JBL Reference Series 420: 14 Years New

Greetings! Today we’re checking out a pair headphones that are old, irrelevant, and well out of production; the JBL Reference Series 420. Released in 2007, the 420 was the base model in JBL’s Reference Series of headphones. Released at the same time was the 610, a Bluetooth model sharing more-or-less the same design. When in university, I was looking to get a quality set of … Continue reading JBL Reference Series 420: 14 Years New

Meze 12 Classics V2: Updated and Enhanced

Greetings! Today we’re checking out the reworked 12 Classics from Meze Audio. The original 12 Classics released in 2016 brought a more affordable product to Meze’s lineup alongside yet another timeless design. While it was a very competent earphone there were some areas that could have used attention; the cable and an overly safe tune that was somewhat lacking micro detail. Meze must agree that they … Continue reading Meze 12 Classics V2: Updated and Enhanced

Meze Rai Solo: Steel Samurai

Greetings! Today we’re checking out Meze’s midrange earphone offering, the Rai Solo. In the realm of earphones Meze had some budget options in the 12 Classics and Neo and a premium offering in the Rai Penta, but were lacking presence with no products priced in between. Enter the Rai Solo. Released in late 2019 at 249 USD, it showed itself to be a competitive product … Continue reading Meze Rai Solo: Steel Samurai

DDHiFi Janus (E2020A): Innovation

Greetings! Today we’re checking out a unique product from the ‘Masters of Audio Accessories’ over at DDHiFi, the Janus. DDHiFi has been making a name for themselves thanks to a wide variety of high quality portable audio accessories, be they compact DACS, cases for various FiiO products, cables, adapters, and whatever else the audio enthusiast needs. With the Janus, ambitiously named after the Roman ‘God … Continue reading DDHiFi Janus (E2020A): Innovation

Sennheiser IE 300: Premium EDC

Greetings! Today we’re checking out the all-new Sennheiser IE 300. Sennheiser is a brand that needs no introduction. They’ve been around since 1945 and have created some of the most memorable and respected products in the industry, many of which have become staple recommendations for sound engineers, budding and seasoned audiophiles, and general music lovers around the world. The new IE 300 is a replacement … Continue reading Sennheiser IE 300: Premium EDC

TinHiFi TWS2000: Or is it T2000?

Greetings! Today we’re checking out TinHiFi’s entry into the world of true wireless earphones, the T2000. Or is it TWS2000? Early marketing called it the TWS2000, and this is pure speculation with absolutely nothing to back it up, but I bet they were asked to change the name. HiFiMAN already uses the TWSxxx moniker for wireless versions of their iems (RE600 = TWS600, RE800 = … Continue reading TinHiFi TWS2000: Or is it T2000?

LZ A7: Packed To The Grills

Greetings! Today we’re checking out a new tri-hybrid earphone, this time from LZ. The A7 builds on the rampant success of it’s predecessors. With a 7 driver setup (one dynamic for the lows, two Knowles BAs for the mids, two Knowles BA’s for the highs, and dual Piezoelectric ceramic tweeters for ultra-highs), removable cables, and a tuning system replete with interchangeable nozzles and a single … Continue reading LZ A7: Packed To The Grills

DDHiFi TC05: Revamped

Greetings! Today we’re checking out the newly revamped version of DDHiFi’s excellent USB Type C OTG cable, the TC05. The original TC05 has been my go-to Type C cable for mobile use for the last 6+ months thanks to the application of a durable, coiled stainless steel sheath. While it had some downsides, such as limited flexibility and the potential for permanent kinks or dents, … Continue reading DDHiFi TC05: Revamped

Dunu Zen: Unboxing Video

Greetings, Dunu’s snazzy new Zen was unexpectedly sent over for review and arrived today. Decided to unbox it on video for you. Wasn’t planning on making more vids and sold my main video camera, so please excuse the quality. Sound impressions to come. Will likely be posted to the FB group. Feel free to join if you haven’t already; https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecontraptionist Specifications: Driver: Dynamic with Magnesium … Continue reading Dunu Zen: Unboxing Video

Moondrop SSP (Super Spaceship Pulse): They’ve Done It Again…Again

Greetings! Today we’re checking out the Moondrop Super Spaceship Pulse (SSP), a companion product to the Super Spaceship Reference (SSR) which was my top earphone of 2020. Looking at the SSP you’d be forgiven for feeling a sense of deja vu. Along with the shell, the packaging and accessories are carried over from the SSR, though with a new coat of paint and lovely new … Continue reading Moondrop SSP (Super Spaceship Pulse): They’ve Done It Again…Again

KZ ZST X: How To Update A Classic

Greetings! Today we’re checking out a modern update to a classic KZ. The original ZST was a landmark product and KZ’s first foray into hybrid earphones. It inspired an entire segment of equally budget-friendly hybrid competitors, a market that today is alive and well, teeming with new models. Prior to the release of the ZST, fans of the brand had been relentlessly asking KZ to … Continue reading KZ ZST X: How To Update A Classic

KZ DQ6: Back On Top

Greetings! Today we’re going to drool over the DQ6, one of KZ’s most recent and most interesting (imo) releases in a while. The DQ6 is a triple dynamic earphone with one 10mm and two 6mm drivers working in tandem thanks to a tiny crossover. The clear acrylic inner body is composed of two parts neatly glued together with a lovely zinc-alloy faceplate rounding things out. … Continue reading KZ DQ6: Back On Top

Shozy Rouge: Pink Nightmares

Greetings! Today we’re checking out another release from Shozy, the Rouge. While 2020 has been a nightmare for many, Shozy has been a shining beacon of hope thanks to a slew of outstanding releases. The Form 1.1 and Form 1.4 are some of my favourite products of the year, especially the latter, so when I saw the Rouge was on the horizon I knew I … Continue reading Shozy Rouge: Pink Nightmares

Cat Ear Mia: Solid Foundation

Greetings! Today we’re checking out the Cat Ear’s first release, the Mia. A few months back I was approached by a peer about his new earphone brand and upcoming release, asking if I’d be interested in giving it a listen and writing a review. After being provided with some additional product details that looked promising, I agreed to give it a whirl. The Mia is … Continue reading Cat Ear Mia: Solid Foundation

EarMen Sparrow: Staying Power

Greetings! Today we’re checking out the Sparrow from EarMen, a new USB dongle-DAC. EarMen clearly has a sense of humour, and it shows in the clever naming of their products. With models like the Donald Dac and TR-Amp in their lineup drawing a chuckle, it is no surprise that the Sparrow is a jab at a popular series of DragonFly DACs from AudioQuest. Sparrows are … Continue reading EarMen Sparrow: Staying Power