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Highend Headphones - All Our Latest News & Reviews!

77 posts in this topic

Dealer

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Hi All,

I just wanted to do a quick blog to say that we now have the MrSpeakers Ether Headphones on demo as I know a lot of people have been waiting fro these, the closed back versions, the ETHER C will be following in a couple of weeks.

It’s funny really as a couple of years ago a £1000 headphone would have been extremely highend, but over the last year or so everyone is releasing more and more expensive headphones and the £1000 price mark has kind of been forgotten, the ETHER’s come in at £1150 with the standard cable and £1250 with the upgraded cable so I really can see these being very popular indeed.

They are a Planar Magnetic design using a patent pending V-Planar design which is supposed to give a quicker reaction time with better dynamics, I’ve had a quick listen before we started running them in and they are certainly a really enjoyable listen giving great clarity but in a not too overly forward way, retaining a nice level of warmth.

Also the ETHER’s really are extremely comfortable and very light, definitely a headphone for long listening sessions. I guess you could say that we need another headphone brand like a hole in the head at Highend Headphones :-) but we are really please to add MrSpeakers to our Portfolio as they really do bring something new to the market and I can see them being very popular indeed.

Below is a link to MrSpeakers on our website and a few unboxing pics, if you’d like to come in for a listen anytime then please feel free.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/mr-speakers-headphones

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Cheers,

Paul.

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Dealer

Hi All,

Now it is not often that I get too excited about a headphone at the £400 mark and yesterday when our stock of the new Sennheiser HD 630VB’s arrived I think it is fair to say that I wasn’t jumping for joy, but as they have something new, ie variable bass, I thought I would take them home to try, more to see how this was implemented really than a in depth listening session, well what can I say other than what a great headphone that has really taken me by surprise, after a 2 hour session I had to force myself to take them off to go to sleep.

Firstly it isn’t a small headphone but this is probably why it sounds so good thanks to the bigger drivers compared to most portable headphones, being a Sennheiser they are built like a tank, they are designed to work with smartphones so you can take calls and adjust volume on the headphone but most importantly these are a serious headphone for listening if you like a honest, high quality sound, they offer great detail and with the Variable bass you really can tailor the sound to just how you like it, in all honesty they are astonishing value.

The Variable bass really is a great idea, you basically twist a dial on the right cup to increase or lower the level of bass, I found that around 20% under maximum really was the sweet spot for me but then when I put some Muse on I upped to max and they really rocked :-)

Another area where they really win is that they are the perfect match for Chord Electronics award winning new Mojo, if you are serious about music on the go I would say these 2 products are the perfect match, I love my Mojo and use it daily with Tidal from my phone and every night I have been taking home a different headphone to see what works best with Mojo, you can’t beat taking your work home :-) and I have to say that these HD 630VB headphones are a brilliant match.

So anyway we have them on demo and whether for home use or for travelling at their price point of £399 I would say that the new HD 630VB headphones are unbeatable giving a highend sound which are comfortable, well made and being a closed back you can use them anywhere, I’ll certainly be taking them home again tonight :-)

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/sennheiser/sennheiser-hd-630vb-headphones

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Partnered With Chord's Mojo

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Cheers,

Paul.

#headphones #sennheiser #chordelectronics #highendheadphones

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Dealer

Hi All,

I’m sure other HiFi Shops don’t get visitors like this :-)

He was dumped near the shop so needless to say Wendy has adopted him and he now wakes us up daily at 4.30am at home :-(

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I'm ready for all the Coq jokes btw :-)

Cheers,

Paul.

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Dealer

Just blogging it now, yes in talks with Sennheiser, fingers crossed :-)

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Dealer

Hi All,

I raided Wendy’s shop before breaking up for Christmas.

It’s going to be a fun few days :-)

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Have a Great Christmas Everyone!

Cheers,

Paul.

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Dealer

HI All,

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, I just thought that I would quickly update this with my listening impressions of DAVE after spending hours listening over Christmas with an Aurender as a source through the Stax SR-009s's, needless to say we got on very well and DAVE is most definitely one of my favourite Christmas guests who is welcome anytime :-)

Firstly it was a great to have time over Christmas to have a proper listen, as a big Stax and Chord DAC fan I knew it would be good but I have to say it has to be the most natural sound I have ever heard over a headphone rig and most definitely the best I have ever heard the Stax SR-009′s.

