November 2019
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
>> Breadcrumb ://DAR

The 2019 UK Hi-Fi Show, Live from Ascot

By | October 30th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , |

The 2019 UK HiFi Show Live. The same ingredients but a new venue: the Grandstand at Ascot Racecourse, which gave it a really different feel, the imposing architecture generating a real sense of occasion. Tasteful grandeur, a statement without bragging. It boded well.

A 60,000 person capacity means there’s ample room for growth, organiser Paul Miller (AVTech Media – Stereophile, HiFi News etc) aiming to develop a show that puts the UK back on the global map. It was a good first step with rooms that sounded good, corridors with room to breathe.… Read the full article

Comments Off on The 2019 UK Hi-Fi Show, Live from Ascot

Play AND record with Schiit’s Fulla 3, Hel 3

By | October 29th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Schiit Audio enter the gaming/podcast space this week with a pair of products first teased at RMAF 2019.

The Fulla 3 adds an ‘electret’ microphone input + automatic level control + 24bit AKM ADC to the company’s transportable AKM AK4490 DAC and headphone amplifier, all without dropping its analogue input or increasing the price. Fulla 3 will sell for US$99.

Why would we want a Fulla 3? USB-powered, it allows us to listen at a higher quality than the average laptop’s headphone output but also to record at a higher quality than the same laptop’s onboard microphone input.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Play AND record with Schiit’s Fulla 3, Hel 3

Future-Fi from Cabasse, Linn & Cyrus Audio

By | October 28th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , |

Future-Fi? That’s high-end audio for those who care not for the journey of system compilation and its (potentially) endless revision but would rather an all-in-one, set-and-forget hardware purchase. How do manufacturers talk to this kind of consumer?

If you’re France’s Cabasse, you take a leaf out of the Devialet Phantom Reactor book to shrink your Pearl streaming loudspeaker to a stereo-pairable 22cm diameter sphere and offer optional dedicated stands, wall mounts and carry cases. The Pearl Akoya (€2990/pair) pulls in digital audio through Wifi, Ethernet and TOSLINK – and analogue sources via a 3.5mm socket – to output via internal 32bit/768kHz DAC and amplification tailored precisely to the coaxially aligned tweeter, midrange driver and 17cm long-throw subwoofer.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Future-Fi from Cabasse, Linn & Cyrus Audio

Home and away with the iFi xDSD

By | October 25th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

iFi pitches the xDSD primarily as a mobile DAC with an onboard headphone amplifier, its 2200mAH rechargeable battery sufficient for up to 8 hours’ playtime. The line-out mode also makes it suitable for connection to the pre-amplifier section of a loudspeaker system, bypassing the unit’s volume control but also the xBass and 3D ‘tone controls’ – useful with headphones, less so with loudspeakers. A healthy 2.1V output seals the deal.

So — is this £399 / $399 / €448 xDSD DAC a true multi-tasker?… Read the full article

Comments Off on Home and away with the iFi xDSD

Melco’s S100 is a low-noise network switch

By | October 24th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

Digital audiophiles — we feed our DACs with all manner of Macs, PCs, USB re-clockers, USB-S/PDIF converters and dedicated network streamers/bridges because not all digital audio connections sound alike. If they did, there’d be no market for high-end solutions and digital audiophiles the world over would be quite happy with consumer-grade PCs or Google dongles.

But we’re not: experience tells us that the sound quality of a Bluesound Node 2/i’s coaxial output bests a Chromecast Audio’s TOSLINK feed; that an Innuos ZENMini’s USB output will run rings around that of a Macbook Pro.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Melco’s S100 is a low-noise network switch

AudioQuest announces Niagara 1200 noise dissipator

By | October 23rd, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

“I know not of any other upgrade at any price that gives (relatively) so much for (relatively) so little.” –– to this day, my closing statement on AudioQuest’s US$995 Niagara 1000 ‘Low-Z Power Noise-Dissipation System’ holds true. Having the chrome tube strip away mains-supplied (and airborne) electrical noise from a hi-fi/head-fi system nets clearly audible results — I’d liken the improvement to a remastering of every album played through it.

In this Darko.Audio podcast episode, Niagara series designer Garth Powell explained why:

However, the Niagara 1000’s single high current outlet – essential for loudspeaker amplifiers – meant only integrateds or power amplifiers could play.… Read the full article

Comments Off on AudioQuest announces Niagara 1200 noise dissipator

The DAP days are over (Part 6: Cubilux, xDuoo)

By | October 22nd, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

This is the sixth in a series of posts called ‘The DAP days are over’. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here and Part 5 here.


Some see the erasure of headphone sockets from smartphones as a loss. I see it as a double win for sound quality.

The first? Bluetooth headphones bring active noise cancelling into play which, for over-ears at least, enhances (sound quality) more than Bluetooth’s lossy transmission surrenders.… Read the full article

Comments Off on The DAP days are over (Part 6: Cubilux, xDuoo)

Wheely good: a short film about the Klipsch Forte III

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

On vital statistics, the Klipsch Forte III sells for US$4000/€4400 per pair. A decidedly vintage-looking wooden enclosure houses a 1″ tweeter and 1.75″ midranger that come on kinda plain Jane until we note that each is a compression driver and horn-loaded. Low frequencies are handled by a 12″-er but in lieu of a rear-firing port, we get a 15″ passive radiator. Together, these two paper cones have the Forte III reach down to 38Hz. Similarly, Klipsch rate their Heritage Series loudspeaker at 99dB efficiency and 8 Ohm nominal where flea-watt amplifiers can enter the fray with considerably reduced concern for flabby bass and/or diminished SPLs.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Wheely good: a short film about the Klipsch Forte III

Audirvana announces new remote app, Windows v3.5

By | October 18th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

It’s the end of another working week in France and Paris AV Show exhibitors are busy setting up for a long weekend of high fidelity listening. Interestingly, press day is Monday. At booth 3-13, Damien Plisson finds himself on home turf, demonstrating how Audirvana (€75/US$79), a playback app and library manager with UPnP and streaming service integration, bests the sound and functionality of iTunes on a Mac. In essence, Audirvana hi-fi-s your computer.

Plisson and his team will also be showcasing Audirvana v3.5 for Windows – a free upgrade for all existing Windows license holders.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Audirvana announces new remote app, Windows v3.5

A short film about True Wireless IEMs

By | October 16th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

What’s best? In the world of True Wireless earphones, where Bluetooth carries the digital audio signal from smartphone to both earpieces (hence ‘true’), Apple Airpods (Gen 2, €179) are often the first touchpoint.

Apple’s earbud design – where the earpiece sits in the outer-ear (not inner) – makes them number one for comfort. Further, the Airpods’ ability to minimise environmental noise during phone calls is seriously impressive.

On music playback, the Apple earphones fall over. A lack of low bass has them sounding papery and dry.… Read the full article

Comments Off on A short film about True Wireless IEMs