StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: headphone

ADL H128

I wonder how long the hunger for headphones will last? Looking at the rapid development of this segment of the audio market from a consumer's perspective we can only enjoy it. Competition is increasing and manufacturers have to to really try if they want to get the attention of a potential customer. We must admit that headphones are a convenient solution for people who want to enjoy music at the highest level, but don't have the conditions for a classic home set. Or they demand mobility, which is very likely due to the parallel development of portable DAP players. Price is yet another factor. Headphones and dedicated amplifier costs a few thousand euros, but it can give better sound performance than a set of speakers and classic amplifier at the same price.

PS Audio Sprout

PS Audio is an American company, specialising mainly in the production of the high-end power components and accessories. Especially its regenerating power stations enjoy good reputation. They convert energy from the wall socket to the DC, and then rebuild it as an ideal sine wave, thus creating a perfect electricity to supply the best audio devices, which are extremely sensitive to power quality, such as analogue and digital sources or preamplifiers. A few years ago a completely new series of components appeared in the catalogue - things like digital-to-analog converters and phono preamplifiers. Here the Americans focused on modern functionality and sound quality, so that this line has grown to five devices and two extra boards. Some time ago we saw an information about the planned launch of an integrated amplifier equipped with a full DAC, phono stage for MM cartridges, headphoneoutput and Bluetooth connectivity - all in an elegant, modern box and at an extremely attractive price.

Denon DA-10

Until recently Denon's catalog centered on devices almost exclusively dedicated to usage in stereo and home cinema systems - amplifiers, players, streamers and micro-systems. The offering was supplemented with accessories and a wide range of headphones, very interesting headphones, we have to say. However the increasing trend pushing many sectors towards mobile devices caused also a change in the catalogue of this Japanese company, causing an avalanche of propositions with different purpose. So last year we saw a few novelties, like the CEOL series of systems, the Envaya speaker looking like a lady's purse, the elegantly sleek soundbar DHT-T110 or the HEOS wireless speakers. But Denon seems not to be stopping there, as they recently presented their first DAC/headphone amplifier. This device is not only small, but also looks splendidly placed on a desktop.

Marantz HD-DAC1

Marantz is a company which managed to successfully penetrate the area of home cinema, receivers and modern streamers while preserving audiophile roots and an aura of exclusivity at the same time. It seems that they've found a recipe how to balance between the world of modern technologies and this what is proved, classic and desired by the lovers of high-quality sound. If you are interested in the gear from previous ages, and if you like internet profiles with vintage audio, you have surely seen loads of Marantz's equipment there - beautiful amplifiers, tuners with backlit scales and oscilloscopes, CD players with massive trays and advanced optics, all in metal, wood and glass. No wonder that in times of omnipresent plastic a retro fashion came back, bringing stereo equipment to where it should be.

Bloc & Roc

Bloc & Roc is a new British audio specialist located on the outskirts of London. With a small team of designers and craftsmen, they are dedicated to producing high performance headphones made for everyday life. The Galvanize range has been two years in the making. The series combines high grade materials with British engineering, and has been designed as a superior alternative to the mass-produced headphones which currently dominate the market. The Galvanize series consists of two distinct designs - S1 and S2. Both have been crafted from 6082 aerospace-grade aluminium. The speaker chambers have all been hand-prepared then finished in either black, red, grey or 24-carat gold. The 24-carat gold plated deluxe editions. Photos by Bloc & Roc.

AudioQuest NightHawk

New headphones by AudioQuest use earcups made from a revolutionary new material known as Liquid Wood - actual wood that has been combined with reclaimed plant fiber, heated, liquefied, and processed in such a way that it can be injection molded. NightHawk is also the first completely original production headphone to use a 3D-printed part - a biomimetic grille that uses a complex diamond-cubic latticework to diffuse sound and defeat resonances. More info is coming soon. Photo by AudioQuest.

Lab12 HPA

In our reviews we often describe the latest products of well-known brands, and so they are eye-catching devices, regardless of their functionality and price range. This time we decided to test something very rare - a tube headphone amplifier made in Greece. Although Lab12 is quite successful and presents its products at international exhibitions, the company is pretty much unknown in the audiophile world. On the web there were just a few coverages, and one review written by Matej Isak from the Mono and Stereo magazine with whom we collaborate. The company is situated in Athens, and beyond the home market its products are distributed in four European countries. They are Hungary, Norway, Switzerland and Poland. In the catalogue we find a power cord and five boxes for different uses - preamplifier, DAC, power amplifier, headphone amplifier and a passive preamp with source selector. All combine classic design and valves - even the DAC output stage is built around the tubes.

SPL Phonitor Mini

The technical and sonic characteristics of the Phonitor 2 were translated into a more compact and less expensive format to create the Phonitor Mini. Small and sturdy housing and affordable price make it the perfect headphone amp for home studios, hi-fi enthusiasts and mobile recording and mixing. New model features the Phonitor Matrix to recreate speaker-like working conditions and the second generation of 120-Volt amplifier technology. Photos by SPL.

Beyerdynamic A2

The new headphone amplifier Germany works with headphones with an impedance range from 60 to 600 ohms. In addition, A2 has the ability to drive two sets of headphones at the same time. On the back we have two RCA inputs and one output, so we can pass the signal through. However, the most impressive thing is the notch on the cover, so you can see what is happening inside. Price - €1490. Photos by Beyerdynamic.

Focal Spirit One, Spirit Classic & Spirit Professional

Focal is one of the most powerful companies in the loudspeaker market, making mainly domestic hi-fi speakers and car audio components. Everything is produced in France under one roof, or rather several to be more precise. The scale of production has forced the company to build a large complex of factories and laboratories and take over the cabinet factory where most expensive enclosures are manufactured. After the launch of Aria and Easya models, Focal decided to expand its line of headphones. The first Spirit One model was very successful, so engineers decided to continue this winning streak and create a whole series of headphones based on the same design. New models had to be targeted at different customer groups. Because the basic construction remained the same, functions and applications of new headphones had to be different.