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Monday, April 27, 2015

Roundup updated



The Earbuds Roundup ranking has been updated. Go and have a look.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    [REVIEW] VE Asura and Zen

    Prelude: A few weeks ago I was contacted by a mutual 3rd party on Head-fi regarding whether I will like to give some Chinese made high-Z earbuds a review. Immediately I recalled a review article I read awhile back in erji.net that comes with fairly high praise (and subsequently get knocked around a few times, see reason below). We don’t see a lot of high-Z earbuds around so I was fairly certain they should be the same things. I don’t keep high hope for earbuds these days but I am still an earbuds lover in heart, so I agreed to give them a look, and indeed they turn out to be the same model I saw earlier. They are made by a small Chinese company called VE (52VE.cn, with a Chinese name translated to ‘micro wing’). No sooner after I agreed, the news spread out on some Chinese forums, which in turn came back to HF, and I received some ‘friendly suggestion’ that, perhaps it might not be the best of idea to do a review on VE. It would seem that there are a lot of heated discussion (or controversy?) on whether VE is a genuine company or just a quick DIY job for money. Even more so is whether VE actually makes TOTL earbuds as they and their Chinese supporters have claimed. Different from the international market where IEM rules, earbuds still hold a high esteem among Chinese audiophiles and they really don’t mind paying for premium earbuds – mixed that with the fact that there are a lot of shady companies employing shill marketing tactic, it is understandable on why people are always skeptical and will act defensively when confronted with such a bold claim. If there is anything I learned from reading Chinese audiophiles forums over the years, it will be the bad ‘SNR’ that often ruins the days. You can never quite sure whether you are reading genuine impression, shill marketing, over-enthused writing or maybe some other types of hidden agenda. So I decided not to take things written on a those forums too seriously but instead let the products speak for themselves, which I kind of glad that I did. Nevertheless, I think a prelude is needed to shine some light on the unusual circumstances surrounding VE. Regardless of what have been said, it will be a mistake to dismiss VE – that much I am sure.


    It said: "torture one-self, reject mediocrity, all for our sound."

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    [REVIEW] Signature Acoustics Element O-16 Live

    It might be a bit odd to name an IEM the O-16, as in ‘oxygen’. But given their first IEM is the carbon (C-12), I guess the India based Signature Acoustics does meant to create a real ‘Element’ series based on the periodic table. As their second product, the O-16 continues to target the budget IEM market and one can be found for just US$30 or so (*MSRP is double that).

    O16-01.jpg



    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    Classic Reborn

    JAYS has announced the relaunch of the company's previous flagship, the dual balanced armature based q-JAYS, but with a bit extra. For those who are too young to remember, q-JAYS was born in an era where multi-driver IEM were rather rare and q-JAYS was immediately held as one of the best sounding IEM around. It was supposed to be replaced by the quad-driver x-JAYS though the project was dropped after the 2009 financial crisis. Then q-JAYS was phased out more or less around the same time frame... and for all these years, JAYS has never really made any IEM that is worth to take the flagship title.

    Though the new flagship is stilled called q-JAYS, with dual BA driver and similarly styled design, there are a few noticeable difference upfront. The first will be the user removable cable with what seems like a specially modified screw-in MMCX connector. I am not a fan of MMCX in general but a screwed in and secured MMCX should at least be less fragile. The second is the steel body, as oppose to the original plastic construction. Last but not least is the USD$450 price tag, which is quite a lot to ask these days for a dual driver, given a very good three driver hybrid can probably be had for $150 less. I can only hope q-JAYS will impress us again - even more so, will we see a comeback of x-JAYS as well? I am crossing my fingers now.

    Amazon's Deal

    Disclaimer: All trademarks and logos in the website belong to their respective owners. Beside getting free review samples, I don't work for or get paid by anyone to write anything on this website, or anywhere else in that matter. Also, free review samples are never sold for any financial gain. I do buy gears and review them, but for simplicity you (the reader) should always assume what I review is free sample in nature (and thus comes with all the bias). The website does have Google Ads and Amazon Associates enabled (which I have no direct control over their content) - though I don't write review for a living, nor does the ads generates enough money to cover my breakfast (in fact, not even one breakfast per week). Listening to music and playing with audio gears are purely hobby for me. In short, I am just an audiophiles who happens to have his own blog. Not a journalist who happens to be an audiophile. Oh, and excuse my writing as I am not a native English speaker and can't afford a proofreader. Also, just because I don't write in a negative tone doesn't mean I don't write down the negative aspect of a gear. Please read them carefully.

    Important: All postings are my own personal opinion only and should not be treated as absolute truth. I do get things wrong just like everyone else. Always do your own research!

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