April 2014

Monthly Archives

  • AURALiC_Aries_1

    AURALiC formally launch Aries digital audio streamers

    AURALiC claims to have invested a cool $1m into developing the Lightning Streaming technology that saw a soft announcement last October and then a more formal launch at this year’s CES. AURALiC is now set to launch the first Lightning Streaming device(s): the Aries and Aries LE. The Aries’ aesthetics strike the bullseye of this […]

  • header9

    KIH #9 – Grey areas and twilight zones

    Conspiracy theories. They keep us occupied for all manner of things. In audio publishing a quite popular one is the paid-for opinion of reviewers. The setting for it is most basic. Because nearly all audio publications rely on the ad-based business model—the per-issue price of most print magazines barely covers their paper, ink and shipping—advertisers […]

  • antidpodes_DX_main

    Squeezelite brings Spotify, better sound to Antipodes DS/DX

    Since Logitech discontinued its Squeezebox Touch and then, later, dropped out of developing its accompanying server software, the SqueezeBox developer community has stepped in to pick up the slack (and then some). Author of the Enhanced Digital Ouput triode has also coded Squeezelite, a headless software emulator that nails the holy trinity of digital playback: […]

  • oppo_PM-1_main

    Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic headphones review (Part 1)

    Oppo are a bit different. And not just because their name reads the same forward and back. Or because it insinuates both opportunity and opposition in the same breath. No, ever since their affordable universal decks prompted wholesale embrace by the Mod Squad—not to be confused with the merchants of death alliance of big tobacco, […]

  • Yuin_PK3_earbud_main

    Yuin PK3 – a revelatory $40 upgrade to Apple earbuds

    It’s no secret that the sound quality of Apple’s white-wired earbuds leaves a whole lot to be desired but if not those, then what? Think different. Pay a casual visit to your local store and you’ll likely see earbuds outnumbered and outgunned by their in-ear monitoring (IEM) rivals; one could be forgiven for thinking that earbud designs […]

  • SAC_2014_2

    Games without frontiers at the Sydney Audio Club

    I’ve been sounding the ‘different music’ horn for a while now: audiophile societies and store demonstrators need to move with musical times if they are to swell their numbers and attract younger listeners. Playing music with which newcomers are familiar is, initially at least, far more important than mastering quality or delivery medium. For retailers this […]

  • IKEA_Expedit_3

    IKEA announce EXPEDIT successor in KALLAX

    (That headline sounds kinda sci-fi-regal doesn’t it?). IKEA caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the audiophile community earlier this year when it announced plans to discontinue its EXPEDIT range. In various configurations, EXPEDIT shelves have been the go to budget storage solution for vinyl lovers for a good number of years. The EXPEDIT […]

  • itunes

    24-bit downloads coming soon to the iTunes Store?

    I wouldn’t normally report on rumours because rumours aren’t news…but this one’s a biggie: MacRumors has today reported that 24bit downloads might be just round the corner for the Apple iTunes store. Never mind a simple jump to plain old lossless, Cupertino might be looking to leap-frog 16-bit and get straight up in it with […]

  • header8

    KIH #8 – Re-activating active loudspeakers

    CIA. Call it active. One of the more obvious subjects in need of a shake down to keep it honest is the active speaker. It’s terribly unpopular but most unfairly so. Shy of cheap units meant as convenient computer speakers with USB inputs and on-chip amplification, serious active boxes have found precious little traction even […]

  • melbourne_show_vinyl

    What were the audiophile records of yesteryear?

    Before becoming an audiophile proper in the late noughties I’d never heard of Diana Krall or Patricia Barber. Or Jazz At The Pawnshop. From visiting various audiophile society meets and hi-fi shows over the past few years I realised that a very different world of music (to that which I was previously accustomed) had been […]

  • arcam_rblink_main

    Arcam rBlink wireless aptX Bluetooth DAC/DDC review

    If you read my three part take on the NAD D 3020 you’ll know that I dug the amplification section, that I thought the DAC was kinda so-so and that I was bowled over by the convenience of its aptX Bluetooth capability. Audiophile-ish sound for anyone entering the room with smartphone or laptop. Then I […]

  • Metrum_Second_Gen_USB_main

    Metrum Acoustics drop M2Tech as USB OEM, announce new module

    You might know that some OS X audiophiles moving up to Mavericks witnessed an unpleasant side effect of the OS upgrade: M2Tech’s HiFace v1 driver no longer worked. M2Tech promised to write a new one quick smart but six months down the line they have yet to deliver on that promise. That’s frustrating for anyone […]

  • audio-gd_NFB-3_2014_1

    Audio-gd update NFB-3 DAC with ESS Sabre 9018 chip, DXD/DSD

    It’s been a while since we checked in with China’s Audio-gd but it looks like they have a new budget DAC design coming to the boil. The original NFB-3 was a Wolfson-centric affair but the 2014 iteration revolves around ESS’s Reference Sabre 9018 decoder silicon. This 32bit chip’s current (I) output is tapped before seeing […]