News Posts matching #Audiophile

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An "Audiophile Grade" SSD—Yes, You Heard That Right

A company dealing with niche audiophile-grade electronics on Audiophile Style, a popular site and marketplace for the community, conjured up an SSD that it feels offers the best possible audio. Put simply, this is an M.2-2280 NVMe SSD with a fully-independent power delivery mechanism (one that's isolated from the motherboard's power delivery), and an over-the-top discrete clock-source for its controller. The drive has its own 5 V 2-pin DC input and switching hardware onboard, including [get this] a pair of Audionote Kaisei audio-grade electrolytic capacitors in place of what should have been simple solid-state SMD capacitors that are hard to even notice on any other drive. It doesn't end there.

Most NVMe SSDs have a tiny 2 mm x 2 mm SMD oscillator that's used by the controller for clock-generation. This drive features a Crystek CCHD-957 high-grade Femto oscillator. These oscillators are found in some very high-grade production or scientific equipment, such as data-loggers. For the drive itself, you get a Realtek DRAM-less controller, and a single 1 TB TLC NAND flash chip that's forced to operate in SLC mode (333 GB). On a scale of absurdity, this drive is right up there with $10,000 HDMI cables. Digital audio is stored in ones and zeroes, and nothing is accomplished through an isolated power delivery or clock generation on the storage media. It's nice of the designers to include jumpers that let you switch between the discrete power source and motherboard power; so listeners can see the snake-oil for themselves.

Hyland Headphones Adds Two New Models To Their Range Of Bespoke, Handmade High-End Headphones

Hyland Headphones, a boutique manufacturer of headphones based in Watford, on the outskirts of London, UK, has introduced their newest headphones: the Eclipse—the first closed-back model in the firm's line-up—and the Venus, the latest step up in the open-back range. The new headphones are the latest products of Hyland Headphones' research and development and feature the firm's widely applauded approach to building their products with care, and in small quantities, from beautiful, ethically sourced hardwoods.

The closed-back Eclipse (priced at £850) uses a complex cup design machined from separate pieces of wood in a two-step, two-day process, to give a sound quality that is the equal of their open-backed designs, but with the advantage of the passive noise cancelling that makes a closed-back design so appealing. The cup features an inner and outer chamber, with sound-absorbent damping in the outer chamber to ensure no stray reflections colour or distort the sound that reaches the listener's ear. The multi-wood design of the Eclipse also allows for additional customisation options: "...how about a creamy white Maple cup with a deep red Padauk top? Or a dark, gold flecked Panga Panga cup combined with the beautiful figuring of rippled Ash?"

Etymotic Releases EVO, Their First Multi-driver Earphone Made for Audiophiles

Etymotic has announced the release of EVO, a culmination of 30 years of earphone engineering research and innovation. The Etymotic engineers have worked diligently to make these the highest-quality and truest sounding earphones on the market. The EVO was created to match the audiophile's lifestyle. By using a two-way design, it produces a tight, low-end sub bass while providing a true and transparent sound across the entire frequency spectrum. Beautifully integrating three balanced armature drivers into a molded stainless-steel shell, the Evo truly is beautiful in both sight and sound.

Accuracy-driven engineering and comfort-based design deliver an innovative new product for the Etymotic line. The Etymotic EVO is the most accurate multi-driver earphone on the market. Commenting on the new release, Tal Kocen, Director of Consumer Product Development at Lucid Audio said: "We waited so long to put out a multi-driver earphone because we wanted to make sure that it was the best it could be and held to our exacting standards for earphone design and sonic qualities. The EVO is truly where precision meets audio and you'll immediately hear it the first time you listen".

SoundID Unlocks Next-Generation Personalized Audio Technology on Drop + THX Panda Audiophile Wireless Headphones

Sonarworks—the company behind precision audio software used by Grammy Award-winning engineers and recording artists like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rihanna, Adele, Coldplay, and Kanye West—announces its partnership with Drop: the data-driven product design company built by and for enthusiasts. Together, Sonarworks is integrating its SoundID personalized audio technology into the Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphones, the company's groundbreaking audiophile headphones offering audio at its purest, free of distortion and wires. They are also the first to feature SoundID's Advanced Parametric EQ feature, allowing listeners to create their own custom preset—giving them ultimate control over the sound they really want.

