Audio-Technica explain the vinyl cartridge

Audio-Technica explain the vinyl replay cartridge Senior Technical Product Specialist at Audio-Technica, Darcy Archer, answers questions on the role of the cartridge in a record player. For those new to vinyl playback, could you explain what a turntable cartridge is and its role in the overall sound quality?  The cartridge is where our vinyl experience […]

Jplay streaming control app

Jplay streaming control app Jplay is a streaming control app that works broadly along the same lines as Roon but does not require a core to be running on a separate processor, what’s more it aims to provide high sound quality as well as a rich user experience. Roon has proved that streaming enthusiasts are […]

Metrum Acoustics explain I2S

Metrum Acoustics explain I2S Now let’s take a trip down memory lane, back to the day when 14 bits were read off a silver disc and converted to 8 bits (EFM or Eight to Fourteen Modulation). Two times 8 bits made up for one 16-bit sample, for one audio channel. This was done to correct […]

Bluetooth for audiophiles

Bluetooth technology At its basic core, Bluetooth employs UHF radio waves in the ISM bands to connect between source and receivers. When first designed and brought to market in the ‘90s, it was primarily for transmission over very short distances of up to 10m. The technology is shared by nearly 40,000 partners and governed by a central body that […]

Lenbrook buys MQA

The curious plight of MQA As many readers will have seen in the hi-fi press and group forums, MQA was placed into administration on the 6th of April. Rather than rehash the press release of this news, The Ear thought that now might be a good time to look at what the company set out […]

PRaT and sound system evaluation

PRaT and the four pillars for system evaluation PRaT. Please excuse me. For those readers unfamiliar with this odd term PRaT is an acronym, shorthand for pace, rhythm and timing, and it makes an interesting case study for those of us who fancy ourselves as amateur psychologists, and who also have more than a passing […]

the volume factor

The volume factor Over time I’ve often wondered what it is about listening to music that sets people alight. Looking at the variables that we can actually control with an audio systems settings seem to be a good place to start. Having been to literally hundreds of hi-fi shows over the years, and heard all […]


The Henry Wood Hall in Borough, south London is a large but not otherwise particularly distinctive grey Victorian church, it was undoubtedly grand in its day but has absorbed a lot of soot since then. When you walk through three sets of doors into the main hall this notion is completely reversed, the scale and […]

black cabs

Bowers & Wilkins’ Worthing factory produces 6,500 pairs of 800 series loudspeakers every year, a figure that likely exceeds any other range of high end loudspeakers. So once they have production up and running they don’t rush into changing the model range until significant improvements have been made across the board. But this year after […]


DC blockers are not a new thing but two new examples have been launched in the last month or so from mainstream brands, what gives? DC on the mains or DC offset causes transformers to vibrate and buzz, and when those transformers are large enough this buzzing becomes audible. I have had a few power […]


In my younger days I would do it once or twice a week, then when I moved out of town it went down to once a month, and come lockdown listening to music with friends became a virtual affair (what else did you think I was talking about?). The virtual sesh has proved to be […]


Max Townshend is an engineer first and foremost, he doesn’t pay much heed to the marketing and styling which is part and parcel of selling audio equipment today. His components are very much in the form follows function camp and nowhere is this more obvious than in the Isolda speaker cables. These are made up […]