This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
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Tuesday, 05 March 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The very aptly named HiFiMan has been around since 2007, and I first became aware of the company from the ads for their high performance portable file players. They have developed into a one-stop shopping destination for portable audio lovers. In addition to players, they currently offer headphones, headphone amps, cables, accessories, and a DAC.I have seen many positive reviews from professionals and, more importantly, the user community, of HiFiMan products. Users often noted exceptional comfort, sound quality and value. The company is especially known for planar headphones. Planar ‘phones are noted for exceptional dynamics and resolution. For review, I received their $99 RE-400 In-Ear Monitors (IEMs). In the distant past, I have had iffy relationships with "ear buds." I was never able to find one that was comfortable or that stayed in my ears. I did discover, recently, that ...
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 Review
A few years ago, a brand new product category appeared in high-end audio: the USB to S/PDIF converter. As a matter of fact, the explosive growth of computer audio has spawned multiple new product categories for audiophiles. These include the proliferation of USB DACs, “audiophile” grade USB cables, and high-end playback software.  The idea of using a consumer grade computer coupled with the products above as a source has taken foothold, and manufacturers have found a brand new market.For those starting from scratch, and no other digital sources other than a computer, buying a USB DAC with a single input may make sense. The makers of USB-only DACs have probably maximized the USB input to its maximum potential and there are no additional parts needed to accommodate multiple inputs. However, if one is determined to use a computer as a ...
Friday, 27 April 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Paradigm SHIFT E3m Earbuds Review
I’ve enjoyed Paradigm products for a number of years now. The Canadian loudspeaker company is well known for producing a wide variety of products across most price points. They make everything from 5.1 mini systems, like the Millenia System to mid priced home theater speakers in the Monitor Series, and reference level, no compromise two channel floor standers. Paradigm recently moved into one category for which they were not previously known: headphones. Paradigm's SHIFT series has a host of newly designed products, including powered monitors (review forthcoming), headphones, and three different earbuds. I received for review a set of the SHIFT E3m earbuds. The E3m is the top of the line among three separate models, all priced according to bass performance. E3m’s are $130 retail.E3m earbuds feature an airtight seal ...
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SOL Republic Tracks Headphones Review
While I am not a headphone fanatic, I am rather picky about the phones I use for my iPod Touch and iPod Nano. I also use headphones for early morning or late night listening on a McIntosh integrated amp, or via my Pro-Ject Head Box II headphone amp.  I also use headphones when traveling.There are tons of headphones of every conceivable design on the market, and it is not very easy to distinguish between those who are design, rather than sound quality, oriented. Many headphones are simply fashion statements. Occasionally you find a pair that look and sound good. SOL Republic specializes in producing a unique line of headphones. The Oregon based company can honestly claim to have an original concept with their line of headphones. Before we get to the particulars, SOL Republic says that sound quality was first ...
Thursday, 05 January 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Wireless HD and 3D Streaming Product Overview
Being to able to access content anywhere in the household, in premium quality, without a tangle of wires and a stack of boxes is what many have come to see as the ideal home entertainment set up. A number of companies have been offering higher end solutions with built in flexibility and virtually unlimited bandwidth. The technology is changing so fast, it is often hard to keep up, with the explosion of Blu-ray, 3D, and who knows what else that is coming around the corner.Below is an overview of a few companies that have brought to market interesting and advanced products that are designed to unleash your content, with streaming and other interesting features and unlimited flexibility. Of all the companies listed below, I only have first hand user experience with IOGEAR, where I reviewed their excellent IOGEAR Wireless HD ...
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