SoundID represents a paradigm shift in audio quality, moving away from the traditional one-size-fits-all approach, to personalizing sound for individuals. SoundID unlocks the full potential of your Panda Headphones so you can rediscover your favorite songs with unprecedented audio clarity. Your individual sound profile is as unique as your fingerprint—but even more advanced, thanks to smart algorithms and machine learning that evolve with you over time. The free profile can be set up in minutes with a simple app test to identify your SoundID, based on your unique hearing ability and listening preferences, and is automatically saved directly on your Panda headphones. With SoundID's Advanced Parametric EQ built-in, there are infinite ways to create your own custom preset or reset your frequency response curve to its flat state. Intuitive adjustments are tailored for even the most demanding audiophiles for an unmatched level of personalization, detail, and clarity.

Cougar Intros VM410 Gaming Headset with 53mm Drivers and Audiophile-grade Cables

Cougar today introduced the VM410, its flagship stereo gaming headset. The VM410 comes with a few segment-first features, including quite a few bits borrowed from audiophile-grade headphones. To begin with, its cans are suspended on a 3-axle metal joint that allows for horizontal and vertical adjustments. A silicone headband can be adjusted at the cans, while metal over-bands hold the two cans together structurally. The detachable microphone stock holds a large 9.7 mm unidirectional mic condenser.

As for the cans of the VM410, they pack meaty 53 mm neodymium drivers with graphene diaphragms, papylon mesh, and a cavernous back chamber. You get two sets of user-replaceable earcups, one with soft-touch leather, and the other with breathable polyester fabric. It doesn't end there. Cougar used audiophile-grade cabling to go with the headset, with each of the two cans having a triple-insulated copper cable running up to the plug. The headphones component offers sensitivity of up to 116 dB at 1 kHz, 32 Ω impedance, and 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response. The mic is -113 dB sensitive at 1 kHz, with the same 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response as the headphones, and <2 kΩ impedance. The company didn't reveal pricing.

New Philips Fidelio X3 Over-Ear Audiophile Headphone Available in USA Now

[Editor's note: This press release concerns the US market availability of the product, which may already have launched in other regions before.]

Envision Peripherals, Inc. (EPI), an affiliate of TPV Technology Limited (TPV), today announces the latest addition to the Philips audio line with the luxurious Philips Fidelio X3 headphones. These headphones evolve from the highly acclaimed Philips X2HR, and bring a unique blend of exceptional audio performance, comfort, design and build quality to music lovers across North America. Philips Fidelio X3 headphones are available on Amazon for $349.99 USD, starting September 15, 2020.

Audio-Technica Also Debuts High-Performance Exotic Wood-Finish and Innovative In-Ear Headphones

Audio-Technica is introducing four new high-performance Hi-Res Audio headphones. The over-ear ATH-AWKT and ATH-AWAS audiophile and over-ear ATH-WP900 portable headphones combine beautifully crafted woods with superb sound quality, and the ATH-IEX1 features an exclusive hybrid multi-driver system for an unmatched in-ear listening experience.

Like all the new wooden headphones, the over-ear ATH-AWKT is handcrafted at our factory based in Tokyo. The ATH-AWKT (SRP: US$1,899.00) features housings made from prized Kokutan (striped ebony) hardwood. Long used for woodwind instruments and pianos, Kokutan is distinguished by its attractive black and brown stripes, and the housings have a hand-applied semi-gloss finish that brings out the wood's natural beauty. In addition, the high density of the Kokutan wood suppresses unwanted resonances to contribute to the headphones' clear, natural sound.

Creative Formally Launches the Sound Blaster AE-7 and AE-9 Audiophile Sound Cards

Creative Technology Ltd continues its legacy of revolutionizing audio with the launch of its most advanced PCI-e sound cards ever - the Sound Blaster AE-9 and Sound Blaster AE-7. Built with only the most premium components, and complemented with the latest technologies from Creative, these sound cards are designed to define a new performance standard in this class for the ultimate PC entertainment experience.

