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CanJam SoCal 2017 Show Report By Dave Hanson
CanJam SoCal 2017 Show Report
The high-end strikes back!
CanJam SoCal Show Report By Dave Hanson

 

Noble Kaiser Encore
One good encore deserves another, and Noble Audio showed up with their most impressive offering to date with the Kaiser Encore ($1,850). This exceptional new in-ear combines the sweet sound of the much-loved K10 with the reference detail of the Katana. In my opinion, this best-of-both-worlds approach has resulted in Noble's best effort to date. The sound is crisp, clean and unmistakably refined without sounding cold. In fact, I can't think of a single thing I'd want to change about it. If you are in the market for a flagship level IEM, this is one that should absolutely be on audition your list.

 

 

Atomic Floyd SuperDarts 2
Another interesting IEM was the upcoming Atomic Floyd Superdart Black Titanium ($399). Atomic Floyd is pretty down to earth as brands go, and did a good job listening to the personal audio community as they evolved their product for this new generation. They tuned down the treble considerably from the original Superdart, and this new version is actually quite mellow, soothing and mid-forward in the tuning. This is a hybrid IEM, with one dynamic driver and one balanced armature per side. It took a little more juice than the average IEM to power it, but I still got plenty of volume on my iPhone 6.

 

 

Mr. Speakers AEON
Hot off their scorching debut at CanJam New York, the new MrSpeakers AEON ($799, reviewed here) was at several booths throughout the show. Trickling down the technologies from the ETHER Flow and ETHER-C Flow into an efficient, portable and well-priced package, the AEON obliterates most sub-$1K headphones in regard to both sound and value. It also provides a nice compromise between the bass tunings of the flagship, with an excellent balance of warm midbass and deep rumbling subbass. As an all-rounder, this latest effort from MrSpeakers is tough to beat.

 

 

New Products
In addition to the "new and improved" versions of already stunning gear, there were also a few wholly new products making their debut at CanJam SoCal. Here are a few stand-out pieces.

 

Woo Audio WA33
Jack Wu's new flagship headphone amplifier, the WA33 ($7,999), is an absolute stunner. It is fully-balanced, 8Watt/channel amplifier and power supply with no cables in between as the amp and PSU use a proprietary DC connection. I can easily say this is Woo's most transparent amp to date. I spent some time listening to it through the Focal Utopia ($3,999) and the sound was lively, with exceptional punch. Depth layering and separation were absolutely top notch, with a crazy holographic 3D soundscape to boot. Definitely one of my favorite pieces of the show.

 

 

Jerry Harvey Audio Lola
Tuned with input from legendary Guns n' Roses guitarist Slash, JH Audio's new flagship IEM is the beautiful looking and sounding Lola (starting at $1,745). This is an all-new type of design for JH Audio, featuring two dynamic drivers mounted in opposite directions inside an enclosure handling the midrange frequencies, while balanced armatures handle the bass and treble. I have to say, the mids here are really something special. The sound was a little unique in that it was able to maintain a certain level of lushness through the mids while keeping the bass and treble tight and resolving. It did a great job of capturing the emotion of the music.

 

 

Astell & Kern KANN
The folks over at Astell & Kern really have something nice on their hands with their new player, the KANN ($999). It has all the bells, whistles and functionality people have come to expect from A&K, with a bigger, beefier amp built into it. Paired with the brutally honest Sennheiser HD800 ($999) the KANN performed with power and grace better than most full size amps would at that price. To think that you are also getting a top-notch player and a high quality DAC with that, makes KANN a compelling value, indeed.

 

 

---> Next Page.

 

 

 

Previous CanJam Show Reports
CanJam NYC 2017, CanJam Denver 2016, CanJam London 2016, CanJam Denver 2015, CanJam Denver 2014
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