This Week In Headphoolia #26 (up to 8/19/17): Viet-Fi, Schiit-y Tour, SBC vs apt-X, MythBusters, Monster Assistant, Etc

Today’s priorities, first mountain of dishes, next, a new installment 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…

NEWS NOISE

Because Siri and Cortana and Bixby and Alexa and Google Assistant are not enough, Monster decided to give their headphones a Voice Assistant. None of the above of course, it had to be something else, a thing called Melody from a third party.

We survived the iPhone dropping the headphone jack. Can we survive the Google Pixel doing this? One of the leaks for the upcoming 2017 Pixel phones at GSM Arena suggests that there’s no headphone jack in the 2017 Pixel. Crisis time? Google often signals big changes with their Nexus/Pixel phones, will other Android manufacturers follow? So far, Apple’s impact has been fairly minimal as you can see from the fairly short list of smartphones without a headphone jack.

How USB-C audio is implemented is also a factor. Apple and HTC prefer digital-out only [the HTC 10 is the last major HTC release with a headphone jack], while some of the other Android manufacturers support both USB-C digital out and analog out. What will Google do?

And will Android users accept it like iPhone users or will there be a rebellion against Google? Some hardcore Android fans are already sore on Google for the untimely demise of the Nexus line.

TOUR GUIDE

AudioHead gives the internet a 2 minute video tour of the new Schiit Audio customer-facing store in Southern California. They also have an accompanying blog-post of their adventures. Video YouTube-embedded below…

MYTHBUSTERS

A myth-busters installment is up at Wirecutter – do memory cards affect audio quality? What do you think of their findings?

BLUETOOTH CODECS: SBC vs APT-X

RTings has a comparison between SBC and apt-X bluetooth CODECs on their website. I’m not sure what to make of their sound quality testing, but their Latency testing sounds (no pun intended) solid – they describe in detail their testing procedure.

EARPHONES

Mr. Lee, of Venture Electronics, famous for their VE Monks [we have an unboxing and review diary of these here] was back on the headphones sub-reddit with another AMA session a couple of weeks ago.

Chi-fi is getting a lot of hype in some enthusiast corners, but they are not the only ones building up! Here is an overview of Viet-Fi, an overview of the Vietnamese earphone market by Leonhart at Head Fi.

Speaking of Chi-Fi, Lachlan has a 1 minute Chi-Fi satire video 🙂

Lachlan takes a look at the Bose Soundsport earphones for use while running in a 4 minute video.

Fiio is back with more things, their F5 earphones are reviewed at Headfonics.

Pretentious genius? That’s how Headfonia describes the Apple Airpods in their review of these little i-Critters.

Wirecutter, in their customary approach, pick what are, in their opinion, the best earplugs for sleeping (these do not play music).

Trigger warning for Reddit mods 😉 A new installment in the IEM Shootout series is posted at Z-Reviews, total runtime of 37 minutes. Motion sickness alert, the video is recorded with a shaky head-mounted GoPro.

DAPs and PADs

A DAP vs a PAD (Phone as a DAP; DAP = Digital Audio Player). A 7-minute video from Pocket Now compared the LG V20 PAD with the Fiio X5 III DAP. You can also find the video YouTube-embedded below…

Meanwhile Hifi Insider unboxes two Sony flagship audio players in the NW-WM1 series, the WM1Z and WM1A. Why do companies have such a hard time coming up with consumer-friendly model names?

On the Fiio front, the new X7 II gets reviewed at The Headphone List.

The Audio Opus, Opus #2 DAP gets reviewed at Headphone Guru.

DACs and AMPs

+ Mytek Hifi Manhattan II at Stereophile

OVER/ON-EARS

Tyll is back with a new consumer-tier headphone review, it is the closed-back Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT (as in bluetooth) getting a 9-minute video along with the customary review write-up.

+ V-Moda Crossfade Wireless 2 review at The Verge

+ AKG K92 closed-back review at Headphonesty
+ so many AKG headphone modelss, it’s insane! I wonder how many people working at AKG can recite their whole headphone line-up without using a cheat-sheet 🙂

+ Sony MDR-1000X (BT with ANC) review at Headphonesty

OPINIONS

Katz is back with another Katz Corner, this one talking Neutrality, Perfection, and more, with call-backs to the LCD-4 and Focal Utopia controversies.

DMS3 TV opines on on smartphones and headphone jack (6 min video).

Archimago is back with computer-talk, talking about his three main computers, custom built.

LEARNINGS

An 11-minute video from Stereophile with Art and Herb talking Imaging in audio. This is general audio, not headphone centric.

Want to learn more about Roon Labs? Headfonia features them in their new bi-weekly interview series (text and pictures).

If you want to try out some new apps, Android Authority picks, in their opinion of course, the best ten musician apps for Android.

This week’s edition of Home Theater Geeks is back with another audio-themed installment, talking immersive audio for VR, including binaural talk, demo of recording head, and more. You may want to watch/listen to this with headphones or other appropriate devices if you want to feel the directionality and immersiveness of the test sounds. This 68-minute video is also YouTube-embedded below…

PS: skip to around the 20 minute mark if you want to see the “head in grass” testing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *