Quick Thoughts: Cosmic Ears CE6P — Smooth Seduction

Quick Thoughts: Cosmic Ears CE6P — Smooth Seduction

It’s the Barry White of custom monitors.

Cosmic Ears is a Swedish custom in-ear manufacturer that burst onto the scene in 2012, offering resells and budget-minded models. Since then, Cosmic Ears has expanded the line with higher end offerings, matured tuning, and artistic faceplate options (steampunk, watch movement, paua shell, etc.), and a new workshop in the UK, while still maintaining excellent value for the dollar. Continue reading “Quick Thoughts: Cosmic Ears CE6P — Smooth Seduction”

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Rapid Reaction: Astell&Kern x JH Audio Layla

Rapid Reaction: Astell&Kern x JH Audio Layla

Layla is the latest and greatest entry into what Jerry Harvey has dubbed his ‘Siren Series’ of in-ear monitor offerings, named after women featured in famous rock songs. As the flagship of the series, JH Audio markets her as a mastering reference tool. Bass-adjustable, Layla comes equipped with a cable integrated with an adjustable bass potentiometer capable of adding an additional thirteen decibels of bass at 60 Hz. Layla also boasts 4th order crossovers (an industry first as claimed by JH Audio), patented FreqPhase tuning, stainless steel waveguides, and three sets of proprietary quad-stacked balanced armatures (for a total of twelve). After a successful previous venture, JH Audio now co-ops the universal model with Astell&Kern. To top off the mystique, Layla weighs in at a hefty $2,500. Welcome to insanity! Continue reading “Rapid Reaction: Astell&Kern x JH Audio Layla”

LH Labs Verb: Indefensibly Bad

LH Labs Verb: Indefensibly Bad

LH Labs, a subsidiary of ultra high-end audio company Light Harmonic (maker of the $20,000 Da Vinci DAC), has wafted massive ripples across the personal audio industry over the last couple of years. With their seminal Kickstarter campaign for the pocket-sized DAC/amp the Geek Out, they popularized crowdfunding as a viable option for audiophile products, spurring a bunch of follow-up campaigns in the Geek Pulse and Geek Wave, as well as campaigns by other companies. Continue reading “LH Labs Verb: Indefensibly Bad”

Quick Thoughts: Custom Art Music Two, Revisited

Quick Thoughts: Custom Art Music Two, Revisited

Editor’s Note: When shotgunshane reviewed the Music Two last March (read the review), he thought it was incredible value for money. A bit later, Mr. T also took the plunge, this time with removable cables. Mr. T considers Custom Art’s Piotr Granicki a personal friend and thus may be partial to the Polish company’s products, but promises utmost confidence in the firm’s technical capabilities, attention to build, and customer service. Continue reading “Quick Thoughts: Custom Art Music Two, Revisited”

In Pictures: TEAC HA-P90SD

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”