RHA announces First DAC/headphone Amplifier and two in-ear headphones

RHA will launch three new products as part of a collection of specialist, high-resolution personal audio equipment at IFA 2016. (Source)

The new range includes the company’s first portable DAC and headphone amplifier, the Dacamp L1, and two high-resolution in-ear headphones, the flagship CL1 Ceramic and the stainless steel CL750.

“This new collection has been developed for users who demand more from personal audio, our goal being to replicate full hi- experiences on the go,” explained RHA Product Director, Lewis Heath. “Launching a brand new, specialist range of products that represent our commitment to innovation in technology, design and manufacturing is the perfect way to mark the fifth anniversary of the company’s founding.”

All three products will be available to audition at IFA 2016 in Berlin from 2-7 September, ahead of going on sale in October 2016. 

Dacamp L1

The Dacamp L1 is a fully balanced headphone amplifier and digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) with dedicated channel processors. RHA’s first product in the category, the Dacamp L1 uses an ES9018K2M DAC chip and class AB amplifier. This configuration is capable of processing the highest quality digital audio files – up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and Quad DSD – from mobile and desktop source devices. To improve clarity, accuracy and imaging, the Dacamp L1 separates stereo channels and processes them individually, eliminating risk of interference or distortion – the  first product in its class to do so.

  • Dual ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DACs & class AB amplifers
  • Support for high-resolution audio formats up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and 11.2MHz DSD
  • Headphone outputs: 4-pin Mini XLR (balanced), 3.5mm
  • Digital inputs: USB A, USB micro-B, mini-TOSLINK (optical)
  • Compatibility: Mobile and desktop devices including Android, PC, Mac, iOS (MFi certied)
  • 4000mAh Li-ion battery for 10 hour battery life with power pack function
  • Three level gain control and EQ dials for bass/treble attenuation.
  • MSRP: 549.95 USD

CL1 Ceramic


The CL1 Ceramic is RHA’s  first in-ear headphone to use a dual driver configuration, pairing the CL Dynamic with a unique ceramic plate driver, specifically designed to produce pure, clear harmonics above 8kHz. The ergonomic housings are injection moulded using a high-density ceramic compound with low acoustic resonance. Detachable cables with fully moldable over-ear hooks provide comfort and noise isolation.

  • High-resolution, dual transducer configuration: CL Dynamic and ceramic plate driver
  • High-density, injection moulded ZrO2 ceramic housings
  • Custom detachable cable system (sMMCX)
  • Braided Ag4x silver-core (4-pin Mini XLR) and OFC (3.5mm/6.25mm) cables included
  • Moldable, comfort-enhancing over-ear hooks
  • Accessories: 11 pairs of silicone and Comply™ Foam ear tips, clothing clip, protector case and cleaning cloth.
  • MSRP: $449.95

CL750

RHA’s CL750 features the CL Dynamic driver, configured to reproduce high-resolution audio up to 45kHz. Drawing inspiration from the critically acclaimed MA750, it uses stainless steel housings in RHA’s Aerophonic™ design. The CL750’s braided, channel insulated oxygen-free copper cable features flexible ear hooks to secure wearing comfort.

  • Ultra-wideband CL Dynamic transducer
  • Stainless steel driver housings in Aerophonic™ design
  • Braided OFC cable with 3.5mm or 6.25mm terminations
  • Flexible over-ear hooks
  • Accessories: 11 pairs of silicone and Comply™ Foam ear tips, clothing clip and protector case.
  • MSRP: $139.95 USD

Nordost introduces the SORT LIFT!

Nordost’s Sort Lift® is the preeminent cable support in the consumer electronics industry, and is the latest addition to our Sort System. By utilizing a patent pending floating spring design, the Sort Lift® enhances the sonic performance of loudspeaker cables, power cords, and interconnects, by minimizing the points of contact that cables make with the ground and reducing boundary effects, without negatively affecting the resonant properties of the cables themselves.

The Sort Lift® is composed of two integral components: the base and the springs. The base is a stable, anodized, aluminum disk, designed to inhibit any transference of electrical charge from the floor to the cable and eliminate static build-up on the dielectric itself. This base supports the proprietary Floating Spring System. The Floating Spring System uses a flexible, titanium alloy spring-wire, which makes up both the support wings and tension wire supports. In both elements, the alloy wire is coated in FEP, mirroring the design of Nordost cables and making the supports an extension of the cable jacket, eliminating any electrical interference, while allowing the cables to maintain their natural resonance properties.

