Home And Portable Audio Equipment Reviews
Luxurious Music And Sound Experience For Your Lifestyle
High-End Audio / Audiophile
/ Immersivephile Show Reports
Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2023 Exhibitor / Press Party
Enjoy the Music.com, premium audio's celebrated online
for 28 years and a leader in providing industry news, high-end audio reviews, and
luxury show reports is pleased to announce we're once again sponsoring
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest's Exhibitor / Press Party. Show
exhibitors and members of the press are invited to join us for fun friends,
delicious drinks, and melodic music! The Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2023 celebrates the impressive
34th edition of its popular annual meeting from March 24th through 26th at the Bonaventure
Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2023 Exhibitor / Press Party.
CanJam Singapore 2023 Show Report
Large attendance brings long wait times to hear personal audio gear.
CanJam Singapore 2023 Show Report By Kok Chieat Wong
With more countries opening up for international travel, CanJam Singapore 2023 saw more international brands exhibiting. This year, the sixth edition of CanJam Singapore was held at the same venue, Pan Pacific, on the 25th and 26th of March. Many companies will showcase their latest products and innovations in head-fi across all price
ranges. Same as last year, the event took place within the massive Pacific Ballroom, with booths spanking all sides and the
---> CanJam Singapore 2023 Show Report.
Florida International Audio Expo
2023 Show Report
The fantastic Florida International Audio Expo 2023 took place from February 17th through 19th at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore hotel.
Many attendees enjoyed their opportunity to experience 12 floors' worth of products from the world's leading luxury premium audio / hi-fi / stereo brands. The fourth annual Florida International Audio Expo
was a chance for audio and music aficionados to explore an exciting showcase of products such as
home and desktop stereo systems, headphones, loudspeakers, music
streamers, Hi-Res Audio DACs, cables, amplifiers and more!
---> Florida International Audio Expo
2023 Show Report.
Hi-Fi And Music Industry News
Essential high-end audio news you need to know.
Enjoy the Music.com posts audiophile news virtually every day.
Fantastic Fun At The Florida International Audio Expo 2023
Great growth within the premium audio experience.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
ago many of you reading this would have had to wait months to find out what was
happening at luxury audio shows. We'd be champing at the bit waiting for the
next issue of whatever print magazine(s) we were subscribed to hoping to learn
about the latest and greatest gear. It brings me immense joy knowing many of you
reading this might not remember those days decades ago. It's also proof of the
amazing progress we've all been enjoying thanks to the internet. Back then there
were only two main shows within the USA, plus a small handful of others around
the world. Today there are so many shows that it is (literally) impossible to
have one person report on them all!
Fantastic Fun At The Florida International Audio Expo 2023.
It's A Matter Of Attitude
Something that we all have, but many of us never really think about.
By Roger Skoff
your home sound system like? Is it two-channel (stereo) or multi-channel plus
video? (Home Theater) How many systems do you have? Is your system (or any of
your systems) used just for music? When you're listening to music, what else, if anything, are
you usually doing? Do you normally listen by yourself, or with other people? How
many other people? How long have you had your system(s)? When do you
expect to replace or upgrade all or any part of it or them? Why?
---> It's A Matter Of Attitude.
Invitation-Only Audio History
This is also a problem for the organizers of CES.
Editorial By J. Martins
Since returning from CES 2023, I feel there are some experiences and impressions that are worth leaving here for posterity. After nearly three years with no major trade shows contributing much in terms of surprises and excitement, the annual Las Vegas, NV, event was clearly a great way to kick start the new year. It
wasn't a big event for new products launches, nor did it signal the introduction of new technologies of which we
weren't aware. Plenty of new products were already launched in 2022, simply because many companies were forced to postpone their planed introductions for nearly two years due to the global pandemic. And most of the technologies we got to see at CES 2023 were in fact things we have been reporting for some time. So, why the excitement?
---> Invitation-Only Audio History.
Good Audio Is About Simplicity
Six boxes and higher prices might at last be behind us.
