This Week in Headphoolia #11 (up to 5/7/17)

Time won’t stand still! RUSH, like most Canadians, are always right πŸ™‚ Another week flew by. No big news this week but plenty of review action. I am including a mix of video and text, since different people have different preferences, and read this at work (text is better) or at home where the Wifi rivers flow unimpeded…

FORUMS

On the Meta front, the very busy Headfi forums received an unpopular and confusing forum software update. The forum founder posted a detailed update explaining why. TL;DR: the company making their previous forum software is shutting down. Back to USENET? πŸ™‚

NEWSY

Xiaomi confessed to Android Central why they removed the headphone jack from their new Mi 6 smartphone, giving USB-C audio their vote of confidence.

Forget sonic screwdrivers! How about sonic headphone drivers? πŸ™‚ Okay, this joke is lost in nonsensia, but BBC reveals that Season 10 Episode #4 of the 21st century “Doctor Who” TV series is binaural! Check epguides to sort it all out.

The combination of Beats, AirPods and Apple Watch made enough for Apple (in terms of revenue) to compare to a … Fortune 500 company. The Fall 2016 Beats line-up certainly points to that strategy as they have increased their offerings and increased the price ranged they want to capture. I wonder if 2017 or 2018 will bring us Apple’s first attempt at an “audiophile Beats” headphone. I should have said, TRIGGER WARNING πŸ™‚

One of the most influential albums of all time, Radiohead’s OK Computer is getting a 20-year re-issue, and a matching website “re-issue” to take us back to 1997, where we were all innocent and kittens danced with puppies in fields of flowers without allergens πŸ™‚

REVIEWS

It’s a Clash of Kings of sorts at Innerfidelity with Tyll posting an update on measurements of the Focal Utopia and Audeze LCD-4 in response to the long and heavily discussed Smoking Gun post in the latest Katz Corner. Not to be confused with ESPN’s hardworking and underappreciated Andy Katz, who is obviously a vampire because he never ages πŸ™‚

Aornic is back with a new video review, it is the ZMC Atticus getting a 20 minute video review. But wait, there’s more, there’s also a written counterpart of the review.

The revised Monoprice M1060 is now rolling out (remains in-stock at the Monoprice website), and more people are posting online about them. Here’s some of the action:

+ 14 minute video review by Zadius Tech
+ 16 minute video unboxing by Zadius Tech

Headphone cables and their impact on sound is a heavily contested topic online. So consider this a trigger warning, as there’s a new 15 minute video at the PhotoTristan YouTube channel comparing a handful of expensive audio cables and discussing their audio differences.

A blast from the headphone past now as the AKG K240 Vintage 600 ohm headphone gets a 14 minute video at the Zeos YouTube.

More review action:
+ MEZE 99 Neo at Headfonia and Resonance Reviews

+ Brainwavz’s going upscale, sort of, with the $200-ish B200 earphones, tested out at Headfonics. The name matches the price πŸ™‚

+ VisionEars VE-8 earphones at Headfonia

+ Dunu DK-3001 IEMs at Headphone List

+ follow-up on Monoprice M1060 by a disappointed reddit user

+ AURIS HA2 SE tube-y amp at earphiles

+ Chifi’s Yulong (not Oolong or Wulong) Daart Canary 9-minute video review by PORTA_FI

+ The Verge is back, this time taking a look at the Blue Ella, Ella being the planar-magnetic headphone in the new Blue Microphones line-up. It looks like they found Planars AFTER they found the Yeti #DadJokes
+ also at the Verge, the BeoPLAY H4 bluetooth (wireless) get a two-person review

+ an anathema to audiophiles and people who frequently lose small things, Engadget/Wirecutter pick the best “true wireless” headphones so far.

LEARNINGS

As we get closer to the Android O launch, it’s time for a refresher on the Sony LDAC technology that will be baked into Android “O”.

How about picking the brain of one of the reviews? No, not with Beyerdynamic treble, but in a 70-minute YouTube Q&A with Metal571. There you will find, among many other things, the origins of the channel name πŸ™‚

MQA or NOT? Stereophile picked the brains of many at the AXPONA 2017 show and compiled some of the responses below:

STREAMING

With so many streaming services now competing while having nearly identical catalogs, it’s a good idea for them to try to innovate to generate more interest, traction and name recognition. Spotify is doing just that with barcode scanning playback. You scan a barcode, and the song encoded in the barcode starts playing in Spotify. Nice πŸ™‚

SoundCloud is trying to generate some buzz too, they have launched their own “discovery” feature, they call it The Upload.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

Two Stereophile veteran writers attempt to bring humor back to the world of audiophiles. It is needed πŸ™‚

Speaking of humor, here is a new endgame option, borrowing a little on the STAX design, where else, on Reddit. RULE #9! RULE #9! RULE #9! RULE #9! RULE #9!

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