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.
Keep an eye out at TouchMyApps for more headphone and headset news and reviews
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:
When you’ve decided to clear your desktop, shed the headphones/turn off the speakers, and part the waves of a blistering commute to work, you insert inner earphones into your bus/train ride to work. But after a drudgered day of officing, places like your desktop, or your bed look and sound better for kicking back to relaxing music. If you cannot cajole your smarter half into saving up for a nice speaker setup, good headphone systems can be had for relative chump change. Canadian audio company, Einar Sound, offer both balanced and single-ended headphone bliss with their VC-01i, an amp which attacks sound quality and relative budget in one fell swoop. Feel free to discuss this review of Einar Sound’s VC-01i in our forums.
More details emerge about Jays 2010 earphone line up. Jays’ entry level earphone, the dynamic-driver a-JAYS will debut as a price-tiered model and start at 39$. Each a-JAYS model utilises the same-sized speaker unit, a titanium-coated 8,6mm driver. The new earphones also come with a new flat cable and excellent carrying case and package, making their asking price seem paltry. I’ve spent a few tender minutes with boy Jays a-JAYS and t-JAYS and can say with certainty, that their new line up is powerful, fun, and aimed at killing their respective price brackets.
TMA has reviewed Jays’:
Piccies and more after the gap:
When the iPod arrived on the scene in 2001, it lacked the iTunes store. Of course, users could rip their own CD’s or download from various file-sharing sites. Other options existed, but none ubiquitously had parity with online piracy. Then in 2003, the iTunes music store opened offering tracks in Apple’s locked-down FairPlay version of AAC. Ascribe what you will to the quality of the tracks and selection; snub your nose at those days all you want – in 2007, Apple dropped DRM from its music, raised compression quality, and garnered a fuzzy Samaratin aura from its fans: good news. But while iTunes in many ways forged a new, prosperous path for online music sales, it devolved into a hedged-in business which is first and foremost, looking out for its own. Amazon’s music store is Apple’s primary competition and the two have been playing cats’n mice in each other’s back yards for many years, taking advantage of proprietary market advantages. One such is Amazon’s Daily Deals MP3 sales which allow the online retail giant exclusivity on all Daily Deal sales for 24 hours. Apple won’t have it, however.
The q-Jays is already a wonderful earphone full of details and space. But Jays aim to make it even better with a new service: custom silicon ear moulds for their current top-of-the-line earphone. Unlike other manufacturers, Jays will make use of silicon rather than acrylic. This ostensibly affords listeners and performers better isolation and comfort than traditional acrylic moulds. Jays’s partner is Bellman & Symfon AB, a Swedish hearing protection company, to bring audiophiles and professionals alike, a kick apps in-ear system. Feel free to discuss the Jays launch handcrafted ear moulds for q-Jays earphones in our forums.
Piccies and more after the gap:
Cheesy title aside, the M11 really is the king of MEElectronics’ earphone line up. Luxurious in your choice of 2 turned aluminium colours, it hits its price point pointedly, if more politely than the skull-splitting lance which felled King Henry II. For the budget-conscious upgrader, its modest 39.99$ price tag scintillates royalty, and like most of MEEl’s line, is tough, made to last even the most organised of coups at the hands of its careless market.
Jays‘ name is getting out; the company have already stormed TouchMyApps’ headphone oubliette with great products. This time around, a dose of fresh financing in the form of a 20% investment from privately held Swedish investment company, Tranferator AB. 2010 will see the small Swedish company introduce 7 new headphone products including the the dynamic driver a-Jays and t-Jays and the worlds first and smallest quadruple-driver universal earphone, the x-Jays. The influx of capital is a great shot in the R&D arm and whatever other arms a headphone manufacturer has
Jays debuted their first earphone, the d-Jays in 2006 and today have an enviable catalogue of headphones for audiophiles of all budgets.
Reviews of Jays’ earphones can be found here: Jays reviews at TouchMyApps
More after the gap:
Sensaphonics are a virtual monolith in the American professional/musician earphone business. Their hitherto bread and butter, 2X-s and Max are excellent custom earphones for professionals and audiophiles alike. While TMA is still working on the 2X-s review, Sensaphonics one-upped us by introducing their newest, the triple-driver 3XMax. The new earphone shares many similarities to its older brother: both earphones are housed in medical-grade silicon which isn’t susceptible to the horrors of cracking whilst in the ear. And, mirroring last year’s 2X-s upgrade, it touts a field-replaceable cable for added insurance. Of course, the addition of an extra driver will aid dynamic range and accuracy in musical reproduction.
More after the gap:
Apple are evil. Apple suck. Apple make rubbish sh*t. They can’t research. They can’t build. And most of all, they can’t make good-sounding devices. That is because they rely on a stupid, baa baa customer base of fools whose brains are mush, whose limbs are mutton, and who walk on cloven feet. Apple cater to iSheep, the brand of humanoid who buys up any new crap from Apple, just because it is an Apple product. And iSheep deserve nothing less than contempt, or better yet: the lynch mob.
Urban Dictionary has a good pragmatic use of the word, ‘iSheep’.
Person 1: “Look at Kate with her new iPod nano.”
Person 2: “But she only just got a new iPod a few months ago.”
Person 1: “But now the iPod nano is the newest thing, so that old iPod is obsolete!”
Person 2: “What an iSheep.”
But, if iSheep suck, LemmingS (Sansa Lemmings) are worse: their bowels are moved sick by Apple, spraying out shi*ty lies, succumbing to hate-based marketing, and worst of all – shunning the use of their brains in order to belong to an elitist niche.