Moondrop illumination Flagship Earphones

Moondrop’s newest flagship earphones.

If they sound as nice as they look…it will be a popular set of Earphones.

Stay tuned for Video review and thoughts posted here

Unboxing of the Moondrop illumination below

Photographed with the new Flagship Shozy earphones “Black Hole”


Empire Ears LEGEND-X Full REVIEW

Empire Ears LEGEND-X are the best IEM or headphone/earphones I have ever heard.



This picture has a lot of meaning to what I will write. I will use other tracks for other reasons but this is why I say what I say. The visual is symbolic. Lost in the desert and pulled right into an Oasis


I was standing,

I hit play on a D.S.D of  Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine”

I slowly sat down.


Welcome to the Machine…indeed



This isn’t a review it’s a story. You virtually walk while I virtually talk and my story will be over in 5 minutes.

That’s not bad,

Indulge me man..

Give me undo favor of your time…just trust me. Thanks in advance



Request #1

Note and then listen to the portion mentioned then stop.

From 0 – :45 seconds is an intro (elevator taking you to the machine)

Within that frame is a rhythmic panning from left to right channel that comes in around second :30 of this :45 second part




Request #2

Note and then listen to the portion mentioned then stop.

From 2:43 begins a series of 3 sonic buildups :

Stage 1 is from 2:43  and “happens” at 2:55

Stage 2 is from 3:06 and “happens” at 3:16

3:21 – 3:37 is Nick Mason ripping what sounds like multiple bass drums and was as clear as I have ever heard in my life. Worth a listen.

Stage 3 is from 3:36 and “happens” at 3:48


David Gilmour links the 3 with an acoustic guitar. You can just play 2:43- 3:48

The 3 part build-up was impressive even when I was a kid. The elevator to open the track, the hard rhythmic panning that morphs into what sound like air blasts panning hard left to right for a few seconds. It always blew me away since I was maybe 7 years old.

Now, the whole thing on the Empire Ears LEGEND X floored me but the clarity of the drum 3:21-3:27 was like hearing it for the first time in my life. I could hear every point of contact on what sounds like 7 strikes a second in bursts.


That track, that I have heard sooooooo many times just impressed the shit outta me. Holy ….the fuuuuuck?? It was big and wide and dynamic and had all I knew like the back of my hand and a couple new treats.


Then I set off on my regular listening after having been sat down in my tracks by the “Welcome to the Machine”….experience



The MIDS1000pxf


Gold Dust Woman


Every bit of detail in the mids is fantastic with nothing getting in the others way. Have never heard Stevie sound as good. Feels like you can visualize her mouth getting closer and moving away from the mic in the studio. Fucking amazing stuff. Seriously, how many IEM can convey the live/I can hear her breath feeling on this track? Only this set can

The entire album, vocal and guitar-centric as it is, absolutely shines on the LEGEND-X.



The STAGE1000pxb

Foreplay/It’s been such a long Time


This is a track that is studio recorded…. stadium mixed. Like Floyd, BOSTON is taking you on a ride as far as your gear can take you. They use panning a lot and put parts of the track as far around your head as your gear allows. It goes total spacial out of head with these IEM

The LEGEND X is again blowing my mind a little. I have a complete system properly crossed over in my fraking ear. Don’t ask how it compares to ________ because it is better.



The BASS1000px2

I imagined LEGEND X  was sent to me because it has 2 subwoofers, but I imagine lots of stuff. No way this very expensive kit was sent for just bass? No way… If they read any review at all they know I like Pink Floyd, Fleetwood mac, BOSTON, Bob Marley…and on and on. Hip hop thumps with authority but the separation and impact and detail of Nick Mason’s drums on the track mentioned to open this review/rant was mind blowing. My car audio and home systems have always been geek level in quality and price and time corrected and everything,…. but these little IEM are blowing my mind.



