December 2018
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MQA Support Announced for Latest Astell & Kern Portable Players

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

In a world that seems bent on division when it comes to the streaming and download/playback format MQA, Astell & Kern has placed themselves even more solidly in the for MQA column with their announcement today that as of December 12th (tomorrow), MQA support (which is already available on the SP1000 portable player) will be available via firmware update for the SP1000M, SE100 and SR15 players as well.

For those not aware of the MQA battle royal taking place for the hearts and minds of music lovers and audiophiles everywhere, let me give you the brief skinny.… Read the full article

The Christmas Mix on InnerFidelity by Scott Eastlick

By | December 9th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

The Christmas Mix… this is a bonus mix brought to you by our incroyablement talentueux Scott Eastlick for your Holiday moments, be they alone, shared with friends or family or taking control of the music at a party. This mix is also on our sister site AudioStream, but since the two sites have pretty much zero crossover, I’m including it here as well. This is a more hip playlist/mix for the cool kids to paraphrase Eastlick, rather than a traditional yule log.… Read the full article

InnerFidelity Holiday Gift Guide

By | December 5th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I wandered the downtown Vancouver streets, slightly dazed as it was early, the coffee in my hand only half-finished and thus not fully waking my mind to operating temperature. Commuter traffic and day-job types jostled me like a potted plant to get around in their rush past me to get to jobs, friends, lovers, shops, or the somewhere important place in their lives they needed to be at the moment.

It was, after all, the beginning of December and things like holiday gift shopping for our families and friends was starting to dawn more brightly every morning into the waking brains of the urban populace (who surround my small oasis of a home in the city) as the month creeps forward inexorably to it’s zenith on the 25th and the all the expectations which surround that date.… Read the full article

InnerFidelity Podcast No.5 with Dan Clark of MrSpeakers

By | December 2nd, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Dan Clark and his company MrSpeakers have risen to a position of significant standing within the high-end personal audio community. Birthed as one of their own, Dan started his headphone business modding Fostex T50RP headphones as a way to fund bespoke-driver aspirations of his own design.

Now a major figure in the market, Clark shares his experiences from his journey to Silicon Valley and back, what its like managing business growth and his perspective on the greater musical experience.

– Brian Hunter and Rafe Arnott

The InnerFidelity Podcast features one-on-one interviews with everyone from high-fidelity headphone manufacturing heavyweights, musicians, artists, audio engineers and record and tape collectors, to long-time industry legends, audio technical experts and young up-and-coming headphone designers, host Brian Hunter takes listeners on an exciting aural journey every month with intelligence, wit and humour.… Read the full article

Cambridge Audio Duo Phono Stage and Headphone Amp Preview

By | December 1st, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Little box, big, ballsy sound.

That’s the first thing you notice about the Cambridge Audio DUO Moving Coil/Moving Magnet Preamplifier with integrated Headphone Amplifier.

The second is the immediacy and resolution to the reproduction. With a weight and full-bodied presentation to piano and guitar, realistic tone, timbre and real meaty depth to percussion that belies it’s budget-conscious pricing.

The detail of mouth movement in relation to a trumpet’s embouchure in Miles Davis’ case on ’Round About Midnight (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Mono, mastered by Krieg Wunderlich and Shawn R.… Read the full article

Astell&Kern launch T5p 2nd Generation over-ear and Jerry Harvey-Designed Diana IEM Headphones

By | November 28th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Companies releasing limited-edition headphones are seemingly starting to follow the idea of cachet that high-end sneaker manufacturers have been monopolizing for years when it comes to rarity and street cred.

It’s an interesting sales model and one that creates intense hype and buzz within a close-knit community like those that both sneaker freakers and hardcore headphone lovers share.

Who hasn’t seen hundreds of teens and twenty-somethings (and the odd mid-40s collector) patiently (but expectantly) standing in a line winding around a city block at 7 a.m.… Read the full article

Amazon lets Alexa whisper into ears of Bluetooth Headphone makers

By | November 27th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

The Bluetooth wireless headphone market is huge and growing, as is modern consumers bent for yelling everything at Amazon’s voice assistant they can manage while roaming the confines of their homes: “Alexa, queue up my punk-rock play list!”

But what about if you’re in another room, or outside the house lounging by the pool (or in my case, in the yard raking leaves) and you want Alexa to do something? You’re screwed, that’s what.

But perhaps not for much longer.

The Internet/online sales juggernaut announced back in January that it was opening up its Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit toolbox to Bluetooth-enabled headphone, smartwatch and headset developers.… Read the full article

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Focal Elegia – latest arrival… tres bien!

By | November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

While I was at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October, one of the highlights of CANJAM for me was hearing French high-fidelity juggernaut Focal’s latest closed-back circum-aural headphones: The elegant, supremely comfortable-fitting, tone, timbre and bass-rich Elegia. So when Focal got a hold of me following the show and asked if I’d be interested in taking on the Elegia for review I didn’t hesitate.

As mentioned in my RMAF coverage, the $900 USD (MSRP) units feature an “M”-shaped magnesium and aluminum dome, full-range, dynamic patent-pending transducer that features an easy-to-drive 105dB sensitivity coupled with an 35-Ohm impedance.… Read the full article

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Black Friday Deals

By | November 20th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Like the spectral terror of dead mariners wading ashore from an ocean mist as it engulfs a small Californian coastal town in John Carpenter’s 1980 horror film The Fog, so too does Black Friday creep up on us to lay waste to our savings accounts and credit card balances.

My inbox has not been under an all-out assault this year with companies announcing deals, but I expect that could change next year since I’m highlighting a few manufacturers in this post – so be forewarned.… Read the full article

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RME ADI-2 DAC/headphone amplifier review

By | November 19th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I’ve always found the divide between the “Audiophile” and “Pro Audio” scenes  fascinating. While both theoretically aim to recreate music as accurately as possible, there’s a huge difference in terms of their approach. Pro gear tends to be no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point in terms of design ethos, while the same can’t always be said for audiophile-oriented devices.

Conversely, Pro gear doesn’t necessarily concern itself with aesthetics or usability for the average home user – a rack-mount form factor, huge array of blinking LEDs, and a dozen BNC inputs/outputs aren’t exactly what most audiophiles are looking for.… Read the full article

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