Let’s get one thing straight here: mid-priced inner earphones are really starting to put out like their more sexy/pricey colleagues. They’ve bass, mids, and treble now rather than just bass and some, like the Sherwood SE-777, are just great all-round bargains. For 80$ the SE-777 isn’t cheap, but it sounds great, looks great, and has a pleasant surprise for DIY enthusiasts! Feel free to discuss this review of the Sherwood SE-777 in our forums.
Final Audio, maker of the both the world’s most expensive 2-speaker system and production earphones have released a new earphone, the single balanced armature FI-BA-SS. Like the Final Audio FI-DC1601SS, it is both housed in solid stainless steel and incorporates a custom Final Audio-designed speaker. The FI-BA-SS incorporates Balanced Air Movement (BAM) technology to control unwanted vibrations – whether or not such technology is necessary in a balanced armature design however, is debatable. Whatever the case, FAD’s new earphone is set to make a splash. At 20g per earphone, it certainly should. As a product of the adventurist Final Audio Design, the FI-BA-SS debuts at the ultra-high price point of ¥98,000, or over US 1000$.
If you can’t get enough of sleek, solid steel, then get ready to plop down your dosh at places like e-earphone which sell the newest FAD. It will be available in the middle of this month.
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If you like headphones, you are probably aware that perfect fit makes perfect sound. Earphone tips make a huge difference, especially when you tend to enjoy music or games on your iDevice for hours a day, or really care about sound. I tend to prefer foam tips because they are comfortable and safely isolate my music from the background. Unfortunately, many foam tips muck up the sound with boomy bass and midrange smear. Tips which don’t get nasty themselves: waxy and greasy after a few weeks of use. Monster’s Supertips foam tips are excellent tips for all but the narrowest-mouthed of earphones, and even those, with a few tweaks, can be made to work peachy.
Continue to our forums for the rest of the Monster Supertips review.
The iPad is only one vowel from the mother of modern multimedia, the iPod. Tweets about iPad and music keep popping up, audio company executives keep pestering me to get one, and otherwise, I’m curious; there has to be something in the convenience of a device 4x the size of an iPod touch. Who knows, the iPad could be as dirty sounding as its nomenclature, but it could well be the next mono-speaker-toting-boombox! It’s Apple’s baby, so expect it to work with headsets and the best earphones/headphones out there, not to mention the rich boneyard of audio accessories such as line out docks and microphones. In 2005, Apple dog-eared a new page: they brought in gapless playback with the iPod 5G. Then, in 2007, they dropped DRM-crippled iTunes music, and in 2008, their iPod line went audiophile with excellent earphone performance reminiscent of the original iPod shuffle, but without all the hiss. No other company has come so far and done so much for portable audio quality while keeping their big mouths shut about all their achievements. Everyone else trumpets typical dross: advanced engine sound FFX13/dual DAC/340 decibels signal to noise ratio/Class A.
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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.
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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’:
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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
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