Up till 1989, the only sounds coming out of the PC were mere beeps. The same year, Sound Blaster was born, and PC audio was transformed forever. Since then, over 400 million Sound Blasters have been sold; and the Sound Blaster brand has become synonymous with the term sound card and high-quality PC audio - first for gaming, and then movies and music. With experience and expertise refined over three decades of audio innovation, Sound Blaster has continued to reinvent itself with the development of digital audio processing technologies. Each new innovation served to redefine what the ultimate audio experience really means, such as when it evolved beyond the PC in the form of external sound cards for platforms like gaming and entertainment consoles.

Creative E-MU Unveils Audiophile Headphones with User-replaceable Wood Enclosures

Creative's audiophile and studio brand E-MU unveiled two new around-the-ear monitors featuring user-replaceable wood enclosures. Headphones and monitors with wood enclosures are sought after for sounding more natural, with deeper lows and crisper mid-range; compared to most common headphones with ABS plastic enclosures. Among the two headphones launched are the heavier E-MU Teak and lightweight E-MU Walnut. The E-MU Teak features 50 mm neodynium drivers with bio-cellulose diaphragms, while the E-MU Walnut features smaller 40 mm drivers with the same quality of magnets and diaphragms as as the E-MU Teak.

The star attraction here is their enclosures, which are made of specialized single-origin woods - teak, walnut, rose, etc. The outer surface is polished for protection, while the inner one facing the driver is exposed. The enclosures ship in separate airtight, dehydrated jewel-cases. The E-MU Teak has an astounding frequency range of 5 Hz to 45 kHz, 106 dB sensitivity, and 25 Ω impedance. The E-MU Walnut, on the other hand, provides 10 Hz to 30 kHz frequency range, 103 dB sensitivity, and 30 Ω impedance. Both ship with 1.2-3 m long deoxygenated copper cables.

EVGA Unveils the NU-Audio Audiophile-grade Sound Card at CES 2019

What's this? A new high-end internal sound-card launch? From EVGA? We must be dreaming! The NU-Audio internal sound card is the most unexpected product from our visit to EVGA's suite on Monday. Developed in partnership with British audiophile hardware maker Audio Note and sold under the EVGA badge, the NU-Audio is a full-height internal sound card with PCI-Express 2.0 x1 bus interface. At its heart is an XMOS xCORE 200 PCIe audio processor with an Azalia-like pipeline. The main DAC is an Asahi Kasei AK4493, fronted by an Analog Devices OP275 OPAMP for the main headphones channel, and AD8056 for the line-out channel.

The card has some serious input chops as output, with the main line-in powered by an Asahi Kasei AK5572, and a Cirrus Logic CS53456 for the microphone-in channel. As an analog sound card, you only get 2 channels. You'll need optical TOSLINK for 5.1 channels. A combination of WIMA and Audio Note electrolytic capacitors are used across the card. The electrical area is ground-layer isolated, draws power from a SATA power input, and uses a Texas Instruments TPS7A47 voltage regulator. All connections between the electrical and audio areas are filtered, and copper EMI shielding covers vital audio components, in addition to the outer shroud. The PCB itself is chunky (possibly 4-layer with 2 oz copper layers).

Creative to Launch Audiophile-grade Sound Card: Sound BlasterX AE-9

Creative have been relatively dark in the soundcard front, a business for which they were mainly recognized not that many years ago. The company is looking to cater to the highest-end of music listeners with the impending introduction of their Sound BlasterX AE-9 sound card, though. At $300 a pop, these will pack serious hardware for audiophiles. While the audio processing chip remains the same 3D Sound Core as used in Creative's gaming-focussed AE-5 and AE-5 Pure, for the AE-9, Creative opted for an external DAC - thus removing any digital noises or interference from your system's electronics.

The replaceable operational amplifiers are a given, then, since we're talking about a crowd of users that wants to be able to experiment and tinker with sound processing on their audio sources. The operational amplifiers can be tinkered with as well, aiding in reaching that desired tuning. As for outputs, Optical in and out, standard 3.5mm jacks for rear, center, and sub, as well as RCA stereo out make out the card's rear connectors. And lo and behold - there's a dedicated 6-pin power connector for the card so as to power all of that sound wizardry.
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