This Week In Headphoolia #25 (up to 8/12/17)

Time flew again, and we have a new edition of This Week in Headphoolia, a semi-humorous attempt to round up some of the action in the world of headphones. Just like the last few weeks, things are grouped by product type instead of medium. But videos will be easily pointed out for those reading at work or prefer text…

NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH VIDEO:: FIIO

Fiio is taking product launches to the masses with a 2-hour video of their latest product launch event. The audio is in Chinese with english subtitles. This is human-edited translation, not YouTube’s helter skelter automated one. The launch features a number of products including the F9 triple-driver IEMs along with Q and X series products. You can also find the video YouTube-embedded below:

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This Week In Headphoolia #24 (up to 8/5/17)

With IFA looming large on the horizon now, we have a new edition of This Week in Headphoolia, a semi-humorous attempt to round up some of the action in the world of headphones…

Just like the last few weeks, things are grouped by product type instead of medium. But videos will be easily pointed out for those reading at work or prefer text…

AMPS, DACs, DAPs, DUCKS

Archimago is back with Part #2 of their measurements post on the SMSL A6 running as a DAC. [as a refresher, here is Part #1]

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Unboxing the Sony RF-995-RK Wireless RF Headphones

We continue our Practical Unboxing series of text and pictures that try to give you a look at what you will receive when you buy a specific pair of headphones. The sample unit for the Sony RF-995-RK Wireless RF headphones is here, and in this post, we find out what’s included…

OPENING THE BOX

The headphones are packaged in a printed cardboard container with the usual Sony marketing messages. Opening the box is easy, you just need to slice the sticker dot and open up the cardboard clasps.

Once opened, and you flip the top, you see the headphones in protective padding. The ruler is not included in the box obviously, but as you can see, this is not a tiny headphone box 🙂

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Something Looks Different? Title Font Size Decreased

Does something look different since the last time you visited?

You are correct! It does! I have decreased the size of the individual blog-post titles to something more reasonable. So no more giant headlines filling up the page. Please leave a comment to opine on this (or anything else) or use the online contact form.

Smartphones with Bluetooth 5

LATEST UPDATE: August 1, 2017 – we have a second conditional Bluetooth 5 smartphone, the HTC U11 joins the Motorola FORCE 2. They will get BT 5.0 once Android 8.0 (O) arrives on those devices. This is not magic, the Snapdragon 835 supports Bluetooth 5.0 in hardware, the phone and OS has to provide the software support 🙂

Bluetooth is a tug of war between convenience and compression. Some vow never to use it on the grounds of the additional compression step. Others will under certain circumstances. Certainly, after one ruins enough headphones and earphones during specific tasks and activities, one may be more inclined to give bluetooth a chance, at least during those activities.

Which brings us to Bluetooth 5, a point of hope and hype that you can listen over bluetooth without noticeably sacrificing audio quality. It is too early to tell as of June 2017, as we only have a couple of smartphones and no headphones supporting Bluetooth 5. But IFA is just around the corner, and so is CES 2018, so we should expect more action on this front in the next few months.

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This Week In Headphoolia #23: Goodbye iPod Nano and Shuffle (up to 7/29/17)

Another week is gone, so here we are, a new edition of This Week in Headphoolia, a semi-humorous round-up of the week that was in the world of headphones. The soundtrack for this edition is Lana del Rey’s “Lust for Life”, streamed on an iPod over Wifi to the Philips SHP-9500S, whose detailed review I keep promising but it’s still remains in my head and in my chicken-scratch notes 🙂

In this edition too we continue with a mixed media format, with the division of the sections being on the product type instead of the medium. Videos are easy to tell, because I mention either YouTube, duration in minutes or “video” in the line 🙂

GOODBYE iPOD Nano and Shuffle

Nepenthe for the Lost Lenore! The iPod Nano and Shuffle have officially been …shuffled out [sorry, low-hanging pun, couldn’t resist] of the Apple music player line-up. But the iPods are not dead. Apple is continuing the iPod Touch line and it is doubling the storage options in the two remaining iPod Touch models at the $200 (32GB) and $300 (128GB) price points.

Details on this broke out at the Business Insider with additional coverage at Ars Technica. The Verge, ever the emotional types, take a look at the history of the Nano.

