Category Archives: Audio

iFi ZEN Blue V2 review

Welcome to my review of the iFi ZEN Blue V2 which retails for £159.

The Key Features

The ZEN Blue V2 features easy Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity using the latest Qualcomm 5100 series Bluetooth. Codecs supported are SBC, AAC, LDAC, HWA, LHDC, apt X and apt X HD. That’s CD quality up to 24bits/192kHz from AAC and apt X HD.

Analogue outputs are either RCA or 4.4mm, digital is either coaxial or optical. Or even SPDIF.

So what’s new with V2. Upgraded jitter clock with over 20db performance, improved aerial with 80% more reach and lots more.

To learn more, watch the video covering all aspects of the ZEN Blue V2.

Video Review

Conclusion

The ZEN Blue V2 is a simple to operate, yet highly effective high quality device. Highly recommended. 9.3/10

Useful Links

iFi ZEN Stream review

Welcome to my review of the iFi ZEN Stream that retails for £399. The ZEN Stream is a network audio transport, focused around maintaining audio quality.

In terms of connections this is done via WiFi or Ethernet. It has quite a number of options which are covered off in my video review.

The Key Features

The ZEN Stream allows you to add network streaming to your existing system. Outputs via USB 3.0 or SPDIF/Optical. Supports up to 384kHz PCM, DSD256 and MQA. Firmware upgradeable keeps it future proof. Likely extra functionality will be added. Supports a ton of services from Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz, YouTube Music, AirPlay, DLNA, Roon and many more.

There’s lots to talk about, so watch my video, which covers everything from what’s in the box, closer inspection of all the hardware and functionality, how to setup and ultimately the quality and verdict.

Conclusion

The iFi ZEN Stream is a fantastic product, worthy of its highly recommended award. 9.2/10.

Useful Links

HiFiMan TWS800 review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan TWS800 which retail for $299.

The Key Features / Specifications

  • New High Impedance HiFi grade True Wireless Earphones
  • Built-in amp
  • IPX4 & 31+ hours battery life
  • Audiophile Tuning
  • Nano-Tech Coating
  • Topology Diaphragm
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Passive Noise Cancellation
  • 150ohm high impedance alloy voice call

Now watch the video review to learn all about the unique features and my opinions on the sound and call quality, latency and overall presentation.

Video Review

Conclusion

The HiFiMan TWS800 are beautifully presented with a decent range of ear tips to ensure you get the right fit. Overall rating 6/10.

Useful Links

https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/tws800.html

Creative SXFI Air Gamer headphone review – Full Featured Hybrid Headset

Welcome to my review of the Creative SXFI Gamer headphones that retail for £124.99.

Key Features

  • Hybrid headphone with Bluetooth 5.0 and USB  - You can choose to compete in an intense FPS game without discernible audio lag while connected via USB-C, or stream videos wirelessly with your phone while on-the-go for up to 11 hours. Plus, with a built-in Super X-Fi UltraDSP chip, you’ll be able to experience the hyper-realistic soundstage of Super X-Fi Headphone Holography anytime, anywhere, including streamed content from Spotify, Netflix, Disney Plus etc
  • Award winning SXFI tech included. Super X-Fi delivers surround sound audio as though there is a set of high-end multi-speaker system in your headphones. It also creates a custom sound profile for you based on your head and ear dynamics, so the sound you get is optimized for your ears only 
  • GamerChat lets you enjoy game audio via USB while chatting in-game on your phone via Bluetooth at the same time, especially useful for platforms like Nintendo Switch that restricts in-game communications. It is also capable of high-quality 7.1 audio immersion for your calls without losing acoustic details, and comes with both the discreet NanoBoom mic for on-the-go use, and the pro-grade CommanderMic with inPerson Microphone Technology
  • SXFI BATTLE Mode – hear where your opponents are coming from and how far they are with accuracy.
  • Includes a high-speed Kevlar USB-C data cable that is capable of managing high bandwidth and driving the headset to its maximum audio potential
  • Super X-Fi’s spatialized audio helps to neutralize headphone fatigue with its expanded soundstage, and keeps you going. Plus, the SXFI AIR GAMER is also fitted with oversized perforated protein leather ear pads for better breathability, so it stays comfortable on your head even during extended use .

Video Review

Conclusion

The Creative SXFI Air Gamer are ideal for game play using the SXFI technology. Lots of features and cool RGB colours that are adjustable. 8.1/10.

Useful Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-5-0-Pro-grade-ANC-CommanderMic-SXFI-BATTLE-Mode-Optimized-GamerChat/dp/B08XZ2HK6W/

Creative Outlier Air V2 review – SXFI ready TWS earphones!

