• Westone ES5 Custom In-Ear Monitor

    Westone ES5 Custom In-Ear Monitor

    Audiophiles have professional musicians to thank for custom in-ear monitors. Originally created so that players on stage and in studios could hear themselves while delivering maximum isolation, custom in-ear monitors have become ubiquitous. Watch any ...
  • Musical Surroundings MYDAC II DAC

    Musical Surroundings MYDAC II DAC

    Finding an excellent digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for under $1200 used to be an audiophile fantasy. But with advancements in DAC design and reductions in the price of the high-quality parts needed to make these designs ...
  • Sony HAP-Z1ES HDD Audio Player

    Sony HAP-Z1ES HDD Audio Player

    As the flagship model for its “High Resolution Audio Initiative,” the new Sony HAP-Z1ES defines what Sony sees as the future of two-channel audio. It attempts to be easy for a naïve user to operate, ...
  • Three New DSD-Capable DACs

    Three New DSD-Capable DACs

    During the years that J. Gordon Holt and I made recordings together he often complained about the lack of “pro” audio gear being reviewed in consumer audio publications. Many times he found a particular piece ...
  • ProAc Anniversary Tablette

    ProAc Anniversary Tablette

    I remember the first time I heard ProAc Tablette speakers. It was in 1979, just before I began writing for The Absolute Sound. They were playing in a small audiophile shop in Arlington, MA. After ...
  • iFi iDAC, iCAN, and iUSBPower

    iFi iDAC, iCAN, and iUSBPower

    Ever hear of iFi Audio? Me neither. But at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, there was a quartet of miniature products bearing the iFi logo in the Avatar Acoustics room. Darren Censullo, head honcho ...
  • Wadia 121 Decoding Computer

    Wadia 121 Decoding Computer

    Upon first look it’s easy to see the Wadia 121’s resemblance to other components in Wadia’s "mini” line, including the 171i i-Pod dock and 151 PowerDAC. Like these other components, the 121 was designed for ...
  • Four DACs from $699 to $3600

    Four DACs from $699 to $3600

    When the first DACs (digital-to-analog converters) appeared in 1985 they were big and expensive. Sony’s first DAC, the Sony DAS-702ES, weighed over 11kg and was built to last a lifetime. Too bad the technology inside ...

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