Sort Lifts® are provided in packs of two. They are intended to be spaced between 0.5 and 1 meter apart in distance, so that the cable does not come in contact with the floor. The spacing may depend on the weight and flexibility of the cable being supported. While designed to be used primarily with Nordost cables, any audio cable will benefit from using the Sort Lift®. Noticeable effects include an elevated sound stage, improved dynamic range, increased detail in low frequency reproductions and more natural timbre to the sound. (source)

  • Proprietary Floating Spring System uses titanium alloy and FEP coating
  • Anodized aluminum base
  • Reduces boundary effects and electrical interference
  • Inhibits transference of electrical charge and rids the dielectric of static build-up
  • Elevates sound stage, improves dynamic range, and increases detail in low frequency reproductions

HIFIMAN introduces second generation HE1000 and Edition X headphones

Update 8/13/2016: 

So to thank our most loyal HIFIMAN fans, we are going to upgrade current HE1000 and Edition X owners with a V2 version of their respective model. In the first month, we will select five owners with a brand new V2 version. Then we will choose three per month after that while the program lasts!
 
Here is how to qualify:

  • Send us proof of purchase for your HE1000 or Edition X
  • Tell us your HeadFi ID
  • Send an email to customerservice@hifiman.com and say “Upgrade me” 

(source)


HIFIMAN, a leading designer/manufacturer of high performance headphones and portable audio products, announced important updates to their two top planar magnetic headphones. The highly acclaimed HE1000 and Edition X have undergone several styling and mechanical enhancements that substantially improve their appearance, durability and comfort. To identify them, the new models will receive a V2 designation after their model names and therefore be known as HE1000 V2 ($2999 MSRP) and Edition X V2 ($1799) respectively. 

HE1000 V2 remains a cutting-edge, full-size headphone intended for reference use in the home or studio. At much less than 0.001 mm, its Nanotech planar magnetic driver is so thin it is not visible from the side with the naked eye. New features include an improved headband design that is lighter and stiffer yet will accommodate a wider range of head sizes. The ear cups are also slimmer further reducing weight and increasing comfort.    

Regarding the enhancements to the V2 models, HIFIMAN Founder and President, Dr. Fang Bian commented, “Many years of R&D went into the development of HE1000 and Edition X and they have been highly praised by both reviewers and enthusiasts. Despite that, I am never satisfied with how things are, even with successful products. I am always looking to improve so we listened carefully to user feedback and acted on it. The V2 versions are lighter and more comfortable, better sounding and are enhanced cosmetically with a better fit and finish. I am especially pleased we were able to make these popular models even better with no increase in price.”   

  • The weight of the HE1000 V2 has been reduced to 420g (14.8oz). 
  • Beveled ear pads are thicker with a larger asymmetrical angle to yield better bass and improved sound stage. 
  • High performance cables have always been a mainstay of HIFIMAN and the company’s flagship will now come standard with a three-core cable for improved sound quality.
  • The newly updated HE1000 V2 also changes the ear pad material from Velour to Polyester to increase sound transparency and resolution. 

Following on the success of HE1000, Edition X was launched in December 2015. Sharing a similar design with asymmetrical ear cups and window shade grille, X boasted high sensitivity of 103dB meaning it could be easily driven from most portable audio devices and smartphones. This enabled Edition X to be well suited for portable applications around the home, office or travel. Edition X also was priced at 40% less than HE1000. With Edition X V2, improvements include: an updated headband design to accommodate more head sizes, a metal yoke for increased stability and durability, enhanced cosmetics all around and an improved cable and thicker, better ear pads. 


Also to increase transparency of the sound, the EDX ear pad material has been changed along with the HE 1000 V2.  The former Velour ear pads will now be Polyester to make the sound more crystal clear. There headband has also been updated similar to that of the HE 1000 V2.  It will now allow for a wider range of adjustment to accommodate various head shapes and sizes. 
 
To take advantage of the Nano-Grade driver in HE1000 V2, HIFIMAN engineers designed an Advanced Asymmetrical Magnetic Circuit. A painstaking process, it took the HIFIMAN team seven years to obtain the optimum balance between high driver efficiency and high sound quality. The innovative design of the double-sided, asymmetrical magnetic circuit is the perfect marriage of the Nanometer Grade Diaphragm and its Magnetic partner. 

Window Shade Grill System
 
HIFIMAN needed to create a special design solution that provides driver protection, is optimized for open-back design and that also yields the best possible sound quality. For HE1000 V2 and Edition X V2, a patented “Window Shade” grill made with premium alloys is the solution, precisely structured to gain greater openness in the headphone design. Its openness keeps the sound waves from second refraction to avoid unwanted vibration and distortion. The result is a wider soundstage, outstanding imaging and remarkable clarity.
 
