BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Advanced Alpha

Ahhh, planars. Perhaps one of the best things that happened in personal audio. I myself am a fan, with my first being the Audeze LCD-2 (thankfully, not a lemon) introducing me to the tech which practically taught me that an enthusiast should have at least a pair in your arsenal. The speed it delivers coupling it with excellent presentation of the low frequencies should be a reason enough to have one.

After that, I have had a chance to have a couple more, the siblings Hifiman HE400S and HE400I, and while an electrostatic earspeakers has to be my favorite personal desktop audio gear, I still can’t rid myself of my love for planar magnetic cans. Maybe because planars are quite easier to manage (no need for a bias amp) and the potential to make it portable (I still can’t imagine myself using a planar magnetic cans and a Mass Kobo 404 in a bus ride) somehow takes its place in my heart. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Advanced Alpha”

Chord Poly: Wireless has never been this powerful!

There are many things in life that are perfect in pairs; you and your wife, mac and cheese, cookies and cream, peanut butter and jelly, your pair of hifi ears… You name it! Now, the 2 year old Mojo by Chord still has that glow on the market. 2 years man, 2 years! It’s been that dominant in his category. What else should Chord do for it to retain the limelight? Release a Chord Mojo 2? Uh no, Mojo still has that latest FPGA chip which is also running the latest product of Chord which is the Hugo 2. So what’s the answer? Make it more awesome! Here’s where the Chord Poly was born. Essentially it is a wireless streaming module for the Mojo. Let’s head on further and check it out.

 

 

The Chord Poly is basically a wireless streaming module for the Chord Mojo. The Poly simply attaches at the back end of the Mojo, you simply connect to it via bluetooth or wi-fi (hotspot or home network) and voila! You can even insert your music into the Poly via micro SD card then access it via DLNA or MPD apps! You can also integrate Tidal or Spotify. It’s as extensive as it can get making the Mojo truly wireless and flexible.

 

 

Now, I’m not here to talk about the technicalities of the Mojo since the Poly is a module for it and most looking into this already knows or has a Mojo. What I want to talk about with this review is simply the experience of the Mojo being wireless via the Poly.

 

 

First off, I didn’t really think about such a product. I mean, this is truly remarkable in the sense that no one predicted such a product to be born. Second, not much people were asking for such a product but now that it’s here, we can all see how this product can be so tempting to have. Imagine the Mojo being wireless? Literally avoiding anymore stacking with a DAP if you wanted it. No more need to bring a DAP along with your phone aside from the Mojo in your pocket. That’s one less hassle down! No need as well to pull out your entire rig from your pocket or bag when switching tracks. Simply change tracks while checking your phone. It’s that much more convenient! It saves space too since you can plug-in a micro SD into the Poly without caring for the storage space for your phone. This is truly a genius idea!

 

 

I was given 2 weeks to enjoy the Poly by Beyond Innovations Inc. and all I can say is that, even though there are great wireless headphones and in-ears that have recently released, they still can’t stumble a lot of mid-end headphones when we talk about sound quality. Yes, they are totally wire-free compared to the Poly since you still need to attach your headphones or in-ears, but look at how capable this is. The Mojo is powerful enough to drive some cans that are quite hungry for power and the Poly does not hinder that at all. Yes you need to wire your headphones and in-ears to the Mojo and Poly combo but you don’t really need to pull-0ut the Mojo and Poly from your pocket. Makes sense?

 

 

To be honest I was never interested in the Poly until I experienced it and now I really want one! Even the simple fact that I am at home and on my desk, the Poly still does give certain convenience with being wireless. I don’t have to stick to my PC, I can just lie down and put the Mojo and Poly beside me while I browse my tracks on my phone. For me, the Poly is about total convenience while retaining the high fidelity of the Mojo. This is where it truly shines. It’s so easy to throw it in your bag or pocket and simply forget it while your running your library via your mobile phone. It’s also a great streamer for speakers when you don’t really wanna move speakers or your PC just to play your tracks. This is definitely the most capable portable streaming device right now and if you have a Mojo, I promise, you really should have one! If there’s one mistake I could find with the Poly, it’s probably only the price tag which is Php 34,990 😦 It’s even more expensive than the Mojo! This is the only hindrance I see for which people might not to consider the Poly. The price is too steep for a module for the Mojo. Aside from that however, the Poly is an absolutely great add-on for the Mojo, hands-down!

