Tokyo Apple Store to give ear to portable headphone amplifers

Big news in the world of headphones: @BJ, organiser of the Tokyo OFF headphone amp exhibition where dozens of local manufacturers and audiophiles met, will be meeting with Apple next week to showcase the merits of portable headphone amplifiers on portable media players such as the iPod. The meeting is scheduled for February 8, and if successful in wrangling the right ear, could mean very prolific exposure for the world of high-end portable audio. Discuss Apple and BJ in our forums.

Continue reading…

Tokyo OFF Audio Meeting – Eye and ear opening

FiQuest and prototype - Awesome

FiQuest Headfi special and prototype

On 19 December 2009, I attended one of the most eye-opening meetings of my life: the Tokyo OFF Headphone Audio Meeting. While that is a rough translation of the actual event’s title is underwhelming, the current crop of small Japanese audio makers who peeked in is amazing. I have been smitten by the nearly perfect ALO Rx headphone amplifier, but what I heard at the meeting smashed most of my expectations in terms of what is possible in portable audio. Carrying an amp with an iPod can be annoying, but in my opinion, the jump in sound quality is worthwhile – very worthwhile. Matt MacBeth who designed the audio circuitry of the ALO Rx said in TMA interview that 2010 will be the year when portable audio overtakes home audio in terms of quality. In terms of price/performance, that certainly is possible, and in terms of possibility, that much is certainly true.

Continue reading…