All posts by Gavin Fabiani-Laymond

About Gavin Fabiani-Laymond

President, CEO & Editor of https://gavinsgadgets.com Reviews & News of Technology

HiFiMan Deva Headphones Review – Bluetooth, Wired or USB

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Deva. The headphones retail for £299.

The HiFiMan Deva are a terrific value headphone. Featuring HiFiMan’s legendary planar magnetic drivers, with a 3.5mm balanced cable as the traditional way of connecting these to your amp or portable music player.

Then there is the bluetooth “Bluemini” module that clips on to the Deva headphones that enables connection over bluetooth with all the Hi-Res bluetooth codecs from APT-X HD and LDAC. If that wasn’t enough, you can use the BlueMini and connect via USB. To find out more of my thoughts on the HiFiMan Deva watch my video review below.

Video Review

Conclusion

A versatile headphone with super sounds. 3 different ways to connect to your music is a winner.

Useful Links

HiFiMan on Amazon

Fiio K5 Pro – Desktop Amp/DAC Review

Welcome to my review of the Fiio K5 Pro which retails for £149.

The Key Features

– High-performance DAC AK4493
– Gain control switch with gain levels: Low 0dB, Medium +6dB and High +10dB
– USB DAC: 768K/32Bit and native DSD decoding | USB decoding chip: XMOS XUF208
– Variety of inputs: Coaxial / Optical / RCA line-in
– Variety of outputs: 6.35mm (1/4 in.) headphone out / RCA line-out
– Extremely powerful headphone amplification for a total power output of up to 1.5 W under a 32Ω load, and up to 20Vpp at 300Ω

Video Review

Conclusion

A fantastic value desktop amp. Dynamic, punch with great clarity that can drive nearly all headphones available.

Useful Links

Fiio K5 Pro on Amazon

Razer Opus Wireless Headphones – THX Certified and Active Noise Cancelletion – Full Details

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SOUND AND FORGET THE NOISE WITH THE RAZER OPUS.

Razer have just announced the launch of their Razer Opus Wireless THX ANC Headphones. The details include –

Escape into a world of THX® Certified audio with advanced active noise cancellation for a pure, uninterrupted listening experience.

“IRVINE, USA – Razer™, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the launch of the Razer Opus wireless headphones. With stunning THX® Certified audio and advanced hybrid Active Noise Cancellation, the Razer Opus delivers sound as the artists intended – pure, crisp and clear, without the background noise of daily life interfering with the experience.

With most streaming services now providing high quality audio, a set of headphones able to produce the detail and nuances of these high definition streams is essential. But the sounds of everyday life, from the background hum of the city to the hectic lifestyle of working from home with others around you, can intrude on the listening experience, spoiling your focus and the enjoyment of high-fidelity recordings.

The Razer Opus uses an Advanced Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) system to cancel out external noise, with four dedicated ANC microphones designed to accurately tune out a broad range of external frequencies, resulting in a cleaner, uninterrupted listening experience.

Whilst filtering out external noise is important, the quality of the audio reproduction is central to delivering rich, flawless sound. With this in mind, the Razer Opus has undergone hundreds of scientifically formulated tests to become THX Certified, ensuring the highest possible audio standards.

“Through close collaboration with the Opus design team, we were able to provide input throughout the development process,” said Peter Vasay, Head of THX Certification. “The result is a high-performance wireless headphone that delivers a rich, balanced soundstage, clear vocals, and deep impactful bass optimized for music, games, and movies.”

To achieve the stringent requirements for THX certification, fine details such as a frequency range and response must be capable of delivering clear, detailed vocals and deep impactful bass with zero distortion at high volumes. The result is a pair of headphones that delivers crystal clear audio with a broad, perfectly balanced soundscape.

“Even with our many years of experience in creating headsets for one of the most demanding audiences in the world, the design of the Razer Opus required us to rethink every detail,” said Alvin Cheung, Senior Vice President of Razer’s Peripherals Business Unit. “With the Razer Opus headphones, we are able to deliver a listening experience that will satisfy even the most discerning audiophile, in any environment.”

