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About Chris Martens

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So far Chris Martens has created 6 blog entries.

Quad ERA-1 Planar-Magnetic Headphone

By | April 5th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Quad ERA-1 Planar-Magnetic Headphone

Back in the day, the first truly great loudspeaker I ever owned was the Quad ESL-57 electrostat, and ever since I’ve viewed the brand with respect and even reverence. Frankly, that loudspeaker was so far ahead of its time that it took decades for electronics and source components to catch up. Fast-forward to the present day, and Quad is trying to recapture the singular magic of the ESL-57, this time with its first-ever headphone, the planar-magnetic ERA-1 ($799). The ERA-1 enters a marketplace crowded with moderately priced, high-quality, planar-magnetic headphones, which raises several questions.… Read the full article

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Cleer Next Heaphone

By | February 14th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Cleer Next Heaphone

Cleer keeps a finger on the pulse of contemporary mass-market personal-audio trends and offers a wide range of affordable feature-laden earphones, headphones, and Bluetooth-capable products. Even so, I suspect dyed-in-the-wool audiophiles might ask, “But does Cleer build a model for us?” Happily, the answer is “Yes,” and it takes the form of the firm’s recently released Next headphone ($699). The Next shows it is a headphone to be taken seriously, in part through its handsome industrial design, which was created by Designworks (a BMW Group company).… Read the full article

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Abyss AB-1266 Phi CC Edition Planar-Magnetic Headphone

By | January 31st, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Abyss AB-1266 Phi CC Edition Planar-Magnetic Headphone

In the Summer 2018 edition of Ultimate Headphone Guide, I reviewed the Abyss AB-1266 Phi Edition planar-magnetic headphone, which represented an evolutionary improvement upon the original AB-1266 that first appeared in 2013. In fact, my conclusion was that the AB-1266 Phi Edition took “an already superb headphone design and made it markedly better,” specifically through a new driver that offered more linear frequency response, more natural and neutral tonal balance, improved sensitivity, and a substantial across-the-board increase in overall resolution and focus.… Read the full article

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Personal Audio at CanJam RMAF 2018

By | November 8th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Personal Audio at CanJam RMAF 2018

The online Head-Fi community is the world’s largest organization dedicated specifically to the enjoyment of high-performance personal audio and each year it produces multiple large-scale CanJam shows across the U.S. and in select international sites. 2018 The CanJam event locations have included New York City, Southern California, Singapore, London, and now Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF), with CanJam Shanghai yet to come. By tradition, though, CanJam RMAF is usually one of the (if not the) biggest and best shows of its type of the entire year.… Read the full article

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CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report from Ultimate Headphone Guide: Part Two

By | March 9th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report from Ultimate Headphone Guide: Part Two

Click here to read part one of this report. Campfire Audio Campfire Audio has earned a reputation for manufacturing some of the most finely crafted and sonically accomplished high performance earphones presently available (watch for the upcoming Hi-Fi+ review of Campfires Polaris and Andromeda earphones for more details). However, for CanJam NYC the firm broke new ground with its first-ever full-size headphone, called the Cascade ($799). The Cascade is a closed-back, dynamic driver-equipped headphone fitted with 42mm dynamic drivers sporting Beryllium-PVD diaphragms.… Read the full article

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CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report from Ultimate Headphone Guide: Part One

By | March 2nd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report from Ultimate Headphone Guide: Part One

Ultimate Headphone Guide is a new bi-annual publication that represents a joint venture between The Absolute Sound magazine and its sister publication Hi-Fi+. My name is Chris Martens and I have the privilege of serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Ultimate Headphone Guide and one of my first official tasks in that new role was to attend and report on the CanJam NYC event held this past weekend (17-18 February, 2018) at the Times Square Marriott Marquis hotel in New York City.… Read the full article

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