 

 

You can purchase the Chord Poly locally here in the Philippines for Php 34,990 at these stores:
– JBL Sound Gallery, High Street at BGC
– A. Refinery, UP Town Center
– Egghead Audiohub, Shangri-La Mall Edsa
– The Listening Room, SM Megamall
– Sound & Vision, La Loma Q.C.

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Crow Audio Raven MKII

Hello, hello! Welcome to another installment of the Bus Ride Impression. Coming off a very nice meet yesterday with earbuds folks, I was able to get a chance to try yet another Indonesian wonder, Crow Audio, and I was pretty mesmerized by two of their products.

Yes, that is right. I have to admit, sometimes having tried a lot of gears might make me a bit jaded with the new offers in the market today, but somehow once in a while something will pop out of nowhere and surprise me with how these gears perform. In the case of Crow Audio, I was only given a few minutes of audition for Raven MKII and Dietris 300 Ohms but I will have to admit how engaging both sounded like. These two offered a sound that is quite engaging particularly the Raven MKII which seems to sound a bit different from the conventional ones that I have tried. Yes, it is not as if it a totally unique tonality, it’s just that it has a distinct flavor that one would not normally get out of those currently in the market right now. Which bring to a point: brand is one thing, but the earbud model is totally something else. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Crow Audio Raven MKII”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Whizzer Haydn A15Pro

I agree, the hobby is quite a subjective one. With a market full of products for the hobby, it is quite challenging to find the right fit for an IEM that will suit your taste, even more in such cases wherein your preferred sound signature is not of the usual norms. Even in the case of common ones like the bassheads, there still is a distinction as to how one would like his IEM is tuned (some would like a very tight mid-bass or an extended sub-bass, pick your boat ladies and gentlemen).

In my case, it can indeed be challenging. Yes, I would like my IEMs a tad bright, but of course, I have this specific tuning on the higher frequencies that in a split can border beyond ticklishly sparkly or brutally piercing (of course I go for the first, who would want a piercing sound signature? — okay my apologies, some might, although I cringe at that, what the hey, some people says my preference can sometimes be a bit of an ear shredder). However, as I primarily look into the brightness of an IEM, I still would want it to have a bit of body to go along with the brightness and a good, decent amount of mids to keep the IEM glued into my ears for a few hours. I can be specific, but just like most enthusiasts, I would rather go and try to see if it fits my need.

Fortunately enough, I came across this nice little gem from Whizzer, the Haydn A15Pro. Whizzer can be considered somewhat a new brand in the market, but the A15Pro isn’t their first batter off the plate of the hobby as they initially released the A15 earlier. This was an offer made by Whizzer for me to take the A15Pro for a spin and see how well it fares and perhaps to be candid as to how I think about the IEM. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much out of the little devil, thinking that it might just be one of those lows-heavy IEM usually coming out in the market. Upon trying though, I will have to admit that my prejudice was unfounded: this devil is actually good!

Let me take you through the IEM and see how it might fit your taste as well. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Whizzer Haydn A15Pro”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: IMR Acoustics R1

Whew, been a while.

Welcome again to another installment of Bus Ride Impression. The seasons seems to have taken a toll on me given how busy I have been for over a month now, not being able to write anything for you, my loyal readers. So allow me to apologize for the absence, times are trying, pair that with the seasons coming and you can pretty much imagine how busy I have been (a loss in the family held me back a bit, so again, my apologies).

However, as I pick myself up, I would normally go for something that I really enjoy doing, like writing for the column. And as I have been missing in action for a good few weeks, this is practically just right for me to get back to.

So, for today, I am writing about one of the newest IEMs in the block, the IMR Acoustics R1. IMR Acoustics is a new brand being helmed by Bob James of the famed Trinity Audio brand, and he decided to depart from Trinity Audio to pick up a brand of his own. I will really not go into details, but I guess that move somehow allowed Bob to really go at it, making IEMs the way he used to back in the Atlas days. I must say, he has outdid himself after several designs of his previous works.

So, does the IMR R1 offer anything that is much different from Bob’s previous works? If so, how much different? Considering the price tag of 500 GBP, is worth the investment? Let’s find out then. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: IMR Acoustics R1”

Straight From The Field: Beyond Innovations – Chord Poly Launch 11/09/17

We at The Tech Kaiju were given a privilege as we were invited to the launch of the latest Chord product, the Poly organized by Beyond Innovations, the official distributor of Chord in the country on November 9, 2017. People from media, audio groups and dealers gathered as no less then John Franks, the Founder and Chief Engineer of Chord walked the audience through their latest innovation at the event held at the Kuppa Roastery & Cafe.

