The second part of our definitive multi-part round-up of the best personal audio products on show at CanJam London, 2017. Here, Chris Martens and Alan Sircom cover everything from Cardas Audio to Flare Audio!
Who: Josh Meredith, Marketing Director, Cardas Audio
What: A8 30th Anniversary Edition Ear Speaker
When available: Now
Description: The A8 earphone had a small, but significant series of changes in light of the company’s 30th Anniversary. The distinctive bright blue design has given way to a more austere black finish, and the formerly removable cable is now fully captive (those wanting custom connectors now need to have the A8 made to order, instead of ordering a specific end cable). Otherwise, this popular single-driver design remains unchanged.
What are you listening to? Airborne, by Dean Peer
Chasing The Dragon
Who: Mike Valentine, owner, Chasing the Dragon records (centre)
What: Direct-to-disc and binaural direct-to-disc LPs, CDs, downloads
When available: Now
Price: £22 per recording
Description: Mike Valentine’s first cut on the Chasing the Dragon label a direct-to-disc recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Several more classical, jazz, and big band recordings have followed. Recently, Valentine has also offered dummy-head direct-cut recordings for binaural listening, including some of the first binaural recordings offered on LP in decades. The show gave Mike Valentine a perfect opportunity for listeners to hear both the conventional stereo and binaural mixes through a pair of Stax headphones (Symmetry – Stax UK distributor – sponsored the recording).
What are you listening to? Espania, 24/192 and Binaural
Correlated Magnetics Research
Who? Jason Morgan, VP of Engineering, Correlated Magnetic Research
What? Correlated Magnetics Research (CMR) 2625 headphone prototype
When available? End of 2017
How much? Price TBD. Estimated price ~ £400 or $500
Description: Correlated Magnetics Research is a world leader in the field of so-called ‘programmable magnetics’ and it has applied know-how in this field to create a headphone that features a very distinctive dual-diaphragm coaxial dynamic driver. The CM 2625, however, completely inverts what most enthusiasts might expect when hearing the terms ‘dual-diaphragm driver’ or ‘coaxial dynamic driver’.
For example, in the CMR headphone, the driver’s dual diaphragms face in opposite directions and are of differing diameters. The front-facing diaphragm is the smaller of the two and handles upper midrange and high frequencies, while the rear-facing diaphragm is the larger of the two and handles bass frequencies. A specially vented rear ear cup enclosure enables output from the rear diaphragm to achieve phase alignment with the output of the front diaphragm. The motors for both diaphragms use under-hung voice coils and share a common magnet structure. The 2625 prototype sounded very promising indeed, with an expressive, well-detailed, and notably full-bodied sound that seemed unusually good in light of the headphone’s target price.
What are you listening to? Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child’, from Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix