Thursday, April 28, 2011

The X Domain


After all the fuzz about the Xcape v2, Sunrise is ready to put aside the past with the launch of two new models, the Xcited (which was reviewed here) and the Xcape Impressive Edition (which shall be reviewed in a few weeks). Both feature silver coil 9mm dynamic driver, upgraded TPE cable and similar housing design with different color finish. MSRP for both are about US$70 and US$80 respectively. Subsequently, Xcape v2 will be phased out once the new models are ready to hit the market, which should be soon. Click 'read more' to check out the posters.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

[Impression] Über Muzik Tiny Tube DAC

First, I’ll like to thanks Audio Hub for the opportunity to audition the Tiny Tube DAC. This little USB DAC is co-developed by Audio Hub and its Chinese partner which handles the production. Audio Hub on the other hand handles the sale and marketing under its own brand, the Über Muzik, which will expand to other tube gear including an upcoming desktop tube amp as well.


iPod Nano 4G as size reference.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

[REVIEW] j-phonic K2 SP - Custom In Disguise

Back in the day, custom molded IEM (“custom”) used to be quite exclusive to musicians and professionals because of their asking price compared to the more affordable universal fitted IEM (“universal”). As the market advances and competitions stiffen, custom start to get cheaper and cheaper till the lower end is almost at a direct competition with the upper end of universal nowadays - then we have the j-phonic K2, a product that aims to bring the strengths of custom into universal.

As the story went, some key members in what to become j-phonics today began to realize two years ago that there is a need among users for a new pro-level universal fitted IEM that not only offers the same sound quality as in custom, but also the same level of comfort in fit. By combining their expertise on different fields, a group of Japanese designers, technicians and engineers started to collect and study data, refine models, and fine tune the sound. In the end, the company j-phonic is born and begins to offer to the market what they believe to be some of the best universal IEM in the market, the j-phonic K2. The K2 comes in two flavors: the SP (or “Stage Performance”) version which I am about to review here is mainly tuned as a stage monitor, aiming for neutral while highly detail sound. The MX (or “Music Extreme”) version is said to have a slightly bassier sound with a smoother top, offering a more musical presentation for the music listener. Of course there is no limit in which version to get for either a music listener or stage performer since listening preference can vary with each person. As a self-regarded analytical listener however, I must say the SP suits me just fine.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

[REVIEW] MEElectronics CX21, CW31, CC51 and A151

First, I'll like to thanks MEElectronics for the samples. A little over two weeks ago I reviewed the new MEElec M series including the M16, M21 and M31, plus the user tunable SP51. Now it is the time to review the new Clarity series as well as MEElec first balanced armature IEM, the A151.

Spec

CX21
Driver: 9.0 mm dynamic drivers
Housing: High impact plastic housing with angled fit
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 101 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 30 mW
Connector: 4 pin 3.5mm gold plated 45° plug
Cable: Designer black 135 cm cable (53 in) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 5 sets of eartips (small/medium/large/double-flange silicon; small triple-flange), round zipper case


CW31
Driver: 9.0 mm dynamic drivers
Housing: Wooden housing with angled nozzle
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 99 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 30 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated 45° plug
Cable: Designer black 135 cm cable (53 in) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 5 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; double-flange; small triple-flange), round zipper case


CC51
Driver: 6.0 mm micro-drivers
Housing: Ceramic housing with aluminum nozzle
Frequency Response: 18Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 98 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 5 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated 90° plug
Cable: solid color 130 cm cord (51 in) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 4 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; bi-flange), clamshell zipper case


A151
Driver: Single micro balanced armature
Housing: High impact deco housing with angled fit
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 111 dB
Impedance: 27 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 25 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated straight plug
Cable: Twisted black 120 cm cable (47 in)
Accessories: 5 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; double-flange; large triple flange), clamshell zipper case

*All models also features a "P" model with mic support.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Final Destination

Is it because something is very good that makes it more expensive, or is it because it is expensive so it has to be good?

Presenting the new Piano Forte X-VIII series from Final Audio Design. Price range from $940 to $2650 for 4 models. Who care about sound quality when you have that much money to squander away?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More the Better

Spiral Ear has exercised their belief in more-is-better and announced a few new custom IEM. Among them, the new flagship '5-way Reference', an IEM with 5 BA drivers in each earpiece with a 5 ways crossover, an industry first I believe. Not cheap though, do expect to pay top-of-the-line price for it.

Fischer Audio DBA-04

It almost felt like just yesterday that Fischer Audio launched the DBA-02 and took the world by surprise for how good it is. Now it seems there is another dual driver coming from the company as well, called the DBA-04. It looks a bit more plain than DBA02, but what worry me is the low impedance of only 12 ohm, which could make it hiss prone. The sensitivity is a little low as well at 99dB, but shouldn't be too much of a problem for most DAP these days.