Welcome to my review of the Creative Outlier Air V2 that retail for £54.99.

Key Features

  • V2 features upgraded touch controls – tap on the earbuds to pause, change tracks, answer a call or even activate smart assistants.
  • Ultra long battery life of 34 hours. 12-hour per charge with total playtime of up to 34 hours with case. USB C charging.
  • IPX5 water-resistant so it can handle sweat, accidental splashes, or even rain without issues
  • V2 has improved call quality. Featuring built-in microphone with Qualcomm cVc 8.0 technology, the Outlier Air V2 earbuds picks up your voice over the background for improved call quality and clearer voice communication. For added convenience, just tap to activate Siri or Google Assistant for a quick call or get your music started
  • Bluetooth 5.0, APTX and AAC. Outlier Air V2 is equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX / AAC.
  • It is also fitted with the latest driver technology that produces detailed highs, well-balanced mids, and immersive bass with the 5.6 mm graphene-coated driver diaphragm
  • SUPER X-FI ready. Super X-Fi technology recreates a professional, multi-speaker system experience in your headphones that is personalised to your ears. Outlier Air V2 is certified SUPER X-FI readyso you can enjoy a preview of Super X-Fi headphone holography via the SXFI App. It works on local music files downloaded onto your mobile, like an MP3 player; and does not support streaming content like Netflix, YouTube and Spotify.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Creative Outlier Air V2 sounds great using the app to adjust the EQ, with the possibility of enhancing the bass and using the SXFI technology. At their price point, they make superb TWS earphones. 8.2/10.

Useful Links

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-Sweatproof-Headphones-Diaphragm-Bluetooth/dp/B08K2QH9WV/

Edifier R1855DB Bluetooth Speaker System REVIEW

Welcome to my review of the Edifier R1855DB Bluetooth speaker system that retails for £159.99.

Key Features

  • 70 watts RMS
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • 2 x Line-in, 1 x optical input and 1 x coaxial input, bluetooth
  • Subwoofer Out
  • DSP Tone Control
  • Remote Control included which operates the volume, play/pause, skipping tracks, power on/off, switching input connections and a mute button

Audio Tracks used for testing

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

The video review includes some sound testing whereby you can listen to the speakers pump out the music.

Video Review

Conclusion

An absolute fantastic pair of bluetooth speakers that sound great, have superb bass, treble and midrange and comes with a ton of versatility. If you had to choose between a pair of HomePod Mini’s or these, the Edifiers are the clear winner! Highly recommended 9.8/10.

Useful Links

1MORE ComfoBuds Pro review

Welcome to my review of the 1MORE ComfoBuds Pro which retail for £89.

The Key Features

  • QuietMax ANC Technology. This is 1MORE’s proprietary active noise cancellation technology that combines hybrid ANC technology, precise audio tuning, dual band ANC and wind noise reduction in one solution to deliver effective noise cancellation without compromising the sound quality.
  • 5 Noise Cancelling Modes: Featuring 5 noise cancelling modes, ANC Strong (default), ANC Mild, Wind Noise Resistant, Pass-through (default) and off.
  • 13.4 mm dynamic driver coupled with AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) compatibility highlights the true essence of your music. Hear the finest details whether you are listening to music and podcasts or enjoying your favorite movies.
  • 6 Microphones, clear calls achieved using 2 ANC microphones coupled with a precise algorithm work seamlessly to suppress both environmental and in-ear noises while the talking microphone detects and amplifies your voice for an ultra-clear phone call experience.
  • Fast Charge: 15 minutes of charge fuels you up for 2 hours of listening time thanks to the fast charge technology.

Audio Tracks used for the review

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

Video Review

Conclusion

The 1MORE ComfoBuds Pro offer superb sound quality and noise cancellation which is also adjustable in 5 different modes. Highly recommended 9.3/10.

Useful Links

Hidizs MS2 Hybrid Dual Driver HiFi Earphones review

Welcome to my review of the Hidizs MS2 Hybrid Dual Driver HiFi Earphones that retail for £74.99.

