Knowles, industry leader in BA design and production, teaches us about IEM design & tuning

Andrew Bellavia (Twitter) of Knowles Corporation gave a talk at AES@NAMM 2018 last month on the 27th of January and went into depth about the acoustic science behind in-ear monitors and multiple balanced armature acoustic design.
Continue reading Knowles, industry leader in BA design and production, teaches us about IEM design & tuning

Quick Thoughts: Audio-Technica ATH-LS200

Editor’s Note: This overview of the Audio-Technica ATH-LS200 is based off multiple listening sessions at headphone stores and shows, without sustained personal time with the product. Thus, it should not be regarded as a full review — in fact, our entire ‘Thoughts‘ category of articles is not meant to house comprehensive reviews. Continue reading Quick Thoughts: Audio-Technica ATH-LS200

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 not working behind the scenes. After all, CYMBACAVUM is not purely a review platform; we seek not only to identify folks doing good work within the audio community, but also to push for ever better standards of performance. We may never be the first to “review” something, but we always strive to be the most insightful.
Continue reading LIFE Acoustics & Kickstarter

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

Fidue A83: A different kind of hybrid sound

Editor’s Note: Victor drops a hybrid review. Please note that the Fidue A83 was provided to CYMBACAVUM free of charge as a review sample.

Hybrid IEMs, usually with a mix of dynamic drivers for bass, and balanced armature drivers for the mids and the treble, have been around for some time now. Many of them are recognized for deep rumbling bass, and sparkly treble. I myself have owned the popular T-PEOS H-200, and extensively demoed other hybrids such as T-PEOS H-300, Sony H1, H2, and H3, AKG K3003i, and Ultrasone IQ.

While I found all of them capable (except the Ultrasone IQ), the only hybrid I actually liked was the AKG K3003i, for it was the only IEM that got the mids right. As a vocal/guitar lover, the recessed mids of many hybrid IEMs have always bothered me, as did their usual and rather bothersome mid-upper frequency peaks (which tended to cause some ringing and sibilance). Continue reading Fidue A83: A different kind of hybrid sound

Balanced Armature Drivers: They’re Small!

User hardcorist on the Russian language forum posted this photo of various BA drivers from different models:

From 12 o'clock, going clockwise: (1) TWFK + CI, (2) TWFK + TEC, (3) EH, (4) TWFK
From 12 o’clock, going clockwise: (1) TWFK + CI, (2) TWFK + TEC, (3) EH, (4) 2800, (5) 2300, (6) E50D, (7) 2600, (8) 4100, (9) E25S, (10) TWFK, (11) ED, (12),

Did they really take apart all these earphones?

Those poor earphones…

Rant: Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 vs. ATH-CK90PRO MK2

Editor’s Note: Not so much a rant; more bemusement than anything else.

Audio-Technica‘s new series of enthusiast-oriented IEMs was introduced a few months ago (last November) to great fanfare.

Other than the 50th Anniversary products (that included the ATH-CK100PRO) released a couple of years ago, it’d been a very long time since the Japanese audio stalwart last introduced a entirely new lineup of in-ear products. Continue reading Rant: Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 vs. ATH-CK90PRO MK2