With all the latest audio wizardry coming from smaller, boutique manufacturers, it isn’t surprising when one of the world’s largest headphone companies jumps into the fray with new headphone amplifiers. Audio Technica will debut the made-for-iPod AT-PHA3i in the spring of 2010 and the more traditional AT-PHA10 on 11 December, 2009.
If Head-Direct’s RE series is a benchmark for how far Chinese-made headphones have come, Yuin, another great Chinese manufacturer, should be considered the standard by which even Head-Direct’s products are compared. Back in 2006, the Yuin PK1 startled the audio community not only with its high price, but excellent sound. In 2009, the tradition continues with the excellent G-series of clip-on headphones which start at 49$. The G2A isn’t cheap by an realistic definition of the word, but I will sum up why it simply rocks the house and will keep listeners coming back for more for a long, foreseeable future.
The Head-Direct RE0 is considered by a boisterous section of Head-fi to be one of the best inner earphones in the world. Head-Direct have already dropped the RE0′s introductory price from over 200$ to 99$. And just in time for America’s biggest feasting day, their high-end IEM has dropped another 20$. Thank you Head-Direct! In case you were wondering, the RE0 is positioned two steps above the GRAB-worthy RE2. And just in case you didn’t know, the RE2 is also on sale, coming bundled with a Fiio headphone amp!
Driver unit: 9mm
Impedence 64 OHM
Rate input 10mw
Max. input 30mw
Feequency response: 15Hz ~ 22KHZ
30 days refund and 1 year replacement
Be sure to keep an eye on our Headphone section for more reviews, contests, and news.
Nary does news get me all tizzied up, but this bit is hot. The Head-Direct RE2 inner earphone which earned a GRAB from TMA has received another price reduction in a new bundled package with the miniature E5 headphone amp from Fiio (which retails at up to 25$). If you are looking for an excellent, but flat-line neutral dynamic listen, the RE2 is one of the best earphones (if not the best) in its price category. Enjoy!
Check it out: RE2 and Fiio E5 combo 39$
Nothing gets me’ panties hitched more than juicy headphone news, and B&W have ‘em hitched. The legendary designer of the Zeppelin and Zeppelin Mini iPod docks (not to mention excellent loudspeakers), will debute the P5, a new closed-back, noise isolating headphone. The advantages of noise isolation rather than cancellation is that it doesn’t rely on noisy electronics. The P5 will seal your ears and music from the environment, so expect no unwanted background hiss. Also, unlike its competition from the oft’ sung Bose and Monster, the P5 is made from natural materials in a sturdy, classic design.
Press literature and pics after the gap.
The Koss Porta Pro — which recently saw its 25th anniversary — has spawned look-a-likes, sound-a-likes, and a slew of pragmatic wannabes which can be as easily stowed and toted. Love it or hate it, the Porta Pro has left a deep imprint on the portable audio community for years and will probably continue to do so. Incidentally, whenever I strap the caboose of my brain into a new headphone, I mentally compare it with my rusty old Koss. Jays’ v-Jays, though dressed in simple plastic and fitted into seen-it-before ear pads, has become a landmark headphone which surpasses many erstwhile favourites, including the stodgy Koss Porta Pro.
Imagine winning the 32GB iPod touch from Hexus.net and then snagging a huge deal from one of the headphone world’s sleekest amp manufacturers: Ray Samuels. At Headfi, he is one of the most respected and dedicated professionals whose research has created the excellent SR71-A, Hornet, and now the tiny, IEM-focused Shadow. Therefore, Headphone Solutions‘ contest is a bit more involved: you must register and provide a good-quality review of any of the products they carry. The contest ends on 30 November.
Contest Rules after the gap:
ALO’s new design isn’t just a beautiful face, it has several exciting improvements under the bonnet. One of course, is that it sports dual lithium batteries in a dual-charging circuit, meaning lots of power, and if I am hearing what I think I am hearing, sustained bass output. For inner earphone users, the Rx sports the world’s first production-level dual-stepped attenuating circuit, meaning that even at low volume levels, the signal remains perfectly balanced. ALO’s new amp is charging now, but preliminary listens have revealed that this amp’s crisp midrange and bass is a hell of a good pair for electronic music. Look for our review in mid-late November.
ALO’s now infamous Cryo Dock, too, will get a goodly write up along with the offerings from another unique company: Twisted Cables which is the brainchild of Headfier Qusp and for Australians, a matter of national pride!
To get your hands on one, visit ALO’s Rx webpage.
TMA have been following the production of this amp from its ‘top secret’ days until it was publicly introduced at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival.
If you have been waiting for our review, look no further: ALO Rx Headphone amp in Review: Double the battery, double the fun.
In a follow-up to last month’s review of the Fireye I headphone amplifier review, TMA will continue our look at Firestone products with the unique Fireye II USB/DAC headphone amplifier. Unlike the Fireye I, this unit does not accept analogue inputs and it is not a stand-alone amp; it functions 100% from USB ports as a plug and play audio device, and thankfully has a manual volume pot for volume attenuation. Its specific function is to create a clean audio signal for headphone listening from a computer, a job which it does quite well.
A couple of months ago, TMA had the unique opportunity to post early specs and spy shots of Audio Line Out’s new amplifier, the ALO Rx. Well, the amp is out now, and available for purchase at 345$. As illustrated in the photos below, it is a slim thing of beauty. But, adding to the fire are some preliminary reports that this amp does indeed sound good. It comes in a variety of colours and sports sophisticated circuitry, some of which hasn’t been seen before in a production headphone amp. TMA’s review of the ALO is done.
More pictures and specs after the gap.