SEARCH AIG







 
AIG EQUIPMENT REVIEWS

Audioquest DragonFly USB DAC

Audioquest DragonFly USB Dac“This is a product that may look a little like a Dragonfly, but one that soars more like a Dragon flying, as seen in various special-effects-heavy Hollywood films of late. It’s a friendly beast, too, easy to set up and use with any computer of today’s normal specs for USB digital audio output. It can be used with headphones, powered speakers or as your computer output into an audio system. I had mine going in 10 minutes through Windows 7 in my new Quad-core i7 laptop PC.

TASCAM DR-680 High Resolution Digital Recorder

Tascam DR-680 Multitrack Digital Recorder“The key positive info about this recorder is that it will record 6 tracks at 96/24 resolution, and 2 at 192/24, if you’re feeling especially hair-shirt purist. This high resolution capability for 6 was what sold me on this machine. It’s just about the same size as my Edirol R-4 (now shakin’ in Shanghai, thanks to eBay), which served me well for a few years, but more versatile, not locked to a 40 GB hard disc, and allowing up to 32 GB SDHC cards, which I mainly used for outdoor recording at the cottage, along with a couple of 16 GB cards…”

PSB M4U 2 Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphone System

PSB M4U 2 Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphone System“I’ve wondered for some years when Paul Barton would turn his keen speaker design sense in the direction of headphones, after having mastered the many facets of speaker engineering over a multi-decade career. Well, it’s finally happened, and has become something of an event, with new intelligence applied to what we in broadcasting used to refer to as “cans”. They’ve been called “ear speakers” and many less flattering names, especially those notable for their lack of comfort on the head in extended listening…”

Watching A little TV: VIZIO VMB070 Portable 7″ LED/LCD NTSC/ATSC Widescreen Television

Vizio 7 Portable TV“And turning to that excellent tuner, it brought in more digital stations from my outdoor antenna (the switch to all digital had already happened here in Ontario, so no analog signals were available) than my Zenith off-air tuner, and the extra input also proved useful for monitoring off satellite when watching off air on the big screen, as well as for monitoring recordings to DVD or hard disc on my LG DVD video recorder. So checking out the VMB070 for analog reception will have to wait until next Summer.”

Samson ZOOM H2n(ext) Handy Digital Recorder - ZOOM Forges Ahead of the Pack…

Samson Zoom H2n“I’ve admired and owned ZOOM products for a few years now, both H4 and H2 passing through my studio and out into the field. Those reviews have already been published, and this Japanese company has now taken over its own worldwide distribution of its newest products…”

Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player - HD redux!

Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player

“This player was very impressive right out of the box, especially with Blu-ray music discs, with a truly photographic picture that is yards ahead of my Samsung 10″ DVD portable, which died on me a couple of years ago. The first generation Blu-ray portables proved to be very expensive, as were the early DVD ones (I paid $1500 for my first Panasonic), so I waited a bit on this one, finding the BDP-SX1000 on eBay at prices from $288.88USD (what I paid) to well over $500…”

Tivoli Model 10 AM/FM Stereo Radio, 2011 Edition

Tivoli Model 10 AM/FM Stereo Radio, 2011 Edition

“The latest Model 10 also comes with a credit-card remote control that allows selection of the 5 presets, level and input control, and station scrolling. There are also Power, Mute, and Mono buttons. The preset buttons are duplicated on the left speaker rear panel, in case you lose the remote, and there is also a volume control on the top of the speaker/amp unit. The FM antenna connection is a 75-ohm screw terminal, and an adjustable stainless steel telescoping antenna is provided to attach to it. The FM presets are set by holding down the desired preset button for 2 seconds with the intended station tuned. The system also operates as clock and clock radio, showing too the date and day (just like your Rolex)…”

CEntrance DACPort

Dacport - detail“Headphones are hot these days. And, like much of the rest of the high end, headphone prices have been smashing through one upper price threshold after another. It was not very long ago that a $1,000 pair of headphones was exceedingly rare, the purview of Stax and a scant few other esoteric models. These days, when shopping at the upper end of the spectrum anyway, a grand is more like the starting point, with plenty of models in the fifteen hundred and up range…”

JH Audio JH 13 Pro In Ear Headphones - The Best In Ear ‘Phones You Can Buy?