There is another model been announced together called the Ceramique, which seems to have the same type of housing as the MEElectronics CC51.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

[Impression] Sandisk Sansa Clip+

I have had this little player for a few weeks now and it seems to be the right time to write my impression down. About two years ago when I was thinking about upgrading my iriver Clix2, both Sansa Fuze and the original Clip had made the short list of contestants. The consensus at the time was that they both share an almost identical sound, which isn’t something hard to believe since they were built on the same System-on-Chip (SoC). The real challenges were actually to decide which was better suited for my need. In the end, it was the SD slot and the possibility of line-out that steered me toward Fuze. As an upgrade model of the original Clip, the new Clip+ with an SD slot of its own and an slightly updated SoC is said to offer almost as good a sound quality as the Fuze, I just want to try it out and see what I have missed out a few years ago (and the lower street price is a big bonus).


Clip+, Fuze, C30 and Nano 4G.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

VSONIC Double-0

What you are looking at is the prototype of VSONIC GR00, the first dual balanced armature based IEM from the maker of GR07 - talks about GR07, it will get two more colors: Grey and Champagne.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

[REVIEW] Sunrise Xcape v2 and Xcited

First, I'll like to thanks Sunrise for the samples. The original Xcape is one of the best sounding IEM in the sub-$100 I have ever listened to, but for some reason it was pulled from the market suddenly and replaced almost at an instant with a new model simply known as the Xcape v2. Beside v2, Sunrise also develop another IEM using the same housing called ‘B’ (which could be known as ‘Xcited’ see note 1). If all goes well, it should be in market pretty soon. Now, let’s see how they measure up to their predecessor

Note 1: The final name hasn’t been decided yet. The name 'Xcited' may be used by ‘B’ or another IEM in development.

 
A is Xcape v2, while B is, well, 'B'. They do look identical.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

JVC's TWIN

JVC just announced a new dual dynamic transducers based IEM called the HA-FXT90. The drivers are in what JVC refers as the 'TWIN system' where no crossover seems to be used but instead the driver themselves have different diaphragm materials that reproduce different region of sound, then mix together naturally inside the IEM. So far an early preview from Japan has suggested that it has a very powerful bass. Official launch is 20th April 2011 so we ain't really that far away from learning more about them. The one good news is this is not a particularly expensive IEM. MSRP is 10000Yen ( = US$120) and we can expect it to be cheaper on the street. The only question is, will JVC releases it to oversea market?

Check out JVC's site for close up rendering.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

[REVIEW] MEElectronics M16 / M21 / M31 / SP51

First, I’ll like to thank MEElectronics for the samples. With the success of the M6 / M9, MEElec began to announce late last year the addition of new IEM (as well as the previously reviewed HT-21 portable headphone) to expend their current line-up, and then showcased them at the CES in January this year. True to the company’s best-bang-for-bucks business strategy, all these new IEM models are still priced within the sub-$100 ‘comfort zone’ while continues to push the standard of budget IEM ever higher. In this review, we will look at the new entries of the M series and compared them to the old M6 / M9, as well as examining the new SP51 and compared it to the similar looking Hippo VB.

SPEC


M16
Driver: 6.8 mm dynamic drivers
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 92 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 20 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated 90° plug
Cable length: 130 cm cable (51 in) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 4 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; bi-flange), clamshell zipper case
Compatible Accessories: Comply T-400 foam ear tips



M21
Driver: 6.8 mm dynamic drivers
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 92 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 20 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated 90° plug
Cable length: 130 cm cable (51 in) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 4 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; bi-flange), clamshell zipper case
Compatible Accessories: Comply T-400 foam ear tips



M31
Driver: 9.0 mm dynamic drivers
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 96 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 30 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated 90° plug
Cable length: 130 cm cable (51 in) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 4 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; bi-flange), clamshell zipper case
Compatible Accessories: Comply T-400 foam ear tips



SP51
Driver: 10.0 mm dynamic drivers with swappable rear tuning ports
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 100 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 40 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated 90° plug
Cable length: 130 cm cable (51 in) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 4 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; bi-flange), clamshell zipper case

Friday, April 1, 2011

Raising the Bar: Sleek Audio CT20

Just when we all thought JH3A, ES5 or the UE18 Pro are on the cutting edge of IEM technology, here comes Sleek Audio CT20 (= 20 drivers per side) crashing the party! Two things in my mind: First, how do they come up with the crossover is beyond me. Second, who has big enough ears for it? - Yep, it actually costs $8000 a pair (probably enough to get JH3A, ES5 and UE18 Pro all together) and has a physical requirement for ears dimensions to accommodate the huge earpiece. For those who are living on planet earth, don't worry - there are a CT18 and a CT16 in development.

Here is Jude, the Head-fi.org's boss' CT20 impression.

Apparently, overkill is underrated... or maybe it has something to do with the first day of April? ;)

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!

Lastest Posts

 
Copyright 2008-2016 In Ear Matters. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan