The first part of our definitive multi-part round-up of the best personal audio products on show at CanJam London, 2017. This time, Chris Martens and Alan Sircom run through all the products up to and including the letter ‘A’!
Who: John R, demonstrator, 1more
What: Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones
When available: Now
How much: £199.99
Description: Best known for its range of high-value earphones, 1more has branched out into full-sized, High-Resolution Association approved, headphones with its first triple-driver over-ear design. Using a piezo ceramic driver for the high-frequencies (which is claimed to reach up to 40kHz), with a 40mm aerospace-grade metal midrange driver, and a bass reflex driver, as used in traditional loudspeakers. The fold-down gold and black headphones also sport a 1.35m long, 99.99% pure oxygen-free copper cables with non-tangle Kevlar sleeving.
What are you listening to? Luther Vandross ‘Never Too Much’ from the album of the same name.
Who? Paul Best, Custom IEM Company, representing 64 Audio
What: 64 Audio tia Fourté universal-fit earphone
When available? Now
How much: £3410 or $3599
Description: 64 Audio’s tia Fourté universal-fit earphone represents a bold new initiative for the firm in that—unlike virtually all earphones that use balanced armature-type drivers, the tia Fourté uses no bore tubes whatsoever. In fact, TIA is itself an acronym that stands for ‘Tubeless In-ear Audio’. The tia Fourté uses the hybrid combination of one tia-type ‘open balanced armature’ high frequency driver, one conventional balanced armature-type high-mid driver (which deliberately is not fitted with a traditional bore tube), on tia-type ‘open balanced armature’ midrange driver, and one dynamic bass driver, plus an internal passive radiator. The Tia Fourté earpieces are precision milled from aluminium and incorporate just one large-diameter sound outlet tube plus individualised tuning chambers for each of the earphone’s four drive units. Finally, the Tia Fourté incorporates 64 Audio’s proprietary Apex system, which is designed to vent excess pneumatic pressure from within the wearer’s ear canals thus promoting fatigue-free listening while protecting the user’s hearing. A brief listen convinced us that the tia Fourté offer natural and well-balanced (though by no means analytical), plus exceptional richness of dynamic expression and vivid rendition of tonal colours.
What are you listening to? New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’, from Substance
Who: Giuseppe Massara, Co-founder, Advanced
What: Alpha Planar Magnetic over-ear headphones
When available: End of August
How Much: $499
Description: Best known for its lower-cost range of earphones, amplifiers, and wireless products, the Alpha is the company’s first venture into full-sized headphones. The Alpha is an over-ear planar magnetic design, and will be followed by an even cheaper GTR planar magnetic design in coming months. Both will be sold direct. Information on the final design is limited as this was effectively a working prototype.
What are you listening to? The Wall by Pink Floyd
Who: Mark Hockey, Marketing Manager, Harman Consumer UK
What: N60nc Wireless on ear noise-cancelling headphones
When available: November
How Much: £249/$299
Description: The N60nc by AKG has proved a popular on-ear headphone, thanks to its adaptive noise cancellation. The new wireless version adds AptX Bluetooth connectivity, an additional 6mm of earpad width, 5mm of pad thickness, and a slightly redesigned headband, claimed for improved comfort. The traveller’s friend will also come with a conventional 3.5mm TRS jack for wired headphone use in aircraft or places where Bluetooth is not recommended.
What are you listening to? What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye, streamed from TIDAL