There’s no question that, over the past three years, ESSTech has completely dominated the premium portable digital audio segment. The fab-less circuit design firm kicked things off in 2014 with the introduction of the now-ubiquitous ES9018-2M, a mobile-minded DAC chip designed as a two-channel die shrink of the venerated 8-channel ES9018S (itself the evolved production […]Read More The Biz: Asahi-Kasei and ESSTech go to war over mobile superiority
Editor’s Note: iFi Audio provided the iEMatch free of charge for the review What is the iEMatch and why would you need one? iFi Audio markets the iEMatch as a tool to eliminate hiss, restore dynamic range and give you more volume headroom — sounds pretty simple but in the world of in-ear monitors, and in […]Read More iFi Audio iEMatch
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 […]Read More Op-Ed: Embrace the Jack-less revolution!
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 […]Read More The Biz: Where is Portable Audio Going? An Overview of the New Age DAP Market
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 […]Read More In Pictures: TEAC HA-P90SD
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 […]Read More The Biz: Show Report – TAA International Hi-End Hi-Fi Show
** UPDATED 2014/08/22 ** (scroll to bottom) If I had to boil my thoughts down to two words to describe the Cowon Plenue P1, it’d be: artificial analog. Sounds like it’s a bad thing, huh? Well, I don’t know. I really don’t, I swear.Read More Rapid Reaction: Cowon Plenue P1