Category Archives: Audio

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.

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

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

AKG K371 vs Sennheiser HD599 headphones – 3 month review

Welcome to my review of the AKG K371 and Sennheiser HD599 headphones. These are two of the best value wired headphones you can buy right now selling at £99 and £150 respectively.

Key Features

AKG K371
– Closed-back, oval over-ear design offers superior isolation, improved low-frequency response, ergonomic fit
– Engineered to match AKG’s Reference Response curve acoustic target for accurate, neutral sound
– Largest-in-class, 50mm transducers with pure OFC voicecoils
– Superior sensitivity (114 dB SPL/V @ 1kHz) and impedance (32 ohms) for use with professional and consumer devices
– Best-in-class frequency response: 5 Hz to 40 kHz
– Calibrated headbands with slow-retention oval foam pads offer precise fit, superior comfort

Sennheiser HD599
– High-Quality around-ear open back headphones
– Padded headband and luxurious ear-pads suitable for long listening sessions
– Cable options: Robust 3 m detachable cable and 6.3 mm jack and additional 1.2 m detachable cable with 3.5 mm jack
– Frequency response:12- 38,500 Hz
– Sensitivity 50ohms

Review

Conclusion

Absolutely amazing headphones from AKG and Sennheiser. The AKG K371 at £99 are incredible value and everyone should own a pair of these!

Useful Links

AKG K371 on Amazon
Sennheiser HD599

HiFiMan RE-400c vs RE-600s v2 Earphones – Review & Comparison

Welcome to my review of two IEMs from HiFiMan. The RE-400c and the RE-600s v2. The RRP of the earphones are $99 and $199 respectively.

The Key Features

RE-400c
– Analogue Type C
– 15hz to 22khz
– 32 ohm

RE-600s
– 3.5mm
– 8.5mm driver
– 15hz to 22kHz
– 102db
– 16 ohm
– Composite cable

This is the first pair of in ear earphones that I have heard from HiFiMan, and there sound signature is different to other headphones that I have listened to. Watch my full video review to find out more.

Review

Useful Links

HiFiMan headphones on Amazon
HiFiMan website

iFi Audio hip dac review – a fantastic portable headphone amp dac with MQA support

Welcome to my review of the iFi Audio hip dac . The iFi Audio hip dac retails for £149.

The Key Features and Specifications

– Portable, slim design with up to 12 hrs of battery life and a slim.
– Hi resolution audio support including Spotify, Tidal MQA to MP3. Play any high res audio format with native digital to analogue conversion so you can listen to any song the way the original recording was intended.
– Powerful amp ideal for in ear monitors or over the ear headphones with 400 mW max power output from the on-board amplifier via the 3.5mm headphone socket or 700mW via the 4.4mm balanced.
– Connects via USB, works with iPhone with Apple Camera Kit
– Power Match and XBass offer adjustable analogue enhancements to customise your listening experience without compromising the digital conversion
– USB C and USB Type A

Review

iFi Audio history. iFi Audio was born in 2012 to produce ultra-fidelity audio products that push the sonic envelope whilst still priced within the mainstream. iFi audio is now under parent company AMR (Abbingdon Music Research), which designs and produces top-end luxurious audio products. AMR saw in 2010 that customer demand for wireless and portable headphones was expanding as the whole audio dynamic was changing. Thus, iFi Audio was launched.

The iFi Audio hip dac smart stuff. The DAC section is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chip that provides a lovely fluid, highly musical sound quality and also true native architecture. iFi Audio have then desgined their own circuitry. This means you get bit perfect PCM, native DSD and MQA. Hi-res PCM and DXD audio data is supported at sampling rates up to 384kHz, alongside DSD from 2.8MHz to 12.4MHz (DSD64, 128 and 256). Thanks to the Burr Brown chip’s True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables both PCM and DSD to remain bit perfect in their native form right through to analogue conversion.

There are two USB ports – USB Type A for audio data and USB-C for charging. The USB Type A input features a male connector, rather than a typical female port. This provides greater mechanical integrity than USB/Micro USB ports.. This is an advantage for iPhone and iPad users, because it accepts Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adaptor directly without requiring an additional female-to-male USB adaptor, as shown in my video review. The optional bass boost enhances low frequencies without muddying the mid range, and is particularly useful with earphones and open-back headphones that may lack deep bass. It operates entirely in the analogue domain rather than messing with the digital signal via DSP.

Sound quality. For this review I used a range of headphones including the Focal Elear, Sennheiser HD599, AKG K371 and Fiio FA7. I also tested the 4.4mm balanced using the Fiio FA7 with the Fiio 4.4mm headphone cable. iFi Audio recommend activating the PowerMatch for over ear headphones. So for this review all my over the ear headphones had this activated. When using my Fiio FA7 IEMs this was turned off.

Genres. All genres were tested from electronic, jazz, blues, classical, pop, rock and alternative. I spent hours and hours testing the hip dac including a 10 hour burn in before listening to it. All the over ear headphones were driven with ease, scale and presence. The XBass feature is great to use, but there is already IMO enough drama without having to use it. However, my AKG K371 headphones just loved the XBass being on and transformed from being a fairly accurate sounding headphone to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. OMG what a chalk and cheese difference and for the better. The Burr Brown chipset provides a lovely musical presentation, slightly warm, but with plenty of scale, drama, soundstage across all genres. And speed too. The 4,4mm balanced output added a little hiss with my Fiio FA7. This hiss was not present using the 3.5mm option. So ultra sensitive IEMs are best used with the 3.5mm jack which is extremely powerful in its own right.

Video Review

Conclusion

The iFi Audio is a fantastic compact headphone amp dac and highly recommended and one of my favourite amp/dacs!

Useful Links

Latest pricing & more info on iFi Audio hip dac on Amazon

Jabra Elite 75t review vs AirPods Pro

Welcome to my review of the Jabra Elite 75t.

The Key Features

– Compact new shape, tested for secure fit
– 4-Mic call technology for superior call quality wherever you are, even in noisy and windy environments
– More power, more freedom, with more than 7.5 hours of battery and a total of 28 with charging case
– Make your music sound exactly the way you want it to, with a customisable equaliser, available in the Jabra Sound+ app
– Durability guaranteed, with IP55-rated protection and a 2-year warranty against dust and water
– 7.5 hours battery life extended to 28 hours with case
– USB C charging on case
– Full range of controls on earbuds

Review

Conclusion

The Jabra Elite 75t are the best true wireless earbuds I have tested. 9.5/10. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Latest pricing on Jabra Elite 75t on Amazon