While the current Digital Audio Player (DAP) market has a number of well-established players already out there, not to mention all the smartphones that do double duty as media players in the world, HiFIMAN looks to differentiate the HM901s with a focus on audio quality and a few novel technology twists.
Touting a number of advancements in both magnet and driver design; the HE1000s are the best sounding headphones that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. They are the closest I have ever experienced to that "alive" feeling of music reproduction that I look for in speakers, from a headphone product.
The RBH EP-SB is a well-designed wireless earbud featuring both excellent fit and top notch sound quality. The battery life is solid and more than enough for a day of casual listening or long workouts. The internal amp provides plenty of volume, helped in part to the excellent seal provided by the included Comply foam tips.
When Ultimate Ears Custom contacted me about a meeting at the 2014 New York Audio Show, I said: "Absolutely"! I had a terrific experience reviewing the entry level Ultimate Ears 4 Pro Custom In Ear Monitors CEM and was eager to hear what was new in the world of custom audio...
Sony continues to release lots of new products bearing the "HI-Res Audio" logo. This review focuses on three of these products - the Sony MDR-Z7 Headphones, the Sony PHA-3 battery powered DAC/headphone amp and the Kimber Kable MUC-B20BL1 balanced headphone cable.
The HiFiMAN HE-400i is an updated version of their entry model HE-400 featuring the new design changes introduced in the terrific HE-560 planar magnetic headphones. Believe it or not, at $499 the HE-400i is an absolute steal in the headphone world. Planar magnetic designs are often tricky, with drivers that require strong housings for the magnets which add extra weight along with needing plenty of wattage to drive. HiFiMAN has successfully solved both of these drawbacks with the HE-400i. They are easy to drive, light, and incredibly comfortable and that's just the icing on the cake. These bring phenomenal tonal quality, clarity, and depth to the music they deliver.
The newest planar magnetic headphones from HiFiMAN ushers in a new generation of design. A brand new single-sided driver allows for better imaging and sounds along with significant weight savings. Considerable thought has gone into the ergonomics of the new headphone and that has lead HiFiMAN to create the most comfortable over the ear headphone that I have had the pleasure to wear. Oh and they sound simply brilliant. A great buy in today's bustling headphone market.
The Nue Voe in-ear headphones (earbuds) are long-time speaker manufacturer Polk Audio's new entry into the hot headphone market and represent the top model of the Heritage series of in-ear headphones (earbuds).
OPPO, known for their very high quality universal players, including the latest OPPO BDP 105 Blu-ray player, has now ventured into another arena: headphones. Their first model, just released, is the OPPO PM-1, which is an over-the-ear design, using planar magnetic drivers. At a time when everyone seems to be offering headphones and/or earbuds as part of their product portfolio, only a handful really stand out as top notch performers. The PM-1 is destined to join that group. NOTE: INFO ON THE NEW OPPO PM-2 HEADPHONES IS POSTED AT THE END OF THIS REVIEW - APRIL 29, 2014.