Category Archives: Audio

SoundPEATS Mini Pro review – Budget Champions!

Welcome to my review of the SoundPEATS Mini Pro TWS earphones that retail for £59.99.

Key Specs / Features

  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Qualcomn QCC3040 processor
  • AptX-Adaptive, AAC and SBC
  • 10m range
  • Hybrid Active Noise cancellation & Transparency Mode
  • Low latency gaming mode down to 60ms
  • 7 hours battery and 21 hours with case
  • USB C but no Qi charging
  • Clear call guaranteed by CVC 8.0 noise detection tech
  • IPX5
  • Weight single earbud 4.7g
  • 1.5 hours recharge for earbuds and case

Audio Music Tracks

Audio Music Test Tracks List

– 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

A superb pair of TWS earphones at a stunning low price. Highly recommended 9/10.

Useful Links

Sony Linkbuds review – wireless earphones with a hole in the middle!

The Sony Linkbuds retail for £149 and are without a doubt the weirdest wireless earphone I have ever reviewed.

I waited before I released my review so that I got the new firmware that also allowed the Sony Linkbuds to connect to the Sony headphone app. The new firmware is vital! It makes such a big difference to these wireless earphones.

Key Specs

  • Codecs SBC , AAC
  • IPX4
  • 10 mins quick charge – 90 mins usage
  • Battery life 5.5 hours plus 12 hours extra from case
  • No Qi charging
  • USB C

Video Index

00:00 Intro plus firmware
00:40 In the box
01:03 Fitment
01:18 Shake Test
01:34 Gym & Codecs
01:48 Battery test
02:15 Sony Headphone app & recommended settings
02:51 Sound Concept & Feedback
06:12 Comfort
06:56 Mic Quality
07:20 Latency
07:48 Sound Quality

Video Review

Conclusion

Recommended providing you need the USP of these wireless earphones that I discussed at length in my review. I personally really like them.

HiFiMan Edition XS review – Redefining the £500 threshold!

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Edition XS which retails for around $459.

Key Features

  • NEO Supernano Diaphragm – the new NSD is 75% thinner than previous designs , more detail and more sonics
  • Stealth Magnets – enables the waves to pass through the magnets without generating interference
  • Natural, wide soundstage puts you in the best seat in the house
  • Headband – designed for max comfort , filled with high grade memory foam
  • HiFiman 3.5mm sockets standard audio size , changeable and replaceable
  • Frequency response 8hz – 50kHz
  • Impedance 18 ohms
  • Sensitivity 92dB
  • Weight 405g

Audio Music Test Tracks

Below are the key music tracks that I use in every audio review. Many other songs are listened to as well.

– 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 & Comparisons

Conclusion

The HiFiMan Edition XS redefine what is possible at the $500 mark. Truly exceptional sounding. Highly recommended 9.5/10.

Useful Links

HiFiMan – https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/edition-xs.html

Fiio (Jade Audio) JD3 IEMs review – 🔥magical bass!🔥

Welcome to my review of the Fiio (Jade Audio) JD3 IEMs which retail for around £24.

Key Features

  • Unibody stainless steel construction
  • Dual cavity dynamic driver
  • Sound reflection absorbing design
  • Powerful neodymium driver
  • Semi-open acoustic design
  • HD microphone and volume controls, play/pause and accept/hang up calls
  • Aluminium alloy audio plugs
  • Sensitivity 107db
  • 9.2mm dynamic driver
  • 16 ohms
  • Hi-Res Certified 10-40kHz

Audio Music Test Tracks List

  • 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 Fiio (Jade Audio) JD3 are an excellent fun IEM. If you love epic proportions of bass, you will love these, and around £24 are superb value. Recommended 8.9/10.

Useful Links

Fiio – https://www.fiio.com/jd3

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-JadeAudio-Earphone-Headphone-JD3-Silver/dp/B09MH3345X/

iFi ZEN Signature Set HFM review

Welcome to my review of the iFi ZEN Signature Set HFM which retails for £599.