Editorial By Alan Sircom
I said last month that my New Year Resolution was to re-evaluate every part of my system. And as with every New Year Resolution in the history of ever, that plan went South fairly quickly. Probably. I planned to hit the ground running, trying to find new benchmarks for my own listening and for evaluation process across all of 2023. Actually, it probably has kicked off slightly better than I expected, but perhaps not in the way I planned. From this issue alone,
I've found two really good benchmarks for stand-mount loudspeaker performance and for mid-price turntable design. They might not make the cut in terms of an absolute benchmark reference point, but in terms of making extremely high-grade sound without the bank-scarring price tag, both the Revival Audio Atalante 3 loudspeaker and the Vertere Acoustics DG-1 S turntable and arm combination (especially with the Magneto cartridge and Challenger power supply) both set a standard at their prices that is nigh on impossible to
---> Good Audio Is About Simplicity.
The quality of music reproduction is a rather subjective category.
Editorial By Andrija Curkovic
Choosing the elements and designing a magazine cover page can sometimes take days if I don't have the inspiration for a satisfactory solution, and that can frustrate me a lot. On the other hand, this process can take a fraction of a second if I "hit" the right idea. Like for the one in this
issue. I already had the editorial written, and a roughly established design concept for the cover of the magazine, with some of the equipment tested in this issue. Then I received an email inviting me to the exhibition of the internationally awarded Croatian photographer and professor at the Faculty of Graphics at the University of Zagreb - Maja Strgar Kurečić, and that changed everything. In addition to the invitation, the email also contained a poster for the exhibition showing her photograph, the same photograph that is now on the cover of this edition of the magazine. The inspiration for writing the new editorial was
---> Fluidity Editorial By Andrija Curkovic.
I Attended CES
2023 In Las Vegas
Hi-fi in 2023 couldn't have got off to a stronger start.
Editorial By Rebecca Roberts
Like every year (bar the past couple, of course), I spent the first days of January 2023 attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (of all places!) to see first-hand some of the most exciting audio products on the near horizon, as well as the biggest innovations that could materialize beyond that. The hi-fi industry is hardly the headliner of the
world's biggest annual technology show, with its ever-shrinking physical presence somewhat overshadowed by Big Tech, automotive tech,
biotech.... This CES, eyes goggled (and I swear I saw some drooling) over Sony's prototype Afeela electric car (created in collaboration with Honda and pegged for a 2025 release), which has an interior clad in screens and features an actual display on the front bumper that the owner can use to deliver information to passing cars and
---> I Attended CES 2023 In Las Vegas.
Visiting Audio Group
A technology overview of remarkable products.
Manufacturer Visit Report By Greg Weaver
If you've been paying attention to recent industry trends, you'll be aware that the
Audio Group Denmark's three audio product lines, Ansuz, Aavik, and Børresen
Acoustics, have been getting a shite load of attention of late. And if
you've followed my show reports here, you've seen my highly favorable coverage
of them several times now, from my inaugural Pacific Audio Fest report to my
Capital Audiofest coverage, where they stole the show with the introduction of
simply remarkable $11,000 Børresen Acoustics X3 loudspeaker. This sleek,
sexy-looking, small foot-print loudspeaker was driven with something on the
order of another $90,000 worth of their Aavik electronics and Ansuz cabling,
power and grounding solutions, network switches, noise suppressors, and
resonance control devices. And – it was stunning!
---> Visiting Audio Group Denmark (AGD).
DALI Kore Floorstanding Speaker Review
Danish loudspeaker giant DALI had promised a state-of-the-art loudspeaker at the press event in
Review By Michael Lang
After the presentation of the DALI Kore, in a rare moment of complete agreement, the guests left the room with a big smile on their faces.
HIGH END audio show, May 2022, Munich, Germany – for someone from the press,
this equates to four hectic days, a race against time to discover as many
exciting new products as possible, to have them explained to you and to get hold
of at least a couple of short listening sessions from a suitable sitting
position. Despite these circumstances, the DALI showroom was packed
with press representatives when CEO Lars Worre and his team explained the
background and aspirations of the Kore. This was quite necessary, considering
that DALI is known for a down-to-earth pricing of its loudspeakers.
