Brainwavz Krudul Duo Earphone Hanger

Brainwavz were kind enough to send me their Krudul Duo earphone hanger. This product is designed to attach to your desk, your laptop or anything else really to give you a place to hang your earphones.

They came in a compact box that was easy to open. The box has two hangers, one seems good for putting on the back / front of a desk, the other for attaching to a monitor or similar.

Brainwavz Krudul Duo headphone hanger

They’re both made of aluminium, and seem both very strong and very light. They’re a matt black, with a very slight sheen / reflective to it, they’re quite good looking. They come with 3M adhesive to attach them to whatever you need them attached to. It looks like a permanent attachment rather than one of the 3M removable strips to me.

I don’t use compact headphones very often at my desk, as I prefer full sized headphones. Instead I used these at the back of my desk for cable management of my various USB charging cables. I found them good for that, with the cords staying in place well, but able to be removed if they need to be. I’m sure they’d do well with holding headphones as well, as the larger part that goes in your ear couldn’t slip through the gap.

If you need this sort of a product, I think this is a well made options that you should consider. They’re available from for US$13.

Review of Cyberdrive Clarity Feather DAC

Along with three of their in-ear headphones, someone (presumably Cyberdrive but I’ve never been in contact with the company as far as I can tell) sent me their “Clarity Feather Hi-Res Notebook DAC” to review. This product is aimed at laptop or desktop users who get poor sound quality from their computers on-board sound. It’s marked “DSD256 + PCM192HHz”. Read on for more of our thoughts.

Continue reading “Review of Cyberdrive Clarity Feather DAC”

Audio Technica ATH-A900X review – very disappointed

The A900X is a big step backward for the ATH-A family of headphones, primarily because the poor support offered by the new 3D wing design results in the headphone cups slipping down and resting on your ears. I strongly recommend against purchasing these headphones.

Read on for more.

Continue reading “Audio Technica ATH-A900X review – very disappointed”

Sennheiser HD650 vs Audeze LCD2 Headphones with Headroom Balanced Desktop vs Custom PPA Headphone Amplifiers

We have a bit of a treat in at the moment, the loan of a pair of Sennheiser HD650‘s and a very expensive Headroom Balanced Desktop Amp, to pair with our Audeze LCD2 and a custom made PPA headphone amplifier. We’ve been swapping cables all day! The balanced amp can drive two pairs of headphones or one balanced pair, which has been invaluable for head to head testing.

We’ll do a full review in a week or two, but for now my impressions are that the HD650 has a little more detail than the LCD2, especially at the high end, but the LCD2 has stronger, punchier bass. Don’t get me wrong, the HD650’s have bass, and the LCD2 has treble, we’re talking about subtle differences between two of the best headphones in the world here! It’s not always about each part of the sound is though, sometimes it’s about how it all comes together to play the music we love. Both are very comfortable headphones, but I think the Senny’s with their soft pads, lighter weight, and lower clamping force just edge out the still excellent LCD2’s leather pads and slightly greater clamping force.

I’m not sure whether or not I can hear a difference between the two amps. Sometimes I think the headroom has slightly better high end detail and a touch more bass, but I doubt I could tell the two apart in a blind test.

We may throw in the old A900s, since they’ll be back in the office tomorrow anyway, and there are some Beats by Dr Dre’s laying about that we’ll add in too.

Questions are welcome!

AudioEngine 2 speakers review (aka AudioEngine A2)

With the recent dearth of headphones for review I thought I’d post about my latest audio purchase – the AudioEngine 2/A2 desktop speakers. Yes I know this is a headphone blog, but we’re all music lovers, and speakers make it easier to share the music!

These speakers are really quite tiny, 15cm (6″) high, 14cm (6″) deep, 9cm (4″) wide. They’re small enough that I might just take them next time I go on an overseas holiday! They could easily be packed up in the included soft cases and taken to a bbq or a party (mains power required).

The left speaker has the inputs, the amplifier, the connection to the right speaker, and the power/volume switch on the back. The volume switch is right beside the 3.5mm input, it’s a pretty poor choice of location since the 3.5mm lead gets in the way, but you get used to it. It looks better to have everything on the rear as well. The bottom is a soft padded material so they don’t scratch your desk.

