Category Archives: Headphone

NuraLoop Wireless Earphones REVIEW – Personalised Epic Sound with ANC

Welcome to my review of the NuraLoop earphones. The NuraLoop retail for £199. Nura the company behind the NuraLoop have set out to re-invent the headphone by ensuring every user has their own personalised sound profile. To protect their I.P. Nura have a number of patents in force. Their first headphone was the over ear Nuraphone. To help with its funding, Nura started a Kickstarter, which became the biggest ever Kickstarter in Australia. In addition, the Nuraphone was worlds first headphone to have features added in July 2018 via a software update which includes automatic noise cancellation.

The special sauce is the personalised hearing test that occurs during setup. With its special mics , two on each earbud , these help carry out an otoacoustic hearing test. With passive sound isolation from the ear tips, the inner microphone on each bud monitors otoacoustic emissions, by detecting the activity in the cochlea inside the ear to learn how your ear hears sound and the respective frequencies. This takes a couple of minutes, which then creates your custom profile. To see this in action, please watch the video below.The end result is terrific sound quality, some of the best ANC and decent battery life. To learn more about these jump over to watching the video.

Key Specifications

– In box range of ear tips 10.5mm, 12mm, 13.5mm and & replacement filters, case, magnetic charge cable & 3.5mm cable,
– 16 hours battery life , 10 min quick charge for 2 hours,
– APT-X HD , APT-X, AAC , SBC
– Bluetooth 5
– IPX4 sweat resistance
– ANC
– Social Mode
– Immersive Control
– Customisable Touch Controls
– Personalised Sound

Video Review

Update 7th September 2020 – new firmware includes the following features based on Customer feedback:

– Manual On/Off mode – New setting to manually turn NuraLoop on/off. If you don’t want to use this method, the auto on/off is still the default method.
– Double Tap Button functionality – Further customise your TouchDials with double tap.
– Voice Calls – Improved reliability and enhanced clarity of voice calls.
– Plus – Additional bug fixes such as improved fit detection and reduced analog cable latency experienced by musicians.

This new firmware works extremely well in my testing and makes the nuraloop and even stronger recommendation.

Conclusion

Highly recommended 9.5/10.

Useful Links

nura on Amazon UK

nura website

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro True Wireless Earphones Review – Redefining Bass

Welcome to my review of the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro True Wireless earphones. These has a recommended retail price of £139.99, although if you use the link at the bottom, these are currently available for £119.99.

Key Features

– Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture: A state-of-the-art design which integrates a customised Knowles balanced armature and an 11mm dynamic driver into a single body. Aligned direct-to-ear, Astria completely eliminates interference while producing harmonised treble and bass for jaw-dropping sound.
– In-Ear Studio Performance: Liberty 2 Pro is recommended by 10 Grammy Award winning producers. Sound is delivered at stadium-scale with impeccable depth and nuance.
– HearID Custom Sound: To ensure everyone gets a perfect listening experience, HearID intelligently analyses your unique hearing profile and creates a tailor-made sound setup just for your ears. Or take complete control of the sound with an adjustable EQ or 22 preset sound profiles.
– 32-Hour Playtime: Get 8 hours from a single charge and then another 4 full recharges from the charging case. The charging case recharges via fast-charge USB-C or wireless charging, and provides the earbuds with 2 hours of listening from a 10-minute charge.
– Quad-Microphone Calls: With 4 microphones and cVc 8.0 noise reduction, your voice is isolated and transmitted in high-clarity for a seamless hands-free experience.

Time Index for Video Review

0:00s Intro
0:54s What’s in The Box
2:08s Close-up on the Earphones
3:46s Companion App
5:01s Call Quality
6:16s Connectivity
6:37s Sound Quality
9:44s Latency
9:54s Conclusion

Video Review

Conclusion

One of the most dramatic wireless earphones I have heard for bass impact without ruining the treble and midrange. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Latest pricing on the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro on Amazon

HiFiMan Ananda-BT Bluetooth Headphones review – Wireless Headphones from the Future!