One session I started listening at 9pm, finally urned it off at midnight, went to bed, couldn’t sleep as I kept thinking of more songs I couldn’t wait to listen to so got back up and carried on listening till 3am, it was certainly a very addictive system :-) The only problem is that I am struggling to put into words what made it such a fantastic listen, as you would expect DAVE certainly extracted all the information out of the recordings and also gave great width to the SR-009′s but I think it is the effortless nature that it presents the music that makes it hard to put into words, it just sounds right, natural, organic and very engrossing, I really would struggle for anyone to not be impressed, I know the SR-009′s are not for everyone as they are very open, airy but don’t have the most powerful bass but with DAVE at the heart of it everything just sounded so together, see I’m struggling again :-)

I can’t wait for the magazines to start reviewing DAVE to see how they describe it as I’m sure they will do a better job than me, I still think the the Hugo TT is the sweet spot in the Chord DAC range as you get a serious amount of performance for the money but DAVE just brings a more refined sound that really is quite infectious and once you’ve heard it there really is no going back.

Not a cheap system by any stretch of the imagination at around £16,000 but when I consider the level of sound quality and enjoyment it bought it is almost a bargain in highend audio terms.

Happy New Year everyone :-)

Cheers,

Paul.

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Dealer

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Hi All,

We are quite fussy about the portable players that we put on demo as we are such big fans of the Astell&Kern range so when a new player is launched it really does have to prove itself in a very competitive market, up until now we have only offered Astell&Kern as we still consider them the best players on the market, offering such a complete range, there really is something for everyone from the AK Jr to the AK380, but just recently we got a chance to try the new Pioneer XDP-100R and was instantly impressed, this is a fantastic player, especially when you consider the price of £499, so we were more than happy to put it on demo.

The main headline with the XDP-100R is that it is the first portable player to offer MQA, at the moment this isn’t too exciting as there is no material but that is all due to change very shortly with MQA having a big presence at CES this week, so it really is only a matter of time then in theory we should be able to stream 24 bit from sites like Tidal etc, very exciting :-)

Other features of the XDP-100R are that you can use its 2 SD cards to give a huge 432GB of storage, it will support up to 24/384 + DSD, it is Android based with a huge Hi Res colour screen, Tidal, Qobuz & Deezer apps are built in, 16 hours battery life + it is beautifully build, it feels really solid, once you have it in your hand you really won’t believe it costs £499.

It also uses the ESS Sabre Dac so you get a nice, clean, open and musical sound that the Sabre Dacs are known for. For me though another option is to use it as a source and plug it into the Chord Mojo for a real lift in sound quality, the beauty of this set up is that you can use it as one device if you like but you can add the Mojo when you want to give a lift in performance but still use all the features and great screen that the XDP-100R offers, the best of both worlds really, all for £898, can’t be bad :-)

It comes in white or black and we now have it in stock and on demo so please feel free to come in to give it a try, also try it with the Mojo, it really is an excellent combination.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/pioneer-headphones/pioneer-xdp-100r-portable-hi-res-player

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Cheers,

Paul.

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Hi There,

This is great news as we love Atlas cables and obviously we like our headphones, so to merge the 2 can only be a match made in heaven.

Joking aside though we have been working with Atlas for a few months now helping where we can so it gives us great pleasure to see the Zeno headphone upgrade cable from Atlas hit the market as for me I have found it frustrating for sometime now that in the US upgrade cables are easily obtainable but that just hasn’t been the case over here, so it is great that Atlas took on the challenge and have succeeded in bringing a cable to market that not only sounds great and is a substantial upgrade from the stock cable packaged with all headphones but have managed to offer it to pretty much all headphones with a detachable cable, this really is no mean feat as there are so many terminations available for all the headphones now.

We have pretty much all the relevant cables on demo and can be ordered to any length and with balanced or single ended terminations and the real beauty is the cost, they start at £145 for something like OPPO’s excellent PM-3 and goes up to around £265 for the HD800′s, standard length is 1.5m but you can go up by 0.5m lengths for just £10, so £20 per metre. At these prices I really think that if you love listening on headphones then it really is a no brainer as we have tried all the combinations and they really do offer a more open and refined sound in all instances, we have found bigger improvements on some compared to others but there are always gains to be had.

Being an Atlas product they are beautifully made, using Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper conductors, and are also light and flexible, another important element for me with a headphone cable. Please see a few words below from Kevin Kelly, Managing Director at Atlas Cables, “With the popularity of high-end headphones set to increase and the owners looking to further refine the quality of their purchase, we felt we could add real benefits in increased sound quality and durability. By applying our trusted scientific and engineering process to this new product category, we firmly believe that Zeno gives listeners the opportunity to gain even more from their headphones with the results speaking for themselves.”

So please feel free to come in to try Atlas’s new Zeno cable on the headphone of your choice, I am confident once you have heard the difference it will bring you will be impressed.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/atlas-cables/atlas-zeno-upgrade-headphone-cable

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Cheers,

Paul.

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Hi All,

Just a quickie to say that at the moment we have the new Fostex HP-V8 valve headamp on demo, this amp really is a monster weighing in at around 31kg’s with a size to match it’s weight and costing £7199, this is one serious analogue headphone amp, but what you do get is a beautifully screwed together amp that just oozes quality.

