Sunday

Heir Audio 2.AI Custom Universal In Ear Monitor

 
First off, like to thank Sunny at Heir Audio for providing a review sample of the new 2.AI. As always, dealing with Heir Audio is very professional and a pleasure.

 

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality 

Like all the Heir Audio universal line, you get excellent packaging. You will get an otterbox-like hard case, earwax cleaner, detachable cable, the earpieces and good quality single and double flanges eartips of various sizes. The 2.Ai comes with a large range of tips, so you will find a great fit no matter what ears you have. These also come with memory wire near the IEM, so locking them into place around your ear is easy.

The cable is mostly tangle free, similar to Westone, it’s double twisted plastic. The 2.Ai comes with a red brushed aluminium face plate, which looks and feels great and really brings the feel of custom IEM’s.

Missing from the accessories, is a shirt clip. As an IEM, this should be standard, as placing this over the ear and down the back, it pulls when moving around. A shirt clip eliminates the pull, so it would have been nice to add that in.

Overall, the build quality is excellent and the added otterbox styled hard case is perfect to have for any musician or if you travel a lot.

 Sound Quality 

As always, I did the usual burn in test and then started listening.

First thing that you will notice is that these bad boys have got a nice bottom end. So many balance armature IEM’s seem to lack the real lows that usually come from dynamic drivers. Listening to Coldplay – Magic, the intro has some real nice low bass notes, which these earphones handled with ease. Having only 2 BA’s this was a pleasant surprise. Treble is not harsh and is very smooth, making long listening perfect. I would say the overall sound is warm, rich and a little laid back. Sound-stage is better than average IEM in terms of both of width and depth, presented in a very spacious way, which is quite impressive regardless of the price. 


I also tried these while playing Roland V Drums (TD 30 K) in a live performance environment. Having a full mix of drums and other instruments and vocals, the 2.Ai held its own. Sound-stage was expansive and the instruments came through nice. The cymbals were the stand out, as they were very crisp, cutting through nicely. Kick was also solid. The 2.Ai is really comfortable to wear, playing for a few hours, I almost forgot they were in my ears. Sound Isolation is also excellent. I did miss the shirt clip, but just taped the cable to my neck so I didn’t pull them out of my ears.

Conclusion

Heir Audio 2.Ai is a great IEM. Its comfortable, sound it balanced and expansive, with a rich and warm feel. If you are looking for a great looking earphone, with sound to match and a reasonable price, then this is the one for you.

Specification

• 2 Precision tuned Balanced Armature drivers.
• One Dedicated drivers for Low Frequency production
• One driver for Middle and High Frequency production
• Dual Bore Design
• Detachable cable
• Quality ear tips
• Impedance: 25Ω

Shell Colour: “Black Mamba”
Face Plate: Red Brushed Aluminium

Thursday

iSK sem6 In Ear Monitor - Headspace Reviews


 iSK Sem 5 and Sem6 - Headspace Reviews


 

If you never heard of iSK headphones before, you may be forgiven because they mainly focus in high quality professional Studio and Broadcast Microphones plus Recording and Live Performance Microphones. As mentioned on their website,
"iSK Microphones, supply high quality professional Studio and Broadcast Microphones plus Recording and Live Performance Microphones and Accessories. iSK goal is simply, to deliver outstanding quality in sound reproduction and build specification at an affordable price."
So as a headphone manufacture iSK is a relatively unknown, and thus make a perfect candidit for reviewing their earphone line.

Firstly, like to thank Tom at swamp industries for sending two models to review. The sem5 is the current model, which you can find on their website, and the sem6 will be replacing it very soon, hence I got both models. Due to the eaphones having the same driver and casing, I will focus on the sem6. The only difference between the two, is the updated look and more accessories.

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality


Included are 5 pairs of ear tips, Silicone (S/M/L) and Triple-flange (S/L), a cable cinch, and it also comes with a 6.35mm and a shirt clip, which I like to have with IEM's.

