Saturday, November 28, 2009

[REVIEW] Head-Direct / HifiMAN RE-252 - 'balance' redefined

Quite some time ago Fang @ Head-Direct asked me if I would like to review the RE3 (RE252's prototype's name), naturally my answer was 'yes'. I have reviewed RE2, RE1 and one of my most favorable IEM, the RE0, and I have witnessed a chapter in the evolution of dynamic transducer based IEM. Back in 2007, the market for top-end dynamic IEM seems to be all dried up. No doubt Atrio is as much a great dynamic IEM as it was back then, but it does seems a bit lacking compared to the big boy with their fancy three drivers. The next year we saw the EX700 and IE8, each with pros and cons of their own. During all these time, Head-Direct has made their way up with dynamic IEM of their own. Small might each step be, they were still very much noticeable in the Head-fi's realm.

For those of you who keep track of things, you might notice that dynamic and balanced armature based universal IEM often seems to appear to two different group of IEM user as if they are two different kind of headphone all together. Dynamic has the bass and the soundstage, BA gets the resolution and isolation - at a time, we all seems to assume that are how things suppose to be. In many way, I consider the entry of RE series marked a change of tide in the dynamic IEM market that is more significant than that of IE8 or EX700. It isn't really about the IEM themselves, but rather how the user respond to these IEM. Suddenly we start to find dynamic transducer good enough to challenge BA for its resolution and the number of transducers in each IEM becomes lesser an issue for choosing an universal IEM. Smaller and mostly unknown brands start to get more attention because of their solid performance rather than rely on many bigger company's fancy-design-strategy.

Driver: 9mm dynamic with silver coil
Frequency Response: 16 Hz to 22kHz
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Sensitivity: 103 db / mW
Rate Input: 2mW
Maximum Input: 15mW
iPhone compatible 3.5mm miniplug
Soft silicone semi-custom fit earpeices

Package & Build Quality
RE252 comes in a transparent hard plastic case. Next to the earpieces, you will find three pair of different sized single flange silicone eartips. On the earpeice itself is the big bi-flanges. Under the paper container, there is a small plastic bag holding 5 pair of replacement filters, UE style bi-flanges and a shirt clip.

The mini plug is L-shaped and gold plated with fairly light but sturdy build that suitable for iPhone jack. The cable used is PPE based, which is an improvement over the 1st generation PVC cable found on RE0 and I prefer it over the fabric based 2nd generation cable on RE2 and RE0. One of the main feature about the PPE cable is how well it deals with stress and bend as it is much rubbery and flexible than the old cable. While I have had no problem with my 1st generation RE0 cable at all, the cable is stiffer than I like and I always make sure that it won't be wrapped too tightly. Though how well PPE cable will hold up in time remains to be seen, at least at this point I can safely say it is much easier to store RE252 than RE0. Like the old RE series, the Y-splitter and the cable guide are still made of metal, but with gunmetal color and lasered marking instead of the old shiny nickel plated surface and silkscreen painting.

The earpeice housing is mainly a combination of hard plastic (for housing the transducer and forming the nozzle) and soft silicone (for the buffalo-horn like structure which fits into the concha region of your outer ear and the cable strain relief). Since fit is almost always the most important point of getting the best possible sound out of any IEM, we will discuss how well the silicone shell actually performs in the next section. Microphonics wise, the problem mostly restricts to the cable above Y-splitter. Not quite as quiet as I like but not really too bothersome to me.

Overall I think the build quality is more than decent and has shown improvement since RE0, especially on the detail. I haven't been too careful with the soft silicone housing over the weeks of testing yet it seems to hold up fairly well, which is definitely a good sign since it is most likely the first place to show if there is any weakness.

Fit and Isolation
While fit is important to all IEM, it is more so on RE252 as you not only need to get a good seal in the ear canal, but also a good fit on your ear's concha. I have a pair pretty easy going ears that usually don't give me any trouble on seal with a mid size eartips of all sort. In the case of RE252, I tried both the bi-flanges and the mid single flange without problem but ended up using the single flange for reason of SQ (more later).

