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Focal – CanJam SoCal 2019

By | July 18th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Focal Stellia Headphone

Focal was standing tall on the front line, center-stage even, with a horse-shoe full of Focal headphones. Along with being the big one-ring circus of headphone listening, busy throughout the weekend, the exhibit was standing room only — no chairs. This allowed more people to crowd in, and also not stay put too long as the chairs often find show-goers settling in for a listen and a rest. I prefer the “standing-listen” format, and wish other exhibitors would follow suit.

Still the star of the show, it was Focal’s Stellia headphones riding high, and in my experience one the cleanest sounding pair of headphones I’ve heard yet.… Read the full article

MrSpeakers – CanJam SoCal 2019

By | July 18th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

MrSpeakers was showing two of their most popular flagship headphones, the Ether 2 and fully-electrostatic VOCE. The new Ether 2 features an all-new motor and driver, a 288 gram overall weight figure, new ear pads, and a new premium cable. Also on display, the AEON Flow closed-back headphones which fall into the more affordable range of bespoke high-end cans.

Founder Dan Clark himself was also showing three new pad options that not only change the fit and comfort of the MrSpeakers headphones, but change the sonic character of them.… Read the full article

Astell & Kern – CanJam SoCal 2019

By | July 17th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

Astell & Kern

As we reported in the spring during our Munich coverage, Astell & Kern launched four new products this year, of which all four are now making their west-coast American debut at Can Jam SoCal 2019.

Firstly the two new DAPs, starting with the Kann Cube which in person is a beast of a player. It’s heavy, it’s solid, and is oozes high-end in both looks and sound. Second, the A&ultima SP2000 which features a dual-mono DAC design, using AKM’s 4488EQ DAC chip-set.… Read the full article

RAAL Requisite – CanJam SoCal 2019

By | July 16th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

RAAL Requisite SR1a headphone

The RAAL Requisite SR1a headphone is unlike any pair of headphones I’ve ever seen or heard. Well, maybe not heard, as in the two-channel world RAAL ribbon tweeters are all the rage quite a few loudspeaker manufacturers. The RAAL Requsite SR1a headphones almost deserve a classification all by themselves. They blur the (non-existent) line between headphones and extreme nearfield monitors. I may have just invented that line.

The way the RAAL position on your head, the sound-stage they cast is ghostly big and the lack of internal-can-clutter (yes, I made that up too) is missing, leaving behind a congestion free sound that can’t be equalled with canned or open-back headphones.… Read the full article

Audeze – CanJam SoCal 2019

By | July 15th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Audeze at CanJam SoCal 2019.

The recent Mobius headphone from Audeze is taking over the world it seems. It’s a gaming headphone that carries with it all of Audeze’s pedigree build and sound quality. The laundry list of features runs deep. Bluetooth, DSP, in-play head-tracking, 3-D audio, etc.

But what peaked my interest at CanJam SoCal 2019 was the new LCD-GX headphone which is an even more extreme gaming headphone in that it carries a lot more of what Audeze is known for in their standard designs.… Read the full article

Campfire Audio Shows Off Two New Earphones – CanJam SoCal 2019

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

Two new IEM’s join the lineup from Campfire Audio. Showing for the first time at CanJam SoCal 2019, were the new IO and Polaris models. Conveniently positioned next to each other for photography, however inconveniently positioned at the booth for those looking to elbow their way in for a listen. Let’s just say that end of the booth was getting way too much attention. New IEM’s from Campfire could stand to have their own booth with stanchions, a waiting list, and a few punters. … Read the full article

Manley Labs – CanJam SoCal 2019

By | July 11th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Manley Labs Absolute Headphone Amplifier at CanJam SoCal 2019.

The still NEW Manley Absolute Headphone amplifier is finally free for me to listen at this show, and only so because I bullied my way into position by telling EveAnna Manley that I was coming over and to reserve me a spot. As typical with Manley Labs, the Absolute is an all-tube affair which features on-the-fly switching between Triode and Single-Ended modes. Furthermore there are a fun set of EQ controls (defeatable if so needed), which is a pleasant thing to see considering tube-rolling may be a thing for some end-users.… Read the full article

Periodic Audio – CanJam SoCal 2019

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

Periodic Audio

The scientists at Periodic Audio debuted their newest metallic driver IEM and super-small but powerful in-line headphone amplifier at CanJam SoCal 2019. I’ve been using their Magnesium IEMs since the show in Irvine, and must admit that once I got the right fit with the supplied tips, I was off to the races.

The new Carbon IEM ($399 USD) could be called the “Diamond” model, because uses a diaphragm made from an 8-micron lab grown diamond layer, is fitted to a proprietary high-strength/high-temperature polymer substrate through a vapor-deposition process.… Read the full article

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dCS and the Bartók – CANJAM SOCAL 2019

By | July 2nd, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

dCS Bartok DAC

The dCS Bartók uses dCS’ proprietary Ring DAC technology on the same type of control board as their Rossini/Vivaldi platform, so it’s based off of a set of designs that are upstream in the dCS product line. The Ring DAC processing platform is built around state-of-the-art FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and Digital Signal Processing ICs. It allows almost any logical or signal processing function to be configured within the hardware simply by reprogramming the processor ICs. Finer details about how the dCS Ring DAC works and differs from the run-of-the-mill DACs in the hi-fi market can be found HERE.… Read the full article

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Is Noble Developing A New Type Of IEM Driver?

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

Noble Audio Khan

Things were predictably packed around the Noble table at this year’s annual meeting of the headphone minds, CanJam SoCal in Irvine. With the success of high-end universal fit in-ears securely in the back pocket of the long-running boutique manufacturer, things look to be moving in a new direction according to several sources at the show.

While many companies utilize balanced armature drivers (BA) originally developed for the hearing aid market, some have recently started to branch out to other technologies citing limitation to the compact but efficient design of the transducer.… Read the full article

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