The TREBLE1000pxm


Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’



The guy that mixed this has that and he put a lot of silver and gold on this track. He described the high frequency as being those colors iirc and again the LEGEND X is just glittering and sparkling with all kinds of well played silver and gold. Masterpiece of a production. Mike went sideways but this album is a piece done by masters…so it is a masterpiece….that shines on the Legend X






What the hell is Empire Ears doing?

From E.E

“While neutral in tone and a balanced signature throughout, an addictive treble energizes the music, while simultaneously remaining smooth. But our greatest challenge yet was incorporating the low-reaching, impactful bass of the W9 subwoofers, with technical performance rivaling any in-ear monitor on the market; a challenge we can proudly proclaim we have overcome. Offering top-tier levels of transparency and separation, as well as one of the widest sound stages in the industry, our flagship has earned its position at the top of the lineup: a Legend is reborn.”



Let me translate that for ya:

Most music from Symphony to Street Rap has bass and putting that with accurate mids and detailed and spacious highs is really freaking hard. Most of our rivals fail right here. We think we nailed that.


I think they did




Technical Specifications

7 Proprietary Drivers, Hybrid Design

2 W9 Subwoofers, 2 Mid, 1 Mid-High, 1 High, 1 Super High

10-Way synX Crossover System

A.R.C. Resonance Mitigation Technology

26AWG UPOCC Litz Copper Cable, Handcrafted by Effect Audio





They got a 10 way x-over system and (2) w9 subwoofers. I am a car audio guy and loved my JL Audio “W” series subs so…I am digging this on all levels.






Ever heard their flagship and felt confused?

Your like me then…lets keep going…



The crossover system has never been played with by me because it sounds epic as is but the design should be absolutely amazing for folks who tweak with EQ as the adjust will really…REALLY only relate to the single driver assigned to that freq region


synX Crossover Technology


The brains of the Machine. My personal thought is this is where the whole thing goes from a part of the TOTL pack to the top of it. Having a properly crossed over system is basic audio 101 for any set-up with multiple drivers. This is very basic to the whole thing coming together




Weapon IX


From E.E

“Weapon IX (W9), a proprietary 9mm rare-earth magnet subwoofer with the ability to deliver extreme output, accurate dynamics and sublime sound quality all at the same time. The keys to these performance capabilities lie at the very core of its design, where the woofer is enclosed in a tuned bass-reflex system with a front-firing sound port and rear-firing vent for maximum efficiency.”


Let me translate that for ya:


Bass is a full 1/3 portion of the audio spectrum and taking greater care with that 1/3 is over looked by many of our competitors. We tried harder, we think we nailed it.


I think they did too.





legend x

From E.E

The Legend X utilizes a number proprietary balanced armature drivers by Knowles and Sonion, each one purpose built for a specific target response. Our drivers feature specialized reeds and low-mass diaphragms to reproduce incredible detailed, true-to-recording sound while remaining efficient enough to be powered by everyday devices.

Furthermore each Empire driver utilizes a NASA-born ferromagnetic liquid technology, Ferrofluid, to dampen acoustics peaks and reduce vibrations in combination with our A.R.C. technology. The end result is extraordinary clarity and increased shock durability.


Let me translate that for ya:


A recent tend in the industry is to stuff a crazy # of BA drivers in a shell and charge extra for it. More drivers is more money and sometimes, way too often that does not result in improved audio quality, in–fact, the exact opposite often occurs because of little thought to acoustics…which is puzzling as the science ..acoustic science predicts the issues that doing multiple horns in a single enclosure might cause. We think we found a way to deal with that using science.


I think they did too







Cable included with LEGEND X

3.5 / 2.5/ .4.4 available



What’s you get with the LEGEND


  • In Ear Monitor
  • Empire Aegis Case
  • Empire Dust Bag
  • Empire IEM Pouch
  • Empire Cleaning Cloth
  • Empire Cleaning Tool



About Me:









I would advise you sell your gear, get out of the $500 zone and stop chasing your tail. I have been there.

