This Week In Headphoolia #16 (up to 6/11/17)

Time won’t stand still and another week zoomed by, which brings us to a new installment of our weekly round-up, aptly (?) named This Week in Headphoolia (all previous, and future editions there)…

AUDIO SHOWS

+ three days of coverage of the Los Angeles Audio Show at Stereophile

+ part #1 of the High End Munich Audio show at Headphone Guru

OPEN vs CLOSED VIDEOS

The videos in this segment compare and contrast open versus closed headphones. Before you scream “apples vs oranges”, note that one can compare anything with anything ~ as long as one understands what they are comparing 🙂

A 17-minute video discussion is up talking and comparing the Focal UTOPIA (priced like an old used car) and the ZMF Eikon woodies by AORNIC, YouTube-embedded below as well, along with accompanying blog

This versus that is a bit of a theme, now it’s the new Monolith M1060 versus the good old Sennheiser HD650 in a 12 minute video by Zadius Tech.

VIDEO REVIEWS

Elsewhere in YouTube reviews and discussions and such, the YouTUBE gave us the Sony MDR Z1R flagship getting its day in the sun at Innerfidelity with a 15 minute discussion by Tyll, YouTube-embedded below as well, along with the website write-up:

+ Monolith M1060 planars review by METAL 571 (14 mins)

+ Lachlan Likes A Thing is back with a new monthly video that includes discussion of the OPPO PM-3 Planars and the Audio Technica ES-WS990 – this link starts directly at the headphone segment

+ OPPO PM-3 Planars review by AORNIC (10 mins)
+ also accompanying write-up

+ Astell & Kern AK320 DAP at PORTA FI (14 mins)

+ Dunk DK-3001 IEMs at PROTA FI (12 mins)

+ talking STAX L300 at the headphone store with Lachlan Likes a Thing (7 min)

+ E-MU Teak woodies at Z-Reviews (16 minutes)

+ can you tell the difference between endorsement reviews and not? The Ultimate Ears YouTube channel has a four minute video on the UE Reference Remastered IEMs
+ ironically the vocals were deprioritized in the mix 🙂

TEXT and PICTURES REVIEWS

And now to the more conventional text and pictures reviews of a variety of headphones and related amps, DACs, DAPs and such…

+ Grado PS2000E at Headfonia (two pages)

+ one final (?) update on the Focal Utopia and Audeze LCD-4 at Inner Fidelity AND then there are new adjustments to the Wall of FAME (oh my???)

+ measurement time, the OPPO Sonica DAC at ArchiMago

+ song-based comparison of the Schiit Audio Yggdrasil and Metrum Pavane Level 1 at Earphiles

+ ActionPie VJJB V1s IEM review at Headphonesty

+ Etymotic ER4 duo (XR and SR) at Headfonia

+ WooEasy Super Audio 2+2 IEMs at Verum Sonus

+ Dunk DK-3001 IEMs at Headfonics

+ iBasso DX200 at Headfonics

+ VE Zen 2.0 earbuds (yes, actual earbuds) at Verum Sonus

STREAMING SERVICES

Things are heating up once again in the world of streaming competition. Google has brought back the 4-month free trial for NEW subscribers (which includes YouTube RED and the all important ability to play background video/music with the mobile app), while TIDAL collaborated with SPRINT to offer six months of their higher-resolution “HI FI” service for FREE to current and new Sprint subscribers (this is the $20/month tier).

TIDAL is not done though, they are heavily promoting a new “4:44” film with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, finally putting “The 4400” behind him 🙂

TECHNOBABBLE

Apple had its annual WWDC, and they too joined the “AI speaker” party with, no, not the “Siri Speaker” but the “HomePod”. The “iPod” name worked after all a decade or two ago. [see first impressions].

There were a few new things in audio-related things at WWDC and iOS 11 that did not get the spotlight during their busy 2+ hour long keynote, including a new volume indicator, more podcast functionality, tap to skip with the AirPods which will soon auto-pair with Apple TV.

Meanwhile Engadget thinks that the new iPad PRO is Apple’s best device (at the moment) for music.

Android legend Andy Rubin launched his Essential phone and platform, but a major disappointment for fans of the headphone jack, NYET said Rubin 🙁

CROWDFUNDING FUN

Cassette tapes are making an ironic post-vinyl second-wave comeback, but very few people are willing to actually buy a tape deck and music on cassette tape 🙂 So how about a compromise? A digital audio player in the shape of an actual cassette tape? Yes, you can crowdfund it indeed on Kickstarter, it has already smashed its initial goal of $10k 🙂

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