MST Audio supporting Red Cross Japan with proceeds from Red Tide sales

I’ve been following #Japan on Twitter since the horrible earthquake and corollary tsunami last week. Among the myriad voices, the Japanese audiophile community has been rallying support. MST Audio, maker of the fabulous FiQuest headphone amp, will be donating 32% of the proceeds from their new, limited edition Red Tide interconnect cable, to the Japan Red Cross. Red Tide uses 15cm long CV4.2 cabling from AudioQuest and will hook up your iPhone/DAC to a headphone/car/home amp. Red tide will cost 95$ of which, 30$ will be donated to the Red Cross. Cables should be ready to ship out one in April. Since many of Japan’s supplies are constrained after the devastation, only 50 of MST’s Red Tide will be made. Shipping information is as follows:

Via EMS
ASIA:$12; Oceania and Northern America:$15; Europe:$18; Southern America and Africa: $20

Via first class international
ASIA, Guam & Saipan:$4.5; Oceania, North America & Europe:$5.5; South America and Africa: $6.5

Purchasing will be handled through MST’s sales account: sales@m-s-tech.jp

MST Audio are located in Tokyo and have seen first hand the devastation wrecked by the earthquakes and tsunami. They’re a nice bunch of lads who have their ears on one thing: audio perfection, and their hearts in the right place. Thank you MST!

NOTE: Watch this post for information on where to sign up for Red Tide.

CES 2011′s best: Sonomax’s SoundCage 4-minute custom earphone

Recently, I Hanseled my way around CES 2011 looking for a place to sit. On my quest to find a comfy chair, I managed to lose myself under a pile of crumby marketing handouts, and half naked girls dancing to show off the features of a … wired router. Amid crappy tablets and massage chairs, I also managed to find Sonomax‘s booth and discover what I think is the coolest thing to come out of CES: 4-minute custom earphones. Originally, my mate said this Canadian company were batting with a custom earphone that is fully cured in 20 hours and sets in 4 minutes. Hmmm, I thought, that reminds me of SoundCage, a company that made a 20-minute custom a few years ago, and that is also from Canada. Well, it turns out that the SoundCage I discovered whilst getting impressions for the Sleek Audio CT6, and Sonomax are either good mates, or better bedfellows.

Feel free to discuss Sonomax products in our forums.

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New Final Audio FI-BA-A1 and FI-BA-SB balanced armature earphones

UPDATE: Review of FI-BA-SB Heaven S and FI-BA-A1 Heaven A is up!

Any headline from boutique audio house, Final Audio Design, is news at TouchMyApps. Recently, their first balanced armature series headphone, the Final Audio FA-BA-SS hit the market to some good reviews, but with a price around USD 1000$ and sold in very limited numbers, this flagship earphone didn’t have a chance to capture the market before selling out. The two new models, FA-BA-A1 and FA-BA-SB (ostensibly in aluminium and brass), however, are sold at the much more reasonable prices of 300$ and 400$. Final Audio look to be following Monster and Jays’ lead by introducing a flat tangle-free cable for the FA-BA-SB. A more traditional cable will adorn the FA-BA-A1 earphone.

Currently, both models are sold out across Japan, but FAD are accepting pre-orders for the next batch. If you are scared about ordering from Japan, don’t be. There are a couple of reliable options. One is Seyo Shop, an exporter of fine Japanese headphones and camera equipment. Their prices are usually excellent. Currently they don’t carry Final Audio.

Musica Acoustics, a feisty audio importer based in Tokyo, will be carrying FAD’s new earphones. Musica Acousticspresident, Mr. Dimitri Trush, is quick to answer email questions, so fire away!

Preliminary review impressions of the FA-BA-A1 are up at TMA’s Forums. For more pictures and product spec, jump the gap:

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a-Jays Four iPhone headset – powerful, stylish, sexy

The ever-stylish Jays have got a new piece of eye-candy headset for music-loving iDevice owners. The new headset is based on the a-Jays Three, a bass-driven earphone for music/movie lovers on a budget. The new a-Jays comes in the following models: One, Two, Three. The headset, a-Jays Four is a natural extension of the new line. The a-Jays Four has a beautifully designed remote/microphone pill built into the cable.

TouchMyApps will be reviewing the a-Jays Three in a couple of weeks.

More information after the gap:

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I’m not a doctor stethoscope headset!

Antrepo Design have a great-looking and surely whuffie-inflating headset design for the wannabe med. In layman’s terms, it is a stethoscope headset, but its medical name is the Stetheadphone. Anyone else think this thing would look rad with their iPod touch/iPhone? iWant one. Bad.

