Audiophile Friday #1: Cypher Labs Algorhythm SOLO vs Venturecraft Go-DAP Unit 4.0 – Digital Output

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.

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Audiophile Friday Intro – A look at the AlgoRhythm SOLO and Venturecraft Unit 4.0

SPDIF is no longer the iPhone's Holy Grail

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.

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Digizoid zO2 Personal Subwoofer in Review – who let the dogs out?

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!

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Beyerdynamic T50p Manufaktur hitting the IFA; sporting sexy new leather

Beyerdynamic have been kicking out new products at what amounts to breakneck speed. Their new flagship 32Ω ultraportable headphone, T50p, was released last year has quickly developed a strong following among music lovers. At the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) Berlin, from September 2-7 of this year, Beyer will unveil the T50p Manufaktur, a customisable version of the T50p featuring hot colours and new materials. Their studio and professional line have offered Manufaktur options for years. (I’ve owned two Manufaktur DT880 headphones in my tenure as a music lover can say that without a doubt, Manufaktur is the way to go if you’ve got the wonga.)

No one has done this before; the T50p Manufaktur will be the first truly customisable headphone for portable music lovers. Now, I’m not holding my breath that Beyer will allow customers to choose Ω options, especially as the T50p is specifically targeted at portable music lovers who need sensitivity and isolation to hear the great Tesla acoustics.

Update: The standard T50p starts has an MSRP of 349$ US. The T50p Manufaktur will start at 420$ US.

Pics and press release after the gap:

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MEElectronics A151 inner earphone in Review – KICKASS!!

MEElectronics are hit makers. The M6 and M9 earph0nes defined perfection within their price points, sporting great build quality, good sound, and an impressive array of accessories. With the introduction of the A151, MEEl have outdone themselves in a number of areas, making on of the truly must-have earphones. Caveats aside (and yes, there are a few), this new single armature earphone is a must have for every music lover with a medium-sized budget.

[Bef0re y0u ask: my little 0h and bracket keys have been damaged by a stray glass 0f water. Please bear with me till I can aff0rd a new c0mputer!]

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Sleek Audio CT7 custom earphone in Review – masterless sound

In 2009, Sleek Audio officially released the CT6, their first custom earphone. At its introductory price of 300$, the single driver earphone dominated the budget custom earphone world with great sound and a slew of innovations at a great price point. A LOT has happened since then, and while the CT6 remains a great earphone, it has been outclassed by newcomers. Naturally, Sleek Audio couldn’t leave it at the top of their portfolio. Enter the CT7, a completely redesigned custom iem sporting dual drivers, higher sensitivity, better artwork, and one of the rawest, fastest, most impressive sounds I’ve heard at any price.

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VentureCraft GoDAP in Review – audio and power for the people!

Firstly, I’m not dead. Now with that out of the way:

What do you get when you combine the audiophile heart of the iPhone with a juiced-up ad-hoc power supply? Or, perhaps I should ask it this way: what made VentureCraft, maker of car-mounted cameras and creative telegrams, shoot for the moon and create an audiophile iPhone battery jacket? My guess is a pioneer spirit. VentureCraft are the first company to build such a combination. As off-beat as the GoDAP battery jacket and headphone amp combo unit may sound for a company like VentureCraft, it is certainly worth the raised eyebrows and facepalms. It’s just so ingenious and geekily disturbing that it’s worth a perfectly long review!

Feel free to discuss VentureCraft’s GoDAP in our forums.

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FiQuest headphone amp in review – Adroit audio evangelism

HPA-review-FiQuest-fullfrontal

If you aren’t ready to take the wild walk on the DIY side, but still want to really get down and dirty with tweakable headphone amps, there are a very few options available to you. One of them is to experiment McGuyver style with cotton, fish, cookies, and an oiled grouse to achieve a truly experimental sound. But if lock picking DIY isn’t your thing, there are only a few choices on the market. Some such as Graham Slee, Firestone, iBasso, etc., offer headphone amps with user-replaceable op-amps and slightly modifiable circuits, but no one outdoes MST, a one-man operation out of Akihabara Japan. MST’ FiQuest project is as ground-up tweakable a design as is possible in a pre-fabbed design. In a way, it is the audio evangelist among portable amps.

Feel free to discuss the FiQuest in our forums.

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Radius HP-TWF11R earphone in review – pleasure pleasure, little treasure!

If someone told me that a dual-driver earphone would catch my ear, I’d have yawned a juicy mess of contempt into their face. If, however, that person first mentioned that the dual-driver wasn’t just another ba-ba balanced armature earphone, I’d have kept my spit and contempt to myself. Sonority may be have been damned in naming Radius’ new HP-TWF11R dual-dynamic driver earphone, but the Japanese company surely show that they’ve what it takes to make an earphone sound great. Feel free to discuss the Radius HP-TWF11R in our forums.

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