Aesthetically, as an added benefit, the Window Shade Grill also provides a unique, high-tech look to the headphones and an appropriate design complement to HE1000s premium alloys and wood trim as well as the contemporary “Mylar” gloss finish of Edition X. 

Form Follows Function: Asymmetrical Ear Cups + Beveled Hybrid Ear Pads
 
The ear cups of both models have been specially designed in an asymmetrical shape that follows the form of human ears. V2 ear cups are now slimmer to reduce weight and increase comfort. The ear pads are beveled so that they contour to the shape of the user’s head for superb comfort and extended listening as well as a good acoustic seal. The hybrid design of the V2 now utilizes polyester for increased resolution. 

Ergonomic headband design for extra comfort and to fit more head shapes and sizes
The revised headband is the result of clever industrial design. Entirely new thinking was needed that would accommodate the widely varied sizes of people’s heads while applying or distributing correct pressure evenly. This provides not only improved comfort but also a better seal of the pads around the ears and on the head for improved bass.  
 
The headband on HE1000 V2 combines a special metal alloy with fine calf’s skin to form a sturdy arch structure. The perforation on the calf’s skin helps to dissipate the heat. For additional comfort, the light mass also contributes to lessen the overall weight of the headphone. Edition X V2 utilizes pleather and allows for comfort and strength. 


Making the Connection
 
HIFIMAN only uses the finest cables for their headphones and each model features a newly upgraded cable specially designed for it. HE1000 is now supplied with a three core, crystalline copper with silver plated wire custom designed for wide frequency range, low signal loss and enhanced emphasis on the low end for quality audio reproduction. The HE1000 package includes three different types of plugs: mini 6.35mm, ¼” 3.5mm and 4-pin XLR connector so it can be used with a wide array of equipment. The plugs are easy to switch and quickly connected to different cables and amplifiers.


HE1000 V2 and Edition X V2 will be available in September at the same prices as the previous models.  See and hear the new V2 versions of HE1000 and Edition X at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, Colorado, October 7-9, 2016. Dr. Fang Bian, along with HIFIMAN personnel, will be on hand to demonstrate the new headphones and answer any questions. (source)

beyerdynamic introduces DT1990 pro Open-back Studio Reference Headphones

DT1990 pro is top-of-the-range Pro series model delivers absolute precision with reproducible results every time, whether in the studio or on site with the customer. beyerdynamic's exclusive Tesla technology to thank for its balanced sound profile – combining high levels of efficiency with distortion-free sound reproduction across all signal levels. The highly responsive Tesla transducers with their extremely fine copper wires, just half as thick as a human hair, can already be found in another studio model from beyerdynamic – the successful DT 1770 PRO. In the case of the DT 1770 PRO, however, the audio specialist from Heilbronn, Germany, has integrated the transducers in a closed system, making the headphones suitable for loud environments. 

The DT 1990 PRO on the other hand is designed for use in a soundproof studio setting. Its open back design extracts the utmost detail from the audio signal, while the construction based on exclusive components and titanium-coated acoustic fabric means that every knob movement on the mixing desk is audible. Subtle variations can be picked up like an acoustic magnifying glass. 

Yet the DT 1990 PRO never loses sight of the music, allowing control and pleasure in equal measures. Its precise and spatial reproduction makes the DT 1990 PRO ideal headphones for music producers and sound engineers all around the world – which is not to say that the headphones will not also appeal to private hi-fi enthusiasts. Music lovers with professional.

Comfort and quality Made in Germany
High-tech materials ensure optimal wearing comfort. The memory foam-filled ear pads offer the perfect, virtually unrivalled fit, enabling even prolonged listening sessions without feeling pressure on the ears or heating up. Sound tuning is additionally possible thanks to the replaceable ear pads. Two different variants are supplied with the headphones. One favours neutral, analytical sound, while the other tends towards a somewhat warmer tuning with more bass.

The scope of delivery likewise includes two detachable cables with mini-XLR connectors, allowing professionals to choose between a straight and coiled cable to suit their needs. The DT 1990 PRO is protected from impacts and knocks in everyday studio use by a high-quality transport case. The robust construction and a good supply of spare parts play their part in ensuring that the DT 1990 PRO is a long-term investment. Just how reliably the handcrafted professional headphones from Heilbronn do their job can be seen from the legendary eighties models the DT 770 PRO, DT 880 PRO and DT 990 PRO. These headphones are still in continuous use in studios around the world.