The sound that comes from these speakers isn’t small – for the size of the speakers it’s really quite remarkable. They’re surprisingly loud if you crank them up, louder than I will ever need. The bass is much better than you could reasonably expect for such small speakers, better than many headphones. It’s not room shaking, but it’s quite low and strong considering their size and price. There is a sweet spot for the bass, if you go way off center or into a different room it’s less impressive, but if you want room shaking bass you probably want  a different system. They do have a subwoofer that seems to have a wireless module, but their website is a little cryptic about how it all works.

The clarity of the mid range is impressive. Vocals are clear and understandable, but musical. They cope well with dance, jazz, and vocals. The highs are good, not super super sharp, but they’re there and well balanced. Well balanced describes the sound overall, along with musical, and enjoyable. I don’t think they’re enough for a home theater system, though their big brother the AudioEngine A5 may work ok for that.

Compared to my entry level Wharfdale Vardus home theatre 6.1 speaker system there’s really no comparison: the Wharfdale easily best them. Remember though the Vardus cost six times more, they have 18 or more cones compared with four, they’re about 20 times the size, and probably weight about 40 times more. The AudioEngine together are 1/2 the size of the Vardus center speaker, and the sound while not near as good is definitely a heck of a lot better than a TV could produce.

Overall I can highly recommend these little speakers as ideal for music for one or two people in small areas, at their desks in a home office, for portable use, or really anything else. They’re available on for US$199.

Audeze LCD-3

We reviewed the Audeze LCD-2 around six months back, and pronounced them perhaps the best headphones on the planet. I’m listening to them right now, and they really are quite awesome.

We were blown away today to discover the LCD-3 exists! I’m not sure how they could improve the LCD-2, but we’d love to find out! At US$1945 they’re definitely a niche market, but we expect a definite evolution and improvement on the LCD-2.

Wharfedale Vardus Speaker Review

A review of the Wharfedale Vardus speakers, Onkyo SR-TX508 receiver, and Logitech Harmony One remote.

I know, I know, this is a headphone review site, not a speaker review site, what am I doing?! Well recently I purchased some the Wharfedale Vardus 5.1 speaker pack, along with an Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver, and there were very few reviews around, so I figured i’d share! Read on for my review.

Continue reading “Wharfedale Vardus Speaker Review”

Fanny Wang Headphones

A week or so ago we received an email from Fanny Wang asking if we’d like to review their headphones. After we finished sniggering about the name we said sure, we’d love to.

You may recognise the name from the recent news about Monster suing Fanny Wang over claims they’re a knock-off of the Monster Beats.

I have both headphones sitting side by side on my desk, and there is a heck of a resemblance. Did they copy them? I don’t know, and it’s not for me to decide. Both are good looking headphones though. The Beats are more comfortable as they’re an over the ear model, but Fanny Wang are pretty good for on-ear models, and they’re coming out with an over the ear noise cancelled product in a month or so.

First impressions are the drivers in the Fanny Wang headphones are quite poorly matched, with the left driver being significantly louder than the right. If i’d paid for these i’d return them for exchange or refund right away. I’ll try to do a fair review of the headphones given this obvious fault, but it will obviously lose points for such a basic problem.

I’m leaving the headphones to burn in for a day or so, i’ll post a full review once they’re ready.

TFT Acoustics headphone reviews

Late last year TFT Acoustics sent us three canal phones and one standard earphone for comparative review, and we’ve finally gotten around to posting our reviews.  Overall, we’re impressed.

The 2100 2V1S canalphone is a stand out performer. It has a clear, well balanced sound, great bass that doesn’t overwhelm, and it’s just a pleasure to listen to. There’s also an “extra bass” version that gives you a little more bass at the expense of the mids and highs, though they’re still reasonably well balanced. The little brother 2101 2V1 model is a decent performer for a very decent price. The 1101 earphone model’s a bit crap, but my view is probably biased, i’ve never much liked that style of headphone. Overall the canalphones are very good value.

One problem is the sensitivity – they’re just too loud. Even on minimum volume on my iPod Touch I often wanted to turn the volume down. High sensitivity is common to thin film earphones, but these are ones are extra sensitive. On maximum volume these things would do permanent damage to your ears in no time flat – seconds, or minutes. If you get them, be careful. Hearing loss or tinnitus are serious problems, and neither can be cured – hearing problems are for life.

As the company is new availability is limited, but that should improve in the next few months.

On a lighter note I think they need to make better use of a spell checker – Acoustics has only one C . I suspect a name change will be forthcoming in the near future 😉