Head Gear Reviews by Otto Motor
  1. Tin Hifi T2 Plus

    4.50 star(s)
    The Tin Hifi T2 Plus is a very well-made warm-neutral, well-balanced, crisp but never aggressive sounding earphone with outstanding timbre challenging the company’s more expensive offerings. The T2 Plus’s money is in: the build quality the ergonomics the tonal accuracy
  2. TRN VX

    4.00 star(s)
  3. Moondrop SSR Super Starship Reference Review

    4.00 star(s)
    Moondrop SSR “Super Spaceship Reference” Earphone Review – Walking On The Moon This review was originally published on https://www.audioreviews.org EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Moondrop SSR are a close-to diffuse-field-neutral tuned earphone that sonically excel by their non-sterile/non over-analytical balanced and fluid signature mainly fuelled by an outstanding dry and articulate, well-dosed low-end. The very small shells provide for excellent comfort and fit. INTRODUCTION The Moondrop team from my favourite Chinese city of Chengdu, Sichuan, have...
  4. QoA Pink Lady

    3.50 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Queen of Audio Pink Lady is a warm sounding, earphone with mainstream tuning and a potential basshead appeal. INTRODUCTION Queen of Audio is a young company. It was established in 2018 by two audio queens, the sisters Sophie and Youco. It is a spinoff of Kinera and the company mainly utilizes Kinera’s technical team. Emphasis is laid on fashionable, yet simple and therefore effective designs. Traditionally, Pink Lady has been a gin-based cocktail with quite a long history. When reviewing this earphone, I wished I had a few...
  5. Cozoy HERA C103

    4.00 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Cozoy Hera C103 is a modern old-school single dynamic driver earphone of warm tonality that impresses by its natural reproduction and outstanding tonal coherency. INTRODUCTION I am a big fan of single dynamic-driver earphones – mainly because I am a man of timbre. Accuracy of sound reproduction is of utmost importance to me – way ahead of resolution and other technicalities. As a rule of thumb, single DDs don’t resolve as well as BAs or multidrivers, but they sound more organic and coherent – and they have a much lower...
  6. EarStudio HUD100

    4.50 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Earstudio HUD100 is a jack-of-all-trades dac/amp: although extremely small, it has two power modes and even handles high-impedance headphones well; it connects to PC, Mac, and phones (iPhone/Android); and it offers three different processing modes (filters) for individual sound adjustments. INTRODUCTION Earstudio are a company out of Korea that appeared on the map with their popular ES100 Bluetooth amp and their HE-100 single DD earphones. While I don’t care much about Bluetooth owing to the planned obsolescence...
  7. Audirect Hilidac Atom Pro portable dac/amp

    3.50 star(s)
    Audirect Hilidac Atom Pro Dac/Amp (iPhone Lightning Version) Review EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Audirect Hilidac Atom Pro (iPhone lightning version) offers subtle sonic differences to the Apple lightning audio adapter [review here] but adds essentially no additional power to drive higher-impedance headphones – and it is a notorious battery drain. It is a redundant, overpriced product unless you rely on MQA. UPDATE: It was brought to my attention following this review that the Hilidac Atom Pro is the cheapest dongle with MQA functionality. When you look...
  8. FiiO FH1s Earphone

    4.00 star(s)
    FiiO FH1s Review – Another (Too) Perfect Day EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The FiiO FH1s is a very clean and crisp sounding, close to neutrally tuned, analytical earphone with impressive resolution and staging but a somewhat clinical timbre. INTRODUCTION FiiO (est. 2007) is a Chinese company that made themselves a name with good quality, affordable portable amps for iPods and iPads. In 2013, I purchased their now classic E12 Montblanc amp that plugs directly into the ipod/ipad’s 16-pin port. And while it is still running strong, FiiO have diversified into...
  9. Moondrop Spaceship

    4.00 star(s)
    Moondrop Spaceship Review – Under The Milky Way EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Moondrop Spaceship are a well-designed, well-built, brightish and clean sounding earphone with a great timbre. Rewarding for people who can stomach a bit of upper midrange. INTRODUCTION Moondrop are an upsurging earphone company from Chengdu, Sichuan, China, that keeps impressing the iem world with their line of innovative earphones. The $109 Starfield single DD model is one of the current favourites with experts alike in the mid-tier category [my review]. But Moondrop always...
  10. Tanchjim Blues

    4.00 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Tanchjim Blues is a very clean, detailed, and slightly bright sounding single DD iem that appeals to audiophiles and purists. Its tiny size and virtual weightlessness sets it apart from the competition. INTRODUCTION So, you expected a rustic, gritty sounding earphone, good for listening to slide guitar and steel drums? Spaghetti Western soundtracks? Actually no — not at all. The Tanchjim Blues are quite refined sounding little rascals for the sophisticated, demanding listener. Tanchjim is yet another upsurging company out...
  11. Shozy Form 1.4