The set consists of the ZEN Signature DAC v2 and Signature Can HFM. In addition a high quality 4.4mm balanced cable is included. Other quality accessories are included, all shown in the video review. iFi Audio provided combo sets for Sennheiser HD 6XX and Meze headphones as well.

Key Features

– iFi ZEN DAC Signature V2 + iFi ZEN CAN Signature HFM + 4.4mm Balanced Cable
– HFM Combo package has an unique Active EQ curve that brings out the best in the HIFIMAN range of headphones.
– ZEN Signature DAC V2 is a true-differential balanced circuit design, upgraded circuit components and short, direct signal paths for optimal signal purity.
– Bit-perfect PCM (up to 32-bit/384kHz), native DSD (up to DSD256) and DXD.
– 16-core XMOS chip, rather than the original 8-core, means it is now a full MQA decoder rather than a renderer.
– Pair of RCA sockets for single-ended connection to an amp, plus a Balanced 4.4mm output.
– Switch for variable or fixed outputs.
– ActivEQ setting combines active and passive components to create a specific EQ curve to suit HIFIMAN planar headphones. Active EQ can be switched off so other headphones can be used.
– Xpace included
– PowerMatch – four gain options in six dB steps – 0dB, 6dB, 12dB and 18db.
– 1600mW (7.2V) into 32 ohms from the single-ended output, with 15V+ available to loads of 600 ohms or more through the balanced output.
– iFi 4.4mm to 4.4mm cable employs heavy OFHC continuous cast copper and silver matrix conductors with a total thickness of 14AWG for the best signal transfer.
– The 4.4mm to 4.4mm cable construction is a custom helix design, minimised both in capacitance and inductance. Intrinsic shielding is provided by minZ™ helix construction. This protects the cable from RFI and EMI noise.

Audio Music Test Tracks List

– 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

Fantastic sound quality and dynamics, make this combo set a winner. Highly Recommended. 9.3/10.

Useful Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09BCQL7YC

iFi Audio – https://ifi-audio.com/products/zen-signature-set-hfm/

Chord Mojo 2 review vs iFi xDSD Gryphon & Xduoo XD-05 Bal

Welcome to my review of the Chord Mojo 2 which retails for £459. At the same time in my review, I compared it to the iFi xDSD Gryphon and Xduoo XD-05 Bal. The Xduoo has had its op amps upgraded to a pair of Burson V5i-D adding an extra £80 to its cost.

For comparison, the Gryphon costs £599, the Xduoo XD-05 Bal £350 + £80 of the op amp upgrade and the Chord Mojo 2 costs £459.

Chord Mojo 2 Key Features

  • Upgraded FPGA
  • 41,000 taps
  • Up to 8 hours battery
  • Still works with Chord Poly streamer
  • Weight 285g
  • USB C input, optical and coaxial
  • Micro usb for charging
  • Headphone output 30 ohms – 600mW
  • Headphone output 300 ohms – 90mW
  • Dynamic range 125db
  • Smaller balls than original Mojo
  • Menu system
  • Low and high gain
  • Power button also desktop mode and bit rate,
  • Worlds first lossless DSP
  • Two x 3.5mm headphone jacks

Audio Music Test Tracks List

Below are the key tracks that I use for all audio reviews. Many other songs were used as well –

– 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 Chord Mojo 2 is an exceptional piece of kit. Its sound reproduction is phenomenal. Let down by using micro USB for charging. I explain more about why this is the case in my video review. Highly recommended 8.9/10.

As to how it compares to the iFi xDSD Gryphon and or Xduoo XD-05 Bal, you will have to watch the video review, as I go into a lot of depth to explain the differences.

Useful Links

Gryphon – https://ifi-audio.com/products/xdsd-gryphon/

Xduoo – https://xduoo.net/product/xd05-bal/

Mojo 2 – https://chordelectronics.co.uk/mojo-2

iFi xDSD Gryphon vs Xduoo XD-05 Bal – Battle of the Titans 🔥

Today’s review is a comparison between two giants in the respective fields. Both are headphone amp DACs. The Xduoo XD-05 Bal retails for around £355 versus the iFi xDSD Gryphon that costs £599.

