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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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InnerFidelity Podcast No. 4 with Audeze's Sankar Thiagasamudra

By | November 17th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Episode No. 4: From the original LCD-1 driver to a full lineup of planar-magnetic headphones, Audeze’s meteoric rise as one of personal audio’s premium headphone makers has been undeniably impressive in the crowded space of the market.

Always the innovator, Audeze’s CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram has led the company through many of the industry’s firsts – Lightning cable capability, wafer-thin planar-driver diaphragms and now into the gaming sector with the DSP-oriented Mobius headphone.

Sankar sits down with us to discuss the company’s short but interesting history and what it takes to create your own North Star and stay the path, regardless of any hurdles you may find along the way.… Read the full article

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Sennheiser HD820 preview

By | November 13th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

In early 2009 German über headphone giant Sennheiser came out with its long-awaited flagship design the HD800 – an open-back, dynamic-driver model featuring “ring radiator” technology – which was viewed by many as an incredibly accurate headphone with an disarming honesty to its sonic presentation, but one that many listeners found could be fatiguing.

Fast-forward to 2016 and the company launched their upgrade to the 800 in the guise of the 800S which was aimed at making the 800 a kinder, gentler beast, with a nod to warming-up the sonic signature and taming what was perceived in the press and by consumers as an overly-accurate sound.… Read the full article

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Shinola launch Campfire Audio collaboration with Canfield Bluetooth IEMs

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

Shinola brought jobs to Detroit and now they’re teaming up with the Pacific Northwest’s highly respected, handmade, headphone design and manufacturer Campfire Audio out of Portland, Oregon to launch a Bluetooth IEM collaboration in the guise of the budget-friendly ($250 USD) Canfield In-Ear Monitors which is available in either silver stainless steel or black.

Featuring a 16.5 OHM impedance for easy driving and a frequency response of 10Hz~20kHz, they are equipped with 8.5mm Beryllium dynamic drivers, Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth connectivity (enabling 24-bit high-resolution audio on supported devices) and AAC for Apple devices, the new Canfields are easily paired with any smartphones, tablets or computers for streaming-music goodness.… Read the full article

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New York Audio Show and The Hi-Fi Show Live Both This Weekend

By | November 8th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

For those audiophile souls whose hearts beat a little faster when they know there’s a hi-fi show to attend, then either reset your pacemakers, put down that whisky, or throw on a sweatband because – steady on now – there’s two shows this weekend on either side of the pond as our British kin love to call the Atlantic Ocean.

November 10th and 11th (this Saturday and Sunday) from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (GMT) sees The Hi-Fi Show Live 2018 (sponsored by sister publication Hi-Fi News) going gangbusters as it sprawls across five conference centres within the grounds of the Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor (Burfield Road, Old Windsor, Windsor SL4 2JJ, Berkshire, UK).… Read the full article

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64 Audio launches three new IEMs starting at $699 USD

By | November 7th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Left Coast/Pacific Northwest custom and universal-fit IEM headphone manufacturer 64 Audio’s founder and chief sound designer Vitaliy Belonozhko has been busy adding depth to the company’s line with three new custom models featuring trickle-down technology from their flagship designs aimed at audiophiles and musicians (I’ve sometimes heard one person can be both, but these sightings are rare and on par with Elvis sitings at Walmart).

The three new models are the A6t ($1,299 USD), the A4t ($999 USD) which both take advantage of the company’s patent-pending tubeless tia technology and the more modest A3e ($699 USD).… Read the full article

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HIFIMAN HE1000se and HE6se arrive for review

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

A knock at the front door usually elicits a smile from me, a groan from my family and loud, vicious barking from our dog.

Why groans?

Because 99 per cent of the time it’s a delivery for InnerFidelity or AudioStream and means more boxes piled up in closets all over the house as I unpack the latest gear sent for review.

This time the knock was courtesy FedEx and HIFIMAN who have just shipped me their brand new HE1000se and HE6se headphones for review.… Read the full article

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RMAF 2018: Audeze LCD2 Closed-Back with Chord Hugo TT2 and M Scaler

By | October 30th, 2018|Categories: Innerfidelity|

CANJAM at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this year was a beehive of activity with both young and old darting from table to table and eagerly throwing on headphones and spending extended amounts of time conducting listening sessions and asking a plethora of questions of those company employees tasked with manning the high-traffic booths.

The Audeze section was no exception, especially with new models like the LCD2 Closed-Back ($899 USD) set-up for demos, here with the daunting duo of the Chord Hugo TT2 DAC, preamplifier and headphone amplifier ($5,795 USD) and one million-tap digital upscaler Hugo M Scaler.… Read the full article

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