    4.50 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Shozy Form 1.4 is a slightly warm L-shaped (forward-sloping) earphone that is wonderfully balanced and therefore a Swiss army knife for all musical genres. INTRODUCTION Shozy are a Hong Kong company that appear to put a lot of thought in their products, be it design or functionality. They offer a wide variety of gear, from daps through amps to earphones. During writing this review, I had a few questions for them and they promptly, openly, and readily answered them. Appears to be a good business. You find more information on...
  12. NiceHCK NX7 pro

    4.00 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The NiceHCK NX7 Pro is a bright, open, and airy sounding earphone that is designed for treble aficionados. The degree of brightness can be controlled by three included tuning filters. INTRODUCTION There has been a recent abundance of “Pro” earphone models in the budget sector flooding the market. “Pro” has been used traditionally in marketing lingo to address the professional user, as opposed to the “consumer”. 15 years ago, Apple distinguished both in their notebook lines, which I never quite understood. But in contrast to this...
  13. Moondrop Starfield

    4.50 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Moondrop Starfield appears to be the slight variation of their KXXS flagship at a more affordable price. It features a warm low end, a neutralish midrange, and a conservative, slightly cautious top-end resulting in a warm to neutral overall sound close to the Harman target curve. INTRODUCTION Moondrop have become a household name recently, for example through their successful and popular Kanas, Kanas Pro Edition (KPE), and most recently through their KXXS. These single-dynamic-driver earphones settled in the sub-$200...
  14. KBEAR Diamond i1

    4.50 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The KBEAR Diamond is a well-accessorized $79 earphone sporting a fast DLC-coated single dynamic driver that creates a seductive, accurate organic sound above its class. INTRODUCTION Trident is KBEAR and KBEAR is Trident. This relatively new company has released only a handful of iems so far, none of which was particularly great. Loomis reviewed their TriAudio T4 and I their KBEAR hi7. The KBEAR hi7 was symptomatic for the current state of the highly competitive budget Chi-Fi industry: prematurely thrown on the market with a...
  15. Akoustyx R-220

    4.50 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Akoustyx R-220 is a strictly neutrally tuned, very well resolving 2-BA earphone that will appeal to musicians and purist audiophiles. It is excellent for what it is designed for and a great earphone for re-calibrating one’s ears. INTRODUCTION I got interested in Akoustyx after reading the reviews of some of the R-220’s brothers and sisters. After so much Chi-Fi on our blog, I wanted to test some “Made in USA” in comparison. I decided on the reference-tuned 2-BA R-220 out of the company’s offerings that retails at $199. You...
  16. TRN BA5

    4.00 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Best of both worlds: a well-resolving 5 BA with the tuning of a dynamic driver. INTRODUCTION The TRN BA5 is another iem tuned by co-blogger KopiOkaya (such as the TRN V90…see bottom of this review). 5 BAs, no dynamic driver for the low end in the budget segment, a risky affair. Following their highly acclaimed V90, TRN are obviously attempting to compete with the model output of Knowledge Zenith. As I always tend to wonder: why 5 whatever drivers in the budget segment instead of a single quality one. Well, KopiOkaya had to work...
  17. BQEYZ Spring 1

    4.00 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The BQEYZ is well-resolving, largely neutralish 3-driver hybrid with a slightly boosted and slow low end that competes with a wonderfully lively and accurate midrange and a pleasant treble. SPECIFICATIONS Impedance: 43 Ω Sensitivity: 108 dB Cable Length: 1.2m (no mic included) Pin Type: 0.78mm-2 Pin Driver units: 13mm Coaxial dynamic driver+7 Layers piezo electric+Balanced armature Tested at: $139 PHYSICAL THINGS AND USABILITY The earpieces are small despite their 3 drivers and are ergonomically pleasing. Fit it great, they...
  18. NiceHCK DB3

    4.00 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The NiceHCK DB3 is a well-priced 2+1 budget earphone with a “fun” tuning that justifies this attribute: V-shaped with good dynamics and no fatiguing upper end. This review was originally posted at https://audioreviews.org INTRODUCTION Sometimes, this happens: you take a pair of iems out of the box, plug them in, and you instantly like them. There is something about the image that hits you even before you start your analytical listening procedure. The NiceHCK DB3 is such a rare case. Was I ever surprised by this KZ in disguise...
  19. AME Custom Argent

    4.00 star(s)
    This review was originally posted at https://audioreviews.org EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The AME Custom Argent is a neutral to bright sounding 4+2 earphone with excellent clarity and resolution that may primarily appeal to the Asian ear. INTRODUCTION AME Custom are a Korean company headed by a rock musician with a background in electrical engineering. The company was established approximately 6 years ago and evolved from a retail store specializing in custom cables, earphone/headphone modifications, and repair. AME Custom have produced various iems from...
  20. Blon BL-03

    4.50 star(s)
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Blon BL-03 is a neutral to slightly warm, marginally bright single dynamic driver earphone that excels by its tonal accuracy, natural dynamics, clarity, authentic soundstage, and spatial cues that gives you the feeling of sitting in the first row of a concert. Note: i'd give this earphone 5 stars if it worked ootb. You find the full review with all the usual blablabla here: https://www.audioreviews.org/blon-bl-03-review/ This version is abbreviated in order not to be repetitive with the other reviews and to make sure to stay...
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