Category Archives: Tech News

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/

Pixel 6 Pro – 7 Reasons Not To Buy

Welcome to my Pixel 6 Pro long term review. In this review I detail 7 reasons not to buy the phone.

I also discuss the January and December updates, and showcase photos throughout the video.

In addition, at 11 minutes 30 seconds into the video, the photography showcase section starts and continues until the end of the video. It is approximately two minutes long. The showcase shows you some of the best photography from a smartphone. Don’t miss this whatever you do!

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

Vitec acquires Audix – All the Info

Vitec Imaging Solutions, a Division of The Vitec Group pc (“Vitec”), the international provider of premium branded hardware products and software solutions to the growing content creation market, is pleased to announce that on 10th January 2022 it agreed to acquire Audix and its
affiliates, with the deal expected to close shortly.

The acquisition continues Vitec’s mission to marry great audio with great video for all types of creators.

Audix is a leading, high-quality microphone brand for studio and live performance audio based in Portland, Oregon, with a cult following in the US market. The highly respected brand focuses on premium, professional vocal and instrument microphones, designed for studio, commercial and live applications, with cutting-edge audio technology designed and manufactured in the US.


As part of the Vitec family, the Audix team and facility in Oregon will become Vitec Imaging Solutions’ Audio R&D Centre of Excellence, enabling the acceleration of in-house microphone product design,
development and manufacturing across all Vitec audio brands. With the acquisition of Audix, Vitec’s audio capture strategy is now structured around three core brands that cover all growth segments of the $1 billion microphone market: Audix, Rycote and JOBY.

Sivga SV021 Closed Back Headphone review

Welcome to my review of the Sivga SV021 Robin Closed Back Headphone which retails for £149.

Key Features/Specs

– 50mm Dynamic Driver
– Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz
– Sensitivity 105 db
– Resistance 32 ohms
– Weight 275g

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
00:29 Specs
01:04 In the Box
02:31 Comfort
02:52 Sound Quality & Comparisons

Video Review

Conclusion

A really well constructed headphone, punchy dynamic fun sound and easy to drive. Highly recommended 9.1/10.

Useful Links

JOBY PodZilla Large Flexible Tripod Kit review

Welcome to my review of the Joby Podzilla Flexible Tripod Kit which retails for £45.

My journey using Joby tripods goes back 9 years to 2013. Thereafter, I bought a different style of Joby tripod in subsequent years; 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and now I have the Joby Podzilla. All of the Joby items still work today like they did when I bought them new, apart from one tripod as I lost this on a hike across Dartmoor. In my video review, I show some of these older items. To give you an idea of what I purchased, in 2013 I bought the Joby Gorillapod Micro 250 Folding Tripod, then in 2014 the Joby Gorillapod Ball Head for SLR Cameras, followed by in 2015 the Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom tripod. In 2017, I acquired the Joby GripTight One Magnetic tripod followed by in 2018 the Joby Griptight Pro for Smartphones.

Key Specs & Features

  • JOBY PodZilla Large Kit – Flexible Tripod with Ball Head, GripTight 360 Phone Mount, for Smartphones and Compact Mirrorless Cameras or Devices up to 2.5Kg
  • Flexible structure with a solid aluminum core and rubber exterior 
  • Includes a quick release plate for easy attachment of the camera thanks to the standard 1 / 4-20″ attachment 
  • The plate with ball head integrates a spirit level for precise adjustment
  • GripTight 360 Phone smartphone clamp with double sled attachment suitable for smartphones with a width from 6.7 cm to 8.8 cm

Video Time Index

00:00 Intro & My 9 Year Journey using Joby tripods
02:47 Specs
03:24 Demo / How To
05:22 Adding Mics and Lights
07:00 Comparison & Summary

Video Review

Conclusion

A superb versatile tripod kit from Joby, ideal for phones and camera. Highly recommended 9/10.

Useful Links

HiFiMan Deva Pro review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Deva Pro that retail for £329.

Key Specs

– Frequency Response 20kz to 20kHz
– Sensitivity 93.5 db
– Resistance 18 ohms
– Weight 360g
– In the box – HiFiMan R2R Bluetooth USB DAC, USB cable, headphone cable, Deva Pro, Owners Guide

Time Index for Video Review

00:00 Intro 
00:51 Specs
01:54 In the Box / Fit
03:23 Stealth Magnets
05:11 Sound Quality – Bluetooth / R2R DAC Guide & Demo
10:10 vs Sony WH-1000XM4
10:43 Sound Quality – USB
11:49 Sound Quality – Wired
13:10 vs HiFiMan Sundara & Summary

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 Review

Conclusion

An excellent planar magnetic headphone from HiFiMan featuring stealth magnets for an improved sound quality. Add to the fact you can connect via Hi-Res Bluetooth, USB or wired and you have a highly recommended headphone. 9.5/10

Useful Links

HiFiMan website – https://hifiman.com/#3