On first few listening session (usually one hours each), I had no problem on my left ear. It did however get a bit sore on my right ear's concha due to fatigue from the pushing of the 'horn' part of the silicone shell. It is not terribly uncomfortable but I did want to stop for a short moment every now and then to catch a break. For those of you who ever tried Sennheiser Twist-and-Fit earbuds, the feeling is very similar to that. After almost a week of use (around than 10~15 hours, I assume), the situation charged dramatically. Now I actually actually feel pretty good wearing RE252 for long hours without any sore or fatigue. The reason is, the silicone shell gets softer with human contact, as in the case of silicone eartips. So if you have the same problem as I did, do get it more time to 'break in' before calling it quits.

Isolation wise, I find RE252 to be close to average on the single flange. Fine for daily commute but won't be enough against really loud noise. There is a small hole on top of the hard plastic housing but it does have any audible effect when sealed so I assume it is not for venting. On that reason, RE252 probably has a fully closed design.

Sound Quality
As always, my main reviewing rig consists of: Dell XPS420 – Foobar2K - ASIO – 3MOVE. The music of choice is my regular reviewing CD (see this) and a few ripped albums on my computer. Being the new flagship IEM, I pick back TF10 and SE530 along with RE0 for A/B'ing.

For treble, I still prefer RE0 high extension and above all, its transparency. RE252 has a close performance to that of TF10, but (only very) slightly better in the sense that it is capable of a little more sparkle without any sibilance. On the other hand, SE530 doesn't have the extension needed to compete with the other three.

For mid range, SE530 is well known for having a full and rather sweet vocal presentation. TF10 has been criticized fro a V-shape frequency response but I personally find it to be very well placed in the overall sound signature. Not its strength perhaps, but neither is it a weakness. RE0's mid is very neutral in comparison, though has really great resolution. RE252's mid is between RE0 and TF10, but more toward RE0. It is not neutral, but it isn't upfront. It gives an impression of being the dominance of its sound signature yet it is not by itself a powerful or emotional factor.

On bass performance, SE530 has the upper hand of warmness and control, TF10 has more mid-bass that has the impact but lack the depth. RE0 is a bit bass light (or in more correct term, slightly more sloppy) when unamped but if you give it enough power, it will return with good speed and decent impact. RE252, unamped, can easily match and ever excess the bass performance of RE0 on a good amp, but it is far from bass heavy. It is more in the 'neutral' zone.

RE252 soundstage is only about average. It does have a pretty good width and resolution / instrument separation, but lacking in depth (airiness), which makes the overall soundstage a bit more 2D like and not engaging enough. Perhaps it is due to the lack of good reverberation. Reverberation can be a double edged sword. Too much and the sound will get muddy up, too little and the sound becomes too clean for enjoyment (lack of musicality). Like RE0, RE252 does appear to have a rather fast speed which is not the best for building up the body of the sound - on that regard, a warm source or a warm amp will have better synergy with RE252. On the topic on amping: I don't find amping necessary for RE252 at all. The improvement from amping is much more evidence on RE0 than on RE252.

As mentioned earlier, I use single flange eartips on my RE252. To me, it shows the best part of RE252, which is its mid and vocal performance. One of the reason I don't find RE252's soundstage to be that good is probably due to my eartips choice. Big bi-flange does sound more specious to me, but nonetheless I think I am getting more from the mid centric single flange.

The overall sound signature is balance, yet neither totally neutral nor colored. Very good treble and detail, rather dominate yet not very upfront mid and vocal, and decent while still remains mostly neutral bass performance. Decent soundstage but lacks real depth. Pairing with a warm source or amp is recommended while not a requirement.

My first impression of RE252 resembled that of UM3X (in a brief audition, I might add) - not that they sound alike but that I find them both to be lacking of personal characteristic. It is not always a bad thing for an IEM to not have a strong characteristic. It means the IEM is less picky about the genre of the music and be more of a Jack-of-all-trades (the downside is of course 'master-of-none'). In the end, I think RE252 really redefines what I would call as a 'balance' sounding IEM in its own terms as I can hardly say if there is any major flaw in its sound. Perfect it might not be, I think RE252 does earn to be crowned the new flagship of the RE series.

RE252 is retailed for $199, but for now you can grab one from Head-Direct for $99 during its Black Friday 48hrs sale.

A quick sum up can be found here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

HifiMan RE252 on Sale!!!