Now you know why I’m using the iPod Touch for the soundtrack of today’s Headphoolia round-up 🙂

Reality has a funny way of manifesting things. Just as the iPod Shuffle is dying, the world of crowd-funding is bringing out an iPod Shuffle type of a device for offline Spotify music listening. A (over)(re)view of this at Engadget

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List of Smartphones Without a 3.5mm Headphone Jack

LATEST UPDATE: July 26 in 2017 ~ Motorola’s new Z2 FORCE, just like the first generation of the Z flagship line, does NOT have a headphone jack 🙁

Even the best of futurists sometimes have a hard time beating a coin toss with their predictions, so I have no way of knowing where the headphone jack will be in five or ten or twenty or thirty years from now. At the moment however, it reigns supreme in smartphones, despite some high profile defectors to the Lightning cable (Apple) and USB-C (a few Android models).

Given the situation today, it is a lot easier to keep track of the smartphones that do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, rather than keep track of all the ones that do (the vast majority of them). There is only a handful of defectors so far. 2016 created a mini panic, but as of mid 2017, the existential crisis that was predicted did not materialize.

Samsung’s Galaxy 8 co-flagships along with the LG G6 and Sony XZ*, Huawei P10 flagships continued to embrace the headphone jack. Heck, even the brand new iPad Pro 10.5″ has a headphone jack 🙂 But the year is not over yet, we are still waiting for the new Note 8, LG V30, Pixel 2, iPhone 8, Moto Z flagships.

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This Week In Headphoolia #22: Can Jam 2017 London, and more (up to 7/22/17)

Now that we are in “Game Of Thrones” season, these will be posted on Saturdays instead of Sundays. It makes things easier 🙂 This is installment #22 of “This Week in Headphoolia”, a semi-humorous round-up of the week that was in the world of headphones. You can find the previous 21 installments in the Headphoolia archives.

The soundtrack for this week’s installment is the new Coldplay EP Kaleidoscope on repeat (more of a punishment really), streaming through the smartphone to the Philips SHP9500S.

LONDON CAN JAM 2017

CAN JAM 2017 happened in London, and The Headphone List was there, sharing some of their experience in text and pictures at their website!

Also there was AORNIC, giving us nice glimpses of the show in a 17 minute video which you can also find YouTube-embedded below…

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This Week In Headphoolia #21: New Blind Testing Experiment [week ending 7/16/17)

Game of Thrones Season 7 begins today and while you may be anxiously waiting for it, here’s a new edition of our weekly e-zine (okay, round-up?) that is “This Week in Headphoolia”. This covers up to Sunday 7/16/17. If you finish this and need more, check our previous 20 installments in the Headphoolia archives.

We are going to use a similar format as the previous installment that came out mid-week. Both video content and text-and-pictures articles are mixed together in each category. They are however easily designated in each entry, so if you have a strong preference either way, you can tell easily. Yes, this is a two for one special this week, we posted two installments 🙂

AUDIO SHOWS

It’s Los Angeles Audio Show time, aka LAAS, and Innerfidelity was there with a nice text and pictures report on their website, and also seven video clips added to their YouTube Channel featuring, so far, Chord, Cayin, Campfire, Astell and Kern, Ultrasone, and more.

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This Week In Headphoolia #20: CANJAM (and Winter) Are Coming (up to 7/9/17)

All apologies for the delay in publication of this edition. I had assembled all the articles on time, but then pre-PrimeDay madness hit, and wasn’t able to post it by Sunday night. This only covers up to Sunday 7/9/17, so another edition will be posted by Sunday covering this week. A two for one special this week 🙂

Today’s “soundtrack” while preparing: I am riding an “Elephant” with White Stripes, playback through the Fiio X1 with the Philips SHP9500S open-back over-ears, which I’m finding, while not bad at all, they are definitely over-hyped in terms of sound. But then again, they are a sub-$60 over-ear headphone with long-time wearing comfort whose comfort puts to shame many much more expensive models…

CAUTION: this is posted earlier in the day than usual, which means my brain is “fresher”, which means a dramatic increase in bad puns and seques (plural noun per Bing) than usual 🙂

In this edition, I am grouping posts by headphone size, rather than drawing the line on video versus text-and-pictures. Let me know if you have a preference on groupings and categorizations 🙂

LONDON CAMJAM 2017 PREVIEW

Headfi is back with another studio production, a 52 minute video preview of the 2017 CanJAM in London. No, not Kentucky, London, England 🙂 You can also find it YouTube-embedded below…

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