February 2015

Monthly Archives

  • (Not) a review of the Astell&Kern AK500N

    South Korea’s Astell&Kern are perhaps best known for their handheld digital audio players, especially the top-of-the-line AK240, which has seen those who can afford one go gaga for its unusual form, luxury feel and proper righteous sound quality. At US$2495, the AK240 swims at the deep-pocket end of the DAP pool. Astell&Kern’s Californian-headquartered team have also […]

  • KIH #21 – Losing your religion

    Religion. Should we get some – religion that is? In audiophilia, religion leads to countless missed opportunities. To start somewhere, how about this quote from Chord’s Rob Watts, from my preview of their Chord TT? For those wondering why a stationary deck would still use battery power instead of a heavily regulated traditional supply, “the […]

  • Sony to introduce US$160 ‘low noise’ SR-64HXA microSD card

    Sony is about to bring a new microSD card to market that promises better sound quality through lower electrical noise emissions when being read. You’re extremely unlikely to net any benefit via a Samsung smartphone but loading your Astell&Kern, PonoPlayer or Sony’s own ZX-2 with this audiophile-centric card might be a different matter. It won’t come cheap though. […]

  • Audeze EL-8 – first impressions and comparisons

    I first caught Audeze’s soon-to-be-released EL-8 headphones at CES in January. Not once but twice: first at their own booth in the exhibition hall where both open- and closed-back models could be found being driven by Pono Players; and then later in the Chord Electronics room where the Hugo TT showed just how much better […]

  • AudioQuest Pearl and Vodka Ethernet cable review

    Barry: G’day Darko! John: Hey Barry, how are you? Long time, no see. You still rocking that Wyred4Sound Remedy with your Squeezebox Touch? Barry: Sure am. It’s terrific. I’ve brought that very same Squeezebox along today, just as you asked. What do you need it for? John: Well – I’ve got something I want you to […]

  • Chord CPM 2800 MKII amplifier to feature Hugo FPGA DAC tech

    If you were thinking of adding a Chord Hugo, or the recently released Hugo TT, to your existing amplifier you might want pause for a moment. The Kent-based audio electronics firm has dropped a Friday 13th shock-surprise into our laps: in bringing their CPM 2800 digital integrated amplifier to second generation status they’ve only gone […]

  • Wadia load m330 media server with internal DAC

    Arriving via press release today is news of the m330 music server from the now Fine Sounds’ owned Wadia, whose range has seen significant overhaul in the last 12 months. The m330’s 9cm-high chassis reflects the sleek industrial design of the forerunning Wadia’s 321 Decoding Computer (US$3000) and a315 digital amplifier (US$3500). You can of course bring your […]

  • The perils of covering crowdfunded audio products

    Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly attractive option to the audio hardware manufacturer wanting to bring a new product to market with minimal financial risk. An exposition of function supported by a computer-generated 3D render of approximate form laid out on either Kickstarter or Indiegogo and our would-be manufacturer is good to go with fund solicitation. For […]

  • Why looks matter: Rega RP6 Union Jack turntable review

    “I’ll be your mirror, reflect what you are”. I grew up in the 1980s (en)during Thatcher’s Britain. In front my young eyes went the Falklands War, the Miners Strike, Sir Clive Sinclair, Grange Hill, Only Fools and Horses, Torvill and Dean and BMX bikes. Between my ears played New Order, The Smiths, The Cure, Duran Duran, David […]

  • KIH #20 – THD

    Total harmonic distortion. Broken down, that measurement shows a distribution of distortion artifacts across the 2nd to 10th or higher harmonic. It occurred to me that an equivalent form of THD exists for hifi publishing. Unravelling it gets us across many perfectly obvious items. Still, it seems instructive to cover them. Over time, most magazines […]