JH Audio JH 13 Pro In-Ear Headphones (Small)“I had been wanting to try a pair of custom in-ear headphones for some time, but when I started reading online about the JH Audio headphones, including not only some rave reviews but some background on their pro audio and aviation background (the Company is named for its founder, Jerry Harvey who not only founded Ultimate Ears [he left the company in 2007] but started developing stage monitors for musicians back in 1995 while mixing live shows for Van Halen, K.D. Lang, The Cult and many other bands…”

Sanyo R227 Internet/FM Radio Plus

Sanyo Internet Radio“I used to listen to shortwave radio at the cottage on a nice little Panasonic portable, the supplied antenna strung around the cottage’s Douglas Fir beams. It was fun more than a few years back to tune into other cultures and their music and news. But along the way to this century something changed, even evolved, and the shortwave cultures became a babble of propaganda, Jesus, and jabberwocky…”

Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro In Ear Headphones

Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 Pro In Ear Headphones (Single)“In all my years as an audiophile I’m hard pressed to think of a piece of equipment that has had the kind of effect on my daily life that the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro headphones have. Certainly the timing is right, as I find myself commuting between Toronto and New York every week, and through midtown Manhattan to and from work on foot every day. I’m probably logging somewhere in the neighbourhood of seven to ten hours a week on the iPod with these things right now, and I’m loving them…”

Meridian F80 Portable A/V System - Hy Sarick Looks at what Happens when High End Audio Meets High End Auto

Meridian F80

“A combined CD and DVD player, AM/FM receiver and sound system in a single convenient unit.” So says the introduction to this remarkable little AV system. Remember the aptly named “Boombox”, which was to be seen perching on the shoulders of urban youth? These moulded plastic monstrosities were often played at levels which caused grief to nearby unwilling listeners, as well as causing permanent hearing damage to the carrier…”

Samson ZOOM H2 Handy Digital Recorder

Zoom H2 CU Small

“As far as audio performance is concerned, let’s start at the microphone preamps, first, with the internal 4-microphone array. Now that the SD card slot is at the far end of the recorder from the mikes, the low-level whine of the H4 is gone, and the preamps are dead quiet; I can hardly wait to get to the island and set it on the rock at night to pick up distant loons. In combination with the built-in electret capsules this recording array is easily the quietest electret system I’ve heard yet, and matches my Shure VP-88 stereo condenser mike in this regard…”

Tascam HD-P2 Portable Stereo Recorder

Tascam HD-P2“The TASCAM HDP2 represents the future of location recording in as cogent and well-thought out a way as I have seen. It’s simple, elegant, and affordable, but also versatile. The main selling point is the ability to record in stereo from 44.1 to 192 kHz sampling rates at 16 or 24 bits using line or microphone inputs onto solid state media: flash cards or microdrives. These capabilities bring to it a whole new set of possibilities and operational options…”

Boostaroo Revolution Portable Headphone Amplifier

Boostaroo Revolution“Of the myriad accessories now available for portable music players, and specifically iPods, only a tiny fraction have anything to do with improving sound quality. If you want to hear more from your portable it pretty much comes down to headphones and headphone amplifiers. Designed to drive the cheesy white earbuds that come with the thing, the headphone amplifier in an Ipod isn’t quite up to the task of driving the more difficult loads presented by less sensitive, larger, sealed or open-back type cans like the big Sennheisers and AKGs…”

Samson ZOOM H4 Handy Recorder

zoom-h4“This “handy” little unit does so many things that any review will have to be selective, and I will concentrate on its stereo portable uses, as well as its non-portable ones, leaving the admittedly limited multichannel capabilities for a followup, or perhaps another reviewer. My interest in it, which made me purchase one, is the portable recording capability, especially in high resolution digital…”