The “I’m not product series” is continuing, The last one is “Stetheadphone”, created by Antrepo Design Industry. It is headset with remote and mic, you can make and receive calls, access voice-control features, and listen to and manage playback from your iPhone or iPod.

Material used is ultra light and flexible plastic for your comfort Also three sizes of soft silicone ear tips help you tailor a fit that’s right for you. The color options are white, black, pink, blue or green.

We are now in a research process to find a partner company for the production process. The companies interested in this product may contact Antrepo Design Industry through its website.
antrepo4.com

By all means, intrepid headphone companies, get on this!

Check the Stetheadphone out at A2591

RIP Dr. Fritz Sennheiser – we owe you our ears

Sennheiser’s founder, Dr. Fritz Sennheiser died yesterday at the respectable age of 98. More than anyone in the professional audio field, Dr. Sennheiser influenced condenser audio for the on-the-road professional. His company has also gone on to produce some of the best headphones in the world, and the smashing Sennheiser IE8, a great portable earphone. Portable music lovers everywhere, doff your hats for the good Doctor.

Thanks Sennheiser and Engadget for the pic.

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit – audio, video, AND photos

Thanks to Apple’s reticence to include USB ports or memory card slots in the iPad, THIS is making news.

The Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, which has just gone on sale for an even 29$, makes brilliant use of the iPad’s number 1 feature: mobile OSX. The operating system isn’t just a touch-friendly app-mongering front end, it supports low-level instructions as well. Specifically, the iPad Camera Connection Kit can connect to USB audio and professional interfaces.

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Final Audio FI-BA-SS: World’s most expensive single balanced armature earphone

Final Audio, maker of the both the world’s most expensive 2-speaker system and production earphones have released a new earphone, the single balanced armature FI-BA-SS. Like the Final Audio FI-DC1601SS, it is both housed in solid stainless steel and incorporates a custom Final Audio-designed speaker. The FI-BA-SS incorporates Balanced Air Movement (BAM) technology to control unwanted vibrations – whether or not such technology is necessary in a balanced armature design however, is debatable. Whatever the case, FAD’s new earphone is set to make a splash. At 20g per earphone, it certainly should. As a product of the adventurist Final Audio Design, the FI-BA-SS debuts at the ultra-high price point of ¥98,000, or over US 1000$.

If you can’t get enough of sleek, solid steel, then get ready to plop down your dosh at places like e-earphone which sell the newest FAD. It will be available in the middle of this month.

More piccies and info after the gap:

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Westone’s new UM3X and UM2 with removable cables

New UM3X with detachable cable

Westone already make some of the best professional and audiophile earphones in the world which are renowned for build quality, if not looks ;) But coming this May, the earphone company will offer two of its best-selling professional monitors, UM3X and UM2, with removable cables. Pricing is still up in the air. There are advantages and disadvantages to both fixed and detachable cable systems. Ultimate Ears’ detachable cable earphones are quite infamous for cable breakages, while Sleek Audio’s cables are known to crack. If Westone can support the contact well enough, they will have an earphone solution which will outlast most DAP’s and maybe catch up to good wireless mics.

TMA has a review of the Westone UM3X from a self-dubed ‘casual listener’. I can vouch for its quality and sound – a lovely, neutral presentation maintained by excellent midrange/bass detail. My second high-end IEM was the benchmark-setting UM2.

Westone: UM3X Monitor with Removable Cable

Westone: UM2 Monitor with Removable Cable

Keep an eye out at TouchMyApps for more headphone and headset news and reviews

TrendsAudio Combo One Hi-Fi Systems – headphones and speakers, oh my!!!

Like the excellent (and tiny) Travagan’s Red headphone amp/pre-amp, TrendsAudio’s Combo One HI-Fi system is a do-it-all workhorse for both headphones and sensitive speakers and includes 3 units: TA-10.2P Class T power amp, PA-10 tube headphone amp, and PW-10 power supply unit. The Combo One Hi-Fi also comes in an iPod-friendly version complete with high quality line out docking cable.

The PA-10 headphone amp can roll tubes for minute sound enchancement. You’ve met up with op-amp rolling in our headphone amp reviews before: now it is taken back a few warm years into the tepid and heady days of tube audio. TouchMyApps will be looking at a number of tube-powered headphone amps including the Woo Audio 3 and the affordable USB DAC/amp: Head Direct EF2A.

Pic and more after the gap:

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