Saturday, August 31, 2013

[Impression] Tube Amp TA-1 - Tube Sound Without Tube

I reviewed the BL-2 from Tube Amp a while ago. It is a portable tube amp that is on the cleaner side of the presentation, which is quite different from the warmish, mellow sound that you would have expected from tube gear. Nevertheless, it is still an excellent sounding amp on its own. Now the company has released another portable amp to the market, the TA-1. What is unique about the TA-1 is that it is a full discrete amp - meaning instead of using fully integrated opamp, the circuit is composed mainly of individual transistors, resistors and caps. Priced around US$210 in China, TA-1 can be found between US$230~$250 outside of China.

Monday, August 26, 2013

[REVIEW] Heir Audio 3.Ai and 4.Ai

Heir Audio has its root in Canada, but with its production line in China. The company started its life more or less right after one of its founding audiologist showing off his own custom IEM with beautifully finished wooden face plate in (and starts a trend of wooden face plate worldwide). The company quickly gains fame not just on CIEM, but also on their universal custom models that have the same kind of wooden face plate. The 3.Ai and 4.Ai reviewed here are the universal adaptation of the company custom models, the 3.A and 4.A.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Like a Pro... or what?

Westone is introducing a new series called the UM Pro with three new models, UM Pro 10, 20 and 30. So far they look very much like the old UM series with similar driver configuration, same price tag, shinier packaging and an user replaceable cable with the very *dreadful* MMCX connector (same as the one on Shure). Just by the connector itself, Westone seems to be taking a step backward...oh well, not sure what is so "pro" about them.


EarSonic is going to release SOMETHING on 14th Sept. By the look of cryptic picture on their homepage, I'll guess it is an universal custom with at least 3 drivers, and could very well be as many as 5 drivers.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

[Impression] iFi Audio iTube – Magic Infused

iTube is the latest addition to iFi Audio ‘Micro’ line of audio gears. On one hand, it inhere the same minimalistic concept as the other Micro gears; on the other hand, it is a departure from the previous all-solid-state design. If anything, it is the first in Micro gears that will appeal more toward speaker user rather than headphone user. So what exactly does an iTube do? In essence, it is a tube buffer / pre-amp, with some extra features threw in.

Friday, August 9, 2013


The pre-order for FiiO E12DIY limited edition has started. Read detail here. If you are really interested, you need to put US$19* deposit as E12DIY is basically not a commercial product (*no-money-to-be-made) for FiiO and it will only go into production if a minimum of 500 units are pre-ordered (and stop at 2000 units max).

[update] They change from US$20 to US$19.


With the variant of the S4 / S3 keep turning up from time to time, it would seem Klipsch might not be that interested in introducing actually /new/ model. Well, they might have just done it again - the "new" X11i is listed in spec to have the same driver as the old X10, a model released back in 2007 and have already been re-released as X10i in 2010. Where is the innovation?

Well, at least the X7 and X4 are new - let prays that is no reincarnation in the future. Move on, please.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


LEAR is releasing its own universal custom called the LUF-4. Judging by the name, could it be a 4 drivers setup? No other detail yet except it is aimed toward mid-fi user.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Mook Head-Fest

Went to the Mook Headphone Festival @ Singapore last weekend. Here are quite a few photos and impression you can check out


Friday, August 2, 2013

[Impression] ShonYun 301 Pro and SH-306A

With possibly the single largest (and still emerging) market of headphone users, the overwhelming amount of headphone amp makers in China often make amp shopping a chaotic event for potential buyer. But from time to time some of these manufacturers do stand out from the crowd and ShonYun is one of them. It won’t win a beauty contest but at least it will sing to impress in the talent segment.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

[REVIEW] SonoCore Mia and Chrome

This is the third times we have seen SonoCore here at In Ear Matters. With each generation, they have gotten better and batter but truth being told, there are always some issues remain. This time we take a look at their latest dual dynamic model ‘Chrome’ as well as their budget single driver ‘Mia’.

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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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