Lieven’s Show Notes
Even though I arrived with a 7h delay, the show was great. Same goes for the tequila shots and Long Island Ice Teas, but that’s another story. Actually it was the best Canjam London show for me so far, even though there maybe were a little less exhibitors. This year I focused on IEMs but I of course discovered a lot of great gear. These are my highlights:
There were 4 really interesting new headphones for me at the show: First of, the RAAL requisite True Ribbon™ SR1a. It looks weird, feels weird but it sounded superb. Especially the bass was incredible, something that for me is more lacking in the AKG K1000 and MySphere “versions”.
Second, the Hifiman Ananda BlueTooth. As you probably know I’m not the biggest fan of BlueTooth, but when Mr. Bian let me listen to them in Munich, I was impressed. Hifiman had them at the booth again in London and this is the best sounding BT headphone I have heard so far. Berkhan will be reviewing it soon if all goes well.
Third, the Rosson RAD-0. If you were impressed by the LCD2 when it first was launched and miss that feeling of getting wowed, then this is the headphone to listen to. The RAD-0 for me does a lot right what the Audeze lack, and then I’m thinking width, layering and depth. Great bass, awesome mids, really nice. Sure it’s heavy but that doesn’t bother me, and they just look stunning. I took one home with me. Review time!
Last, the Warwick Sonoma / Aperio headphone systems. While they both sound impressive, I actually prefer the Sonoma one. The Aperio sounded better than in Munich, but for that price I expect a whole lot more ($24K).
The first great one I listened to was the Fiio M11PRO, and it was really impressive. This is by far the best sounding Fiio DAP ever and I can’t wait for its release in September (if I remember well. Price just high of $700).
And then there was the RED version of the Hifiman R2R DAP. I’m not sure it was displayed at the booth, but we did listen to it. Sound-wise this is an incredible device, but you have to be nostalgic and love 1990’s user interfaces.
A lot of IEMs I loved. Where to start?
One I had been looking forward to listening to for a long time was the Jomo Audio Trinity with the electrostat drivers and boy, it did not disappoint. Too bad they’re not making this in CIEM form. But anyway, it’s so good we’ll be covering it.
The oBravo Cupid is an IEM I have a difficult relationship with. From the Cayin N6II and SP1000 it did not do anything for me and bass and body was absent. From my phone and Fiio M6 however the Cupid transformed into a wonderful sounding IEM. We will be featuring it here on HFN, but source picky this IEM certainly is.
As Linus is always covering 64Audio, I was first in line to listen to the new Noir and the flagship A18t. I liked both, so it’s time to start saving up for one of these! One of the very best IEMs at the show was the Vision Ears Elysium. If you have the chance to listen to it, do so, but your wallet won’t like it. I have my custom version already, so expect to read more about hat one soon as well.
One of my favorite UIEM brands is Inear from Germany and I own the SD4, SD5 and PP8. The clarity of the SD5 is impressive and it overall just is an excellent performing monitor. Review you say? Oh yes!
It’s always nice to be able to listen to the new Empire Ears models and the one I like there most was Wraith. I expected more from the Valkery, but it didn’t really do it for me. Sign me up for a Wraith though!
I have to admit I wasn’t really paying attention to amps and DACs, though Woo Audio had some really really beautiful and great sounding amps with them, as well as Chord Electronics and some others (Glenn amp at ZMF booth!). The one that jumped out most maybe was the the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt! It’s small, works with everything and delivers a sound worth much more than the $299 it is selling for. Everyone likes the DragonFly dongles, and this one without any doubt is the best they’ve built up to now.
Effect Audio Cables
I’m not really a cable guy anymore (I know!) but it still are the Effect Audio cables that do it for me. EA’s CEO Suyang was there himself to present the latest models and no matter what budget you have, they always have several great sounding choices. He also informed us about some upcoming new models, so keep checking back for news about that….
Ethan, Jude and the other Head-Fi guys did a great job again this year, and I hope next year will be just as good again. CanJam London is a place where you can discover new things and have fun. Espresso Martini anyone?
See you next year!