Jude posted his video review over on Head-Fi containing some of the equipment and software that will be at the CanJam NY show.
HiFiChris posted a review of the Advanced Alpha planar magnetic headphone over on Head-Fi. From the review it sounds like it is generally similar to the HE-400 but with subtle differences.
Pros – •balanced sound
•fast, tight, deep extending bass
•good resolution and separation
Cons – •only a short cable comes included
•some people might find the clamping force a bit strong
•a bit more upper treble linearity wouldn’t hurt
•removing the ear pads, one can accidentally remove the protective mesh in front of the planar driver
DarKu published a review of the Sennheiser 660S headphone over on Head-Fi. This is a replacement for the 600/650. This is another in the increasing round of incremental improvements on venerable headphones from Senn and others. From the review it appears that the 660S is comparable more to the 600 than the 650 with the biggest improvement in the bass response. The challenge is whether the incremental improvement is worth an 80-90% increase in price? The 660S is on Amazon for $499 with the 650 at $300 and the 600 at $260. Just like the HD-800 and Beyerdynamic T1 the originals might be the way to go and save the money for other gear.
– High comfort, solid construction and durability
– Good tonal balance, rich and full of substance
– Balanced frequency response, nothing stands out too much
– Airy presentation that leads to good holography
– Let the veil be lifted! Good riddance to muddy and veiled sound
– High level of detail retrieval for the price category it belongs
– Back in black matte paint
– Shy sub-base
– Slight distortion on sub and mid-bass
– Medium size soundstage
Blueshound24 has a review over on Head-Fi of the Focal Elear headphones. They are an amazing headphone priced right around $1,000. The characteristics of the Elear, taken directly from the review, are: “Insane slam!, startling, fast, dynamic, impact, attack, separation, textured, sweet airy treble, detailed, coherent, refined, depth, large, space of the venue, decay, flat response, presence.” Click the link below to read the entire review.
Pros – Insane slam!, startling, fast, dynamic, impact, attack, separation, textured, sweet airy treble, detailed, coherent, refined, depth, large, space of the venue, decay, flat response, presence.
Cons – The slight basshead in me might prefer a tad more bass.
Hisoundfi has a great review of the Meze 99 Neo on Head-Fi. This is the follow on to the original Meze 99 Classic. The primary difference between the two headphones is with the material used to make them. The Classic uses a wood cup versus plastic for the Neo. There are likely some tuning adjustments as well. From the few reviews of the Neo I have read there appears to be a slight tilt to the Classic with folks liking the original a bit over the Neo. Try them out at a meet and see for yourself.
Pros – Classics-like performance at a cheaper asking price, Black and chrome aesthetic looks sharp, Nice cable options and travel case, musical sound signature works with many genres
Cons – Not for those who want neutral and airy sound, Mid-bass can be overwhelming depending on the track that’s playing, Headband microphonics
Jude has posted his preview video of CanJam SoCal on Head-Fi. Make certain you allocate time for this since it is over an hour long.
Currawong has posted a review of the Utopia on Head-Fi. As with comments from other reviews of the Utopia, you must have a TOTL ecosystem to support these headphones. Poorly mastered recordings or average amping will make the Utopia miss its mark as a true top-end headphone i.e. Stax SR009. What this means is that you will need $4,000 for the Utopia plus a chunk more change on your amp/DAC/cables/power purifier/turntable/Hi-Res (and well mastered) media. My ears are no longer capable of supporting this sort of expenditure.
The review includes comparisons with the Sony MDR-Z1R, HD-800, MrSpeakers’ Ether Flow and the HiFiMan HE1000 V2.
Pros: Incredibly resolving of music and upstream components. Incredible driver speed and ability to perceive width, depth and the movements of sounds.
Cons: Incredibly resolving of music and upstream components. Sound a bit closed-in if not used with a top system. Bass a bit weak and has phase issues.