September 2016

Monthly Archives

  • Die straße entlang / The road ahead

    For the past six years, DAR has been headquartered in Sydney. But it’s not an Australian publication. It wasn’t always this way. Like many a self-starter, early direction came from seeing what stuck. After a year of operation, the site’s visitor stats summary pointed outward, not inward. The largest proportion of readers were coming from the USA […]

  • KIH #36 – Von Australien nach Deutschland

    “Ich bin ein Berliner.” If you’re 53, you were alive when John F. Kennedy uttered those words in his famous speech in front of the Schöneberg Rathaus. Of course a Berliner is also how Germans call a jelly-filled donut; and shortly, how readers of this site will think of their main man. Not a refugee […]

  • RMAF 2016 to showcase fifteen affordable audio systems

    Snow. Eskimos have it in abundance. No need for them to pay a hefty premium for a better quality product when their existing supply of the cold stuff arrives for (next to) nothing. The money conscious eskimo requires exposure to incremental improvements if s/he is to be convinced that making the giant step from standard to state-of-the-art is worthwhile. Ditto audio gear. Why point the […]

  • Waiting for the bass to drop with Devialet’s SAMlab

    There’s a limit to your love. So sings dubstep crooner James Blake before his song’s sub-bass wobble. It goes l o w – can your loudspeaker keep up? Blake’s “Limit To Your Love” is a soulful way to evaluate the bass output/quality of your loudspeaker. Pushing dynamic driver designs’ bass extension in a southerly direction are France’s Devialet. The Expert Pro‘s (née […]

  • UPDATED! Tidal support ‘coming soon’ to selected Astell&Kern DAPs

    Tidal – ‘coming soon’ to Astell&Kern digital audio players (DAPs). We’ve been hearing these words for the best part of two years. At T.H.E Newport Show 2015, Astell&Kern’s Californian marketing team claimed that Tidal support was merely weeks away. But no, nothing. At RMAF a few months later, this reviewer was made privy to a ‘work-in-progress’ Tidal […]

  • Global feedback: the battle for gapless playback, vol. 2

    Fabric. Earlier this month, the iconic London club was forced to close by Islington Council in the wake of two drug-related deaths. Maintaining the club’s legacy is an close-to-peerless series of compilations that offer the finest dance/electronic music of the moment, mixed by some of the world’s best DJs. At time of writing, we’re up to […]

  • AURALiC update ARIES firmware to v4.0

    Computer audio. One of the key advantages in buying into hardware from the conscientious manufacturer is ongoing software updates. Sometimes we see bugs squashed and improved functionality. On other occasions, we net an uptick in sound quality. If we’re lucky, the update arrives free of charge. Hitting all three bullseyes this week are China’s AURLALiC with news of brand new firmware […]

  • Bring the bass back with DEQX and Dynaudio

    The midrange is where the music lives. It’s a cliché as old as your grandfather. The implication is that bass, especially low bass, matters not as much. Experience tells us otherwise. Deprived of its lower frequencies, for some listeners a system can sound dry and perhaps a little edgy. For the electronic music fan, especially the […]

  • Assume Bluetooth piped AAC? Apple makes an ass out of you and me

    The iPhone. With version 7 of Apple’s once revolutionary smartphone we lose the 3.5mm headphone socket (as expected) but gain a pair of Lightning-terminated EarPods and a Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor for existing ear/headphones. As a direct result of this 3.5mm omission, the iPhone 7 becomes IP67 water- and dust-resistant. If you’re prone to dropping your phone in the […]

  • KIH #35 – Tensegrity

    ConFi. Fi for cons? Not. It’s short for confrontational hifi. It’s the sunny road which reader Ralph Hunter recently chased me down on. “Just read a review by your buddy Dawid, over on their Polish website. He talks of a new super computer versus his old Samsung laptop. Interestingly, the dedicated music machine got a […]

  • Sorry for your loss: iPhone audio life after 3.5mm

    Will Apple delete the 3.5mm headphone socket from the soon-to-be-announced iPhone 7? That’s this week’s big question. Not only might the new model shed a wafer’s worth of thickness but also micro-grams in weight as its internal DAC and headphone circuit go bye bye. “What’s a DAC?” – A question lobbed my way recently by an Apple Store staffer. With […]

  • Wyred 4 Sound ready SX-1000R monoblocks

    Class D amplifiers. We choose them because we dig a smaller form factor, a byproduct of second and third draw cards: high/er efficiency and cool/er runnings (than Class A/B). Fins, fans and heatsinks needn’t apply. Our fourth advantage hides out on the specifications sheet: a higher watts/dollar quotient than your average Class A/B-er. The invitation is […]

  • Mojo challenger? ALO Audio ready tubed-up Continental v5 portable

    Bells and whistles – ALO Audio’s Continental Dual Mono headphone amplifier (US$1495) offered a fair few: a rechargeable battery that juiced an internal Wolfson D/A converter, a dual mono circuit, single-ended and balanced outputs and – most notable of all – a pair of 6111 pencil tubes, one for each channel, all fronting a less visible (through the CDM’s Gorilla glass window) […]

  • Harvest Roon with your ‘Top 5 albums of all time’

    Top 5 albums of all time? Ask me today and I’d say: Radiohead – Kid A The The – Mind Bomb The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday Mclusky – Mcluskyism Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children …but ask me tomorrow and I might opt for a completely different Top 5: Bob Dylan […]

  • iFi S/PDIF iPurifier: entry-level pricing, next-level results

    “The Google Chromecast Audio is very easy to install, easy to use, very affordable and yet, wasted money as far as I’m concerned.” That’s The Netherlands’ Hans Beekhuyzen hitting us right between the eyes with his take on Google’s audio streaming puck. Beekhuyzen continues: “I know that ‘quality audio’ is a poorly defined qualification, that’s […]