Thursday, January 18, 2018

The focal elar review

Special thank you to Starpickers for loaning the Elear for me for a couple days of use, despite having a sales boost campaign coming up and needing the Elear showcase.

Sponsored link below, do give them the support as they are enthusiasts with a small scale shop working their way up

http://www.lelong.com.my/merchant/StarsPicker.htm

With that out of the way, here is a brief though of me and the Elear. Do note that I only had a couple days with them, so the things here stated are *non conclusive*.


Setup: Aune S6 Optical - XLR based Elear
Song tracks: Stranger Tide OST by Hans Zimmer

An Overall outlook

Well, since this has an urgency of time, I didnt have exactly all the time i needed to test it out with every genre, and hence picked the most orchestral mix and vocal powered tracks from Stranger Tide.

My first impressions are that the soundstage is quite wide, giving a fully immersive experience to the music. Like for the mermaids song, there is really a creepy sensation to it, and when the suspense comes, I can imagine the movie scene in my head, where mermaids were rampaging all over the pirates with anger. The suspense made my heart go pounding mad.

On the near end of that track, I was anticipating Blackbeard's ship appearance, and by the all mighty queue of the music through Elear, I was like, HIS HERE!! You can feel the authority in bass that makes the impression of an almighty ship coming to wreck havoc. Oh yeah, blast them sonofabitches, my mind went thinking of the scene again..

So, with Hans Zimmer's magic trick, I can say that Elear can really show how capable are good tracks carving scenes in your mind. Elear has the bass depth and small sparkly tingling treble spikes that makes the music feel "entertaining and immersive".

Caveats

There are still some issues need to be addressed, though the audio department is really nice. First of all, like them users rant, the cables are unusually freakingly LOOOOOOOOOOONG. I could forsee a lot of people having to dime out and get another shorter cable just for the sake of having a shorter one. 

Second of all is the squeaking sound of the headbands, Yes, the headband squeaks if twisted slightly both ways. Dont know how people fix that, but there are remedies to it.

Now the weight of the headphone is quite subjective. It is not as heavy as the LCDs, BUT they are also not as light as the HD650 i own. So where does the weight be at? I think it's all good for home desk use without fatigue, but it is not quite the street friendly type.


Conclusiion

SO with a good audio quality but a *meh* design quirks, is the headphone purchase worthy? If you can live with the problems, then by all means go for it, it's quite worth the price. For me and my wallet, I would, if there is a used pair with warranty still, even better.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

VE Zen review

It doesnt take much explanation on Venture Electronics, they have made a dent in the earbud market and is good at it. Their owner Lee is very active on FB as a social leet and also showing that he is the mastermind behind all things VE.

And here I will make a short comment on the VE Zen that I have, which runs in the following setup:

PC - Optical - Aune S6 - balanced VE Zen 2.0

Soundtrack reference: Nightwish - Endless forms most beautiful

Band shortie:

Nightwish is a Finland band which fuses female vocals with great metal element and a grand piano orchestral. Great album mix and with Floor Jansen leading the magnificent vocals. Some tracks even show traditional Finnish instruments, which becomes sort of an exploration.


On the Zen balanced, this is what i find:

Treble

Treble is crispy and short, doesnt clip even on high volumes, well controlled and versed. In a high mix of treble hit ups and downs, the details like the background high hats still can be heard clearly. Magnificent.

Vocals

Vocals is a bit of mix bag, on the female vocals, it does really good, but on the male vocals, it seems slightly on the dull side. The lack of bass touch makes the male vocal seems "less masculine". Guitar strikes do real good, with each plucks are on point.

Bass

Well Zen does not have the depth of bass and volume, as expected. Earbuds can only do so much, and too much bass will vibrate the earbud shell i guess.

Soundstage

It does feel a bit weird, but this thing beasts through the soundstage echoes like a boss!! This is the point where I'm totally taken off guard. You gotta try some orchestral to really experience it, I just cant.. cant.. cant describe it.

Conclusion

Want a hassle free, easy to carry, durable AF, and instant take on/off ear piece, well, put this in your list, i can double down that you will not regret it.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cayin N3

This N3 is from part of the tour review of Cayin, but I do reserve the right to be unbiased in this review.

Introduction

In the hands, the Cayin N3 is very light, much lighter than I was anticipating. The DAP grip was good thanks to the thickness of the unit though. There is only 1 slot of micro SD, which I find as a defeat compared to Fiio which has dual SD in almost all their DAP lines.

Hands on

The navigation of the N3 is very simplistic and straight forward, you will easily get through everything and head to where you want by just a couple clicks. Menu and functions are pretty self explanatory

Listening session
IEM pairing: Noble Sage with Snugs tips, EA Ares 2+
Music: Variety

In an overall sense, I will illustrate my impressions in 3 sections, bass mid and highs

Bass
Bass wise the N3 couldnt power the bass power of some music i used, like from Beyonce which pounds a lot of low tones in songs like Diva. I only hear pops and shallow bass, but I cant blame the DAP which is of this size.

Mids
Mids are nice and smooth, mixture of vocals and guitar strings are well separated. You can easily feel the separation of tones in the music.

Highs
Highs are crispy but it doesnt overdo it, tingling sens of cymbals and high hats are heard but they do not go crashing on your face. Control is good on the N3.

Soundstage
Tested some orchestral tracks and I find the soundstage somewhat lacking which makes me feel this N3 is more suitable for studio albums. 

Conclusion
Well, I didnt go into Bluetooth cause I dont have any AptX device to try with so I omit that part out, but as a low cost no bullshittery DAP, this might be worth considering, bang for the buck where it counts. Lightweight, adequately powered, straightforward UI, good enough in my books.

Review looks simple, i know, but hey, Im not here to write a novel, and people will ALWAYS say you must go to try it to see if it fits you, so why do i need to write a 10 page declaration heh?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Blog reactivate

since headfi.org is now a mess and I couldn't link to my cumulative reviews, I'll have to use back my site here, and i will slowly scan through the reviews i had made and link em here, and on the following day, until headfi has what i want, I'll be writing up here again

so first to go, RHA CL1 linked
https://www.head-fi.org/f/showcase/rha-cl1-ceramic.21739/reviews#review-17761

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Questyle Q192

This here is a rare piece of hardware, the Q192, discontinued product, and you hardly can find any info on this dac amp

http://www.head-fi.org/products/questyle-q192-dac-with-headphone-amplifier-silver/reviews/17463