But I have to say that it most definitely performs, using the new Sennheiser HD800S’s for listening I have to say it is probably the best sounding amp I have ever heard giving a very neutral and detailed sound but with real grip, punch and control, it really did get the best from the HD800S’s, you can just sense the power there, no wonder the called it a ‘V8′ :-)

We only have it on loan for a while but if you are interested to hear what a £7000+ valve headamp sounds like please do get in touch to make an appointment.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/fostex-headphones/fostex-hp-v8-vacuum-tube-headphone-amplifier

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Cheers,

Paul.

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Hi All,

Just a quickie to say that we now have Audeze’s new Sine headphones on demo, I always felt that the EL-8′s were a little too big and heavy to be truly portable well this is Audeze’s answer, a Planar headphone that is designed to be portable and I have to say they really are excellent.

I took them home last night to try on my Mojo with Tidal running from my phone and was really impressed, firstly they are extremely well made and robust, when I first saw them I wasn’t overly sure on the styling but once you have them in your hands you can’t help but be impressed, yes they are quite understated, Beats they are certainly not :-) but they just ooze quality, things like the headband adjustment is so smooth with the right amount of resistance, the leather covering on the ear-cups is pure class, you can tell BMW styling were involved with the design again.

But obviously being well made is pointless if they don’t deliver on the sound quality front, well needless to say Audeze have got it right again, firstly they deliver a very open, clean and detailed sound, very un-closed back like to be honest and the bass is very extended but also punchy and tight, what I really liked though was the soundstage, especially for a small on-ear headphone, they really do deliver some width. Also another important feature is comfort, I have struggled in the past with on-ears but the triangle design cup really seems to work, giving a great seal from outside noise and giving great comfort at the same time.

The OPPO PM-3′s have been our portable headphone of choice up until now, a great headphone, but now it looks like they have a true competitor, luckily both sound very different indeed so I can see people finding it quite easy to choose between the PM-3′s and Sines, the OPPO’s give a warmer presentation with the Sines being more open and dynamic.

We now have the Sines on permanent demo and in stock ready to take away so please feel free to come in for a demo, priced at £399 I really don’t know how they make them for the money to be honest.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/audeze/audeze-sine-on-ear-headphones

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Cheers,

Paul.

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Full Questyle Range on Demo Including the Mighty ‘Golden 4 Pack’

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Hi all,

I think it is far to say that the headphone market and in particular the headphone amplifier market has become a very crowded place recently, in fact we have had a clear out lately selling on some of our headphone amps as there was just too much choice which can become very confusing.

But being a headphone enthusiast I am always on the look out for anything that can add something different to the market and to be fair when Questyle was mentioned to me I really wasn’t that interested as the last thing I needed was another headphone electronics brand but I was curious about their ‘Current Mode Amplification’ and that you can run 2 of their analogue headphone amps in a mono block configuration which as far as I know is a first, but in HiFi running an amp for each speaker makes perfect sense so why not with headphones.

So I started of with the Questyle CMA600i which I now consider the headphone amplifier bargain of the century, basically a DAC & Headphone amplifier that sounds absolutely gorgeous, offers  single ended and balanced outputs and remote control all for £1089 and when you actually see the build quality you really will wonder how they do it for the money, these really are beautifully made, but then they are built by Foxconn who build something called the iPhone for Apple, hence the similar colours of the Questyle kit.

So anyway after being very impressed with the 600i I tried the CMA800R which is Questyle’s analogue headphone amplifier, instantly I was impressed with the full and rich sound it gave, this is thanks to the way the power is delivered with the Current Mode Amplification, it certainly gives a very natural sound, from that moment I was converted, Questyle really do seem to know what they are doing.

As well as their normal range Questyle do their ‘Golden Series’ which are similar products but use hand selected components and ceramic PCB’s to give even better sound quality so I couldn’t resist but to put a full reference system on demo comprising of a 4 Pack Golden Series rack of 2 x CMA800R’s in mono configuration, the CMA800P Pre-amp which was actually commissioned by Stax as a Pre-amp for the SR-009′s and the matching DAC, in total this comes to a value of £10,746 but as far as I am concerned this a truly reference headphone rig that would take some serious beating.

I spent the other night listening to the Abyss AB-1266 headphones on it in full balanced mode and I have never heard these headphones sound this good, full bodied, detailed, layered, controlled but with an over riding analogue sound quality that just oozed effortlessness, for anyone who loves listening on headphones then I strongly recommend you listen to a 4 Pack Golden Rack, saying that the CMA600i still has the same over riding quality but is nearly £10,000 cheaper so Questyle really do cater for most budgets.