  • Transducer type: Dynamic
  • Operating principle: Open
  • Frequency response: 5 - 40,000 Hz
  • Nominal impedance: 250 Ω
  • Nominal SPL: 102 dB SPL (1 mW / 500 Hz)
  • Max. SPL    125 dB SPL (200 mW / 500 Hz)
  • T.H.D.: < 0.05% (1 mW / 500 Hz)
  • Nominal power handling capacity: 200 mW
  • Sound coupling to the ear: Circumaural
  • Nominal headband pressure: approx. 6.6 N
  • Weight (without cable): 370 g
  • Length and type of cable: 3 m / straight cable or 5 m / coiled cable (stretched), each detachable with 3-pin mini-XLR cable connector, single-sided
  • Connection: Gold-plated mini stereo jack 3.5 mm & 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)

The Heilbronn-based audio specialist is set to write another chapter in this success story with the DT 1990 PRO. Why not find out for yourself at IFA in Berlin from 2 to 7 September 2016: The new top model in the Pro series will be presented at beyerdynamic's booth (Hall 1.2, Stand 204) for you to try out. The DT 1990 PRO will be available from September EUR $599 in specialist stores, Amazon and on beyerdynamic online store. (source)

Rega Announces all-new Planar 2 Turntable

The result of over two years of R & D, Rega engineers along with a skilled staff hand assembling, proudly release the Planar 2 on the heels of the recently announced Planar 3. The Planar 2 features a new tonearm, platter, 24V low noise motor, acrylic laminated plinth along with a newly designed central bearing. Every feature of this innovative new turntable is designed to extract the maximum amount of information and detail from any vinyl collection.
 
The highly skilled Rega team hand assembles and tests each unit in a custom designed department for each model’s production. Turntables are labor intensive, with each model being built over a two-day period to allow for curing times, and to ensure Rega’s strict quality control demands are met.

Tonearm - The brand new RB220 tonearm Incorporates Rega designed new ultra-low friction zero play ball bearings (Patent Pending), housed within a brand new, stiffer yet lightweight housing developed with a new automatic bias setting negating the need for the user to set bias, making it almost completely plug and play apart from simple arm balancing. The new housing also includes an integrated arm clip and uses Rega's latest custom aluminum arm tube.

Hub bearing - The Planar 2 has a new 11mm self-securing brass bearing (Patent Pending) offering improved fit and less stress on the bearing itself preventing the transfer of potential energy.

Plinth – The high gloss acrylic high-pressure laminated plinth is stiffer, and vastly improves appearance. Ergonomically repositioned power switch. Two plinth finishes of gloss black or gloss white.

Motor - New twin-phase 24V low noise, low vibration motor assembly and new PCB.

Platter – New 10mm Optiwhite float glass platter improves rotational accuracy and cosmetics.

Feet - New Makrolon hollow cone foot assembly to increase stability and reduce vibration transfer.

Additional features include:

  • Factory installed MM Carbon cartridge for simple plug and play convenience.
  • Motor cover tray with integrated cooling.
  • Avaliable in black or white
  • Dimensions (lid closed) 4-1/2” H x 17-1/2” W x 14” D
  • Weight 12 lbs.

The Rega Planar 2 is shipping now from authorized dealers and Amazon with the US MSRP of $675.00. Rega turntables strike a perfect balance between performance and cost providing great sound at an affordable price. Learn more 

Beoplay by Bang & Olufsen Introduces H5 Wireless Earphones

Beoplay H5 wireless earphones deliver an immersive listening experience with the power to take you anywhere. Conveniently pair them with your Bluetooth device to bring the beauty of music into your active everyday life. Whether you're out running, listening to podcasts on your daily commute or relaxing at home with your favorite tunes, these wireless earbuds will deliver outstanding Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound to suit your activity. The Beoplay App lets you customize your listening experience via your smartphone or Apple Watch to ensure you can enjoy music the way the artists intended. Combined with a splash and dust resistant design, these elegant Beoplay H5 earphones are as fashionable as they are functional. To ensure optimal fit and sound quality, each pair comes with seven sets of earbud tips in various sizes - four made from silicone and three made from rugged and breathable Comply Sport foam. When not in use, your wireless earphones can rest comfortably and securely around your neck - simply click the magnets on the earbuds together. Not only is this a convenient hands-free way to keep your earphones accessible, clicking them together will also cause them to power down and conserve battery life. When you're ready to recharge, the sleek magnetic USB charging cube quickly and easily provides up to five hours of power to meet up with the demands of your mobile lifestyle.