Analog Recorder Feature - Nagra IV-S TC, Stellavox SP8, Uher Report Monitor

Nagra IV-S“These three classic recorders epitomize the European approach to high quality portable recording, and all have been used extensively as professional tools, each finding its level of quality and individual expertise. The Nagra has been the acknowledged giant of the film business where high audio quality is concerned, and its ruggedness and reliability are legend, no matter what the temperature or other weather conditions. All this came at a considerable cost in its heyday, a fully tricked out IV-S running to 6 or 7 thousand dollars. And that time period lasted longer than that of any other portable professional recorder except the Uher, and rivaled that of the great studio Studer and Ampex machines.”

Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro In Ear Headphones

Xtreme Mac FS1 Headphones

“If only the other bleary-eyed, white-earbud-using subway riders knew how good I have it with headphones like these. Not only am I being spared the concerto for shrieking brakes and deafening track clatter by the Superfi’s 26 dB of isolation, I’m enjoying fantastic sound; Sound that, until recently, had absolutely no business coming from such tiny headphones…”

Shure E5C In Ear Headphones

Shure E5C Headphones

“Just in case you somehow hadn’t noticed, portable audio is hot. White hot. Ipod white. The Ipod has become the Sony Walkman of the 21st Century and gained a cachet and ubiquity in popular culture unrivalled perhaps by any piece of audio equipment ever invented. Ipods are now the object of enough consumer lust that they can actually be dangerous to their owners…”

Echo Indigo Laptop Sound Card

PSB Platinum M2 Loudspeaker

“More than just a headphone jack (the Indigo actually has two 1/8″ gold plated mini jacks) the Echo Audio card is a D to A converter as well as a high quality analog output stage. It supports up to 24 bit, 96 kHz signals, uses a 100 Mhz Motorola DSP chip and has a nice, chunky analog volume control knob right on top. For those looking to use their notebook as a recorder, Echo also makes an Indigo with an analog input as well as a model aimed at DJs, featuring two independent stereo outputs.”


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

Got a tip? news@audio-ideas.com
  AIG Reviews
Loudspeakers | HT Loudspeakers | Power Amplifiers | Preamplifiers | Integrated Amplifiers | Receivers | Surround Processors | Digital Sources | CD Players | DVD Players | Network Music Players | SACD Players | Analog | Cables | Subwoofers | Portable Audio | Pro Audio | Headphones | Systems | Tuners | Video | Vintage Gear | HD Video | Blu-Ray | Online Archives

Complete List of Online Reviews
  Columns

     Audio Ideas (Andrew Marshall)
     Ox Box (Bob Oxley)
     Hy End (Hy Sarick)
     Bain's Blog (John Edward Bain)

Interested in Writing about Hi-Fi and Home Theater for AIG? Click to Email a Writing Sample

  Most Popular Today
  1. Audio Ideas, December 2011 - Recent SACDs, CDs, Blu-rays, & Other Confections (Or Not)!
  2. Audio Ideas: CBC Radio Two - Intelligent Music Selection Becomes A Sausage Factory
  3. The Marantz PMD430: The Best Tape Deck Ever Made?
  4. AIG Tweaks: Imagers and Cleanjack
  5. Paradigm Monitor Series 7 Sub 10 Subwoofer - Extended, Clean Bass From A Tiny Box!
  6. Soundsmith Aida Ebony Phono Cartridge: Looking For Your Last Best Cartridge? This Could Be It, At A Decent Price!
  7. Origin Live Calypso Turntable and Encounter Tonearm
  8. Analog Recorder Feature - Nagra IV-S TC, Stellavox SP8, Uher Report Monitor
  9. Audioquest DragonFly USB DAC
  10. Behringer 1002B Portable/Studio Mixer - A Remarkable Recording Tool, Especially At The Price!
  Most Popular Overall
  • Recent Comments: