Category Archives: World News

The best mid-range headphones

A sound investment.

The market is flooded with headphones boasting an array of features. As ever, it’s important to choose a pair that works for you, and your audio needs. Recent years have seen an increase in high-quality wireless functionality such as Bluetooth and active noise cancellation, all can be used in conjunction with your turntable or hi-fi set-up.

While these features may be tempting, many manufactures use these facets as the major selling point of their headphone models. However, in actuality overall sound quality should still reign supreme.

When moving up from the budget to mid-range price bracket, you’ll find an increased attention to detail with respect to headphones’ components, build quality, and overall sonic experience. Certain models also utilise audiophile technologies such as planar magnetic drivers – a system that is extremely resilient to audio and electronic distortion.

That said, when moving up from budget headphones into the mid-range sector, the fundamentals still hold true. Considerations like open back versus closed back are relevant in this bracket as well. Open back allows air to pass through, for a more natural type of experience and audio leaks. Closed back offers a more immersive experience, albeit with a different sound quality.

If possible to do so safely, we recommend that you listen to headphones in-person, or from a site that allows for a trial period where you can test out different sound sources and styles of music.

(NB: These headphones range from £400-£900, listed in order of price.)


AUDEZE LCD-1

Price: £400

Pros: Planar, open back

Cons: No Bluetooth

Verdict: Planar and open back design come together to deliver a wide and spacious sound profile.

The Audeze LCD-1 has a top-tier soundscape, featuring planar magnetic technology that allows for less low-end distortion and unique timbre. The model is paired with a brilliant open-back design to give you an all-encompassing, spacious sound profile. At this price point of £400, the LCD-1s allow you to hear music like you’re in the same room it is being played in.


Neumann NDH 20

Price: £400

Pros: Isolation in noisy environments, studio quality sound profile, clear and crisp

Cons: No bluetooth or wireless functionality

Verdict: If you like to be fully immersed in what you’re listening to and/or if you’re in a noisy environment, we couldn’t recommend these more!

Neumann’s NDH 20 offers a refined sound profile in a minimal design, without fancy bells and whistles. For £400, you’re getting precisely tuned, linear headphones that are great for isolating what you’re listening to – especially in noisy environments. Accuracy, balance, and transparent high-resolution sound are at the forefront of the headphones’ design. They also feature newly developed, high-gauss neodymium magnetic drivers, which ensure low distortion and high sensitivity.


Apple Airpod Max

Price: £549

Pros: Balanced sound profile, five colours to choose from

Cons: 3.5mm cable required for analogue connectivity

Verdict: For Apple users this a no brainer, great for home and wired setups, in conjunction with an Apple lighting to 3.5mm cable that is sold separately.

Apple’s first over-the-ear headphones offer a solid foray into the field. Overall, these headphones feature great spatial audio and noise cancellation, as well as a nicely balanced sound profile. Pairing to devices works swiftly, especially if they’re Apple products. To use it with analogue devices, you need a 3.5mm adapter cable that only works for Apple devices and is sold separately. It still works very well and its noise cancellation functionality is still present.


Audio Technica ATH-WP900

Price: £599

Pros: Stylish wood finish, 53mm drivers

Cons: No Bluetooth

Verdict: The ATH-WP900 offers a retro looking headphone that out performs the sound profiles of similarly priced headphones.

While many will be familiar with Audio Technica as a turntable brand, it also makes great headphones. At £599, the ATH-WP900 may lack modern features like BlueTooth and active noise cancellation, but it does make up for these shortcomings with a great sound profile. There is a lovely warmth to its low end, vocals punch through, and a high end that shines bright. The headphones also feature a vintage-esque maple-wood finish, which will appeal to those with a penchant for retro tech.


PHONON SMB-01L

Price: £730

Pros: Comfortable sheepskin ear pads, great balanced sound

Cons: Design a bit dated and boring, no bluetooth

Verdict: Vigorously tested and tuned headphones that are acoustically balanced to resemble high end audio monitoring systems

The Phono SMB-01L takes audiophile level sound very seriously. With these semi-open, 50mm driver headphones you can expect an almost studio-like listening experience. Phono also extensively tested these headphones against various reference materials. This results in a highly acoustic, balanced sound profile no matter what genre you’re listening to. The SMB-01L are also carefully tuned to resemble large, high-end audio monitoring systems.


Grado RS1e

Price: £749

Pros: Open back, wood finish, great sound

Cons: No Bluetooth

Verdict: Great audiophile centered open-back headphones that will make you never want to leave your home set-up.

Without fail Grado consistently creates superb-sounding headphones, and the RS1e are no different. The headphones showcase its stellar, open back design, paired with a 50mm dynamic transducer and an 8 conductor cable. This delivers a controlled, balanced, all-encompassing sound profile that feels lush, full, and will put a smile on your face.


Beyerdynamic T1 (3rd Generation)

Price: £899

Pros: Comfortable, open back

Cons: Dated looking design, no Bluetooth

Verdict: 3rd refinement of Beyerdynamic already wonderful sounding T1 headphone.

Beyerdynamic improves their already great performing T1 open-back headphones with its 3rd generation. Handmade in Germany, the headphones’ powerful dynamic drivers boast a high-end stereo image. The T1s also have precise and great spatial sound characteristics. Elsewhere, gently boosted bass gives the neutral sounding headphones some needed warmth to make it stand out even more. They’re also extremely comfortable too.


Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2

Price: £900

Pros: Choice of open back or closed back, planar

Cons: No bluetooth

Verdict: The Aeon 2 offers fantastic sound with its v-planar drivers, giving an overall boost in bass response and a decrease in distortion. They also come in open or close-backed options.

Dan Clarks Audio’s Aeon 2 improves on what made the original Aeon line such a great pair of headphones. The Aeon 2 comes with a lighter and more comfortable design, punchier bass, realistic dynamics, and a soundscape that takes it to the next level. A special, v-planar driver allows these the headphones to push more air in at lower frequencies. This results in a clearer, distortion-free sound even when compared to other planar drivers. Dan Clark Audio also allows you to choose between an open back or closed-back version of the Aeon 2.

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Hyperdub releasing new Foodman LP inspired by eating at service stations

Aiming to create a sense of tranquility through house, samples, jazz, and flute.

Foodman, aka Takahide Higuchi, is releasing a new album called Yasuragi Land, via Hyperdub this July.

For the album, Higuchi took inspiration from eating at motorway service stations in Japan, as well as the country’s public baths.

“I wanted to create an honest album that combines the sound of guitar and percussion with the sense of peace and community I feel in here amidst the uncertainty of the future.”

In doing so, Higuchi brings together elements of jazz, house, footwork, wooden flutes, and guitar VSTs.

Yasuragi Land follows his Dokutsu EP, last year on Highball.

Pre-order Yasuragi Land here in advance of its 9th July release, check out the artwork and tracklist below.

Tracklist:

1. Omiyage
2. Yasuragi
3. Michi No Eki ft Taigen Kawabe
4. Ari Ari
5. Shiboritate
6. Hoshikuzu Tenboudai
7. Shikaku No Sekai
8. Food Court
9. Gallery Cafe
10. Numachi
11. Parking Area
12. Iriguchi
13. Aji Fly
14. Sanhashi ft Cotto Center
15. Minsyuku

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

ELAC jetzt mit eigenem Online Shop

Vorerst gibt es im Elac Online Shop drei Modelle der UNI-FI 2.0 Serie (UB52; UC52; UF52), sowie diverse ausgewählte Lautsprecher und Subwoofer aus der Debut 2.0 Reihe. Darüber hinaus bietet der Shop aktuell Gutscheine, Zubehör, wie etwa Kabel oder Lautsprecherständer, sowie Fanartikel von ELAC (z.B. T-shirts) an.

Zudem führt ELAC ein eigenes Qualitätspartnerprogramm ein, mit dem der Fachhandel in den neuen Shop involviert werden soll. Die Qualitätspartner stehen Kunden vom Online Shop als Service- und Ansprechspartner zur Seite, womit die Kunden einerseits fachkundige Hilfe und Beratung bei einem Online-Kauf bekommen sollen, während die Partner so neue Kunden für sich gewinnen können.

Der ELAC Shop ist ab sofort unter https://shop.elac.de/ erreichbar.

Weitere Informationen zur Marke ELAC

Original Resource is STEREO-Newsticker RSS-Feed

No Signal unveils NS Academy for young Black creatives

The 12 week scheme will cover radio production, PR, social media, graphic design, finance structuring, and more.

London radio station No Signal is launching a new academy programme, called NS Academy, for young Black people aged 18-25, based in London and the surrounding areas.

The 12 week scheme will see 12 participants learn core industry, including graphic design, social media, budgeting and fundraising, building a visual identity, responding to briefs and more.

Following this, the selected participants will curate and producer their own own NS Academy takeover show on No Signal Radio.

Selected applicants will receive £1,000 for taking part, while the collective will have a £3,000 budget for the takeover.

Applications for NS Academy are open from now until the 2nd May 2021.

Head here for more info and to apply.

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Bill Evans concert from 1975 gets first release on 2xLP

An evening with the legendary jazz pianist.

A Bill Evans Trio concert recording titled On A Friday Evening, is being released for the first time, via Craft Recordings this June.

The recording captures the trio’s concert at Vancouver club Oil Can Harry during 1975, with Evans joined by Eddie Gomez on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums

“In the history of 20th-century piano, the music of Bill Evans constitutes an inflection point,” shares Zigmund. “There have been only a handful of pianists … whose innovations so strongly altered the prevailing aesthetic that the timeline breaks down into ‘before’ and ‘after.’”

On A Friday Evening follows Craft Recordings’ reissue of Yusef Lateef’s 1961 album Eastern Sounds.

Pre-order On A Friday Evening here in advance of its 25th June release, check out the artwork and tracklist below.

Tracklist:

Side A

1. Sareen Jurer (live)
2. Sugar Plum (live)

Side B

1. The Two Lonely People (live)
2. T. T. T. (Twelve Tone Tune) (live)
3. Quiet Now (live)

Side C

1. Up With The Lark (live)
2. How Deep Is The Ocean (live)

Side D

1. Blue Serge (live)
2. Nardis (live)

Photo by: Phil Brey

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Product Launch: NF Audio NA2+!

NF Audio quickly made a name for themselves when they made their international debut, with a striking mix of flagships and affordable models. Their low-end models, in particular, really drew many to the company, as they offered a refined and balanced sound tuning at a low price.

The NA2+ is the continuation of that legacy, featuring their signature dual-cavity dynamic driver. As opposed to the reference-orientated NM2+, the NA2+ offers a fun and musical tuning. As with their previous models, the NA2+ also offers a precision machined metal chassis and high-quality Litz SPC cable.

At present, the NA2+ is being offered for $169 USD and can be purchased from HiFiGO.

The post Product Launch: NF Audio NA2+! first appeared on The Headphone List.

Original Resource is The Headphone List

68 Weird and Unusual Records In My Collection

The first AnalogPlanet video in months is an hour plus worth of weird and unusual records in the editor's large collection. What makes an album "weird" or "unusual"? A wide variety of possibilities as you'll see in this amusing and entertaining video in which the website's editor literally lets his hair down.

At least I think there's humor here!

Original Resource is Analog Planet

VF Live: Kindred #2 with Mr Redley

“Music to soothe your soul, and also to make you get up and dance.”

In VF Live, DJs take you inside their HQs, record stores, and studios for intimate sets and mixes.

For London record and book shop Kindred’s second VF Live set, Café Au Lait founder Mr. Redley selects house, disco, and funk records.

“This collection of sounds is a little look behind the scenes of what I listen to outside the realms of house, techno and beyond. It’s music to soothe your soul, and also to make you get up and dance.”