For the price of these in ears, the build quality is rather high; the cable is coated in the generic plastic,  and speaking of the cable, one of the more noticeable features is the length of the cable. At 3m long, it is more than double the size of most earphones. Although it is long for personal use on the move, it will suite anyone that requires length, ie at work pc, on stage or even recording. It does come with a Velcro band so you can tie up the extra length that you don't need. I would prefer if it was around 1.2 to 1.5m, with an extention cable that can be removed, but this is aimed more for recording then personal use.
Sound Quality

Like all my earphones, I always burn them in for a minimum 50hrs, but not before a quick listen to see how they sound straight out the box. Because the sem5 and sem6 have the same 10mm driver and housing, I will focus the sound review on the sem6. The only difference between the two IEM,s are the packaging, look and added accessories as mentioned before.

As with all my reviews, I test the earphones in two environments, one in the comfort of my house and the other playing V Drum.

So how does it sound? Playing off my iPhone in ALAC, they do truly sound amazing for the low price of $30. John Mayer's latest album Paradise Valley was my first listen and the track Wildfire really comes to life. Kick drum is punchy and the vocals cut through nicely. The guitar is silky smooth and these make for easy listening. A couple of tracks from this album, I felt the soundstage widened pass my ears and you really feel surrounded by the instruments.  Moving to one for my favorites for reviewing headphones is Livingston Taylor's - Isn't She Lovely. The beginning of the track really shows of a headphones upper Mids and highs with an intro of whistling. I did find some silibance and some parts did make for a little harshness in the high end, but the rest of the track blended well and was nice and silky. 

Moving to some bass orientated music from The Xx, I think sem6 has found its home here, you will be blessed by bass and BASS. Not only tight bass, but one that can also extended and rumble. Most of my friends are blown by the bass response, and how sem6 still greatly performed in mids and treble region as well. If you wished to been attacked by bass, play Lindsey Stirling (Lindsey Stirling), see how well the bass response and instrument although a little bit backward, is still nice and enjoyable. Another nice track that showcase these lows is Blackmill's - Sarajevo (Blackmill Remix)

Now off to my trusted V Drums. Being these are designed to drop straight down from the ear and not the usually IEM over the ear design that you see from Shure or Weston, moving around is not the strongest point of the sem6, but you can still do it. Isolation was good using the regular round tips, I did find both sized triple flange tips did fit well, but when I pull the earphones out, the tips came off and stayed in my ears. So this is a little issue, but just might be my ears. The other tips did stay in and felt great for the 2 hours that I used them while playing the drums. The sound from the drums did sound great, kick was big and tight, cymbals was a little harsh, but not over powering.

BassYou won't be disappointed. Being a dynamic driver, there is oodles of it. Lows are sem6 strong point. Using a frequence sweep app, i got down to 23hrz before losing the bass. The bass is punchy and tight, but could blend more witht the mids. Bass heads will love these, as well as any listener who loves some thump in their earphones.

Mids: Quite good, I can’t say it completely satisfied my requirement for vocal representation, but the vocal voice is brought out nicely and has some sweetness, especially it is distortion free, real sound. Vocals are natural yet have good texture but need to be more evenly balanced in quantity to the highs and lows.

Highs: A little harsh at first, but after the burn in, it seamed to smooth out and become silky. Highs is not really lacking, it is present although don’t have the super crisp and extension that some offered, but it is quite respectable do blend better with the Mids and become silky as you listen more and more.

Conclusion

The iSK sem5 and the newer sem6 are very nice IEM's. There are little issues with the length of the cable and some tips not fitting as well, but overall for the price, the sound is good. Bass lovers will feel at home and anyone who wants a long cabled IEM. They are budget IEM's at $30, but they would not be out of place in the mid $50 to $100 mark. You can purchase these from different distributors around the world, and I do expect to see these become more available online through places like Amazon and eBay. 

---
Specification:
*  Transducer Diameter:10mm
*  Impedance:16Ω
*  Sensitivity:95±3dB
*  Frequency Response:10Hz-22kHz
*  Cable Length: ~3m
*  Plug: 3.5mm / 6.35mm
*  Weight: 0.2 Kg.



Tuesday

Bowers and Wilkins P7 Over The Ear Headphones - Headspace Reviews


If you’re looking for pure audio opulence in a pair of headphones, there are six dozen ways to get your ticket punched. Granted, most of the top-shelf headphones choices are going to run you over a thousand dollars, which is way too much to spend just so you can hear the squeaky drum pedal onBeatles for Sale more clearly.

