Head Gear Reviews by Sunstealer
  1. iFi audio ZEN Signature Set - DAC & Amp

    3.50 star(s)
    IFi ZEN DAC&CAN 6XX Signature stack The ZEN stack was loaned to me by Ifi on request. Many thanks to Karina and Sebastien @iFi audio for facilitating this. Take a Look: OnePlus 6 & Neutron Player Zen Signature stack, Ifi 4.4mm balanced interconnect, 2x Ifi iPower X power supplies Ifi Zen DAC, other 5V DC USB power supplies Custom 4W copper Litz 4.4mm interconnect Ifi IEMatch 2.5mm Sennheiser HD58X, balanced silver cable Audio Technica MSR7b, stock cables Lime Ears Pneuma, stock single ended PW audio and custom balanced copper cables TRI I3...
  2. iFi audio NEO iDSD

    4.00 star(s)
    The NEO was loaned to me as part of a review tour. It will be sent on after my time with it. Materials: iMac 2017 & Pine Player OnePlus 6 & Neutron Player Ifi NEO DSD + iPower mains adaptor. Ifi iDSD Micro Black Label TakStar Pro82 + Earmax 2.5mm balanced cable TRI I3 + TRN T3 Campfire Audio Solaris OG + Penon OS849 KBEAR Lark + Moon Audio Silver Dragon Sony MH750 Playlist made up of MP3, FLAC and DSD256 tracks. It arrives in a box of understated quality with the various accoutrements packed in 3 boxes underneath. I used the supplied cables for...
  3. iFi audio hip-dac

    4.50 star(s)
    Many thanks to Ifi Audio for the opportunity to review this unit as part of a tour. Unboxing and Contents The hip-dac (HD) comes in an understated but tasteful little box which is about the size of a small multipack box of cereal. The shape echoes a hip flask (hence the name). The HD itself is about the same width as my Oneplus 6 (OP6) and ⅔rds the length. I can strap it to my OP6 but the volume knob just obscures the fingerprint sensor on the back. Inside the box are a slim manual and various cables - a USB A-C OTG cable, male USB A-C and male to...
  4. HIFIMAN Ananda BT

    4.50 star(s)
    Many thanks to the HiFiMAN Team for allowing me this opportunity. The Ananda BT was a loan unit as part of a tour. This is my first pair of wireless circumaural phones. I have had wired Beyerdynamics, NADs and Shures in the past then transitioned exclusively to wired IEMs. I saw this as a chance to see if the grass is greener. My use case is primarily at a desk, whilst I am working in my office. I’m the only occupant, so I’m not worried about open-backs. It did make Voice Recognition dictation (a large part of my job) a little difficult as the...
  5. Jade Audio EA3

    3.00 star(s)
    Unboxing and Contents Jade Audio is a subsidiary brand of Fiio. The EA3 is their first foray into the low-price segment of the IEM market. It comes in a choice of translucent black or blue colourways with an angled 2 pin 3.5mm 4 core silver-plated copper Litz (spelt Leeds on the EA3 FAQ?) unbalanced cable. The case is soft but useable. There is a selection of sized silicone tips for bass or balanced sound. Design and Fit The EA3 is a hybrid design, consisting of single 13.6mm dynamic and Knowles 33518 balanced armature drivers. The...
  6. BQEYZ Spring 1

    3.50 star(s)
    Unboxing and Contents A paper sleeved bookcase box. Contains a nice leatherette case, a good quality 8 core 3.5mm 2 pin 0.78mm cable (I think it is silver-plated copper), a metal carded selection of “atmosphere” and “reference” silicone tips and a pair of wide bore foam tips. An exercise in economic yet luxurious packaging. Design and Fit The earpieces themselves are rather slippery matt black powdered aluminium. The styling is tasteful and restrained with gold detailing. The 2 pin sockets are flush. There are 2 vents on the medial surface...
  7. Noble Audio Tux 5

