Inconsistent reviews @ WhatHiFi
May 27, 2012 at 6:24 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


Headphoneus Supremus
Mar 1, 2012
I've recently been reading up on which headphones to get and I came across reviews at But after reading several , I'm starting to wonder if it's a trustable source at all.
Many of the reviews seem decent enough, like the AKG K550 ( or Etymotic HF3's ( But others seem poorly written and inconsistent.
For instance, compare and Not only are the reviews terribly short, but I have a hard time believing the A700 sounds worse than the A500. Also why isn't the "cheap plastic" mentioned in the A500 review? And this 4-sentence-long Beats Studio review ( only mentions SQ in the last sentence. I'm wondering if that even qualifies as a review.
I think I'll look elsewhere on advice for my next set of cans...
May 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM Post #2 of 5


Headphoneus Supremus
Jul 20, 2011
 Yes, What Hi-Fi is a controversial source for audio gear types - Their most audacious award yet? the AudioLab M-DAC.
 Don't get me wrong, it is one of if not the most fully featured DAC's one could want with an English built pedigree that
 lands over here in Australia for under a grand. Optical outs, Coax outs, LCD screen, source volume, filters, a
 decent Class A head amp, XLR support. However, reading this makes me think twice from What Hi-Fi
 If you are after something with all the fruity features then there is probably nothing better - if on the other hand
 you view a DAC as nothing more than just a black box with XLR/RCA output and a On/Off switch - yes, there
 are better sounding DAC's out there for similar or even less money.

[size=1.2em] Against[/size]

Nothing of note

May 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM Post #3 of 5


Headphoneus Supremus
May 27, 2009
1. Subjective assessment are not reliable, you can only hope the reviewer has done honestly his job.
2. You'd think that after reviewing so many insanely expensive products, they'll have from time to time to tell stories.
3. Obviously they care more of some products than others, which explain different length of reviews.
4. It might not be always be the same guy that do the review, although it's not indicated.
May 31, 2012 at 5:51 PM Post #4 of 5

our martin

Account deactivated by request.
Dec 17, 2011
I agree with what you are saying because they give the cambridge audio 840 gear 4 stars? It sounds like a mini martin audio sound system and it got 4 stars?  I have got mine with mordaunt short performance six speakers and np30 music streamer with grado ps1000s!                                                                                                                                 Cambridge Audio Azur 840A V2.0
£750 80100 4

Rival makers will sit up and take notice – there’s much to admire here. There’s a little to admonish though, too

Write your own review

  1. Review
  2. Your Opinion
  3. Tech Specs
  1. For

    Detailed, dynamic, insightful listen; clever technology and great spec

  2. Against

    Not the most fluent or laidback

Cambridge Audio has built stacks of great-sounding budget-conscious kit, and its Azur range has set sky-high standards in the sub-£300 stereo separates arena. The 840A represents the leading edge of an up-market Azur range that takes the firm into a whole new fight. Over £700 is a substantial price to consider spending on equipment from a company with negligible experience in this sector of the market; there are more than a few extremely effective amplifiers to be had for this kind of cash. So does Cambridge Audio have what it takes to move into a scrap with the big-hitting specialists?
If what it takes is a bold, blank-page approach to construction and engineering, then the answer is a resounding ‘yes'. For example, some of the fundamentals of the 840A's amplifier topology are patent pending. ‘Class XD' is claimed to eliminate crossover distortion at low signal levels, and Cambridge hasn't left it there: the 840A can form the hub of a simple multi-room system and features balanced inputs and a monster power supply.
Each input can be customised for gain and source name via the LCD display. Chunky, rigid build and nicely-judged controls (both integrated and remote) don't harm its case, either. Office opinion may be divided as to the 840A's actual appearance, but it's no ugly sister alongside its obvious rivals.
Bright out of the box
Straight from the box, the Cambridge sounds bright and aggressive. After a day's warming, the sound calms to merely brash and, at the end of a second day, the 840A has gained equilibrium. A run through Goldfrapp's Supernature reveals this to equate to a detailed, open, dynamic and expansive sound. Voices are quite superbly poised and natural, low frequencies punch solidly, and the soundstage is vivid, substantial and well-integrated.
The 840A's big biceps allow horn stabs to crunch and bite vibrantly, while bass notes (though slightly monotonal) drive with impressive body and control. If partnering kit is right, treble sounds are crisp and distinct, but with the wrong choice of electronics they can be unruly. Either way, the highest frequencies lack the transparency found elsewhere in the frequency range.
The 840A is not much of a fan of down-tempo music, either. Bob Marley's Turn Your Lights Down Low ought to lope along with heavy eyelids, but in the Cambridge Audio's hands it sounds lumpy, rather than laid-back. This over-caffeinated approach is the most significant flaw in a hugely impressive package, but its effect on certain tunes makes it impossible to overlook.
In several aspects, the 840A leads the field – in terms of vocal delivery, it leaves rivals standing – but it's not a true all-rounder. This is a great amp, but a slightly revised model would be even better.Cambridge Audio DacMagic
£230 100100           This got 5 stars and the 840 gears a lot better than this? 5

One of the best DACs we've tested

Write your own review

  1. Review
  2. Your Opinion
  3. Tech Specs
  1. For

    Sleek, solid design; powerful yet subtle sound; well made

  2. Against

    Not cheap

It sometimes seems that Cambridge Audio's ethos is to be everything to everyone, and the DacMagic certainly covers all the bases.
So, while other manufacturers force you to choose whether you want standard digital (coaxial or optical) or USB connections, Cambridge offers all of them. There are digital and balanced outputs, too, alongside the stereo RCA.
Kicking off with USB, the Cambridge proves to be an across-the-board upgrade on the sound provided by a direct laptop-to-amp connection.
It takes and multiplies the punch and attack of some close peers, creating a more dramatic and thrillingly bouncy rendition of Gorillaz' Plastic Beach.
There's also plenty of weight and definition in the bass, and the complex set of sounds and instruments remains organised and well-defined throughout.
There's little between the optical and coaxial connections in terms of sound quality.
Full-bodied and detailed presentation
We found the coaxial to be marginally more punchy, but try both if you can as your cable and source may provide different results.
Either way, both offer a full-bodied and detailed presentation, while electronic effects spread to the edges of the soundstage in style.
These strands don't quite, in fact, hang together as well as they might, and the Cambridge is easily baited to brightness by harsh compression.
But overall, the DacMagic's flaws pale into insignificance.
There isn't another DAC that offers the same features at a similar price. We're not just talking about the inputs, either: you also get a choice of phase filters to tailor the sound to your system and room, and there's even lights that indicate the sample rate of the incoming signal. Could you ask for more?
May 31, 2012 at 6:29 PM Post #5 of 5


New Head-Fier
May 28, 2012
[size=1.2em] "No marketing gimmickry at work here. These are serious cans – seriously good..."-WhatHiFi on the Beats Studios.

...Can't...stop...laughing! After just see that blurb of a review, I wouldn't trust that website with anything related to Headphones. 

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