In the third part of our definitive multi-part round-up of the best personal audio products on show at CanJam London, 2017, Chris Martens and Alan Sircom cover everything from HeadAmp to Mr Speakers!
Who: Peter James, Sales and Marketing Manager, HeadAmp
Product: Blue Hawaii electrostatic headphone amplifier
When available: 4-6 weeks
Description: Not much need be said about the Blue Hawaii. It’s a popular, tube-based alternative to the energisers used by Stax and others. The big change is that a reworking of the production engineering techniques used at HeadAmp has brought the waiting list down significantly to a matter of weeks instead of an enthusiastic reading of ‘several months’. On the more conventional headphone amp front, a new c$500 entry-level headphone amp from HeadAmp is on the way, via the medium of Massdrop, but this was not available at the show.
What are you listening to? Book of Souls by Iron Maiden
Who: Steve Holeman, HiFiHeadphones
Product: DITA Dream earphones
When available: Now
Description: The balanced Dream in-ear monitor/earphones in their titanium black finish and black and white presentation case is not an easy thing to photograph, but this single-driver, reference tuned design uses silver solder and van den Hul Truth cable throughout, comes supplied with ‘Awesome’ 2.5mm TRRS balanced and 3.5mm TRS single-ended connectors, as well as an extensive range of small, medium, and large-bore tips and double flange tips.
What are you listening to? The soundtrack to Heiße Spur by Walter Kubiczeck
Who? Michael Ramos, Resident Product Consultant, HiFiMAN
What? HiFiMAN RE800 earphone
When available? Now
How much? $699
Description: Positioned one model from the top of HiFiMAN’s universal-fit earphone range, the RE800 shares essential technologies with the firm’s flagship RE2000. Like its big brother, the RE800 uses a 9.2mm dynamic ‘Topology Diaphragm’ driver. The ‘Topology’ driver uses a dome shaped diaphragm, but with the important difference that the diaphragm receives an ultra-thin nano-particle coating that is applied in a very precise geometric pattern with precise control over the thickness of the coating. The coating, in turn, helps control diaphragm resonance and reduces distortion in audible ways. The RE800 earpieces are made of brass with 24K gold-plated outer surfaces. Signal cables in the latest release RE800s are detachable and user replaceable, and they feature silver-coated crystalline copper conductors.
What are you listening to? Tori Amos’ ‘Pretty Good Year’ from Under the Pink.