I hated dolling out a mere GRAB to the Ortofon eQ7. But good build quality, acceesories, and sound alone didn’t do the trick. It could have been easier to wear, and the cable could have been a LOT better. It could have been the eQ5.
Last week I half-arsedly introduced two accessories made specifically for the iDevice audiophile, the Venturecraft Go-DAP Unit 4.0 and the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo. Both are able and willing to replace larger, more expensive and decidedly untransportable HiFi gear, but only one is worthy of doing so.
After having created perfection in the Rx, ALO are free to experiment. Their first experiment, The Continental, is quite a hit, especially as it packs valves under the bonnet for a truly classical sort of listen. But as ALO explain, the use of limited valves means that the Continental has a shorter time on this planet. Enter The National, an amp that they reckon is the answer to the Continental. I can tell you right now: The National is a single box that can fill the void of both portable and living room headphone amp.
Today, I’d like to briefly introduce two remarkable iDevice accessories: the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm SOLO and the Venturecraft GoDap Unit 4.0, both portable units that output SPDIF digital signals to high-end audio equipment. iPhone zeitgeist, marked as it was by cute bunny-eared cases, vibrators, and farting apps, has obviously evolved.
Indeed. Digizoid dub this diminutive piece of plastic a ‘personal subwoofer’. I’d dub it a personal wolf pack – that is, if wolfs were known for barking. They probably growl, so maybe the metaphor stands. Which is more than I could do the first time I heard the zO2, which floored me.
I’ve been mopping up ever since.
Care to discuss this in our forums? Go ahead!
Steve Jobs (RIP) may have publicly glibbed that the iPhone 4 was “like a beautiful old Leica camera”, but he never saw the Gizmon iCa coming…
No one did. And I’m glad. Perfectly succinct designs, such as the iPhone and the iCa, are obvious only after debut. Why is that? As I sip diluted tea at my dining table and type, scenes from the past two weeks flood over me. These few weeks have seen me skipping, happy, snappy, and experimenting. I’ve found a love for digital photography. Finally.
GoVibe products have come a long way, thank God. Remember the Hippo Box+? Rife with mis-labelled parts, a broken website, and costing a pretty penny for what, essentially, was just a battery box, it was embarrassing. It sounded good, though, and therefore got away with a TAP. Today, GoVibe, together with its cheaper Hippo branch, is generally a badge of quality. The VestAmp+ is a high-performance headphone amp with a 24bit DAC thrown in for good measure.
Fischer Audio have updated their best-selling DBA-02. And what an update it is. The DBA-02 MKII is a delightful earphone replete with comfort and an accessory kit that is the envy of the earphone world. How about its sound, you ask? I’ll be singing praises soon enough.
First, let’s yabber about WOWs.
If you want radical sound from your iDevice, you could pop in Iggy Pop’s New Values. Or, if you can’t keep pace with Iggy, why not check out MF Player Pro-radical HiFi. It is a ‘radical’ break from the traditional clean-cut – and often labelled ‘sterile’ – Apple sound. It’s an HiFi app in every sense of the word, and it’s radical in all others. The most obviously radical feature of MF Player is its most radical price, a gnarly 1.999 pennies. And that’s the clincher, really.
But let’s not spoil the rave yet, my party animals. There is praise to get through first. Namely, there are too few apps that are seriously designed for iDevice audiophiles. EQu has been a favourite of mine till now, and Equalizer (TMA Review) has grown up to be nearly perfect. MF player sports some of the lovely effects of a parametric EQ, but also adds its own flavour. While there isn’t a parametric EQ built in, the effects of MF Player are only really attainable by very very expensive EQ hardware, or impeccable settings.
If you needed better encouragement to buy Snapseed than an enthusiastic TouchMyApps review, I can think of no better endorsement than Apple’s own knighting of Nik Software’s Snapseed as iPad app of the year 2011.
But if you need a second opinion – and after a long time with Snapseed, I feel that my opinion is valid – mine is simple. Buy it. That’s it. Snapseed is the perfect companion app for frequent Facebook and frantic Flickr photographers. The reason for this isn’t the very decent uploading interface, but its ergonomic input system.