We don’t have anything against in-ear headphones or any other kind of headphones. Really, we don’t, but it’s just not The Beatnik’s preferred way to listen to music. Up until now, we haven’t spent much time reviewing these products, but we are hoping to change this in the not so distant future. We will tell you more about that later, but here’s a brief look at CanJam 2017 at RMAF. By the way, at this year’s show, some headphone vendors exhibited in their own rooms proving that headphones are claiming their place in high-end systems.
Zac Penrod of Jerry Harvey Audio was showing off their Lola™ hybrid design in-ear monitors. This Orlando , FL based company designed the Lola with guitarists in mind.
The company describes the Lola as, “A balance of power, detail, and warmth. Quick in its bass response, extraordinary in its detail, extension out to 20kHz and a natural, silky, airy gorgeous midrange courtesy of our D.O.M.E™ technology. Lola™ has an extraordinary analog sound stage that complements string instruments, as well as vocals, and makes a ‘58 Les Paul through a Marshall 4×12 cabinet sound kick ass.” While designed for professional musicians, these monitors are now available for everyone.
Chord was there showing off Hugo, which they advertise as the world’s most advanced, transportable DAC/headphone amp. A multi-award winner, Hugo’s tiny size doesn’t keep it from being ideal for desktop, on-the-go or home listening.
The version at RMAF has been remastered with what Chord refers to as next-generation sound quality to become the new reference standard for transportable digital conversion and headphone playback.
The Astell&Kern booth was so busy all weekend that it was hard to get really good pictures of the products. The buzz was for three new products made their official US debut at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest CanJam.
The three products were:
- The AK70 MK II – The first dual DAC Astell&Kern player available for under $1,000.
- The Michelle Limited IEM – The latest In-Ear Monitor collaboration between Astell&Kern and Jerry Harvey Audio.
- The AK CD-Ripper MK II – This product makes it easy to digitize and add your entire CD collection to your Astell&Kern portable hi-res audio player. By connecting the ripper to your Astell&Kern player, CDs can be ripped as FLAC or Wave files with full metadata including album title, artist, genre and album art.
Jason Henriques, PR Manager for IRIVER, represented A&K at CanJam and is pictured with the new AK70 MKII.
“Be Transformed” is the motto of RHA, a UK-based company. Calum Gracie (right) and Lorna Smith represented the company’s MA series of wireless in-ear headphones when I stopped by their booth. If you hurry, RHA is running a 20% discount code on their web stores through Oct. 13th with the code “RHARMAF2017”.
Welcome to the new, affordable high-end! Schiit Audio showed their line of headphone amps with a price tag for their newest Magni 3 of $99. “Magni 3 replaces both Magni 2 and Magni 2 Uber,” said Jason Stoddard, Co-Founder of Schiit Audio. “It has all the features of Magni 2 Uber, with even higher performance, but carries the 2-figure price tag from the base Magni 2.”
NAD with both their over-ear headphones and their headphone amplifiers continue to be a solid entry point for many into the audiophile hobby. Their products at RMAF show that they are continuing to raise the bar.
MrSpeakers debuted the ÆON Flow Open at CanJam @ RMAF 2017 priced at US$799. From Mr Speakers’ succinct press release: “We’re pleased to announce ÆON Flow, Open, the latest headphone in our critically acclaimed and award-winning ÆON headphone line. Built on the same chasis as our ÆON Flow, Closed headphone, it preserves the clarity and dimensionality owners have enjoyed in our closed headphone but with an expanded soundstage and a warmer transition from the bass to midrange for a fun and engaging headphone suitable for any genre of music.”
Another perennially favorite brand for headphone aficionados, Koss is known worldwide for its high fidelity sterephones and audio accessories.
Sennheiser showed off their over ear and wireless in-ear headphones. As the company says, “If you’ve got ears, we’ve got something for you.”
Klipsch debuted the Heritage HP-3 headphone, which was inspired by founder Paul W. Klipsch (PWK). Acoustically, mechanically, and physically this is the most impressive headphone Klipsch has ever created,” said Vlad Grodzinskiy, Sr. Manager of Product Development for Klipsch Group, Inc.
ESS exhibited their all new AMT series of 8″, 10″ and 12″ proudly made in the USA and featuring the original Heil Air Motion transformer full-line of speakers and headphones.