference Class Hi-Res In-Ear Headphones with Quad Balanced Armature Drivers

    4.50 star(s)
    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...
  5. Unique Melody UM Maestro 12 driver IEM

    4.50 star(s)
    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...
  6. JDS Labs The Element

    4.00 star(s)
    Photo courtesy of JDS Labs.   INTRODUCTION I'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...
  7. Meze Audio 99 Classics

    4.50 star(s)
    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...
  8. LZ A2

    4.50 star(s)
    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...
  9. HIFIMAN Edition X Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

    4.00 star(s)
    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...
  10. Jays q-JAYS v2.0

    4.00 star(s)
    Image courtesy of JAYS     INTRODUCTION Hi 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...
  11. Soundaware M1 Esther

    3.50 star(s)
    *** SEPTEMBER 2016 UPDATE: SOUNDAWARE M1PRO *** Thanks to Mary at Soundaware, I recently had the opportunity to audition the Soundaware Esther M1Pro. I thought it would make sense to update my original review of the Esther Analog since there are so many similarities. The user interface is identical to the original, so please refer to the main review below and watch the UI video I uploaded to get a good feel for how the M1Pro works. It's still a very basic user interface that lacks amenities found in DAPs from AK, Cayin, FiiO, iBasso, Shanling, etc...
  12. Venture Electronics (VE) Zen V2

    5.00 star(s)
      *** I originally posted this review under the VE Zen listing, but since a VE Zen 2.0 listing was created after my initial review I'm reposting here. ***   INTRODUCTION Upstart Venture Electronics has been making quite the name for themselves around Head-Fi in 2015. It seems like everybody who listens to their gear is nothing short of impressed with what this new company has been able produce in a short amount of time. From their super bang for your buck $5 Monk earbuds to their high-resolution Duke IEM to the Runabout amp, their products never...
  13. FLC Technology FLC 8S

    4.50 star(s)
    Image courtesy of FLC     INTRODUCTION Hi guys. I discovered a real gem of an IEM in 2015, the excellent FLC8S. Out of all the IEM I tried in 2015, this is the one that most caught my attention and has gotten a disproportionate amor of ear time. How did this all come about? Well, I was chilling out, jamming to some music one day when I noticed an email in my inbox from Teo over at LMUE (Lend Me Ur Ears). In the email, Teo asked if I'd like to check out the FLC8S because he though they were a great IEM that deserved more attention. I didn't really...
  14. Chord Electronics Mojo

    4.50 star(s)
      iPhone 5S → Mojo → VE Zen 2.0     INTRODUCTION I've been very lucky to hear a lot of great sounding gear this year. Pictured above are a couple of my favorites, the Chord Mojo and the VE Zen 2.0 earbuds. Yes, I'm leading off with the punch line this time. Mojo is one of my 2015 top picks. Why? Quite simply, it has the right combination of small size, durable build, easy connectivity to my iPhone or DAPs, good battery life, and very natural sound. To put this in context, I've heard many portable sources recently ranging from DAC/Amps...
  15. Aune M2 32BIT DSD portable music player

    3.50 star(s)
    Photo courtesy of Aune   ***Even though the M2 I reviewed is BLUE, it is not the M2s. It's a pre-production model of the standard M2.***   Jan. 2016 EDIT: An issue I thought had been resolved with AAC & ALAC playback has not been resolved, so I'm removing a half-star from my review until this is fixed. The issue is that any AAC or ALAC songs over 8.5 minutes are skipped over and not played. Hopefully, this is resolved soon.   INTRODUCTION I've been very lucky to hear many great-sounding DAPs this year. This product category is exploding at a...
  16. Ausdom M05 Bluetooth 4.0 Over-ear Headphones

    4.00 star(s)
        INTRODUCTION Okay. Who out there's heard of AUSDOM? Many hands raised? I thought not. I hadn't heard of them until they reached out to the Head-Fi community with a review opportunity for their M05 Apt-X Bluetooth headphones. The Bluetooth products I've tried have been pretty hit or miss with respect to connection and quality. Would the AUSDOM's M05 fare better? I was curious, so I signed up and was lucky enough to be chosen as a reviewer. Thanks AUSDOM!   So who exactly are AUSDOM? Well, they're a general tech company, making headphones...
  17. Venture Electronics (VE) Zen

    5.00 star(s)
      LINK
  18. Brainwavz HM2

    3.50 star(s)
        INTRODUCTION Brainwavz is a company well-known on Head-Fi for budget-fi IEM with good sound, great accessories, and some quite unusual designs. I was introduced to Brainwavz when I purchased my FiiO X3 Classic from MP4Nation. The original S-series IEM, the S1, was included as a bonus with my X3 pre-order. With their unusual color scheme, flat cable, chunky strain reliefs and y-splitter, and all-metal housing, the S1 were quite different from most of the IEM I'd owned up to that point. I enjoyed them for a fun, v-shaped sound, although they...
  19. Aune B1 (2016 Version)

    4.50 star(s)
        INTRODUCTION I love it when manufacturers listen to feedback and respond quickly with positive changes! Take Aune, for example. I was lucky enough to take their B1 portable amp for a test drive earlier this year (LINK to review). It was a really good amp, but I wasn't exactly enamored with the sound signature and pointed out a few things I thought would improve the user experience. I know some of my fellow Head-Fi'ers pointed out similar opportunities for improvement. After the review I returned the B1 to its owner, and I honestly didn't think...
  20. Sennheiser MOMENTUM In-Ear

    4.00 star(s)
    Photo courtesy of Sennheiser     INTRODUCTION We all know Sennheiser, right? The legendary German audio giant famous for high-quality headphones and microphones. Well, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I'm a Sennheiser newbie. I've tried a lot of audio gear since I started in this hobby but for some reason, but I just never got around to giving Sennheiser their day in the sun. Well, that's about to change because I recently got to take the MOMENTUM In-Ear for a test drive and was impressed with what I heard. Let's just cut to the chase, shall...
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