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It’s been such a long time coming that some people in the head-fi community were beginning to wonder whether California’s Audeze had lost interest in the high-end headphone market. After the launch of the company’s flagship LCD-4 in 2017, which Stereophile’s John Atkinson claimed was the finest sounding headphone he had heard in 45 years, […]

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The A&norma SR25 is the latest addition to Astell&Kern’s entry-level, portable, hi-res DAPs aimed at a those seeking an affordable improvement in sound quality over their smartphones without sacrificing user experience and connectivity. The AK70 and SR15 models the Korean company released in 2016 and 2019 demonstrated that even its most affordable offerings have a […]

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New York-based Woo Audio was founded in 2004 and specialises in tube powered headphone and loudspeaker amplifiers. Taking three years to develop the WA8 Eclipse reflects the company’s desire to bring the undiluted performance of their big amps to a smaller product for audiophiles who want an authentic tube headphone listening experience without being confined […]


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Spending time with MrSpeakers’ debut open-back headphone in 2015 convinced me that high-end earspeakers could rival the listening experience that had previously been the preserve of full-range loudspeakers in a well-appointed room. The extended frequency response, speed, detail retrieval, expansive soundstage and on-head comfort of the original Ether made it the most immersive headphone I’d encountered at […]

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It’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since the release of Audioquest’s ingenious Dragonfly, the memory stick-sized USB DAC/preamp/headphone amp that provides a simple, effective and affordable solution to the problem of mediocre sound quality from computers. The original Dragonfly was supplanted in 2016 by two new models; the even more affordable […]

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“The legend continues…”, said Sennheiser, upon the release of their HD660S dynamic open-back circumaural headphone, the successor to the venerable HD650 that has brought aural bliss to music lovers around the world for the past 15 years.  As a long-time admirer of the HD600 series, I was both eager and anxious to discover whether the bold […]


Audio Technica ATH-ADX5000

Last autumn saw the unveiling of an all-new flagship circumaural open-back from Audio Technica in their esteemed Air Dynamic (AD) series of headphones.  Combining Japanese craftsmanship and state-of-the art audio engineering, the ATH-ADX5000 is claimed not only to be the finest audiophile headphone AT has ever produced but to also more widely represent “a new reference […]

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When it launched “the world’s best headphone” last summer Focal really put the wind up the headphone community. This sweeping, ‘endgame’ statement had consumers and critics alike clamouring to hear what the fuss was about, and is likely the reason I had to hold out for so long to receive a pair to review!  With […]

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The original HD800 sent shockwaves through the burgeoning ranks of headphone enthusiasts when it was launched in 2009 as Sennheiser’s flagship dynamic model. Offering unprecedented sonic clarity and dimensionality at a genuinely accessible price, the HD800 soon achieved cult status and re-affirmed the German specialist as the king of dynamic headphones. This year saw the […]


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In 1987 Arcam paved the way for the consumer DAC industry with the release of their Black Box, the very first outboard D/A converter to target this market. Somewhat ahead of their time, another 23 years would pass before Arcam returned to what is now a fiercely competitive sector, and a concerted effort has clearly […]

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AudioQuest might be best known as a cable manufacturer but it has been making considerable headway in the computer audio and headphone markets. Following the success of its Dragonfly USB DAC/headphone amp, the company officially launched its first ever headphone. Enlisting the services of Skylar Gray (ex-Westone) to design from scratch with purpose-built components never […]

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2014 was a busy year of exciting new product releases and refreshes for Schiit Audio, and 2015 has seen no let up. Following the anticipated unveilings of Yggdrasil and Ragnarok, the company’s long-promised ‘cost no object’ statement DAC and amplifier, Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat have been swift and sure-footed in bringing their recently dethroned […]