The Razer Opus’ low weight and plush leatherette foam ear cushions and headband provide a comfortable, pressure-point free fit for long periods of use. Each battery charge lasts up to 25 hours with ANC on, allowing users to enjoy a continued, uninterrupted high-quality sound experience while in a noisy environment.

With additional useful features such as the Quick Attention Mode when needing to hear the outside world and the optional 3.5mm analogue input for maximum device compatibility, the Razer Opus is one of the most versatile and adaptable ANC headphones available.

ABOUT THE RAZER OPUS:

– THX Certified – For clear vocals & dialog, no distortion, and great noise isolation
– Advanced ANC – Hybrid active noise cancellation with 4 dedicated ANC mics
– Crafted for Comfort – Plush leatherette foam ear cushions and headband
– Opus Mobile App – THX-tuned EQ presets, automatic settings, and battery status
– Quick Attention Mode – For situational awareness whenever you need it
– Auto Pause / Auto Play – For seamless media playback
– On-the-Go Design – Up to 25 hours with ANC on, 3.5mm jack, and carrying case
– Drivers: 2 x 40mm dynamic drivers
– Weight: 265g
– Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
– Microphone: 4 for hybrid ANC, 2 for voice chat
– Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 & 3.5mm
– Codecs: AAC & APTX, 4.2, A2DP, AVRCP, HFP

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

$199.99 USD / €209.99 MSRP

Available through Razer.com, RazerStores, and authorized online retailers throughout North America, Europe, China, and Asia Pacific.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro Review (Global)

Welcome to my review of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (Global).

Key Features/Specs

-Qualcomm® 865, 7 nm Process Technology
-GPU: Adreno™ 650 GPU
-AIE: 5th generation AIE processor
– RAM: 8GB ,LPDDR5 memory
– ROM: 256GB
– UFS 3.0 flash storage
– 108MP ultra-clear primary sensor – 1/1.33”, 0.8μm 4-in-1 to 1.6μm, f/1.69, aperture, OIS, 8P lens
– 8MP 10x hybrid zoom lens
– 10x hybrid zoom, OIS, f/2.0 aperture,1.0μm pixel size
– 12MP Portrait lens
– 2x optical zoom, 1.4μm large pixel size 2PD autofocus, f/2.0 aperture
– 20mp front camera

20MP ultra wide-angle

Up to 117° FoV, f/2.2 aperture

Video Review

Conclusion

An incredible phone with lots of features.

Useful Links

Xiaomi Mi 10 range on Amazon UK

HiFiMan Jade II Electrostatic Headphones Review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Jade 2 Electrostatic headphones and amp combo. The combined retail price of the headphones and amp are $2,500, but these can be bought separately.

Key Features/Specifications

– Electrostatic speed and details that reach each from the deepest lows all the way to 90KHz
– Nanotech Driver that is less than 0.001mm
– Nano Particle thick dust cover for near perfect sound transmission
– Open-Back Design for an expanded, more intimately enveloping sound stage with natural sonics that place the listener in the best seat in the house.
– Frequency Response : 7Hz-90kHz
– Bias Voltage : 550V-650V
– Weight : 365g (12.9oz)
Amplifier :
– Weight : 6.5kg (14.3lb)

Music tracks used for this review along with my thoughts.

Florian Christel, Encore– classical genre, great timbre. Piano feels as the keys being pressed in front of you , timing is fast & energetic

Ola Gjeilo , Luminous Night – voices are superb with a beautiful tone.

Bach Sonata for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord No. 3 in G Minor – loved the entire presentation and instrument separation.

Bee Gees, Heart like Mine , vocals are heavenly, picked up tone of the artists so well.

Sarah McLachlan, Ice – her voice & guitar. again picks up her lovely tone and guitar So moving.

Jewel, Enter from the East – pick up the nuances in the tracks. Little details. I could listen to this track so many times.

Bruce Springsteen, Paradise – the husky vocals/voice really well produced.

Lucinda Williams , You can’t rule me – feels like the amp could do with more power, bit harsh on the vocals.

