HomeTheaterHiFi.com

Home Audio Accessory Reviews

Audio Accessory Reviews

Audio-Technica ATH-AD900X Over-the-Ear Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-AD900X Headphones

Audio-Technica has been around for over 50 years making professional microphones, phono cartridges, and headphones. Given that it is nearly impossible to research audiophile headphones and not come across Audio-Technica in some fashion, I felt it imperative that I review a pair. Outside of brief, less than ideal listening at trade shows, the ATH-AD900X is the first headphone from Audio-Technica that I have used. In today's vast ocean of headphones, Audio-Technica's claim to fame is offering audiophile sound quality at an affordable price. The ATH-AD900X is the successor to the ATH-AD900 and unfortunately I haven't listened to the AD900 so this review will focus purely on the new ATH-AD900X. The only thing I will mention with regards to the model differences would be the subtle visual differences in the design. The open air cage that covers the back of the drivers is more spaced out on the newer AD900X, so much so in fact, that the insides are easily visible – a neat aspect. Also the logo and markings are in gold rather than the silver of the older model.

Read more...

Onkyo ES-HF300 On-Ear Headphones

Onkyo ES-HF300 HeadphonesOnkyo, a long time player in home theater electronics, has set its sights on the personal audio market with the new ES-HF300 headphone. The ES-HF300 is a closed-back headphone design featuring two 40 mm titanium drivers, sub-chambers for optimized bass, and a rigid construction for optimal sound reproduction. With an MSRP of $179, Onkyo is aggressively targeting the rapidly growing market for premium headphones. Recent research by the NPD Group reveals a huge jump in sales of headphones over $100 and considering how many smartphones are in the hands of eager consumers, pricing a headphone correctly is an important key to its success. Of course, how a headphone looks and, most importantly, sounds are also keys to its success. Find out how the new Onkyo ES-HF300 headphones score in my review.

Read more...

Bryston BDA-2 DAC

Bryston BDA-2Following on the highly successful BDA-1 DAC, Bryston has raised the bar with the addition of an asynchronous USB input and reduced distortion in their new BDA-2 DAC. Take a look at what I found. The performance is quite a surprise.

Read more...

Audiolab M-DAC Digital to Analog Converter

Audiolab M-DAC Digital to Analog Converter

On its website, respected British manufacturer Audiolab proclaims the M-DAC is the follow-up to the 8000 DAC, introduced all the way back in 1992. I have gathered that DACs were quite popular in that era because CD players had not become all that good yet. With the market now awash in quality DACs, I guess it is safe to say we are in a DAC renaissance. Here, we review the Audiolab M-DAC, which, at $899, turns out to be an audio bargain.

Read more...

Anthem Room Correction (ARC) System - Part 1

Anthem Room Correction ARC System-Part 1Among the numerous room correction systems I have tested, the Anthem ARC currently stands out as the best for consumers. In this mulit-part review, I take you through how room correction works, and give you some results I obtained in several rooms of my home.

Read more...

Sennheiser Momentum Over-the-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser MomentumSennheiser will always hold a special part of my heart as the HD580 my first audiophile headphone. I can still remember the soft velvety fabric of the earpads and the revelation that was quality music playback. Since then, I have experienced the sound of many other headphones, including the Sennheiser Momentum over-the-ear headphones, which are reviewed here.

Read more...

HiFiMAN HE-300 Over-the-Ear Headphones

HiFiMAN HE-300 headphones

HifiMAN headphones are well known around these parts in the Secrets community. A Headphone of the Year award will do that for you. In a possible effort to "spread the wealth" and grant access to their awesome headphones without breaking the bank, they've introduced the HE-300 over the ear headphones.

Read more...

Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player

Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player

Pioneer currently offers two network audio players in their Elite product line. Both models are best described as media streamers since they do not store music within the player's chassis but rather acquire music from external music servers or devices. The first model is the N-30, which offers the ability to stream high-resolution digital music via Apple's AirPlay or from DLNA-compatible servers. The second model and subject of this review is the N-50 that builds upon the functionality of the N-30 by adding an asynchronous USB DAC as well as optical and coaxial digital inputs so the N-50 can be used as an outboard D/A converter.

Read more...

XTZ Room Analyzer II Pro Room Acoustics Analyzer Kit

XTZ Room Analyzer II ProWe've all heard the adage a dozen times: your room is far more important to the sound that you get out of your system than the system itself. While this statement may very well be true, the process of tackling "your room" is far more difficult than deciding what type of receiver or speaker wire you should buy. Welcome to the world of acoustics: incredibly complicated and undoubtedly intimidating. The XTZ Room Analyzer may just be the thing to help get you into this world a little easier.

Read more...

Anthem Room Correction (ARC) System - Part 2 - Including a Subwoofer

Anthem Room Correction ARC Part 2 - Including a SubwooferIn Part 1 of this series, we discussed the Anthem ARC (Anthem Room Correction) firmware that is present in their SSPs as well as the AVRs which have a  reduced filter bank size. By far, the most significant sonic issue for acoustic music when a subwoofer is deployed occurs around the crossover from the subwoofer to the main speaker. In Part 2 of this series, we take a look at Anthem's ARC (Anthem Room Correction) when adding a subwoofer to the system.

Read more...

MartinLogan Mikros 90 On-Ear Headphones

MartinLogan Mikros 90 HeadphonesNot wanting to be left out of the lucrative headphone market, MartinLogan has released the noise isolating Mikros 90. Instead of going the exotic, high-end route of designing a pair of electrostatic headphones to mimic their famous loudspeakers, MartinLogan has created a pair of lightweight, portable headphones called the Mikros 90 that at only $299, fall directly into the low-priced high-end headphone sector.

Read more...