There are a small but enthusiastic subset of users that try to push out every bit of sound performance though expensive headphones and amps. A good example is this recent post showing off one of Martin’s rigs. Headphone amps add warmth and character to your music and they provide enough power to heavier high end headphones. But as you can see the amps detract from overall portability.
The HifiMAN HM-801 aims to solve this issue with the first audiophile player with a modular headphone amp bay sporting a renowned Burr-Brown DAC. Battery life is far off from today’s standards at between 6-8 hours, but this is reasonable for a player with a beefy amp. The unit is still in the planning and production stages but we are in contact with the maker and will have a detailed review upon its release.
I have always been very skeptical of these “snake oil” mortgage-the-house audiophile grade cables. Now I have a set of really nice cables for my Sennhieser HD650 and cannot tell the difference, but from what I have been told recently by some hardcore audiophiles is that you really cannot tell the difference until you get into the thousand dollar range and it becomes more evident from there up. I still rolled my eyes at what I considered pure and utter BS. But now I am a firm believer; I have seen the glistening light of the audiophile community.
A high end audio manufacture Velumnatics contacted me last week to see if I wanted check out their new AudioPhlow patch cable. Hearing that they cost several thousand dollars, I thought I have to check these out and give abi readers the full scoop.
When a former BMW designer founds an audio-system company, you can be sure that its products won’t appear in an aisle at Wal-Mart. Available exclusively at Hammacher Schlemmer, these 200-watt isobaric O’hEocha Audiophile’s Speakers are handcrafted of aluminum and PVC/steel composite and stand 41.75-inches tall. The speakers’ 1-inch tweeter, two 6.5-inch midrange units, and two 11-inch subwoofers work together to produce the “clearest three-dimensional soundstage performance.”
Complementing the 55-pound speakers’ alien-like look is a price tag that is equally out of this world: $8,999.95! But don’t take that hammer to your piggy bank just yet. Incredibly, the speakers are “unexpectedly sold out.” No word on when they’ll be in stock again, so you might as well use the money to, you know, pay for college, put a down payment on a car, or save for your future.
[Product Page via Crave]
Those who want to squeeze every bit of performance out of their MP3 players can now do so with these custom cables from appropriately named company Qables. These cables are unique in that they plug right into the proprietary dock connections of Creative”s Zen line as well as iAudio’s X5, giving you direct line-out to plug into your hi-fi setup.
But as with any quality cable, these come with a heavier price tag. Depending on the player and cable setup, mini jack or RCA, they can run anywhere from $60 to well over $100. If you are a hardcore audiophile, you may want to check them out. White-earbud-wearing kids need not apply.
Are your ears too special for your “low-end” MP3 player? Slim Devices, maker of the Squeezebox, has introduced the Transporter for your home audio set up. This audio delight is packed with a 120dB signal-to-noise ratio AKM AD4390 digital audio converter for some serious unadulterated sound. To put that in perspective, typical consumer grade audio products have a SNR or below 100dB. The Transporter will stream the major codecs like WAV, AIFF, MP3, WMA and FLAC from a computer or NAS over WiFi.
Too many acronyms and techno mumbojumbo? All you need to know? …you can pre order it for $2k and get a free $400 squeeze box while you wait.
[Slim Devices via Engadget]