Since the introduction of the Voigt cone assembly with whizzers, many speaker and driver manufacturers have tried to perfect this design and make a great-sounding single-driver full-range speaker. 80 years after the introduction of the first Voigt cone driver, the debate on whether single-driver speakers (also known as wide-banders) are better or worse than the multi-way speakers, is ongoing. The most common arguments you can hear from the fans of single-driver speakers are that the absence of a crossover results in a more linear phase response and smoother polar response. They often swear by the coherence and beautiful midrange of wide-banders. On the other hand, some of the known downsides of the single-driver designs are the inability of one driver to perform all the tasks (reproduce al...
Lumin is a Hong Kong-based audio manufacturer. It was founded only 8 years ago but it’s already one of the fastest-growing high-end audio companies and it has already gained such an impressive reputation. In 2012, Lumin released the world’s first DSD-compatible music streamer and it was a huge success. Since then, Lumin expanded its product range, but its main area of expertise are still network music players and, according to numerous positive reviews written by fellow audiophiles, Lumin is one of the best in the industry when it comes to music streamers. Today, we’re taking a closer look at Lumin’s X1 flagship network music player. Priced slightly under $14,000, X1 is supposed to be one of the most capable and best-performing streamers on the market. Let’s see what’s so special about it.
Manger Audio is a German high-end speaker manufacturer founded more than 50 years ago. During the 1960s, the founder of Manger Audio, Josef W Manger developed a special type of transducer named Manger Sound Transducer and, since then, this unique kind of driver has been the key element of all the Manger’s speaker designs. Manger’s current speaker line consists of three floorstanding speakers (active S1 and passive P1 and P2), two bookshelf speakers (active C1 and passive Z1), one wall-mounted speaker (W1), and one in-wall speaker (I1). Today, we are taking a closer look at one of the latest flagship models from this company called Manger P1. For starters, here’s a short overview. Manger P1 is a 2-way passive floorstanding loudspeaker. It houses two drivers – one powerful Manger tran
AudioEngine has been in the audio industry for quite some time and they’ve been known for making high-quality products, mostly powered bookshelf/desktop speakers. Their first powered speaker A5 was a big hit. Then, they upgraded it to AudioEngine A5+ which is still one of the AudioEngine’s bestsellers. AudioEngine A5+ wireless 2.0 speaker system is the upgraded version of the A5+ Classic. The most noticeable difference between the two is the wireless connectivity. A5+ Wireless has a built-in Bluetooth module and can be wirelessly connected to any Bluetooth-enabled device. A5+ Classic didn’t have this ability, but there was a way to make it wireless by connecting it to the AudioEngine B1 Bluetooth receiver. In a way, A5+ Wireless is the A5 Classic with a built-in B1 receiver. The se
Burson Audio is a reputable Australian audio manufacturer with almost 25 years of experience in making high-end headphone amps, preamps, DACs, and power amps. What’s common for all the Burson audio products is that they all have high-quality construction, very precise discrete circuit design, and they all deliver performance that surpasses the price tag. Today, we are taking a closer look at one of their latest units – it’s Burson Audio Conductor 3 Reference – headphone amp, DAC, and preamp. We’ve spent the last three weeks testing this unit and enjoying its impressive musical performance. During this testing period, we’ve managed to get a good idea of what this combo unit is capable of and we were pleasantly surprised by its sound delivery and the entire set of features it of
R2R DACs used to be the only kind of DAC back in the 80s. They used a ladder network made of a series of precision resistors turned on by the precision switches (current source) to convert a digital signal to analog. After the introduction of Delta-Sigma chips, the majority of manufacturers switched to Delta-Sigma DACs, mostly due to the lower costs of manufacturing and lower power requirements. Today, R2R DACs are produced by a very small number of manufacturers. Some of the most reputable are MSB (US), LessLoss (Lithuania), Lab and Wagner (Russia), Rockna Audio (Romania), and a great company from France called the Totaldac. One of the latest Totaldac’s units is the subject of our today’s review – it’s the Totaldac d1-direct DAC. D1-direct DAC is meant to be the best-sounding
Brainwavz HEX comes from the growing line of Brainwavz’s 3D printed in-ear monitors. The practice of using 3D printers to make earphones is becoming very popular among manufacturers as it gives them a lot of freedom when it comes to shaping and introducing new and attractive designs. Design is just one of the things that make HEX earphones special. The second thing is the use of triple BA drivers made by Knowles. The third thing is the price tag, which is surprisingly low considering the overall performance. According to the Brainwavz, HEX can outperform any pair of in-ear monitors in its price range. In this review, we are going to put that claim to the test. Brainwavz is a brand from Honk Kong owned by a company called GPGS. Brainwavz has been in the business since 2008 and it’s f
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 is the latest premium Bluetooth speaker from the Onyx Studio line. At first glance, it looks exactly like its predecessor - it’s the same size, same shape, and same design. It’s also the same driver arrangement and the same control scheme. The most important (and probably the only big) upgrade is the use of waterproof fabric which made the speaker fully waterproof (IPX7 rated). Another noticeable difference is the price difference. Today, we will discuss the features and performance of the Onyx Studio 6, compare it against the previous speakers from the Onyx line and other similarly priced Bluetooth speakers, and give you our opinion on whether it’s worth it or not. For starters, here’s a short overview. As mentioned in the introduction, Onyx Studio 6 loo
Ethos by Gryphon Audio Designs is the endgame CD player/DAC. It could easily be one of the most beautiful, most capable, and best-performing pieces of audio equipment we’ve ever had a chance to see and hear. Today, we are putting this beautiful device to the test. Gryphon Audio Designs is a Danish Audio Company founded back in 1985 by Mr. Flemming E. Rasmussen. Since day one, the main priority of this company was to lead the change in the audio industry and set new standards when it comes to both aesthetics and sonic performance. Their products, almost by default, represent a perfect synergy of striking looks and amazing performance. The very first piece of audio equipment ever made by the Gryphon Audio was the world’s first pure class-A dual-mono head amplifier and it was
Beosound Balance is the latest member of the Bang & Olufsen’s line of ‘’flexible living’’ speakers. It’s a unique, artistic, compact speaker with an amazing set of smart features. It’s the first smart speaker from B&O to have sound directivity and active room compensation, which are the features you can find on much pricier Bang & Olufsen speakers (like Beolab 90). And this is just the beginning. There are so many great things about this speaker and we will try to tell you all about it. So, without further delay, let’s see what’s so great (and what’s not) about Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance. We’ll start with the things we like. The first thing you’re going to notice is the looks. Beosound Balance is a simple-looking, yet incredibly attractive speaker. The lead de