Monday

MEElectronics A151P Balanced Armature In-Ear Headphone with Inline Microphone and Remote



 


Meelectronics started out in 2005, making MP3 players with a desire to bring customers exceptional sound quality at affordable prices. However, the sound quality of any player is dependent on the earphones used, so they developed their own. In 2010, they shifted their focus to earphones that provide durability, style, and exceptional sound quality. 

First off, would like to thank Mike form Meelectronics for sending me a review sample of the newly updated A151. The new model now includes and inline mic for phone calls, hence the model is now called A151p.  I received the sample earphones and was impressed worth the overall quality of the packaging considering that these in ears cost under $80, depending on where you purchase them. 

Sunday

Westone Introduces UM Pro Series of Headphones




Westone recently announced the availability of the UM Pro Series headphones. The UM Pro Series 10, 20 and 30 are the next generation of the Westone UM Series and bring superior sound for the stage or studio. Each unit is individually hand-crafted in Colorado Springs, USA. The UM Pro 10 is designed for on-stage monitoring for any level of musician. The UM Pro 20 is intended for on-stage monitoring for drummers, vocalist and bass players. And the UM Pro 30 is for on-stage monitoring and home or studio recording.

Thursday

Listen up - modern headphones may contribute to hearing loss




AS fashionable and futuristic as the Sony Walkman was in the 1980s, it had one obvious design flaw - those awkward plastic, metal and foam headphones.


Connecting to the ears in much the same way as a cymbal would collide with a tuba, the Walkman inevitably delivered noise to more than its intended recipient. To passers-by, the Walkman sounded for the most part like two tinny mini boomboxes strapped to the side of your head.

KEF’s debut in the headphone market is a strong one – the M500s have plenty of appeal


KEF is famous for its speakers, but the M500 headphones (and the KEF M200 in-ears) are the company's first attempt at tackling the headphone market.

It’s a bold move going straight in with a $399 pair of headphones, but out of the box the KEF M500s make a good first impression.

The precision-tooled and sandblasted aluminum frame feels sturdy and weighty – we wonder if it’s any coincidence that they look good next to an Apple laptop.

Wednesday

Bose QuietComfort 20i Headphones Review

Bose%20QuietComfort%2020%20headphones_03-610-90.jpg

This review could be as simple as this: "If you’re willing to spend $300 on in-ear headphones, then buy the Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones." Of course, the world of in-ear headphones is far more complicated than that. Walk into any electronics store and your choices are daunting. Sure, you can spend $20 on a pair of gaudy Skullcandy headphones, but when it comes down to it, you get what you pay for. Right?

Tuesday

The Pogo Concept Is The MagSafe Equivalent For Earphones


We’re sure many of you guys have experienced getting your earphone cables caught on something, like the edge of the table, the door handle, and etc., and the result is either the cables getting yanked out violently from your device, or it could pull the device from your pocket or hands and make it crash to the floor. However wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to connect our earphones to our media devices without worrying about that? Something like Apple’s MagSafe adapter where it would disconnect without causing the device to crash to the floor? Well that’s what the Pogo concept aims to achieve.

Monday

Get Noticed With These Beautiful Looking and Amazing Sounding Earphones

1. Heir Audio 4.Ai





The 4.Ai, a hand crafted In Ear Monitor (IEM) utilizing the same internal design and components in the 4.A Custom In Ear Monitors (CIEM).

• 4 Precision tuned Balanced Armature drivers.

• 2 Dedicated drivers for Low Frequency production

• One driver for Middle Frequency production

• One driver for High Frequency production

• Dual Bore Design

• Detachable cable

The 4.Ai requires the same painstaking hand craftsmanship that all Heir Audio CIEMs require. The 4.Ai offers all the advantages of an IEM, built with the same exacting standards of all Heir Audio products.

The 4.Ai, like its cousin the 4.A, offers a clean neutral sound signature that should satisfy those that listen to classical, jazz, and acoustic or those that demand accuracy and clarity. Hear every breath, every turn of the page, even the “tic” of a metronome. “If it’s in the music, it’s in the music.