This Week In Headphoolia #19 (up to 7/2/17)

Another week is in the books, and so it is time for another one of our little “e-zines”. If you missed any previous episodes, you can find them all waiting for you in the Headphoolia archives. If you want to get them as soon as they are published, we have a free full-text RSS Feed. The soundtrack for this week’s edition is Rush’s especially-steampunky “Clockwork Angels” (which is also a book written by (trigger warning for OG Dune fans) Kevin Anderson).

EXPERIMENTS

Trigger warning for Reddit Admins. A Zeos video is next! In this 35 minute video, Zeos and Chewbacca perform a Sony MDR-Z1R burn-in experiment! The first comment (pinned) in the YouTube comments includes a user-generated frequency analysis (files available through Google Drive).

OPINIONS

The Sony MDR-Z1R measurements and reviews created a bit of a kerfuffle among some audiophiles, and Tyll is back with a new post opining on the whole situation and his approach going forward.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, there is a loooooong discussion of this in the Super Bestest Audio Friends forum.

This article from 1992 was resurfaced at Stereophile and still rather relevant, “The Improvement Disease”. It talks about audio in general, not headphone-specific.

FACTORY TOURS

Would you like a factory tour of AudioQuest? Stereophile visited them and has a 16-minute video of their adventures, which you can find YouTube embedded below as well. The video tour has an accompanying article on their website…

REVIEWS and MORE (VIDEO)

It’s Mr Speakers AEON week it seems, with two well-respected reviewers sharing their takes on them. Nine out of ten praying mantises think the design of the Mr Speakers AEONs is sexy 😉

Tyll is back with a new headphone review, this time it is the with a 16 minute video and the accompanying written part of the review at the Innerfidelity website.

Next up, AORNIC has his own take with a 22 minute video review along with an accompanying written part on his website.

DAPs too are jumping on the higher and higher (specs and price) hype train, and the new Astell & Kern Kann DAP-Brick is the subject of a new 26 minute by Lachlan Likes A Thing as part of his first impressions live Q&A stream.

And now some more action in lightning round:

+ 12 minute review of Audio Zenith PM X2 headphones at Porta FI

+ 23 minute video on the SMSLSAP9 balanced amp at Zeos Reviews

+ 5 minute video unboxing of the Audeze SINE planer earphones at AORNIC’s

+ 7 minute video by the Sound Guys (Android Authority network) on the Thinksound ON2 wood on-ears

REVIEWS and MORE (TEXT and PICTURES)

+ Astell & Kern Kann DAP-Tank review at Headfonia

+ Fostex-Massdrop TH-X00 Purpleheart review by Headfonics

+ ECP Audio Torpero III DAC/amp at Earphiles

+ iFi micro iDSD Black Label at Headphone List

EARPHONES ONLY: REVIEWS and MORE (TEXT and PICTURES)

+ 64Audio U3 in-ears at Headphone List

+ Oriveti (not to be confused with Italian computer manufacturer Olivetti) Primacy earphones at Heafonics

+ Audiofly AF1120 in-ears at Headphone List

+ Nuforce-Massdrop EDC earphones at Headfonia

+ Vision Ears VE8 earphones at Headphone List

+ weekly Reddit discussion is the KZ and other Chi-Fi earphones of the bang for the buck variety

+ Shozy BK (Stardust) Earbud Review at Headphone List
+ watch out VE Monks

LEARNINGS

What on earth is going on in the world of THX? It is the subject of this week’s 70 minute Home Theater Geeks featuring none other than the THX CTO Scott Francis. THX was purchased last October by Razer (yes, the gaming Razer).

STREAMING SERVICES

Streaming services and record labels have gone to great lengths to encourage, prod, coerce, plead, and beg the general public to sign-up for services instead of torrenting music. Now that they made great inroads in this, they are shooting themselves in the foot with the silliness of “exclusives”.

The latest in this madness is TIDAL and Sprint, taking it to the next level. The new Jay-Z album is can only be streamed by previously-registered TIDAL subscribers. Anyone signing up for TIDAL after June 26 will NOT be able to stream the new album. The only way a new TIDAL subscriber can listen to the new album is if they sign-up through Sprint which offers a FREE six month TIDAL trial to the Hifi ($20/mo) tier. The six month free trial is nice, but to get to it you have to have cellular service with Sprint. With the usual cellphone carrier terms and conditions and restrictions and fineprint we all love.

REFERENCE MATERIAL

We are starting a series a “reference-y” posts/lists that can be handy as you try to sift through relevant things. We have two of them so far, with more in the works:

+ Smartphones with Bluetooth 5.0 (three of them so far)

+ Smartphones without the 3.5mm Headphone Jack (not as many as the Great Panic of 2016 would have us believe we’d have by now)

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