Head-Direct just announced a Black Friday 48hrs sale event which includes RE252 for half price at $99. I will try to finish up my RE252 review, so stay tuned - but for those who can't wait: RE252 is the most balanced IEM of their current line-up and well worth the original price, the new sale price just makes it an irresistible deal. I'll recommend it to anyone who are seeking an IEM with an almost perfect vocal and mid range performance that does not lack in bass or treble.

[UPDATE] The sale is over. The price has went back to $199.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

[REVIEW] MEElectronics GrooveMEE II

I have been using this little player on and off over the last few weeks and so I thought it is time to give it a review.

Screen: 320x240 262K color 2.6 inches touch screen TFT.
USB: 2.0 (MSC device)
Memory: 4GB / 8GB
Battery: 600mAh Li-ion 3.7v (rechargeable via USB)
Voice Record: 8KHz / 16KHz WAV
Music: MP3 (up to 448Kbps), WMA (up to 192Kbps), OGG, FLAC, WAV, APE
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20KHz
FM: 30 preset stations with recording function
Multi-languages supported
Multiple EQ presets including Microsoft PlayFX
Built-in G-Sensor for motion control
TXT files (eBook) supported
JPEG/BMP/GIF images supported with slide show
microSD card slot
Software scratch pad for drawing and note
Built-in speaker
Files browser

Build Quality and Accessories

On the right side of the touch screen: Vol+, Vol-, Menu, Note(scratch pad), , Rec. microSD slot and mic/reset are on the bottom.

Headphone jack and USB slot on the side, ON/OFF (with hold) on the top.

Most of the outer case seems to be nickel plated steel, which gives the player a bit more weight than your typical mp3 player. All the marking and icons are either lasered on or engraved. The housing is very classy actually though it is a fingerprints magnet.

Inside the box, you will find the GrooveMEE II, USB power adapter, USB cable, pen for touch screen, MEElectrnoics' own IEM the M2 (with three set of eartips), silicone case, small CD with a simple video converting software inside, user manual. Pretty everything you will need for a mp3/mp4 player are included, which is of course great.

Overall the build quality is pretty good. The metal housing does have more weight to it, but not something too heavy to carry around. The included earphone is MEElec's own M2 with the new cable, which is definitely a step up from typical stock earbud you will get from most brand name mp3 player. Unlike most other DAP, with GrooveMEE II you get almost everything you'll need instead of spending more money trying to get things like silicones case or a decent quality IEM. The included pen is a nice touch. While the player itself doesn't have extra space to hold the pen, there is a side compartment in the silicone case reserved for it. The G-sensor actually works okay. You can use do Next/Previous by shaking the player to the right/left direction but it isn't too sensitive to randomly skip song.

If there is one thing that I want to complain about, it will be the viewing angle of the screen. Basically you will need stay in front of the screen to get 100%. While you can still see at an angle, the reflection becomes more of a problem. This is likely an issue when you want to share your video together with someone else.

There is one physical switch on the player and it is the ON/OFF with hold key. To turn the player on, you'll need to push the ON/OFF switch to aside for a good 5 seconds. Push it to the other side and you will lock the touch screen down.

Most of the navigation is done via the touch screen. Basically there are 8 selections on the main menu: Music, video, photo, radio, record, eBook, extra, and setting. You will find the file manager, a calender, stopwatch and the scratch pad inside 'extra'. You can also change the color of the most of the font and the menu transition style inside the setting.

In music playback, you can either use the folder browser to play music inside a folder, or choose from ID3tag based categories such as 'artist' or 'album' (it is a bit slow this way as the player read the whole library). Generally the player acts more 'old school' (no necessary a bad thing) and works much like a MSC device. I do hope the browser can be a bit more straight forward (especially on the naming on different folder and submenu) as something it can get a little confusing. During music playback, you can choose whether to display the ID3tag info, lyric, album art or active equalizer. Since the player use kind of a file browser to navigate and select music, you will get both the internal memory and the microSD as two separate folder instead of a tightly integrated music library.

Video playback is much simpler to use. Just browse and select the file you want to play. Unfortunately it doesn't remember the last position so you will need to start from the beginning every time.

While there is a pen included for navigation, using finger is just as easy - but I do recommend you use a screen protector sticker so you won't scratch the screen in the long run. On a side note, the scratch pad (or 'note' function) is quite fun to use and function like 'Paint' in Wondows, but not precise enough for really create a drawing.

