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Music Review

Review: SoundBrake mutes your headphones when there are sounds you need to hear

There's no denying that the best way of listening to music is through a set of headphones. Unfortunately, however, headphones also keep us from hearing things like ringing telephones, knocks on the door and (if the movies are to believed) psychotic killers breaking into our homes. That's why California-based electrical/computer engineer Shari Eskenas created the SoundBrake – it's a li'l device that mutes your 'phones when it detects noises in your environment. We recently tried it out.Read More

Music Review

Review: Audiofly AF240 headphones

Australian company Audiofly, long-associated with quality in-ear monitors, has delivered its first attempt at a professional over-ear product with the AF240 headphones. After a promising demonstration at CES2015 in January, they were released this week. Gizmag was sent a pre-release pair for review and found them stylish, practical and sonically pleasing.
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Music

Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones shun iPhone audio jack for Lightning port

Whatever your mobile music poison, there's a good chance that your earphones or headphones are plugged into the tune-playing source hardware via the 3.5 mm audio jack. Earlier this year we reviewed some earphones from Hong Kong-based Zorloo that took a wholly different route, and one that served up a good slice of high resolution goodness in the process. The new EL-8 Titanium headphones come shipped with an audio cable which, like the Z:ero earphones, sports a built-in headphone amp and high resolution DAC in the cable. But this one ends in a Lightning connector.Read More

Music

Hifiman eyes high end mobile market with Edition X headphones

Earlier this year, Delaware-based high-end headphone maker Hifiman launched a new flagship planar magnetic open back headphone to much audiophile and pundit applause, with the nanometer-thick diaphragm and non-symmetrical planar driver design offering critic-silencing clarity and sonic detail. They were big. They were beautiful. And, at US$3,000, they were eye-wateringly expensive. Hifiman's president and founder Dr. Fang Bian says that he wanted to offer a model with similar features and performance, but one that was more portable and didn't need a large expensive amp to run it. This has been realized in the new Edition X.Read More

Computers Review

Review: ZuperDAC makes hi-res thumb-sized

With a few notable exceptions, you'd be forgiven for thinking that laptop audio circuitry is something of a manufacturing afterthought, with decisions on such things made at the very end of the design process when there's very little money left in the pot. Plugging a pair of top drawer headphones into a notebook's (often cheap and cheerful) audio out jack can therefore be a little disappointing, leading many music lovers to look to the USB ports for help. Though some USB digital-to-analog converters and headphone amps can be a good deal bigger than the laptop they're connected to, and have a suitably large price tag to match, smaller options are available. The successfully-crowdfunded ZuperDAC from Zorloo, for example, is about the size of a USB thumb drive and supports audio file resolutions right up to 24-bit/192 kHz. We've spent the last few weeks diving into our hi-res FLAC and WAV vault for some lossless easy listening.Read More

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