Quick Thoughts: FIIL Carat

You’ve probably have read the review of the Diva Pro by Mr. T here on CYMBACAVUM. At their price point, the Diva Pros were impressive, so we were excited to hear about FIIL‘s Bluetooth in-ear line up. We contacted FIIL regarding their Carat and Carat Pro, and received a pair of Carat for review. (At the time,…

Op-Ed: Embrace the Jack-less revolution!

With the next generation Apple iPhone 7 set to be announced imminently, many people have bemoaned Apple’s decision (not 100% confirmed, but essentially a foregone conclusion, based on the substantial and numerous rumors) to remove the 3.5 mm analog jack from the phone. Not only have highly influential e-zines such as The Verge have come…

The Biz: More Companies Join In On The Manufacture of Balanced Armatures

With so many companies making earphones and headsets, it’s no wonder demand for balanced armatures is on the rise. They’re not just for premium earphones anymore, as BA and hybrid earphones can now be found for under $30, and reach prices upwards of $2500. As mentioned in a previous article of ours, ‘The Biz: What…

Critical Analysis: 1964|ADEL — Science or Science Fiction?

Editor’s Note: At CYMBACAVUM, we’re constantly trying to bridge science with the wonderful audio experiences we have. @miceblue takes on an scientist’s curiosity to examine Asius Technologies and 1964Ears’ ADEL — how it functions, the scientific principles behind it, and what it might or might not be. This article was intended to be published on…

NocturnaL Audio – Hydra V2 Custom Cable

Editor’s Note: The cable used in this review was purchased at a discounted rate. NocturnaL Audio (https://nocaudio.com) is a custom cable maker based in Singapore. They have been producing cables regionally for the portable audio market since 2013. I’d heard of them off and on over the past couple of years as members of Head-Fi…

Surfing With The Alien: The Unique Melody Martian

Unique Melody just recently announced the newest edition to its lineup, the Martian- a dual dynamic hybrid, and our friends at MusicTeck have graciously loaned us a sample for this review. Rather than rehashing all the details on the accessories and packaging that come with UM universals, you can check out our previous review of the…

Quick Thoughts: Ion by Soranik

Editor’s Note: Our thoughts are based on pre-production, prototype units of the Soranik Ion and may not necessarily be fully indicative of the state of the final production models. Pictures were generously provided by Soranik. In the grand scheme of things, the financial requirements for becoming a custom IEM manufacturer are not all that stringent….

Standing Tall – The Pinnacle P1

Note: Mee Audio graciously provided the Pinnacle P1 free for review MEE Audio has been without a flagship for a couple of years, since the discontinuation of the very well received A161p. The A161p was single armature design with a balanced signature leaning to the slightly warm side. The A161p, along with the venerable Audio…

Unique Melody: From Miracle to Maestro

Note: MusicTeck graciously provided the Miracle and Maestro samples for review.  Based in New Jersey, MusicTeck is an official distributor for some of the best-known manufacturers of high-end in-ear monitors, such as Unique Melody, Vision Ears, AAW, InEar and Earsonics to name a few. When they contacted CYMBACAVUM to see if we would be interested in reviewing two of Unique…

For Those About to Rock, Ortofon e-Q8 and Grado GR10e, We Salute You

Editor’s Note: Both the Ortofon e-Q8 and Grado GR10e were personal purchases by shotgunshane. There’s nothing quite like a loud, stadium filling, uproarious rock anthem. Growing up in the 70’s and coming of age in the 80’s, I regarded rock as a staple, if not a way of life: AC/DC, Van Halen, Kiss, Journey, Bad…

The Empire Strikes Back: Empire Ears Line-up Overview

Editor’s Note: shotgunshane was able to get a 10-day loan of the Empire Ears’ universal lineup; read the introduction, or jump straight to sound impressions… By now most of you have probably heard of EarWerkz , perhaps from one of our reports on the company (read more) and their previous flagship Legend CIEM (read more);…

LIFE Acoustics & Kickstarter

Editor’s Note: We tend to publish in bursts. That’s just the way it works when none of us on the writing roster does this for a living — we write when we can, and all of us do it essentially on a volunteer basis. Not having much activity in between these bursts doesn’t mean we’re…