DALI Kore Floorstanding Speaker Review.
World Premiere Review!
Zesto Audio Eros 500 Select Class A
The Eros 500 is a neutral, realistic, and natural-sounding amplifier. true standard of excellence.
Review By Robert H. Levi
The more I immerse myself in this
hobby since I retired from the entertainment industry in 2008, the more certain
I have become that the amplifier is the most important and telling piece of
equipment in your system. It was in the late 1970s that J. Gordon Holt stated in Stereophile that
one should buy a very good speaker that fits your needs and then bust your
budget on an excellent amplifier. I have more or less followed that advice over
the last half century of reproducing music in my home. Lately, however, with the
maturation of really great tube and hybrid source devices, phono preamp sources
and superb LP pressings, extraordinary phono cartridges, SACDs, much improved
digital streaming with high resolution, and the maturing science of neutral and
high-definition interconnectivity, I have confirmed that JGH was 100% right.
Zesto Audio Eros 500 Select Class A Monoblock Review.
FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Music Streamer, Preamplifier, And Headphone
A superb DAC, streamer, preamplifier, and headamp designed for music lovers.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
sent me an e-mail showcasing their new R7 desktop stereo music streamer,
preamplifier, and headphone amplifier it was perfectly timed. As a longtime
classically-trained musician, I've been using a slightly 'outdated' source unit to
stream music to play along to tunes. This could be via headphones/IEM or through
a stereo pair of QSC KS10.2 mains and KS112 subwoofers thanks to the R7's true
balanced XLR outputs. In addition, this is a relatively portable piece of gear, which means
when it wasn't being used for the percussion / drum set, it was easy to bring it
into my home audio system or use it as a dedicated desktop headphone amplifier when
tinkering with mechanical timepieces upstairs within my workshop.
FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Music Streamer, Preamplifier, And Headphone Amplifier Review.
World Premiere Review!
Wells Audio Looking Glass II Level II Power
Feeling as if you can step into it and become part of the performance.
Review By Ron Nagle
If you are like me then you live in a multi-story
apartment building, then you are contaminated with junk in the trunk-line. More
than likely you are listening to your neighbor's dishwasher, air conditioner,
foot bath or God knows what. As a consequence have you ever thought your
expensive audio system has bad days when the sound is not so good? This is why
some of us audio guys prefer to listen in the wee small hours late at night.
Unfortunately, I have no choice, either fix my power source or become
crepuscular like my cat. Fire up your computer and do a search, you will find Power
Strips, AC line Conditioners, Surge Protectors, Re-Generators, and
Wells Audio Looking Glass II Level II Power Conditioner Review.
eXtremely Sexy Audio
(XSA) Labs Vanguard
Budget audiophile XXXtreme.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
Sexy Audio (XSA) Labs is a new old audiophile manufacturer. Old because it is
staffed by veterans of the industry with "over 110 years of combined experience
in the audio, electrical, and aerospace engineering fields". And their first
product to hit the market, the XSA-Labs Vanguard Loudspeaker is a classic indeed
with a solid tip of the hat to the famous Rogers LS3/5a which was designed by
the BBC to be the ideal studio monitor. Employing modern materials and manufacturing techniques to a
proven time-honored design, the Vanguard features a 130mm treated paper cone
woofer and a 28mm silk dome tweeter with a unique inverted Harsch transient
perfect passive crossover using premium components and voiced to provide a
balanced non-fatiguing sound signature with superb imaging and timing.
eXtremely Sexy Audio (XSA) Labs Vanguard Loudspeaker Review.
MK III ES Phono Cartridge Review
Unveiling the masterworks!