John Franks and Robert Wong of Chord Business Development explained how the Poly plays a major role in the ever advancing technology of sound. They also got the chance to mingle with the crowd and answer the audiences’ inquiries about Chord and what it holds in the future.

John Frank and Robert Wong discussing insights on what Poly has to offer.

The audiences were also given a chance to audition the Poly along with other brands carried by Beyond Innovations like Beyerdynamic and AKG. The crowd was also given a treat as freebies and discounts were offered on the event for Poly.

Straight From The Field: Focal Multimedia PH 10/14/17

Focal Multimedia – Philippines in collaboration with Philippine personal audio group Audio-Fi held a product showcase at The Curator Coffee & Cocktails, Makati City which also served as the launch point for their newest product, the Focal Listen.

Audio-Fi members had a blast as they had the chance to try Focal’s newest outing. Focal Listen was a revelation as it yielded an incredible sound coming from a relatively affordable can.

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Focal Multimedia PH Marketing & Sales Manager Johann Tiu indulged the Audio-Fi members as he showcased Focal’s market level products such as the Spirit Classics, Spirit Pro, Sphear, Spark as well as their newest product Listen. He also even engaged in the music listening session and even ran a contest where 3 winners went home with Focal goodies.

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Oriolus DP100

At some point in this hobby you will get to that crossroad thinking what is the practical route to take. As a hobbyist, ideally you should be governed as to what sound you will get out of your setup. However, there’s a plethora of factors to consider, primarily whether if you will go portable or stationary. While I would assume that hordes will prefer to go portable, there still is a considerable number of folks who would prefer a desktop setup considering the value they get out of it in terms of the sound. However, in spite of that, the reason why a lot would prefer to go portable is because we are practically living in a very fast environment nowadays; much more people are mobile given our daily lives whether it is due to work or school.

Given this point, another factor to look into is the efficiency of the music source you are getting. While cost plays a huge role when picking the right gear, one would think of it more on practicality rather than just being blunt; that is, going for what is cheaper (this should be the ideal as price to performance is the right measurement of practicality, not low price period) should be equated by one’s expectation as to what kind of sound one will get out of the gear. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Oriolus DP100”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Blur 魔王

Wow. This was all I could say upon trying Light’s Blur 魔王. This is one of those few custom earbuds that you can only get by contacting the maker for one, and this one doesn’t come cheap. I know, why in the world would one want to splurge around $300 for an earbud? The price alone can net you a really good amp, or even an excellent DAP, even a really good pair of cans so why indeed?

Once you get hold of the Blur 魔王, I assure you, you will understand; pretty much everything about it exalts why the earbud is priced as such. Heck, after trying it on, I will be gutsy to say that it should have been worth more than that.

At this point I have tried quite a lot of earbuds offered in the market and this by far has to be the best that I have tried, even better than the renowned MX985 by Sennheiser which used to be on the top of my list. Funny thing, the first few times I tried this I had the gall to say that this beauty isn’t exactly the best there is in the market (a couple of friends were astounded when I said it) but when I had a better environment to try it out, I immediately became a believer. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Blur 魔王”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: 650 Ohm Earbud Shootout

I was posed a challenge by two good friends, Light and Peter. These two are both comrades in terms of love for earbuds (apart from Max who of course should be the head honcho when it comes to everything earbuds in my opinion) and I must say, the proposition that they offered is quite hard to resist as much as it is quite hard to do. You see, I would like to knock the heads of these two when they offered me to do a shootout between the Seahf 650 Ohms and the TY Hi-Z 650 Ohms, I honestly am not sure if they were just making fun out of me as they know it will be quite a tight fight and would like me to have a bit of a challenge or if they themselves are curious as to whether get the other. Either way, I would like to thank these two knuckleheads for allowing me a chance for a lengthy time to compare the two as I admitted that it will be a very tough review.

True enough, I needed more time in comparing the two as it has similarities and difference which may not always be seen easily by most people. Yes, they may sport a bit of difference but then again, closer scrutiny is necessary to identify the discern which performs better or, whichever suits one’s taste.

Let’s now go through these two wonders and see how they fared against each other. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: 650 Ohm Earbud Shootout”