The Beoplay H5 in-ear headphones are available in black and dusty rose finishes, priced at $249. Available now at Beoplay online store and on Amazon.

McIntosh introduces three new products - Phono Preamplifier, Tube Preamplifier and Blu-ray player

McIntosh is proud to introduce three new products: the C2600 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier ($7,000), MP100 Phono Preamplifier ($2,000) and MVP901 Audio Video Player ($5,500). Each product combines the best-in-class audio performance of the legendary McIntosh Reference System with the latest in technological development. 

C2600 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
 
McIntosh C2600 Building upon the C2300 and C2500 – two of the most successful McIntosh vacuum tube preamplifiers – is the C2600 which incorporates the best of the previous models while adding our advanced digital audio section and upgraded tube circuitry design. The C2600 is a versatile preamplifier with an expansive set of 16 inputs to connect virtually all analog or digital music sources. Analog inputs include 3 balanced, 4 unbalanced plus 1 each dedicated Moving Magnet and Moving Coil phono inputs. Digital inputs consist of 3 optical, 2 coax, 1 USB and 1 McIntosh exclusive MCT connection. Three sets of balanced and unbalanced analog outputs connect the C2600 to the rest of the system. The C2600 features a 32-bit/384kHz, DSD digital-to-analog-converter (DAC) and is capable of decoding and playing DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 plus DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. For headphone listening, the addition of Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) brings an added dimension to the music. Home Theater Pass Thru allows for seamless integration into a multi-channel home theater system. Shipping is anticipated in August 2016.

MP100 Phono Preamplifier

McIntosh MP100 The MP100 is the first dedicated phono preamplifier from McIntosh and is designed to help both new and experienced vinyl lovers get the most fidelity, performance and – most importantly – enjoyment from their albums. Like all McIntosh products, the MP100 is packed with features designed specifically for the vinyl lover including: Moving Coil and Moving Magnet inputs; Moving Coil and Moving Magnet adjustable loading (6 settings each); balanced and unbalanced analog outputs; optical, coax and USB digital outputs; and a Mono switch for when playing mono records to decrease noise and play the signal correctly. There are many ways to integrate the MP100 into an audio system. If someone is just building their system, it can become the main part of the setup. For someone who already has a system with an older but working preamp, the MP100 is an excellent way to add modern phono features. For home theater systems where a turntable is desired, the MP100 is an easy way to add full phono preamp capabilities without having to get a full-sized stereo preamp that would undoubtedly duplicate many of the home theater processor’s features. When used with a properly configured conversion program, the MP100 can “rip” the records to a computer via USB to produce high quality digital files. The digital outputs are fixed at 24-bit/96kHz to capture the full dynamic range of a record while optimizing digital file size. If an album has a very loud section, the digital output clipping protection prevents harsh sounding and speaker damaging distortion from being recorded to the file. Compact in size at just 3” tall, it shares the same 11.5” narrow chassis design as the MXA70 Integrated Audio System, MHA100 Headphone Amp and MB50 Streaming Audio Player to help build a cohesive system. It can also easily be added to a system comprised of standard, wider width chassis. Shipping is anticipated in August 2016.

MVP901 Audio Video Player

McIntosh MVP901 Blu-ray players are an integral part of any home theater system and the McIntosh MVP901 is designed to provide years of home entertainment enjoyment. With its ability to upsample 1080P and lower resolutions to 4K Ultra HD, it can breathe new life into a vast movie library and is a perfect complement to the 4K compatible McIntosh MX122 or MX160 home theater processor. Built in decoding of Dolby® True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ will put the viewer in the center of the action. The MVP901 can also pass the latest object-based 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X™ and Auro-3D® to the compatible processor for truly encompassing surround sound. It fully supports 3D Blu-ray discs while state of the art processing power allows for ultra-fast playback start speeds. A variety of advanced adjustments can be made to color, image detail and video performance to improve picture quality. Not limited to just movies, the MVP901 is also great for listening to music. CDs, SACDs and DVD-Audio discs can be enjoyed via an 8-channel, 32-bit/192kHz DAC that’s used in stereo quad balanced mode to produce high fidelity audio. The HDMI output can be used for multi-channel music playback. A triple laser optical pickup uses one objective lens for the different wavelengths and is optimized for various disc types. Three USB ports allow playback of audio and video files from flash drives. Network streaming and BD-Live is available through the ethernet connection. Shipping anticipated in August 2016.