Finally I should also mention their portable player, the QP1r which has been getting excellent reviews and is a real challenger to Astell&Kern on both audio and build quality.

I won’t ramble on anymore but needless to say from someone not really interested what Questyle had to offer they have well and truly converted me into a true believer. We have the full range on demo so please feel free to come in for a listen.

Below are a few pictures and a link to the full range on our Highend Headphones website -

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/questyle

Questyle CMA600i DAC & Amp

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Questyle CMA800R Amplifier

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Full Reference Golden Series 4 Pack!

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Cheers,

Paul.

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Ultrasone Launch The Tribute 7 Headphones!

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Hi All,

I just thought I would post that I had a chance yesterday to listen to the new Tribute 7 Headphones from Ultrasone and I have to say the more I listen to Ultrasone headphones the more I like them, they really do offer a presentation that is right up my street.

I am very lucky that I do get to hear a lot of headphones but when I put the Tribute 7′s on I really didn’t want to take them off and that was listening to Guns and Roses, not the best recorded music out there, but on the Tribute 7′s it really did sound amazing, brilliant detail but it was the bass that impressed, very fast, clean and controlled and all from a closed back, I really believe now that the days of closed back being a compromise are long gone, well if done properly that is and when it comes to closed back headphones there is no one better than Ultrasone in my opinion.

The only drawback with the Tribute 7′s is that they are limited to 777 pairs worldwide and there are only 4 pairs in the UK available so if you want a Highend Closed Back Headphone that is neutral, revealing with tight and punchy base then you really do need to act fast as the UK allocation really isn’t going to be around for long, if you would like to hear a pair please feel free to get in touch to arrange a demo, below is a link to more information -

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/ultrasone/ultrasone-tribute-7-headphones

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Cheers,
Paul.

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Hi All,

One of our favourite digital headphone amps is the excellent Questyle CMA600i, and there has never been a better time to consider it as Questyle are offering a trade in value of £100 against it if you trade in any headphone related product, to be honest it has always been a bit of a bargain so it is even more so now.

What makes it so good? well firstly is uses Questyle’s patented Current Mode Amplification which gives a very natural and analogue sound whilst retaining all the detail, it really does give a very easy to listen to presentation, then there is the DAC section which is state of the art and offers up to DSD 256 with no converting to PCM, it also has 2 x single ended outputs and a 4 pin stereo balanced output, put this together with its stunning build quality you really do have a headphone amp that is unbeatable for the price, then you just have to choose what headphones to partner with it, the new Focal Elear’s would make a great partner, or perhaps the Sennheiser HD800S’s.

Anyway if you feel this is something you would like to consider please feel free to get in touch or please feel free to come in for a demo anytime.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/questyle/questyle-audio-cma600i-dac-with-headphone-amplifier

Thanks,

Paul.

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Focal Utopia & Elear Headphones + MrSpeakers Ether Flow Open & Closed Now On Demo!

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Hi All,

This is just a quick message to say that at long last we now have the Focal Utopia headphones on permanent demo, along with the Focal Elear’s and MrSpeakers Ether Flow open and Closed backs, I just wanted to mention this as there has been an unbelievable demand for all 4 pairs of these headphones and it is only today that we actually got a pair of Utopia’s to put on demo as Focal have been really caught out by the demand.

I can honestly say that in 4 years of selling headphones, since HiFi Lounge launched, I have never seen demand like it for the Focal headphones, both the Utopia’s and Elear’s have been ridiculously popular, but to be fair both are setting new benchmarks at what is available at their respective price points and I have to say a special mention to the Utopia’s, all the hype is very much deserved and are worth every penny of their £3400 asking price, the funny thing is that not one part of the listening experience stands out, whereas on a Stax SR-009 you would highlight the amazing detail, insight and clarity and on the LCD-4 you would mention the amazing mid range and solid bass, with the Utopia the whole balance is absolutely perfect, I can totally understand why in this month HiFi+ review they called the Utopia a ‘Masterpiece’ not something you hear very often in this game.

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Likewise the new MrSpeakers Ether Flow Closed and Open back headphones have been very popular indeed, I think it is fair to say that the Ether C Flows are now the best closed back headphone currently available and I know this is a big consideration for a lot of people.

Although we have all these headphones on permanent demo getting actual stock isn’t exactly free flowing at the moment as I don’t think Focal or MrSpeakers really expected this level of demand, I heard the other day that Focal are only making 5 pairs of Utopia’s a day to meet the worlds demand so I can only imagine the pressure they must be under at the moment, I suggest that if you are interested then all we need is a 10% deposit to get you in the queue but at least they are starting to trickle through now, alternatively please feel free to come in for a demo anytime.

Any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/focal-headphones

http://www.highendheadphones.co.uk/mr-speakers-headphones

Thanks,

Paul.

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