Sound / Video / Photo Quality
I mainly compare GrooveMEE II to my Sansa Fuze and Nano4 for its SQ. GrooveMEE II has a colder, brighter sound signature that slightly lack in warm, much like Nano4. However, the overall SQ is pretty decent. In comparison, I think its headphone-out on flat EQ can at least match, or even better than Nano4, while not as good as Fuze. On the other hand, GrooveMEE II has much better and more enjoyable EQ than both Fuze and Nano4. Another plus is it also supports the more common lossless codec such as FLAC and APE. I didn't test any lossless as my music library consist mainly of high quality mp3 or wma.

What surprised me at first about the GrooveMEE II is its video support. For testing, I put a DVD resolution RMVB movie into the player (w/o any conversion!) expecting to crash it (or at least make it quits) but instead it plays it rather smoothly without much pixelation. This put both Fuze and Nano4 to shame. GrooveMEE II does come with a simply video converting software for those oddly encoded video, but so far I don't find any need to install it.

For Photo, I have tested a 3MP pictures without problem. It will auto zoom the picture to fit the screen, but it also allow a fixed 2X(?) zoom but it won't do full size. It is a decent picture viewer overall.

Overall, I find GrooveMEE II to be a decent all around player for the money ($70 for the 4GB models and $90 for the 8GB). It does everything well but nothing very outstanding. Versatility is perhaps its strength in the three MEElectronics' PMPs line-up (MEElec also has the smaller MiniMEE II purely for music and portability and the larger RockMEE II oriented toward video playback). Strength enough RockMEE II also priced the same as the GrooveMEE II. It does has a bigger 3 inches 16:9 screen but lacks in touch screen or G-sensor.

Personally, I will still pick my Fuze for purely music playback (plus I already have custom LOD built for it), but if you are looking for a decent PMP that does everything well which isn't too complicated to use, this one is worth a consideration.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Westone + (2 + 3) = 50 Years of Glory

Not surprisingly, Westone announced the release of Westone 2 (or W2 for short) after Westone 1 hit the market just months ago. As the name implies, W2 will be a dual driver tuned toward personal listening (as opposite to UM2's stage monitor tuning). It seems Westone has really dedicated on keeping their Pro-user orientated UM series separated from the more Pop-user orientated W series. You can expect to see it on the street at 27th of this month. Want to keep one? That will be US$249 of your pocket change.

Sensitivity: 117 dB SPL @1kHz
Frequency response: 20 Hz -18 kHz
Impedance: 33 ohms @1kHz
Driver: Dual balanced armatures; 1 low & 1 high frequency
Features: Deluxe travel pouch, ten different eartips, and wax loop for cleaning.
Standard Color: Black

On a side news, Westone also makes available 333 set of limited edition Westone 3 for a cool US$503 each to cerebrate the company's 50th anniversary. Beside a golden printing on the side of the earpiece (normally red), you also get a few more accessories. For that kind of price, this one is reserved for the real hardcore fan.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Head-Direct / HiFiMAN RE252 released

Few months after the first preview / prototype review of the RE252 (known as RE3 at first) hit, Head-Direct finally released their new flag ship IEM to the market. One of the more interesting thing about this IEM is that its outer shell is made out of soft rubbery material that is supposed to 'lock into' you outer ear for a secure fit. Priced at US$199, RE252 is not cheap. But given my previous experience with the RE series, I think it is a fair guess that it will worth the money you paid for.

[UPDATE] I just received the RE252 in the mail. Hopefully the review will come in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Sleek and The Stealth

Two years after their first ground breaking, tunable IEM, Sleek Audio finally introduced a new model, the SA-1, to the market. Like the previous SA-6, the new IEM also feature Sleek Audio own VQ sound tuning system, but in a lesser form (and a cheaper price, if that matters). Instead of a treble + bass double ports combination, SA-1 only has a tunable nozzle port - it does has dynamic transducer, rose wood body and exchangeable, replaceable cable. More importantly, SA-1 looks much more solid than its elder sibling (durability wise). Being only the 2nd universal models Sleek Audio has, I guess the company does learn from the pass mistake and putting a lot more thought in the new IEM. As a SA-6 owner, I do hope SA-1 will be just as, if not more successful. For more detail and pre-order (around US$80), check out Sleek Audio's website.

