Recently, TouchMyApps had the good fortune to review the excellent ALO Rx portable headphone amp. As you can read in my review, the amp is a driving champion, supplying power and flat frequency response for a very wide variety of headphones. The Rx isn’t only your “prescription for sound”, it is also a partner product from the newly formed team, ALO and GR9. Both Ken Ball (ALO) and Matt MacBeth (GR9) have had years in their respective industries, and if I may be so bold, left indelible marks on each. Naturally, I was intrigued about their philosophies, goals, and good ol’ fashioned teamwork. By the way, Matt’s often detailed answers are a great reference for what is possible via the iPhone. Yes, his answers were typed 100% on a virtual keyboard.
For reference, please take a look at TMA’s ALO Rx review and follow any links in the text.
If a headphone amp/dac combination product like the Firestone Fireye II is unique — and a good buy at 115$–, the 190$ Travagan’s Red which powers both headphones and sensitive speakers is the jackalope. Understated in matte black with a Rudolf-red volume and pot, it fits beautifully next to any desktop audio/video rig, computer, or in the living room, but understated it most certainly is not. Its lively, punchy sound has become one of my favourites, and for the comparatively small wallet bite, is sure to leave bite marks all over the competition.
Tucked away from Seoulʼs flashy fashion and meet-market districts is a unique and foreign world. Geeky and lively, Yongsan is home to major electronics companies, importing thoroughfares, haggling hawkers, and most importantly, a thriving distribution/ manufacturing community. This teem of life and business spans the gamut from massive corporations to one-person electronic chop-shops: an organic melange of commerce and concoction. It is also home to SoundCAT, sponsor of Head-fi, and one of the audio communityʼs most diverse and fastidious distributors.
ALO, a name highly respected for the manufacturing of hi-end audio interconnects and iPod line-out cables has firmly stepped into the world of analogue headphone amplifiers. Already, they have partnered with Red Wine Audio to produce the high-end solid state battery-powered Amphora headphone amp, and now, partnered with GR9 Technologies, are introducing the Rx, which in their own words, is your ‘prescription for sound’. I say, ‘touché’.
Taiwan’s Firestone Audio is known for creating high-quality amplifier and digital-to-analogue products at reasonable prices. One of their constants is the use of sturdy construction materials and methods, a design decision which guarantees the longevity of their products. The Fireye 1 is an impressively constructed headphone amplifier which has a couple of unique features that will help you enjoy music and movies from your your iPod, laptop, or larger, hifi source.
Ken of ALO audio dropped a mouth-watering hint about his new project: it won’t just be an amp. According to him, the project incorporates several products, one of which will be a DAC (digital to analogue converter), another a portable headphone amp, and something which remains a secret. That’s fine, it can stay that way – for now. The name, Rx, reminds me much of a prescription; perhaps the subliminal message is that this is just what the doctor ordered – we will see.
TouchMyApps will soon embark on an amp review section which will detail sound, looks, build quality, battery life, features, noise level, audio performance, etc.. Whenever the gods deem, ALO’s Rx series will hit these shores to compete with its peers from around the world. UPDATE: TMA has a shiny Rx in office ready to face down a few staunch competitors.
UPDATE: TMA’s review of the ALO Rx.
Audio Line Out (ALO), based in Oregon, USA, are masters of audio art. Their cables and line-out docks are among the best-built in the industry. Ken, ALO’s head, is always busy with some new project and this time, he is targeting the budding iPhone audiophile market with a top-secret new headphone amplifier – an amp whose spy-shots fell into my hands and whose final product will come to TMA for review! Following the break are a few details about the project.