I have already reviewed both of these devices separately and you can find the review links below –

iFi xDSD Gryphon review – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2021/12/03/ifi-xdsd-gryphon-review/

Xduoo XD-05 Bal review – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2022/01/19/xduoo-xd-05-bal-review-its-hot-🔥/

So for this video review, this is going to cover the key differences from a specs and features point of view, the relevance, sound quality differences and also swapping the Xduoo default op amps for some more expensive ones, the Burson V5i-D, and then re-evaluating the sound difference.

Video Review

Useful Links

iFi xDSD Gryphon on Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/iFi-xDSD-Gryphon-Ultra-resolution-High-power/dp/B09H39DBY6/

iFi Audio Website https://ifi-audio.com/products/xdsd-gryphon/

Xduoo XD-05 Bal on Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/XDUOO-Bluetooth-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B08X9JLML5/

Xduoo Website https://xduoo.net/product/xd05-bal/

Xduoo XD-05 Bal review – its hot 🔥

Welcome to my review of the Xduoo XD-05 Bal, Xduoo’s fully balanced headphone amp DAC that retails for $429.

The Key Features / Specs

– fully balanced circuit
– Sabre ES9038Q2M x 2 chips
– Adopts CPLD for data reshaping, reduces jitter
– External power or battery to act like a tabletop amp
– DSD up to DSD512
– Support PCM/DXD format
– Sampling rate up to 32bit/768kHz
– THD up to 0.0009%
– Signal to Noise up to 117db, virtually inaudible
– Coaxial, USB, AES, Optical and Bluetooth inputs
– Bluetooth SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX LL, aptX HD & LDAC
– Cirrus-Logic CSR8675 Bluetooth 5.0 chip
– Easy change OP Amps chips
– 1000mW in balanced and unbalanced at 32ohms
– 5 hours to charge
– Battery life USB 9 hours, SPDIF 15 hours, Aux in 24 hours
– Aux out level 2.0 vrms

Video Review Time Index

00:00 Intro
00:30 In the Box
06:30 Device Close up & Functions & Usability
08:35 Sound Quality & Key Features
12:09 Sound Quality using Sivga Phoenix headphones
14:02 Sound Quality using Sennheiser HD 600 headphones
15:27 Sound Quality using HiFiman Arya headphones
16:13 Op Amps and other headphones

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 Xduoo XD-05 Bal is an astonishing piece of kit. The included accessories are extensive, the ability to change the Op Amps is fantastic, as is the sound quality. Add to the fact it has huge amounts of power on tap. Highly recommended. 9.3/10.

Useful Links

Xduoo Website https://xduoo.net/product/xd05-bal/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/XDUOO-Bluetooth-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B08X9JLML5/

Sivga Phoenix (Polycarbonate Film Zebrano) Headphone review

Welcome to my review of the Sivga Phoenix headphones that retail for £235.

Key Specs/Features

– Energy conversion method: Moving-coil
– Loudhailer diameter: 50mm
– Impedance: 32Ω
– Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
– Sensitivity: 103dB
– Weight: 296g

Audio Tracks used for 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 Time Index

00:00 Intro
00:38 Specs
01:19 In the Box
02:50 Sound Quality & Comparison

Video Review

Conclusion

A beautifully finished headphone, very comfortable and with a fresh, engaging and dynamic. sound. A delight to listen to! Highly recommended 9.5/10.

Useful Links

HiFiMan Arya (Stealth Magnets) review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Arya with Stealth Magnets. The HiFiMan Arya retails for around £1,350.

Key Specs and Features

  • Planar Magnetic
  • 91db
  • 41 ohms
  • 8Hz to 65kHz
  • 400g
  • Stealth Magnets

Audio Tracks used for 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 Time Index

00:00 Intro
00:13 Specs
00:39 In the Box
02:00 Sound Quality and Comparisons

Video Review

Conclusion

A top class planar magnetic headphone from HiFiMan. The addition of the stealth magnets improves the winning formula. 9.2/10. Highly Recommended.

Useful Links

https://hifiman.com