Many of you probably never heard of a Chinese headphone manufacturer called 'Sunrise', and I won't be surprised. They are a company specialize in OEM business. Although they did have a few earbuds under their own brand for a few years now, they have never became 'big' - if you know what I mean. Instead, they seems to have vanished from the mainstream market and went back to their OEM business. Last week, Sunrise announced a new entry to their SR series, the SRX, and this time it is an IEM instead of an earbud. It seems they are finally ready to reboot and re-boost their own brand. I was informed that Sunrise's own website will be available in near future and more detail about the SRX will surface. I might also have a chance to listen to the new SRX - so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

[REVIEW] MEElectronics' In-Ears

First, I want to say sorry about the delay of the review. it should have been posted a few days earlier, but the combination of sickness and some real life businesses have slow down the writing process considerately. Second, I want to take the chance to thank Martie @ MEElectronics for sending me the samples for review.

(M2 is not in the picture, as it comes as part of MEElec's GrooveMEE II player bundle, which I shall review in the near future).

Spec (for all models)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Impedance: 16 + 15% ohm
Sensitivity: 95 + 3 dB SPL

M2, M6, and M9 use 9mm dynamic driver. M11 uses 7mm dynamic. R1 uses 10mm dynamic.

M2 is retailed at $12, M6 is $40, M9 is $18, M11 is $40 and R1 is $40. All available from MEElectronics.

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
All MEElec IEM (except M2, which is a bundle) comes in all black paper boxes with silver printing, decent but no something to rave about. They might not be much a looker on the outside, but the included accessories and the build quality are actually quite good.

M2 has the new transparent cable with silver lining inside. The cable itself is flexible and a bit like the rubber hose used in fish tank. One thing that can be said about the M2, and all subsequent models in this review, is MEElec does pay great attention to detail. Not only the cable looks good, it functions well. Microphonics is surprisingly low, mini plug and Y-splitter are all well made, plus they even put an extra rubber tube on the cable exit on the earpiece to provide more strain relief. Since this M2 comes with the GrooveMEE II bundle, all it has is the 3 set of different sized eartips and a shirt clip. If there is one thing I would like to add to the M2, it will be a pair of bi-flanges. Thought MEEelc's eartips is of very good quality, the M2 slightly odd shape (big diameter on the base of the nozzle) really can use some bi-flange love to improve on fitting. Due to the fact that it is open back in design, isolation is slightly worst than average.

M6 is the only over-the-ear model of MEElec line-up. Compared to its previous version, It uses the new transparent cable as the M2, which of course is a welcomed change. The one I received is also the new 'clear' version where you can see the dynamic transducer inside. It actually looks very classy this way. It comes with a shirt clip, cable warp, airline adapter, soft pouch, 3 set of single flange eartips (S, M, L) and a pair of tri-flange. The included tri-flange actually doesn't fit the IEM that well and gives me a poor fit. I end up using the single flange instead. The rather odd nozzle size (5mm diameter) also presents another problem, that it is hard to use typical UE style eartips (for 5.5mm diameter) as replacement. The other minor problem is the memory wire. I am usually pro memory wire on IEM, but the copper wire used is a bit too thick in my opinion, making the memory wire hard to bend thought probably more resistant to breakage. I am quite happy about the M6, but I think there is still room for improvement on the nozzle (should be slightly longer and wider) and eartips selection. Isolation is about average.

M9 uses the old black cable. Thought not as good as the new cable, it is adequate for the job and the asking price but it does have a lot more microphonics in comparison. It comes with a hard case, cable warp, 4 set of single flange eartips and a pair of bi-flanges, plus one airline adapter. The one thing that should have been included is shirt clip, to combat the microphonics. Also, I actually like to see the hard case being included to the M6 while the M9 can have the soft pouch. It makes more sense that way since the memory wire on the M6 makes it harder to store in a soft ouch while M9 has no such problem. Overall, M9's build quality is still very decent. For those who read my Fischer Audio's review and wonder if M9 is the same as FA-999, rest assures that they are not. They might look similar at first, but they are not alike upon close inspection (look at the second picture) - not to mention they have totally different sound signature. For the same reason as M2, isolation is slightly below average.