The Key Features

  • Featuring a Hidizs Titanium Plating Dynamic Armature Driver & Knowles Balanced Armature Driver. MS2 equipped 10.2mm large dynamic driver with dual voice coils and chambers, which offer more natural, elastic bass and full. The Knowles 33518 balance armature has excellent resolution and expandability. MS2 owns professional circuit AVX tantalum capacitors, reduce noise at audio frequency, ensure noiseless clear filtering and high fidelity in the passing of audio signals.
  • Quad-core High-purity Wires & Gold-Plated Socket. The MS2 in-ear headphone has mixed braiding of quad-core high-purity wires, which quad-core wires are nicely braided by 60 high-purity silver wires and 60 high-purity oxygen-free copper wires. Silver wires for a brilliant and clean sound. MS2 has a detachable 0.78mm 2-pin gold-plated socket design, which can be used for more applications. MS2 has an elegant rose gold distributor and a 3.5mm exquisite gold-plated plug.
  • Skin-friendly Resin Body & Phosphorescent Panel. The MS2 uses skin-friendly resin body and phosphorescent plate. The customized resin body has a more ergonomic natural fit, which can ensure long-term wearing comfort, skin-friendly. And MS2 in-ear monitor wears a shiny phosphorescent faceplate presenting amber feelings, with beautiful rainbow shards and elegant Hidizs logo inside, showing Hidizs unique Aesthetic.
  • Custom Carrying Box & Good Selection of Accessories. Hidizs specially MS2 customises the earphone carrying case. High-quality metal panel, built-in full-surround silicone, effective shock and drop resistance. The magnetic closure mechanism keeps the IEM in place. At the same time, MS2 has clear eartips and balanced eartips, including 6 pairs of silicone eartips, and a good selection of accessories.
  • Hi-Res Certified & Compatibility. Hi-Res Audio is a quality recognition given by JAS and CEA, a standard sought after by music lovers and audiophiles and it became a synonym for high-end audio equipment. The In-Ear Earbud Headphones work with all Androids, PC tablets, MP3 players and other devices with a standard 3.5mm jack.
  • Frequency Response 20Hz-40kHz
  • Impedance 18 ohms

Audio Tracks used for the Review

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

Video Review

Conclusion

One of my all time favourite IEMs. Extremely musical and engaging. Highly recommended. 9.2/10.

Useful Links

Hidiz YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHdIkXTuzpb2oYoH4wxU6A/about

Hidizs for a limited time only are offering two discounts as below. As they say, every little penny helps, and I thought this might be useful to some of you. These are not affiliate links, just a means for you to save some money.

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Discount code:GAVINSGADGETS5

5% off for AP80/AP80 pro/(DH80s/80)/MS2/MS4/S9 pro/MS1/H2 and bundles

Discount code: GAVINSGADGETS3

3% off for S8/MS1 rainbow/Seeds/H1/BT01

Enter this discount code at checkout. You can only use the code once.

HiFiMan HE-R10P vs HE-R10D

Welcome to my comparison between two superb headphones from HiFiMan. The HE-R10P and HE-R10D.

The R10P is the planar magnetic version and retails for $5,499 versus the R10D which is a dynamic driver version. This retails for $1,299. That’s a price difference of $4,200.

In terms of specification for the R10P, see below –

  • Frequency response – 10Hz – 60kHz
  • Impedance – 30 ohm
  • Sensitivity – 100db
  • Weight 460g

And for the R10D, the specification is –

  • Frequency response – 15Hz – 35kHz
  • Impedance – 32 ohm
  • Sensitivity  – 103db
  • Weight – 337g

In terms of sonic differences, there is a lot to talk about, so click on the video below to find out more.

Comparison Video

Useful Links

https://hifiman.com

HiFiMan HE-R10D review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan HE-R10D which retail for $1,299. These are a closed back dynamic driver headphone from HiFiMan.

Key Features

  • Frequency response 15Hz – 35Hz
  • Impedance 32 ohm
  • Sensitivity 103db
  • Socket 3.5mm balanced
  • Weight 337g

The HE-10D are the dynamic driver version of the HE-10 range which includes a planar magnetic version, the HE-10P. My review of the HE-10P went live yesterday. Tomorrow, my comparison between the two headphones will be up on my website.

The HE-10D feature large wooden ear cups which allow for sufficient breathing space and volume for the music to shine. They also feature a topology diaphragm which has a nano particle coating applied to its surface, giving a more natural and detailed sound. Finally, they are carved by CNC from wood and aviation aluminium.

The headphones come in a beautiful box with 3 high quality cables.

  • 1.5 metre 3.5mm cable
  • 3 metre XLR balanced cable
  • 3 metre 1/4 inch cable

Music tracks used to test the headphones included –

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving 
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains 

Video Review

Conclusion

The HiFiMan HE-R10D are an amazing closed back headphone from HiFiMan that are easy to drive and sound terrific. Highly recommended 9.1/10.

Useful Links

https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/he-r10-dynamic.html