Abyss – Diana Phi
The Abyss is one hell of a headphone. With 91dB and an impedance of 32 Ohms it’s harder to drive than most headphones out there, but that doesn’t stop the WA11 from firing some proper juice into the Diana Phi. I’m a lower level listener, and for me the Abyss reaches comfort levels at roughly 11 o’clock on the dial on low gain.
The Phi blends perfectly in with the WA11. You get a nicely dynamic and incredibly well resolved sound. The Abyss tickles out every little detail of the sound, and with the organic tonality of the WA11 you will get a perfect mix of both worlds.
Lows are tighter, but still have impressive body. The lower midrange sounds impressive, where deep male vocals can almost overthrow you with body and weight. That’s not meant as a bad thing though, it’s just so physical and realistic that it wowed me on several occasions.
Sennheiser – HD800S
The HD800S is one of the kings when it comes to resolution and sound stage. It has a closer to analytical signature, it’s light on bass and easy on emotions.
The WA11 has absolutely no problem getting the 300 Ohm Sennheiser to blasting volumes. Loudness isn’t the problem of the Senn, as it’s an easier to drive headphone, but it can be very picky when it comes to sources. With the WA11 I feel it’s a good match. You will still get all the details from the Senn, but you will receive good amounts of body from the WA11, which makes a great blend of the two.
Don’t expect the bass of the HD800S to be elevated to levels of the Empyrean or even Diana Phi though, it’s still light on the lows, but mids are a notch denser with the Woo, which is also an area where the Senn could be improved on its own to me.
You’ll of course get the incredible sense of space the Sennheiser is known for. Details, resolution and layering are all top in this combo.
In Ear Monitors
The WA11 was designed for full sized headphones, but it of course has absolutely zero problems with the portable world either. IEMs are driven easily, but if you want to do that, you should set the source’s signal a bit lower. Most DAPs nowadays let you set the output voltage in Line Out mode, some USB signals can do that too… If you don’t adjust the signal, you’ll end up with a very small play for the volume knob, leaving you with little room for adjusting the volume.
If you are planning to use high sensitivity IEMs with the WA11, there might be some audible hiss. My Zeus XIV and Phantom pick up noticeable noise from the Woo. Once the music is playing, you shouldn’t notice it anymore though. The funny thing is, that the noise level is lower on high gain than on low gain…
64 Audio – Tia Trió
The Trió is one of those monitors that scales really well with a higher quality source and proper amplification. Though it doesn’t need it per se.
You’ll get excellent layering and instrumental separation. The sound overall seems big and impressive with a superb dynamic signature.
Bass has excellent control over it with a tight grip and deep extension. You get a fast and dynamic sound with very good imaging. The background is pitch black. Instruments have wonderful body and sound organic and convincing to me.
Mids are well formed and have excellent body and texture. Instruments are realistic and the timbre is absolutely spot on. Vocals sound full and dense, especially deeper voices such as the one of Leonard Cohen are addictive to listen to. Treble is fast, crisp, detailed and rich, it extends wide and sound crystal clean.
Comparisons and Conclusion on the last page.