equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
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Monday, 28 September 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
High-end computer audio is at the point of maturity where there is an entire cottage industry in for tweaks and enhancements. This is because as time has gone by, designers have identified vulnerable areas where noise, signal loss, and jitter can affect performance. Another reason is that is it has become a common belief that consumer-grade, multi-purpose computers are not the best environments for perfectionist audio. Unquestionably, the most common transmission lines for computer audio today are USB and local area networks via wired Ethernet (with WiFi approaching in the distance). Both are generally hospitable environments for audio, but they are not perfect. There is gobs of information on various computer audio forums about the issues that could affect USB and Ethernet, but in a nutshell it is sensitivities to both environmental and internally produced electrical noise which can cause ...
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
Carot One is an intriguing company out of Italy that makes a suite of interesting and reasonably priced products. A while back, I reviewed, and fell in love with, their Ernestolone integrated amp/DAC/Headphone amp. I loved the ergonomics, the build, and the glorious orange finish. Since that review Carot One has added a number of new products including more DACs, headphone amps, and even a phono preamplifier. The Italian company kindly sent me a pair of Carot One’s Titta earbuds to try out and evaluate. The sell for $79, and come very nicely packaged. I spent several months with them and used them in a variety of environments with a number of different devices. I have reviewed ear buds from HiFi Man and Paradigm, and RHA, and the competition is rather stiff in this area, especially with the proliferation of ...
Friday, 12 June 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
I’ve reviewed a number quality earbuds, all priced within reason, and designed for comfort and high quality sonics. Anyone interested in this product category will be aware you can spend practically as little or as much as you want. Cheap, plastic, sonically-compromised buds can be had for chump change, and “pro level” custom molded models can be had for a pretty penny. For me, personally, the sweet spot is between $150 and $200. Since my earbud listening is generally done is compromised situations like in the gym, airports, trains, or busy public locations, there are other things to consider aside from absolute fidelity. Important factors are comfort, construction quality, and the ability to isolate outside noise. Another essential ingredient for me is style in relation to how they are worn -- I much prefer a mechanism where the earbuds are ...
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
High-resolution digital audio is clearly here to stay, and many audiophiles have started to replace their CD titles with corresponding hi-res alternatives. They cost more, and are mostly in download form, although there is the odd DVD-A and SACD still released. DVD-As are easily ripped to a computer hard drive, as opposed to SACDs, which can be ripped, but with effort and specific hardware and software. The small and specialized DSD download market has also attracted some attention.As the high-resolution music market has grown, so have concerns concerning the provenance and mastering chain of these products. There have, unfortunately, been instances of Redbook CDs upsampled and offered as 24 bit downloads to capitalize on the growing market segment and on the typical audiophile’s eagerness to own multiple versions of the same title in search of the holy grail. Another factor ...
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Audio Art Cable Reviews
High performance audio cables are often the most controversial element of audiophile industry. This is generally due to the way they are marketed, and questionable claims made by wire manufacturers, and by the price escalation that has recently reached hard to fathom proportions. But one thing is beyond certain, the quality of cables vary just as much as the quality of any audiophile component. Skeptics love to take a stance against audiophile cables, and the amount of venom spewed is sometimes rather surprising. Anyone who has put any effort into assembling a system would know that good cables make a difference.It certainly costs more to design and assemble a high quality cable over mass-produced fare that often is included with electronic components. Better material, high quality copper and silver, and really good connectors don’t come cheap. And then we have ...
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