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Headphones

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  0 comments
Following Apple’s move to drop the headphone jack from the iPhone and the news that Samsung will follow suit with its flagship Galaxy models in 2019, the portable headphone market has gone wireless crazy. Like many brands, 1More has been quick to respond and takes its £100 wired Triple Driver in-ear headphone design – reviewed in HFC 425 – and adds wire-free connectivity and noise-cancelling for just £20 more than its wired counterpart.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  0 comments
Since the demise of the iPod Classic and the rise of the smartphone as the portable audio device of choice for the majority of users, the digital audio player market has struggled to flourish. This hasn’t stopped some specialists from carving out a niche, though, and Astell&Kern has been offering a considerable range of high-end players for some time. With an eye on keeping things in the real world, the A&norma SR15 is at A&K’s more affordable end of its extensive product range and is £100 more than the AK70 (HFC 428) that’s more recently been updated to mkII. The specification of the SR15 improves on the AK70 mkII and it’s fitted with 64GB of internal memory, which is supplemented by the inclusion of a microSD card slot for a card up to 400GB.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 19, 2018  |  0 comments
We’ve seen some innovative wireless headphone designs from US-based Master & Dynamic such as the MW50+ 2-in-1 (HFC 438) that came with interchangeable earpads and provided a wired connection too. In its latest in-ear design, the MW07 is committed to the wireless connectivity route and leaps onto the ‘true wireless’ bandwagon, with a compact set of Bluetooth in-ears that simply sit inside your ear canal without any wires whatsoever.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 07, 2018  |  0 comments
I must confess to being somewhat surprised by Sennheiser’s decision to opt for a closed-back design for its new high-end dynamic headphone. Offering the advantage of isolating the listener from external interference and preventing leakage, the design is often considered a compromise in terms of sound quality as the drivers in each earcup create the same amount of sound from both sides of the diaphragm as it vibrates.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 06, 2018  |  0 comments
Worthing-based Flare Audio already has a number of low-cost in-ear designs, but the Flares Pro is the first model to grab our attention and is aimed at audio aficionados. It can be connected directly to a player using the supplied cable fitted with a 3. 5mm jack plug or wirelessly using the lightweight clip-on Bluetooth DAC/receiver with aptX support, which claims 12 hours battery life when charged via USB. Everything is supplied inside a multi-layered, cube-shaped box with three sizes (small, medium and large) for each of the Earfoams Everyday, Universal and Audiophile ear-tips, plus there’s a fabric carry case that fits neatly into a pocket for life on the road.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 26, 2018  |  0 comments
A home headphone that strikes a balance between comfort and sound quality is essential for the best listening experience, and the AH-D7200 over-ear offering from Denon aims to deliver on both fronts.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 10, 2018  |  0 comments
Perhaps better known for its full-size headphone models than its in-ear designs, Audio-Technica has been increasing its offerings of late. The ATH-LS70iS is the more expensive of two ‘Live Sound’ models and uses two serially mounted carbon-coated dynamic drivers to reduce its housing size and increase the radiating area.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Damson isn’t a well-known name in hi-fi circles, as it largely concentrates on the entry-level end of the consumer audio market. Its new HeadSpace headphone fits into this category, offering Bluetooth wireless hook up and active noise cancellation at a competitive price.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
No sooner has Sennheiser’s impressive IE 800 S in-ear headphone (HFC 434) appeared than another high-specification model breaks cover. For AKG though, this isn’t new ground. The company released its £1,000 K3003i in 2012 and the new flagship reviewed here actually sees it positioned a step further down the pricing ladder at £800.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
To mark the fact it has been trading for 10 years, Audeze has revised one of its longest-running products. The original LCD2 has been around for some time and continues as before but is now joined by the Classic, which adds some refinements to the design alongside a more affordable price tag.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 05, 2018  |  0 comments
Many audio enthusiasts have several sets of headphones for different situations. A lightweight pair is ideal when you’re working out, while a larger on-ear model can provide better sound quality while still being portable enough to carry around when you’re on the move. And, when you get home, you can wallow in the more immersive sound of a big set of over-ear cans.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 03, 2018  |  0 comments
There is something about a well-designed electrostatic headphone that conveys a sense of atmosphere, presence and intimacy without the feeling of the sound being closed in that can so often be the case with other headphone designs. I first saw the M1 at last year’s Hi-Fi Show Live in Windsor and was immediately impressed by the upmarket electrostatic design from Colorado-based company Sonoma Acoustics.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  0 comments
Audeze is best known as manufacturer of full-size headphones that use planar magnetic driver technology to achieve thin and lightweight units with the voice coil printed into them, resulting in a large radiating area with little mass. The iSINE 10 is the first in-ear to make use of such a driver. Making such a design work in an in-ear form is no small undertaking. By the standards of a normal planar magnetic driver, the 30mm unit used here is tiny but still larger than the ear canal utilised by in-ear models.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2017  |  0 comments
A hybrid design using balanced armatures with 8mm dynamic driver configuration, the Rock Jaw Resonate comes with three tuning filters and MMCX detachable cables. A good selection of ear tips is also provided to ensure a good fit. Build quality is solid and the slightly larger than usual design can also be flipped 180° and the cable wrapped over and around the back of the ears. It’s compatible with iOS and Android devices and has an inline universal remote plus a built-in microphone.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 05, 2016  |  0 comments
Californian-based Noble is perhaps best known for its custom fit in-ear monitors, which come in a variety of lively finishes and materials. The Savanna is the second most affordable model in its generic fit Universal range that’s built around a quartet of armature drivers and is designed to do justice to a variety of genres of music. Noble is tight lipped about its designs and won’t divulge any information about the configuration of its drivers or whether each handles a specific part of the frequency range or if any are paired up. The drivers are placed in an enclosure that first appeared in Noble’s 10-driver K10u.

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