February 2019
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The NOLA Brio Quatro System – Florida 2019

By | February 20th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

Nola Brio Quatro

The Brio Trio three piece system (two semi-open-baffle monitors and one sub-woofer) was something I wrote about as a static display during my visit to Denver in Fall of 2018 at Rocky Mountain Audiofest that year for our sister site PartTimeAudiophile.

Originally I was rather charmed by Nola’s tower speakers and their signature live sound. Seeing the small Brio Trio did intrigue me, so when I saw an active Brio display was scheduled to happen at the Florida Audio Expo, I couldn’t wait to give it a spin.… Read the full article

Luxman, Harbeth and Melco – Florida 2019

By | February 19th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

Luxman L-509x integrated amplifier

I’ve become a recent interloper into the cult that is Harbeth loudspeakers. I’ve also been a long time fan of Luxman electronics, so this exhibit pairing was bound from the start to find favor with my heart and ears.

The big news from Luxman was a slew of new products, starting with the new PD-151 ($3,895 USD) turntable. A belt driven affair, with 33/45/78 independant speed control, a custom Jelco tonearm and a universal head shell. The Cartridge used for demonstration was Ortofon’s moving coil Cadenza Red ($1,300 USD).… Read the full article

Qobuz Streaming Services Launch In The US

By | February 14th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , |

Tidal is no longer alone in the high resolution streaming space. As of today, the Qobuz private beta is over and the doors have been flung open for the France-based service. Competition is usually good for consumers, and while Tidal offers MQA options on the upper registers of resolution, Qobuz does offer up to 24/192 files for stream and download.

Qobuz’s launch titles boast over 40 million tracks, something which it has had a little time to prep since its European launch in 2007.… Read the full article

The McIntosh RS200 Wireless System

By | February 14th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Binghamton’s blue-meter-loving company continues to reach out into the luxury lifestyle category with all-in-one solutions for the home. Hot on the heels of the just-add-speakers MTI100 turntable, McIntosh in now unveiling a new tech/spec packed streamer called the RS200.

The driver configuration is set up with 8 total drivers, two woofers, four 2″ mids and two 3/4″ tweeters. An external subwoofer is also optioned out via the back panel. Internal technologies includes a 3-option DSP for room or listener preferences and a large host of streaming options.… Read the full article

Focal’s Got A Brand New Can – CES 2019

By | February 13th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

Focal Stellia Heaphone

With the PR machine in full gear, the reaction to Focal’s new closed-back headphone called Stellia has mostly been about its color. The $3k can now sits just under the flagship Utopia ($4k) and above most of the remaining product line of hifi personal audio. The Stellia does borrow much of the driver tech from the Utopia, mainly its M-shaped beryllium dome transducer and suspension harness.

The color isn’t particularly off putting to my tastes. The diversion away from audiophile black and silver is a nice change up in a sea of consistent color schemes.… Read the full article

Sonus Faber’s New Palladio Line

By | February 6th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

Sonus Faber Palladio

Italy-based Sonus Faber is slowing working its way into my short list of favorites in high end audio. Our listening sessions to the flagship Aida and all sorted products from the diverse palate of loudspeakers creations have always been richly rewarding. Now the brand is launching two new lines of custom install products (Level 5 and Level 6) under the Palladio Collection to compliment existing options or create new ones.

Palladio in wall

Level 5 is set to coincide with the Sonette speakers and Level 6 Olympica.… Read the full article

Review: The ZMF Aeolus & Verite Headphones

By | February 5th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

ZMF Headphones Aeolus Review

While the names for ZMF Headphones may get harder and harder to pronounce, its hard to deny that the bespoke manufacturer isn’t heading in the right direction. Founder Zach Mehrbach has two new headphones up to bat, the Verite ($2.5k) and the Aeolus ($1.2k). Both new cans follow much of the build and design signature of ZMF growing family of options, but each offer a different approach to high fidelity sound recreation. We slice and dice them both in our review here, and even rounded them out with the ZMF Pendant headphone amplifier.… Read the full article

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UE Now Lets You Take Your Own Impressions At Home – NAMM 2019

By | February 4th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

Ultimate Ears CSX Line

Over the years, if there is one thing that Ultimate Ears Pro has realized about their custom in-ear products is that the doorway to entry is blocked by a significant barrier. Getting ear molds done and locking in a proper fit for the user is tedious at best, and downright intrusive at worst.

Many strides have been made by UE specifically over the years to remedy this. From partnering with 3D scanning tech, electronic storage of ear molds, and 3D printing to speed up delivery times, the OC-based company has always kept forward progress firmly planted in the products they release.… Read the full article

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A New Twist On Earplugs – NAMM 2019

By | February 1st, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

It should come as no surprise that earplugs show up on coverage of this year’s National Association of Musician’s Merchants (NAMM). Hearing protection ought to be found in the pocket of any audiophile’s journey to a loud concert or venue. Still, there are several hangups about filling your ear with any material, and the resulting sound is never close to natural… no matter what the sales pitch says.

Loop earplugs hopes to change some of that. Not only do they offer some interesting aesthetics over your typical foam-in-the-ear look, the circular shape of the device provides both form and function.… Read the full article

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NAD D 3045 Review

By | January 30th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

NAD D 3045 Review

NAD has a history of producing some of the worlds most well regarded amplifiers. Most famously their 3020 integrated, which upended the industry by offering a do-all component that provided more muscle and audiophile finesse per dollar (or pound). Over a twenty year span, the NAD 3020 became the most successful amplifier in history. Lessons learned, NAD has done little to steer away from the formula of success, and done well over the years to build on that recipe. More recent to the trophy mantel, the NAD 316BEE V2 which I reviewed over at our sister publication Part-Time Audiophile.… Read the full article

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