Shure SE535 and SE425 outed at CES – CESsation of the King

The venerable Shure SE530 is a great inner earphone which has stood the test of time. But, after nearly 3,5 years, it is getting long in the tooth. Fortunately for Shure fans, a two new models, the SE535 and SE425 have been spotted at CES. These new earphones are slimmer than the old triple-driver model and come with breakaway (coaxial?) cables. Other than that, not much is yet known about the new earphones which are expected to ship in the middle of 2010.

Pictures from CNET

Tokyo OFF Audio Meeting – Eye and ear opening

FiQuest and prototype - Awesome

FiQuest Headfi special and prototype

On 19 December 2009, I attended one of the most eye-opening meetings of my life: the Tokyo OFF Headphone Audio Meeting. While that is a rough translation of the actual event’s title is underwhelming, the current crop of small Japanese audio makers who peeked in is amazing. I have been smitten by the nearly perfect ALO Rx headphone amplifier, but what I heard at the meeting smashed most of my expectations in terms of what is possible in portable audio. Carrying an amp with an iPod can be annoying, but in my opinion, the jump in sound quality is worthwhile – very worthwhile. Matt MacBeth who designed the audio circuitry of the ALO Rx said in TMA interview that 2010 will be the year when portable audio overtakes home audio in terms of quality. In terms of price/performance, that certainly is possible, and in terms of possibility, that much is certainly true.

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On the Qusp of 2010: Twisted Cables audio for the iDevice

The DIY audio community is large, well-fueled, and rabidly concocting exciting accessories for the iPod and iPhone. Some successful DIY-ers have gone on to found shops, quitting their day jobs and are now making some of the best components for the iDevice. Down Under, a new shop has opened from the long-time Headfi-er and cable maker, Qusp (Jeremy Glover). Twisted Cables specialises in Cyro parts for best signal integrity and ease of use. TouchMyApps has been using Twisted Cables parts for reviews of products such as the ALO Rx portable headphone amp and the FitEar Private 333 custom earphone. The verdict? Great products with excellent performance. TMA will review Twisted Cables products in the new year including one of the most low-profile audio docks in the world. Till then, feel free to email founder, Qusp, with questions and comments. His website should be up very soon.

Email Twisted Cables

Happy Christmas from TMA!

Ladies and gents, it has been a great year. The iDevice has become a respectable platform and overtaken a few stodgy mobile OSes in the meantime. TMA has gamed, researched, and enjoyed the production genius of many great companies. Better than that, we have enjoyed receiving contact from our readers who have been a great support in this year. Whether you are working away at your desks, balancing over a lion’s head, or enjoying time with your family, have a safe and merry Christmas. And, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, have a good time nonetheless.

In the meantime, enjoy App Store sales, special TMA headphone deals from Seyo-Shop, and otherwise, a great holiday season.

Sale alert: Victor/JVC FX500 and more from Seyo Shop

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The FX500 is a good headphone at its normal price of 136.80$ plus shipping, but even better when discounted! Wait, what is that? Yes, Seyo have gloriously bestowed God’s good graces on TMA by offering an 8% discount to users who buy through through the below banner. The offer is good until 3 January, 2010.

In layman’s terms, that means that the FX500 is on sale till the end of the year! The good news doesn’t stop there; any product purchased from Seyo through TouchMyApps will garner a 5% discount. That means lenses, headphones, flashes – any product which attracts your inner geek comes with a nice, geeky discount. More details on how to take advantage of this special offer after the break!

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Contest Alert: Win Sennheiser’s top of the line HD800 from Headphone Solutions

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Well, Headphone Solutions’ Emmeline HR-2 giveaway contest is over. Fortunately, the intrepid online seller has decided to host another, and this time with decidedly even heftier loot to be won. The Sennheiser HD800 is arguably the world’s best in-production headphone, and if you can follow the rules below and write a fabulous review for Headphone Solutions, you may just win this 1399$ headphone. Of course, it would have been great to have shot the moon and won the Emmeline also. TMA wishes you luck in this very special giveaway which closes 28 April 2010. TMA is not affiliated with Headphone Solutions.

Contest rules after the gap:

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Sleek Audio up to something?

Go Daddy?

Go Daddy?

Not sure what’s afoot, but as I was digging up information on Sleek Audio‘s intriguing new dynamic driver SA1 inner earphone, I got the above from Sleek’s homepage. Something is up. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, but not at Sleek, so I will put forward a couple of guesses. A: Sleek are upgrading their website and have it offline for a few hours. B: The above webpage is a spare tyre, installed because Sleek have too much traffic. C: They have been hacked. I have a feeling that it might be one of the first two. Sleek have just been picked as a recipient of CES’s video award, so they may well have been deluged recently with traffic. I hope it isn’t the latter.

Their video and some SA1 glamour shots after the gap. Warning, video is Flash.

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Christmas Ideas: Noise Cancelling headphones

HP-news-ChristmasChristmas season means massive sales on items from software to hardware and violence in the streets as the the accompanying crush rushes out to spend its life insurance policy on stuff which will probably be returned. Then Boxing day will spread the same spirit of gluttonous shopping for another week. Well, why not get a head-start on the whole business? Internet shopping is physically safer and requires less fuel, and sometimes, much better prices.

I will target the ladies with this one. If you are tired of buying iTunes gift cards, why not get a nice set of headphones for your man? Let me speak as a man: gadgets always hit a sweet spot with your smellier half. Headphones are a great way to show your man what his other gadgets can do, and may be a good way to keep him nerdy, and at home, under your nose. Who knows, he might even turn into a DIYer, making amps, cables, etc., turning his new-found hobby into a small business! Anyway, check out the sales…

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Sherwood SE-777 earphones – SoundCAT/Uncle Wilson’s exclusive

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Sherwood have been a big name in home audio since the 1950’s and currently rank among the best-selling hifi companies in the United States. It was only a matter of time before they released a hi-end earphone for the growing portable audio market. The SE-777 is a single ultra-wide balanced armature design which weighs in at a respectable 53 ohms for the paltry sum of 79$ USD. Equally newsworthy is that SoundCAT and Uncle Wilsons, two of Asia’s premier audio distributors, have secured exclusive distribution rights for it. SoundCAT have been on the cutting edge of custom and consumer audio since their founding and are continually moving forward in both segments. TMA recently did an exclusive article on SoundCAT’s business which will interest the audiophile and music lover.

TMA will be providing an in-depth review of the earphones in the near future, so keep an eye out in our headphone news and reviews section for this new entry.

UPDATE: TMA’s review of the Sherwood SE-777 is up. Spoiler: it’s a good one!

Spec, pictures and more info after the gap:

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TGI Friday Sale: Lady Gaga Heartbeats earphones

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Lady Gaga’s heartbeats earphones from Monster which were announced in September and carry a list price of 119.95$ join the parade of items which are discounted for TGI Black Friday. Earphone Solutions, a major online retailer of headphones in the USA has them for limited-time sale at 89$. Or, if you miss the sale opportunity, Amazon stock them all the time for only 99.95$. So, if you just cannot get enough of Lady Gaga; if you just have to have her in your ears, then enjoy the weekend!

Earphone Solutions Lady Gaga heartbeats earphones: 89$

Amazon Lady Gaga heartbeats earphones: 99.95$

Be sure to keep an eye out for more deals. We are tracking some great App Store deals which devs are hotly thinking up to save you some dosh on hot apps.

Black Friday App Sales Roundup

Apple Store TGI Friday sales