Watch and listen to the set above, and check out the tracklist below.

Tracklist:

1. Cairo — Smokin’
2. David Joseph — You Can’t Hide
3. I-Level — Stone Heart
4. Simone — Mebsouta
5. Lafleur — Boogie Nights (Mega-Boogie Mix)
6. New York Disco Orchestra — It’s True
7. Change — Glow Of Love
8. Gay Marvine — I Luv Music
9. Stephen Encinas — Disco Illusion
10. Sun Palace — Rude Movements (Kenny Dope Dancefloor Powder Radio Edit)
11. Incognito — Everyday (Masters At Work Dub)
12. Black Jazz Consortium — Free Your Mind

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Unique Melody 3DT : Unique for sure

I don’t think there are many who are not aware of Unique Melody. It is one of the oldest and one of the most desirable Brands. They were one of the first brands to come up with planar IEMs, the ME1. Unique Melody used to cater to heavy rollers. Maven and Mentor are their flagship IEMs which most of the average buyers can only dream of. Thankfully UM has introduced some mid budget IEMs recently. Their MEST Mini can be call as a mid budget IEM but the recently released UM 3DTerminator 3DT is more affordable with a fairly unique configuration.

3DT houses 3 dynamic drivers in total, all of them are dynamic drivers. It has two 7mm compound diaphragm dynamic drivers for the bass (which is kind of strange, some IEMS dont even have two BA for bass in this price) and one 10mm CNT dynamic driver for mids and highs. Priced at $399 officially (retails for $319 now) It comes with a unique wood and resin compound shell giving each unit its unique design.

It faces tough competition from similarly priced IEMs likes BGVP DM8, DK-2001, Fiio FD5 and a lot many.

Get one from these links:

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:-

3DT comes in a small and tidy retail box with a simple packaging. It does not have any trickiness to it, leading to a fairly simple unboxing experience. First accessory that greets us is the ever so common UM zipper carry case, its an Italian PU leather case made by Dignis, it is of semi hard type, fairly spacious but isn’t crush proof. It looks funky nevertheless. The IEM and cables are placed inside the case. All the accessories are placed inside a paper box placed under the case. There is 3 pair of silicone tips in S/M/L sizes. A UM warranty card and cleaning cloth are the only extra articles out of the box.

HOW IS THE CABLE:-

I am one of those who believe a good IEM should ship with a equally good cable. The 3DT ships with a decent quality cable out of the box. It uses a 4 core silver plated oxygen free copper cable. This cable has a nice feel to it, there are no unnecessary layers of rubber on it hence it’s not bouncy. It’s fairly supple but the thinner 2core cables coming out of the y splitter are slightly prone to tangling. There is no microphonics to worry about though. The straight 3.5mm gold plated jack has a nice metal finish to it and is reinforced with some stress reliever. Some might feel the wire inserted cable guides are a bit difficult to handle but once set its easier to put on. The heat shrunk Y splitter is the smallest cable splitter I have seen on any earphone till date, helping the cable shed unnecessary weight. Putting on the 2pin jack is easier thanks to the low resistance of the socket.

BUILD AND ERGONOMIC:-

Build quality of the 3DT looks good and unique at the same time. The shell made with resin fused wood looks excellent and the fully wooden one has a different kind of charm. It has a mildly semi custom type body which sits inside the ear comfortably. The shell has a few layers of resin on it and feels solid to the hand. The overall build quality is very good. I will not like to drop it on solid floor though.

Nozzle of the 3DT is on the wider side, compatible with t400 size tips. It does not have a really deep fit but is deep enough to give a secure feeling. The shell is larger than most of the IEMs and might not fit the smallest of ears. The smallish wing design on the inner shell provides good traction inside the ear. It has a vent at the top of the face plate for the twin 7mm dynamic drivers.

The post Unique Melody 3DT : Unique for sure first appeared on The Headphone List.

Original Resource is The Headphone List