Review By Paul Schumann
Back when I
was starting to get serious about audio equipment, a long-time audiophile friend
of mine offered me his collection of back issues of The Absolute Sound. I
was a fan of TAS and eagerly accepted. For the next few months, night
after night, I read, from cover to cover, all of those issues in chronological
order. It was a fascinating dig into the early history of high-end audio and the
culture that developed around it. One of the important discoveries made by Harry
Pearson and his minions, was the sonic superiority of the old RCA "Shaded Dog"
and Mercury records. The acquisition of pristine copies of these discs became an
obsession for many audiophiles because, with the exception of a few reissues by
MoFi, the audiophile vinyl business wasn't in full swing yet.
Soundsmith Zephyr MK III ES Phono Cartridge Review.
SCORE: A Film Music Documentary
Thanks to Gravitas Ventures we have a great documentary about music within movies and how it 'moves' an audience.
which earns an impressive 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, showcases Hollywood's very
best composers as they give us a peek at the creative process plus the many
challenges of creating film music / scores. According to their website, "SCORE
is inspiring students around the world to pursue careers in music at a time when
funding for the arts is at an all-time low in public schools. An understanding
and appreciation for the arts are essential to a well-rounded education in our
modern media-saturated world, and the SCORE team is working to encourage
students to pursue their passions in music, music education, and film
---> SCORE: A Film Music Documentary.
Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour
A special 4k video from Elton's Dodger Stadium show in
As the very last show within the USA by the legendary musician and singer Elton John, we're featuring his incredible recently uploaded 4k concert video! Taking place at Dodger Stadium on night three, this is his very last ever USA show with Brandie
Carlile, Kiki Dee, and Dua Lipa. Other appearances include Bernie Taupin and Elton's family David, Zachary, and Elijah. As always... enjoy the
Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour!
All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records Documentary
Thanks to Gravitas Movies you can now
enjoy this special documentary about Tower Records.
For this week's Film Friday Enjoy the Music.com is featuring
All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records. Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with 200 stores, in 30 countries, on five continents. This documentary, directed by Colin Hanks, is about the rise and fall of this once great retailer. Many music lovers within the world are familiar with Tower Records, the company that
advertised its East 4th Street and Broadway New York City location as "The Largest Record-Tape Store in the Known World". This documentary also offers insights into the critical upheavals in the 21st-century recording industry and music
All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records Documentary.
Watch The Vinyl Nation Documentary
Thanks to 1091 Pictures, we can all enjoy experiencing an inspiring documentary about the vinyl LP.
Thanks to 1091 Pictures, we can all enjoy seeing the recent vinyl revolution. Not that the vinyl LP was ever a dead format, far from it! With that said, "dig into the resurgence of vinyl records, the diversification of vinyl fans, and the connective power of music.
The vinyl record renaissance over the past decade has brought new fans to a classic format and transformed our idea of a record collector: younger, both male and female,
multicultural. This same revival has made buying music more expensive, benefited established bands over independent artists and muddled the question of whether vinyl actually sounds better than other
---> Watch The Vinyl Nation Documentary.
The Heart Of Our Hobby
Editorial By Art Dudley
Apart from reminding Listener's
readers how seldom I have been arrested compared to George W. Bush (the score stands at "zero" to "three that we know of"), I vow to keep the following observations as non-political as I
can. Today's concern goes to the heart of our hobby. Specifically, what should we, as audiophiles, be doing with our hi-fi gear? Should we use our stereos to lay bare every nuance of sound on our recordings, as faithfully and thoroughly as technology allows? Or should we use them as we would a drug, to achieve a musical bliss-out whenever the fancy strikes
us? And: Is it acceptable for us to even think of these as separate goals? The old musical
kicks-vs.-fidelity to the master tape argument has been around longer than Goldie
Hawn, and it gets trotted out at least every other week on the various internet hi-fi forums.
---> The Intro For Listener Magazine.
Measure Audio Harmonics The Easy Way
Article By Larry Lisle
From Sound Practices
Designing, building and tweaking audio
amplifiers can be a lot of fun. It can also be very frustrating unless you measure the
effect of design changes or parts substitutions. In this article I'll show you an easy
way to measure one of the most important characteristics of an amplifier, distortion
caused by harmonics in the second, third, fourth and higher orders in the middle
frequency range. Every audio amplifier adds some distortion to the signal it amplifies. One type of distortion
that's especially important is harmonic distortion. For example, if the input signal is 500 Hz, the output may also contain
signals at multiples of 500 Hz, such as 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 Hz and so on in addition to the fundamental frequency of
---> Measure Audio Harmonics The Easy Way.
