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…

The Biz: E-Earphone’s CIEM Store in Akihabara, Tokyo

Founded by an Osakan man with a full head of hair and a hope to spread the spirit of porta-fi to the masses, E-Earphone is one of Japan’s premier personal audio store chains, with storefronts in both Tokyo and Osaka metropolises. Its aisles upon aisles of headphones and earphones are famed to the enthusiast community,…

Estron Linum SUPER BaX – Super Thin, Redefined

Editor’s Note: Estron provided the Linum SUPER BaX 2Pin Balanced prototype in this review, originally for internal feedback purposes. Last September, I had the opportunity to test and review the upcoming Estron Linum Balanced BaX in-ear monitor cable (read review here). Since then, I’ve had opportunity to own a few single-ended Linum BaX cables that…

Quick Thoughts: Sony’s Hybrid Evolution, from A to Z

Editor’s Note: This thing was supposed to come out months and months ago; it somehow slipped through the cracks. Better late than never, though. Sony has been making a big push with its hybrid earphone models. Last year, they released the first generation of their hybrid series in the XBA-H1, XBA-H2, and XBA-H3.

Etymotic MK5: Isolator, Reborn.

If you’ve been in this portable audio hobby for any length of time, then you’re aware of Etymotic Research. The Ilinois company, founded by Dr. Mead Killion, is legendary. Its flagship ER4 models (of which there are three variants) are a true mainstay in any portable listener’s collection. It has been tested and verified both…

News: Reid Heath Acoustics Introduces the DualCoil™ T20

Reid Heath Acoustics (RHA) has not been around for all that long, but in the three or so years that it has been, the Glasgow-based audio firm has done a whole lot to up its profile in the competitive and increasingly crowded earphone space. New companies constantly come and go, and while there have been…

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…