Dua Lipa , Hallucinate, good mid bass, lacking sub bass.

Video Review

Conclusion

Expressive, delightful sounding electrostatic headphones which would benefit from an even more powerful electrostatic amp.

Useful Links

Jade 2/Amp Combo on Amazon
HiFiMan Website

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G – First Written Thoughts vs OnePlus 8 Pro

If you have been following me on twitter @gavinsgadgets you will have seen a selection of photos I have shared from the OnePlus 8 Pro. The other day, my Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G arrived yesterday early evening, so below are my first thoughts as they occurred using the phone. I have also shared comparison shots between these two phones on twitter.

I opted for the Alpine White finish which is absolutely stunning. So it was wow, love the hardware. Setting up was fairly straight forward. Fast forward a few hours.

I looked at the first few photos that I had snapped and it looked like that the OnePlus 8 Pro was taking better photos, but I knew that I needed to spend some time with the mi 10 pro, as the focus distance is different due to the 108mp sensor vs 48mp on the oneplus. Zoom quality is also better on the mi 10 pro. I am also only on the first global firmware, there is another due soon, and I know the chinese version of the mi 10 pro has had a lot of fixes already. Xiaomi isnt the fastest for updates so time will tell as to how quickly the official global version gets updated.

The OnePlus 8 Pro macro shots are incredible, this is achieved using the 48mp ultra wide lens. There isn’t a single phone I have used that can take better macro shots. Whilst the Mi 10 Pro has a macro mode, it’s not an even close comparison.

A few more hours later. Been using the Mi 10 Pro a bit more last night, and I’m gonna swap my main sim into it tomorrow. It does a number of things better than the Oneplus 8 Pro. Pulled off some bananas good photos too.

The mi 10 pro has a 108mp main sensor that has takes 4 pixels to create one high quality pixel, so the end resolution is 27mp. You can shoot at 108mp as well. Above is my dog George, its a huge crop, but there is so much detail on every photo. This was at 27mp. At 108mp you can crop until you drop!

So last night I finished setting the phone app, installing all my apps. Everything works fine except android auto. When I select an app from the car interface, it doesnt load. If I start the music on the app on my phone, then it shows on the car display. I haven’t had any spare time today to investigate why this is happening.

Back to today. I will say the following. The photo file sizes are huge on the Mi 10 Pro. To avoid the large files, I’ve toggled the setting to save as HEIF which provides better quality shots and better quality data for editing them after as well. As heif files the photo size is a lot smaller. Downside. Google Photos cannot upload heic/heif from the phone. The Mi 10 Pro gallery app does convert to jpg on sharing, but there’s a bug where it only exports 4 at a time. My current solution is import into adobe lightroom mobile app, and re export straight out as jpg.

I have noticed the photos on the Mi 10 Pro come out looking natural with excellent colours. Having an ultra wide, normal, 2 x optical and 5 x optical zoom lens is great for flexibility.

Above is with main lens.

Above is 2 x optical zoom.

And finally above is the 5 x zoom shot.

So far so good. I forgot to mention the Mi 10 Pro has an infra red blaster on it, so I can control my TV! It also has some of the best stereo speakers and an incredible high quality audio system.

The OnePlus 8 Pro does not work currently with an external mic. I plugged in my Shure MV88+ and not only did the Mi 10 Pro recognise it, it brought up a wealth of options to fine tune the microphone audio.

Anyway, look at for more thoughts and videos on my YouTube Channel .