    4.00 star(s)
    Unboxing and Contents A sleek gloss black box with a bold Noble logo and the model name. Inside, there is a Pelican 1010 case in a matching gloss black. In addition, there are the usual Noble rubber bands, various pairs of silicone and foam tips, the earpieces themselves and a liveried black and white 8 core copper cable which can be specified as single ended or balanced (for an extra charge). Design and Fit The earpieces themselves are rather unassuming – smaller than say, a pair of Empire Ears universals with the Noble logo on the left...
  8. Cayin N6ii

    4.00 star(s)
    Many thanks to Cayin for supplying this loan unit and modules for review. This was then returned to Cayin at the end of the Tour. Contents, Design and Operation: A weighty book-style case with the solid matt black player on one side. On the other side, underneath the manual is a gloss black leather case with red stitch detailing, a USB A – C cable and a 4.4-2.5mm balanced adapter. The player itself is heavy but reassuringly dense. It feels like it’s been made to last (I’m looking at you, N5ii). All the ports/sockets are metal and the combined...
  9. Meze Audio Rai Penta

    3.50 star(s)
    Meze Rai Penta 4BA + 1DD Hybrid earphone. Unboxing & Package contents: A nicely understated matt black rectangular box with black gloss contouring. Contains the phones, silicone and foam tips, 3.5mm unbalanced cable and carrying case. For review purposes, Meze also supplied 4W SPC 2.5 and 4.4mm balanced cables. The monitors are beautifully sculpted anodised aluminium, cool and powdery to the touch. The pressure equalisation port and Meze logo have been milled into the coating to expose the bare aluminium. The ‘phones are a fascinating deep ocean...
  10. Cayin YB04

    4.00 star(s)
    Cayin YB04 4BA earphone – Genuinely Joyful Unboxing & Package contents: Large black clamshell box with the IEMs, mid-brown leather case, cleaning brush and cloth, cable clip, 4 cards of various silicone and foam tips, 3.5mm copper/silver 8 core cable. The box is needlessly huge with far too much foam packing. It could easily be done in half the volume and still be a pleasant unboxing experience. There should be a degree of corporate responsibility for environmentally sensitive packaging. The YB04s are sleek, brushed metallic round-edged...
  11. Effect Audio Vogue Series

    2.00 star(s)
    Effect Audio Vogue series tour. These were loaned to me without charge by Effect Audio and will be returned at the end of the audition. My review is entirely my own opinion and is uninfluenced by the manufacturer. Hardware: Empire Ears Studio Reference (ESR) Monitor, modified Spinfit CP240 tips iBasso DX228 (Mango OS, High gain, Digital Filter 3) Fiio BL44 OCC 4.4-2.5 adapter Effect Audio Ares II 4W for comparison (my own) Playlist: A mixture of MP3, 16-bit FLAC, and DSD256 Level 42 – Something About You (Live) Robyn – Beach 2k20 Joe Hisaishi –...
  12. BQEYZ K2 (2+2 hybrid) in-ear monitor

    3.50 star(s)
    Dual hybrid (2DD + 2BA) earphone. Unboxing: Comes in a tidy slate grey box with minimalist styling. Sensitivity:105 dB Impedance: 15 ohm Plug Type: 3.5mm Pin Type: 0.78mm Frequency response range: 7-40KHz Package Contents: 1 pair BQEYZ K2 + 3.5mm right angle unbalanced cable 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S/M/L) The supplied single flange tips weren’t any good for me (they never are) so I switched out to some Comply TS400 and Spinfit CP240M biflange tips. The earphones themselves sit quite comfortable in my ears, even with foams which...
  13. Empire Ears Empire Studio Reference (E.S.R)

    4.00 star(s)
    I acquired these from a fellow headfier after being captured by their sound at the recent London Canjam. They came with a single-ended Ares II cable which I sent back to Effect Audio in Singapore to be upgraded to a 4.4mm balanced 8W. I had bought a second hand 2.5mm balanced Ares II 4W just before the upgrade offer was released so will also be comparing the 4W to the 8W. Hardware: iBasso DX228 (Mango OS, High gain, Apodizing filter), Fiio 4.4mm-2.5mm adapter. All hardware, IEMs and cabling is my own. Specifications: 3 balanced armatures with a...
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