M11 is one of the latest MEElec models. Equips with the same transparent cable and a new dynamics transducer in a shiny metal housing (I have the silver version), M11 feels a lot more expensive than its elder siblings. It comes with a soft pouch, 3 pair of single flange eartips, a pair of bi-flange, a pair of tri-flanges (which work out better on M11 than M6), cable warp, shirt clip and airline adapter. It also has a 45 degree mini plug instead of the L-shape (90 degree) plug. Isolation is slightly better than average. The smallish earpieces actually make it possible from deep insertion, but personally I like the bi-flange with a shallower fit which tend to have better detail and soundstage.

R1 is mostly made of wood, even on the nozzle portion (which is usually metal on other woody IEM). It uses the same type of transparent cable as other, but has a blackish color to it. It comes with a soft pouch, 3 pair of single flange, cable warp, shirt clip and airline adapter. The wooden housing itself is painted with a clear coat of water proof sealant, but one should probably be best avoiding too much moisture near the housing. The overall build is good but the marking (company logo and left/right channels) gets wiped off too easy, making it hard to tell which side is which. My solution to the problem is simple: clear nail polish. Isolation is about average.

Sound Quality
As always, each model has roughly 50 hours of burn-in (each) before any serious audition. For what it worth, I did not find any major sonic change during or after the process.

M2 is the fairly balanced with slight brightness. Treble has good extension but there is a bit of sibilance. Mid is slightly further away but not really recessed. Bass lacks real depth but still has good control and speed. Soundstage is about average. Overall, M2 has really outperformed its asking price of $12.

M6 shares largely the same sound signature as M2 but warmer with better energy. In comparison, M6's treble is slightly smoother and better presented (there are still a tiny amount of sibilance in the brightest note), mid is more upfront with better texture while bass has better impact and body. Soundstage is pretty good with decent airiness. While getting a good seal (and a good sound) is more difficult with M6, it is still a noticeable improvement over M2 and a very decent sounding IEM in its own right.

M9 also shares the same sound signature as M2 and M6, but not as warm as M6. Treble also has good extension but there is harshness (especially on bi-flange). Mid is slightly recessed in comparison. Bass is not as full as M6 but still has good body and decent depth. Soundstage is better than M6 with good sense of airiness and space. With performance almost as good as M6, M9's much lower price is practically a steal.

M11 has a darker, smoother sound signature compared to that of M2 / M6 / M9. Treble extents quite far but in much smoother, sparkle-less fashion. Mid is slightly recessed but not too far away. Bass has a fairly good body but not as impactful as M6 or M9. Soundstage is decent with a fainted sense of airiness. While M11 might not sound as exciting as M6 or M9 in a direct comparison, its smoother sound signature allows for more relaxing / less fatiguing listening session without losing quality. It will be good for those who don't like brightness yet demand a decent amount of detail.

R1 is warm and full. Treble is decent with a fainted sense of harshness. Mid is a bit distanced and has a sense of hollowness to it, bass is full but can get bloated on bass heavy music. Soundstage is below average due to the excess warmness. While R1 has been blessed with some woodified lushness to its sound, the lack of fine control at the bottom end renders it to be less impressive than it can be, or else it could very well be another great choice for basshead.

In many ways, M2, M6 and M9 share a majority of their sound signature. While I can't confirm it, it does seem like all of them are sharing the same transducer, or at least transducer of very similar build. The difference in sound can be (more or less) explained by the housing design and eartips used - or maybe it is all in my imagination.

I am impressed by MEElectonics' offering, especially on their build quality and the very competitive pricing. That is perhaps their greatest strength: providing great value products to the customer. Coupled with their quick and responsive customer service, I think MEElec has itself a formula for success. For IEM users like us, I think it is always a delight to have a company willing to go the extra miles on meeting the demand. Hopefully we will be able to see ever better IEM from them in the future.

A quick sum-up can be found here.

[EDIT] Given that MEElec has just upgraded their M9 with the new and better transparent cable which improve the overall build quality, I would like to award it with my own personal Sonic Diamond Award™ for being one of the best valued IEM in the market.

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. Last but not least, please note that this site uses cookies to track visitors' number and page view.

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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