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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Headphones have taken over the audio world for all but the cognoscenti (that’s us, we know about sound). And the well established hi-fi brands have all been scrambling to get on the band wagon too, even brands that have previously not been involved with domestic audio are getting in on the act; I even saw some Marshall branded headphones in a Paul Smith store theother day! Focal got its first headphone to market a couple of years ago, that was the Spirit, late last year it added two more models, the Spirit Pro and Spirit Classic. The latter is an audiophile version of the Classic with higher build and, its claimed, sound quality than the standard Spirit. The two models are very similar in appearance, but when you put them side by side the Classic looks positively deluxe with its leather padding and brushed aluminium metalwork.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
The latest and most expensive Bowers & Wilkins headphones are also the most desirable. The smell of the leather as you open the box, the contrast of chrome and black, it all says luxury. You also get a lot in the box. There are two alternate cables, one for use with Apple portables with inline volume and play/pause control, and another straight wire (without gain) for more discerning listeners.
Ed Selley  |  Mar 13, 2012  |  0 comments
Heading west Straight from Brooklyn, New York, comes the brand new Grado PS500 headphone. Richard Black lives the American dream… By most standards, £700 is a lot of money to spend on a pair of headphones, yet the PS500 isn’t actually Grado’s top model – the PS1000 will make a £1,600-shaped hole in your wallet, whereas the GS1000 is a mere bagatelle at just £1,000. And it’s not like Grado has a monopoly on the high-end headphone market, as there are numerous rivals from the likes of Sennheiser, Stax and so on… Still, compared to the world’s finest loudspeakers, some of which cost in excess of £50,000, this is still small change. Given that the very best headphones can, in some respects at least, equal the sonics of cost-no- object speakers, £700 spent on this Grado begins to look like better value.
Ed Selley  |  Oct 22, 2011  |  0 comments
Flexible friend Richard Black finds the new Audio-Technica ATH-ES10 small enough for music on the move and big enough for sound adventures at home Portable is a vague term applied to headphones. Clearly even the chunkiest models are portable if you’ve got a big enough bag handy, while many would baulk at carrying anything bigger than an in-ear model. The ATH-ES10 isn’t quite pocket-sized, but it’s small enough to fit in a small briefcase or handbag; with the earpieces rotated it’s about 25mm-thick. We’ve spotted plenty of cool dudes wearing similar-size models on the street, and for the audiophile (or indeed audio professional) on the move, maybe expecting to spend quite a lot of time in trains, planes and hotels, it looks a practical proposition.
Ed Selley  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  0 comments
Unique proposition In-ear newcomer Unique Melody is breaking the (custom) mould with its six-driver tailor-made earphone. Dan George fills his ears ew to the UK, Unique Melody is an earphone specialist with an impressive range of feature-heavy products. The flagship model tested here, the Miracle, is unusual in boasting six drive units: twin treble; twin mid and twin bass drivers, with a passive three-way crossover all packed into a compact shell barely any bigger than rivals from Shure and ACS. From a respectable line-up, the UK distributor AmpCity, suggested we dive straight in with the top model, aimed at audiophiles on the move.
Ed Selley  |  Apr 24, 2011  |  0 comments
A Shure thing Shure's flagship SE535 is the closest you can get to a good hi-fi system on the go. Dan George marvels at the triple drivers making it happen Ipod sales, now into the hundreds of millions, have driven enormous growth in the headphone and specifically, earphone market, to the benefit of music lovers everywhere. With growth comes investment and with that comes developments in technology, leading to flagship models such as the SE535. These sound-isolating earphones are all about the triple drivers they contain.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Total Klipsch With a sleek line of in-ear earphones, US giant Klipsch is finding favour with discerning mobile music fans. Dan George plugs in We first discovered good things from Klipsch’s svelte bullet-shaped in-ears following a round-up for our sister mag T3, back in 2010. The company swiftly suggested we try the new X10i, clearly confident that it was a good match for demanding ears. But that’s not all.