The Biz: Where is Portable Audio Going? An Overview of the New Age DAP Market

Editor’s Note: Victor leads us on a trip into the realm of DAPs, with additional insight and commentary by Mr. T. Special thanks to longtime reader and good friend Moe, who helped us fact check and gave us numerous additional resources.

If we look back at the annals of [recent] history, we’ll notice that the most primitive portable audio player was probably the battery-powered cassette player. If you are young like me, then you probably didn’t have much experience with it. Yet, the cassette tape was what put the Sony Walkman on the map. Guys like Nathan at ohm-image probably had one attached to their hips while walking to school.

Continue reading The Biz: Where is Portable Audio Going? An Overview of the New Age DAP Market

In Pictures: TEAC HA-P90SD

We didn’t get to listen to it at all, as the operating system froze and crashed repeatedly; turning the power knob to the ‘OFF’ setting couldn’t even turn it off — we had to wait until the battery drained. A very bad sign indeed.

The build quality feels similar to that of the lower cost HA-P50B, with slightly larger dimensions. It would be considered very good for a $299 budget device (as is the HA-P50B), but is starting to show its lumps as a $700 premium DAP device. Worrisome all over.

Better step up your game, TEAC.

Continue reading In Pictures: TEAC HA-P90SD

The Biz: Show Report – TAA International Hi-End Hi-Fi Show

The TAA International Hi-End Hi-Fi Show is a large annual audiophile exhibit organized by the Taiwan Audio Association.

Held this past weekend at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, the show is hi-fi heavy in the traditional sense, so it’s mostly about the KEFs, the Focals, and the Magicos of the world. However, for the past few years headphones and portables have slowly made their way into the show and now have a lasting presence. Continue reading The Biz: Show Report – TAA International Hi-End Hi-Fi Show

Beyerdynamic A200p: Portable Digital Amplifier

Editor’s Note: The Beyerdynamic A200p is a product adapted from and very similar to the Astell&Kern AK10. The two share very similar functionality and outward appearance.

Disclaimer: I’d like to thank Beyerdynamic for loaning me the A200p for review.  The sample will be returned to Beyerdynamic following evaluation.

A200p iphone cable_mini

The Beyerdynamic A200p is a very small DAC/Amp combo for portable use with computers, iPads, iPhones, and Android phones (list of confirmed compatible devices). Continue reading Beyerdynamic A200p: Portable Digital Amplifier

DSD & Resonessence Labs’ Herus

Editor’s Note: When Mr. T reviewed the Resonessence Labs Concero HP last year (review here), he was thoroughly impressed by its robust build and superlative sound quality, along with Resonessence’s impressive technical service attributes. However, the Concero HP, being the size of a removable optical drive, was merely a transportable device, rather than a truly portable one. AnakChan gives us a pithy overview of the Herus, the Canadian firm’s smallest device yet. Continue reading DSD & Resonessence Labs’ Herus

Resonessence Labs Concero HP: USB-Powered Tour-De-Force

Editor’s Note: CYMBACAVUM was lucky enough to get a hold of the Resonessence Labs Concero HP; now Mr. T won’t relinquish it. You’ll have to pry it away from his cold, dead hands.

There are audio companies and then there are audio companies. Resonessence Labs is the latter.

You may have heard of Resonessence Labs — they engineer DACs. And when I say, engineer, they do exactly that. They’re a close-knit team of top-flight software coders and electrical engineers who have tooled themselves for a singular purpose — mind-blowing audio performance. Continue reading Resonessence Labs Concero HP: USB-Powered Tour-De-Force

EleKit TU-HP01 Hybrid Tube Amplifier

A Cost Effective Introduction to Portable Tubes

A few months back, CYMBACAVUM made a mention about the EK Japan TU-HP01 portable hybrid tube amp that made its debut at the 2013 Fujiya Spring Headphone Festival.

EK Japan, also known as EleKit Japan, is an established electronics maker specializing in miscellaneous DIY kits for electronics and various completed products, as well.

The TU-HP01 is their latest offering to the popular, yet niche portable tube amp market. Continue reading EleKit TU-HP01 Hybrid Tube Amplifier