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Ananda-BT headphones that retail for $999.

HiFiMan claim that these are the best sounding bluetooth headphones in the world. I would say they are the headphones from the future!

Key Specifications

– Open back headphone design
– Planar Magnetic Drivers
– Impedance: 35 Ω
– Sensitivity: 103 dB
– Frequency range: 8 Hz – 55 kHz
– Weight: 495g with microphone, 460g without mic
– Charging time: 2:40 hours.
– Bluetooth Life: 10 hours

The HIFIMAN Ananda-BT is the bluetooth version of the successful Ananda. Inside the Ananda BT there is a balanced amplifier and an integrated 24-bit DAC. The connection between the receiver and source can be made via Bluetooth with the codecs SBC / AAC / AptX / AptX-HD or LDAC. You can also connect via USB-C cable with support of 24 bit and 192 kHz sampling frequency.

For communications, a microphone is included which makes the Ananda BT a high-end gaming solution as well as using it for conversations with your mobile phone. The headphone will last around 10 hours with charged battery when connected to Bluetooth and takes about 2.7 hours to fully charge. Connected to the USB-C cable, you can either only stream data, for example, to protect the battery of your laptop or smartphone, only charge when the Bluetooth connection is at the same time, or both at the same time.

Sound, the Ananda BT is astonishing. Find out more from my video review below.

Video Review

Conclusion

A stunning sounding headphone of top notch audio grade, and its bluetooth. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

HiFiMan Ananda-BT on Amazon

Razer Opus Headphones review – THX Certified ANC Bluetooth Headphones

Welcome to my review of the Razer Opus Headphones. These are THX Certified headphones with active noise cancellation and retail for £199.

Key Features

– THX® Certified Headphones
– Advanced active noise cancellation (ANC) technology
– Engineered for comfort
– Quick Attention Mode
– Auto Pause/Auto Play
– Drivers: 2 x 40mm dynamic drivers
– Weight: 265g
– Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
– Microphones: 4 for hybrid active noise cancellation technology, 2 for voice chat
– Wearing style: Circumaural
– What’s inside: Headset, premium carry case, airplane adapter, 1.5m length 3.5mm analog cable, 30cm length USB-C to USB-C cable, USB-A to USB-C adapter
– Battery life: Up to 25 hours
– Bluetooth® Codecs: AAC & APTX, 4.2, A2DP, AVRCP, HFP

THX has created a headphone certification program to further define premium sound quality in the personal entertainment space. Developed to provide a reference headphone listening experience, the THX Headphone Certification Program gives special attention to frequency response, low distortion, and exceptional noise isolation.

Headphones are tuned to ensure high frequencies, vocals, and bass levels are well balanced. This ensures dialogue in movies and vocals in music are clear, while maintaining deep, impactful bass output that doesn’t overpower the listening experience.

THX makes sure your headphones can easily playback high-resolution content at increased volumes without introducing unwanted distortion artifacts.

Video Review

Conclusion

A surprising pair of headphones from Razer. Lovely balanced sound, good looking and reasonably priced.

Useful Links

Razer Opus headphones on Amazon

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

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

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

Beats Solo Pro Review by an Audiophile

Welcome to my review of the Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling headphones.

Key Features

– Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) blocks external noise
– Beats’ Pure ANC adjusts to external noise and fit while preserving sound quality
– Transparency helps you stay aware of your surroundings while listening
– Up to 22 hours of listening time (up to 40 hours with ANC and Transparency turned off)
– With Fast Fuel, a 10-minute charge gives 3 hours of playback when the battery is low
– Intuitively designed to power on and off when you unfold and fold them
– Ergonomically designed for optimal comfort and extended wear

Review

Conclusion

8.0/10 scoring. The Beats Solo Pro improve upon the previous versions in almost every way to end up with a solid offering available in many colours. You are paying for the brand within the pricing but then you do get tight integration into the iOS and Apple ecosystem.

Useful Links

Latest info & pricing on the Beats Solo Pro on Amazon