Tech tips and other unsolicited advice.
Article By Dan Schmalle
Got an H.H. Scott LT-110 (the kit version
of the 350) in the shop last week that was
misbehaving badly, just a buzz would
come out. After a couple tubes and an
alignment of the RF and IF/limiter
stages, mono sounded great, stereo
wasn't stereo and had a bunch of growlies. When I got to the 19kHz transformer on
the multiplex board, there was no signal
coming out, and the slugs seemed to
spin freely. Ah hah! I said (actually I said Shit!). Opened up the can and realized
I was witnessing the work of the Gods.
Apparently a previous alignment had
been performed by Hercules. Herc had adjusted the transformer with
little regard for the fact that kit type tuning
coils were apparently set and sealed
in place with wax by the mere mortals at H.H. Scott.
---> VALVE Magazine
Best Integrated Amplifiers Below $3000
We've been listening to a lot of integrated amplifiers over the past 12 months, and these four are some of the best below $3000.
Review By Ian White
In our first collaboration video with
Tarun, A British Audiophile, we picked our best budget integrated amplifiers priced under
$1000. But what if your budget can be stretched a little further? We have listened to a wide range of amplifiers between $1000 and
$3000 over the past 12 months and while a number of other integrated amplifiers in this range were very impressive including the Rotel A14MKII and Cambridge Audio CXA61 — we were quite smitten with the
following.... The Ragnarok 2 continues Schiit's mission of offering American-made equipment that is both modular, well designed, and affordable.
---> Best Integrated Amplifiers Below
Ten Misconceptions About Loudspeaker Spikes
Clearing up misunderstandings regarding loudspeaker
Article By Norman Varney
I have been working
professionally in both the sound and vibration, and consumer electronics
industries for decades. As an acoustical engineer and manufacturer of mechanical
vibration isolation products, I feel compelled to address the misconceptions of
incorporating spikes (or any rigid materials) with loudspeakers and/or other
audio equipment. These misconceptions do not exist in the sound and vibration
industries, and are very rare in the pro audio world, however they are very
prevalent in the audiophile world. There are many physical, acoustical, and perceptual
disciplines involved here- we are only going to address the primary ones, and in
only a general way, meaning we won't discuss the secondary or additional
attributes that may come into play. There are some key concepts of physics to be
---> Ten Misconceptions About Loudspeaker Spikes.
Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review
The night the lights went out in Long
Is the Rotel A12MKII the ideal amplifier to build a $3000 stereo system around with 2 great sources? I would say
you're foolish not to try it.
Review By Ian White
Have you ever been listening to your system and the lights go out?
It's not a good feeling because there is always the risk that when the power comes back on that something will be amiss.
I've used power line conditioners for almost 20 years but our experience with Hurricane Sandy here on the Shore was not a good
one. My wife thinks that I missed my calling as a Weather Channel talking head because
I'd scare the living crap out of everyone with my forecasts, but I had a bad feeling about Sandy with our home only blocks from the ocean and so many trees surrounding our
property. We didn't tell anyone that we were expecting our third child (Jewish custom is to wait
three months) at the time so it was on me to get the house ready and get anything of value out the way and on really high shelving in our
---> Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review.
World Premiere Review!
FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review
Going back to school.
Review By Paul Schumann
If you have
read any of my previous reviews, you know that I am a fan of Classical music.
Sure, I listen to rock, pop, and jazz, but classical music is where I will
always be grounded. I'm sure it is because I grew up listening to my father's
music. While he did listen to a mixture of stuff as I was growing up, it was
mostly classical, especially Bach. By the time I reached high school, I found
prog-rock, which of course had a heavy classical influence. And while my Dad
prefers his baroque music, as I got older, I started leaning towards the
romantics. I think it is fair to say that Brahms was my favorite composer
through my 20s, 30s, and 40s. But while I still love that music, there are only
so many times one can listen to Brahms Violin Concerto or Beethoven's 5th
Symphony before they lose their mystery. So, in my 50s, I started branching out
in my musical journey with 20th- and 21st-century composers. What made this
exploration possible was the internet.
FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review.
Audio CD-35 II CD Player And USA Labs RS9 Music
Two very versatile, and impressive, performers.
Review By Bob Grossman
The Ayon Audio CD-35 II as reviewed here, is the latest introduction to a long lineage of CD players that have
been well regarded going back to the various models in the 3 and 5 series, along
with ideas derived from their special edition CD35HF. But the CD-35 II is more
than a CD player – it is also a fully functioning preamplifier and DAC. It is
a single-ended triode pure Class A design using a 6H30 and a 5687 tube for each
channel, and a GZ30 tube as a rectifier for the power supply. It is also a zero-feedback
design. Ayon Audio's CD-35 II built-in DAC can be used to play music files
from your computer via the USB connection. The DAC also has a coaxial RCA input
for S/PDIF, I2S, BNC, AES/EBU, and three other BNC inputs for DSD. For this
review I also evaluated the USA Labs RS9 music server to coordinate streaming of music
Ayon CD-35 II CD Player And USA Labs RS9 Music Server Review.
LessLoss C-Mark Entropic Firewall 640x / Bindbreaker
Products for pure sound.
Review By Rick Becker
Where do I begin? It's been such
a complex and intriguing journey. It started by chance with my rave review of
the High Fidelity Cables NPS 1260 3D contact enhancer. A stranger, Jörg
Stanislawski from Germany emailed me with nine questions about NPS 1260
which I promptly answered. Jörg says he reads internet magazines because the
German print magazines limit themselves only to products that have a distributor
in Germany. This cuts out a lot of products from other countries, particularly
those who deal factory direct. For Jörg the world is his marketplace. (See Step
1, above.) Before long, I learned all about how the beer industry in Dortmund
had shrunk down to two main breweries, and that I should avoid beer made with
malt extract, which is from the crap at the bottom of the vat. He also shared
how he ordered an amp from Decware here in the USA and was placed #400 in line.
LessLoss C-Mark Entropic Firewall 640x / Bindbreaker Review.
Pass Laboratories XP-22 Line Pre & XP-27 Phono
Colossal soundstage and the pinpoint imagining prowess!
I began to assemble my first "real" audio system while still in high
school. I made it chiefly from DIY components and other "vintage" gear
I could scrounge from friends and family. At that time, I don't think I heard
anyone use the term "audiophile." All I knew was that I wanted to hear
music at home on a better system than the mass-market stuff sold at department
stores. This was also about the same time I discovered a
high-end audio showroom near my parent's suburban home. Every once in a while, I
would quietly enter their store. There was no way I would have been able to sit
in the comfy chair in front of one of the active displays and listen to a
system. But I did walk among the array of components on display, and when no one
was looking, turn the knobs up and down and flip the switches on the front
panels of a component or two while it was muted or its power was off.
Pass Labs XP-22 Line Pre & XP-27 Phono Pre Review.
TWS In-Ear Monitor (IEM)
year I gave the Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless IEM a well-deserved Headphone.Guru
2021 Product of the Year Award because it was the most convenient, most
comfortable, and best-sounding True Wireless IEM I had been given the
opportunity to listen to. Now, Noble has one-upped themselves by offering the
Noble FoKus Pro True Wireless IEM, a true audiophile quality multi-driver,
hybrid IEM bringing Bluetooth and True Wireless to a whole new level. Designed by the "Wizard" John Moulton
(AU.D. CCC-A), one
look at the Noble FoKus Pro True Wireless IEM tells you that this is a much more
refined, much higher-end product than the Falcon Pro.
Noble Fokus True Wireless In-Ear Monitor (IEM) Review.
Audiophile Gift 2022 December
Audiophile Gift 2021 December
Note: We have magazine issues dating back to 1999.
See our archives section for all reviews.
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