iFi Audio iSilencer+ v2 review

Welcome to my review of the iFi Audio iSilencer+ that retails for £49.Main features / key specifications– Active Noise Cancellation creates an equal but opposite signal to cancel background noise in the USB audio stream to enhance your audio.
– Reduces jitter and packet errors to provide clear, more dynamic sound. Music will seem clearer, more transparent and bass will be improved.
– Noise, RFI and EMI all reduced
– Re-balance the USB signal for less distortion and better audio.
– Simply plug directly into the USB port of your computer, compatible with high speed USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices
– The iSilencer+ is an upgrade from the iSilencer3.0, with upgraded components, better sonic improvement, and comes in 3 versions – USB A to USB A, USB C to USB A, and USB C to USB C.
– In addition to improving the audio quality, the USB C to A iSilencer+ can be used as a converter adaptor.
– Military grade printed circuit with audiophile components.
– Weight 7g.
– Dimensions 50 x 20 x 9mm.The iFi Audio Silencer+ is a clever product that fixes a common problem of noise interference by our computers and phones. When I first received the iSilencer+, I tried it with my Google Pixel 4 XL phone that was nearby. The difference using the adapter was noticeable immediately. It was like a free audio upgrade to my headphones. I then used it on my computer with similar results. It was like a veil was lifted from the music, producing a more engaging, clearer sound. The music was more dynamic, with better phasing and soundstage. Treble, mid range and bass were all improved.Video Review

ConclusionThe difference to the sound by this low cost adapter is staggering. Highly recommended.Useful LinksThe iFi iSilencer comes in three versions. Link to all versions on Amazon – click HERE.

OnePlus 8 Pro review – detailed 19 mins review incl camera, audio & more

Welcome to my OnePlus 8 Pro review. In this review I cover off my thoughts on the phone, how it compares to my iPhone 11 Pro and Pixel 4 XL, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

As the video is 19 mins long, I have created a time index as noted below.

0:00 – Introduction
3:17 – Hardware thoughts
9:18 – Camera with sample footage
13:10 – Camera vs Samsung S20 Ultra
13:47 – Front camera & macro
14:37 – Finger print sensor & face unlock
14:50- Audio part 2 loudspeaker
15:11 – TPU case & screen protectors
15:41 – Camera night mode vs iPhone 11 Pro & Pixel 4 XL
17:12 – Camera vs iPhone 11 Pro vs Pixel 4 XL summary
18:35 – Final thoughts & details on next phone

Video Review

Conclusion

The OnePlus 8 Pro is an incredible phone and highly recommended.

Useful links to more info & latest pricing of gear mentioned in the review

OnePlus 8 Pro on Amazon
Babyliss Hair Cutting Kit for Men on Amazon
Fiio BTR5 on Amazon
Fiio FH7 on Amazon
iFi hip dac on Amazon
iBass dc-02 on Amazon

Fiio FH7 IEMs review – 3 month review of Fiio’s Flagship In-Ear Earphones

Welcome to my review of the Fiio FH7. These are Fiio’s flagship earphones that retail for £449. So for £449 these had better be special, and OMG do these deliver.

The FH7 shell is made out of an aluminium-magnesium alloy, shaped by five-axis CNC machining. The alloy goes thru 21 steps and 3873 cuts, and finished with a round of sand blasting and hand polishing.

Key Features

– The Fiio design team has carried out many design iterations and tests to create an extremely comfortable design that fits perfectly into your ear.
– The shell made of aerospace-grade aluminium-magnesium alloy.
– Stunning exterior, powerful interior, 4 x Knowles DFK + SWFK BA drive unit.13.6mm woofer
– Diaphragm made of rare metal beryllium. | Patented S.TURBO technology.
– 3 pairs of interchangeable sound filters. | 15 pairs of eartips (3 pair single flange silicon, 1 pair bi-flange, 2 pair memory form, 3 pair vocals, 3 pair bass and 3 pair of SpinFit eartips).
– Detachable 8-stranded monocrystalline copper-plated silver MMCX cable with 3.5mm L-shaped plug

Review

Conclusion

Absolutely amazing IEMs from Fiio. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Fiio FH7 on Amazon

iBasso DC-02 Hi-Res USB DAC review

Welcome to my review of the iBasso DC-02 USB DAC that sells for £39.

Key Features

– AK4490 Premium 32-bit Stereo DAC with VELVET SOUND™ technology
– Support of PCM up to 32bit/384kHz
– Support of Native DSD up to 256x
– Dedicated headphone amplifier with 3.5mm single-ended output port

Review

Conclusion

My favourite USB DAC and hence why I personally have more than one of these! Highly recommended.

Useful Links

iBasso DC-02 on Amazon