It would be wiser to buy an item like this and get off the hype train and all of it’s routes and stops and save your sanity, time and get back to enjoying music if that’s why you are in this.


That is my Review of Empire Ears LEGEND-X

I may edit and update but my opinion of it being the best set of IEM your money can buy will not be changed or edited










Official site for purchasing

Legend X (Custom)

Facebook page


Head-Fi thread for reading more about the Empire Ears LEGEND X



Campfire Audio ATLAS (review coming)

Review of the new Campfire Audio Atlas is coming soon so stay tuned.




Campfire Audio site



Head-Fi discussion thread








Campfire Audio COMET REVIEW

Stunning beauty and fantastic sound are 2 things the new Campfire Audio COMET give you. Highly rec’d



Lets get one thing out of the way…right away..

Campfire Audio does not mess around. They punch the competition right in the mouth and they do it often…bout every damn time they release something.

The quality is always top notch. Campfire Audio gear is designed and made in America.

I’m American.

I enjoy typing “Made in America”

I reaaaaaaally enjoy it when what I am talking about is exceptional and on par and beyond,  items made by the most famous, high quality personal audiophile gear manufacturers on the planet.


Review of Campfire Audio Comet:


Campfire Audio comet

The set goes for $200

$200 does not often  (ever?) ..buy you a set of this quality. 3D modeled, drop forged steel, polished beauties with mmcx removable LITZ cable.


I am going to save the pic and vid bombing for the bottom of the review so you can get what you came for right away.

…the f’ing sound!





LED ZEPPELIN – Stairway to Heaven

I grew up on this album among others. This was one of my Mom”s favorites. The song opens like pedals on a flower one by one as each member comes into the fold. This song has an epic build up from the slow opening guitar notes into a full on rock and roll explosion that goes in all directions sonic wise and that makes for a good psycho-acoustic stage. After growing up with vinyl on home systems it always sounded very compact on mp3 files and ipods but moving up to items like Sony’s WM1A and using high quality vinyl rips brought back the familiar separation between Robert Plant, John Bonham, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page.


The Campfire Audio Comets are using a single wideband Balanced Armature driver and deliver a stunning sense of realism.





BOSTON – Foreplay/It’s been such a long time


I use this song for staging usually but it has so much upper frequency info it can be an excellent evaluator of treble detail, and expose roll-off. All of the notes I expect to hear are heard. There are no obvious caverns along the treble frequency.  It would be clear. It always is. Lots of stuff sounds just alright with this song and some…few, sound fantastic. The Campfire Audio comets are a new one in the fantastic group.


I have to say again these are $200 and are a single balanced armature driver





LED-ZEPPELIN – Dazed and Confused


Another Zep track…..yeah…shoot me!!

This was THE FIRST track I ever played with the Campfire Audio Comets because I doubted/expected the bass to be lacking or at least some roll off in the sub-bass.




This was when I knew this was not going to go as expected and was the beginning of the awesome…I smiled.


I like Ken (never met him) but we have a common tie to…Hawaii.

I was going to try and be very polite to a guy who seems genuine and is really out to make great gear, but, the bass is going to be an issue and I gotta be honest, my bass loving brethren are reading this…..and……like I said above…I smiled, this set is just fine..because I like good bass that does not screw my mids and these really really surprised me.

The bass guitar string pulls are clear and defined and resonate and decay in a natural manner. They are as they should be. Man that is so rare and I have never experienced that with a single BA. Never experienced that with a set that has 4 BA just for bass…crazy. And the mids are excellent……craaaazy!


Totally impressed.






FLEETWOOD MAC – Gold Dust Woman


The most important is the last on the list.

The Campfire Audio handle vocals like a boss…..or put another way, these are very good/exceptional in the mids


The mids are a slave to bass and confused as treble and get blamed for most sonic issues cuz they do…in fact, (the issues)  reside along their range.

Bass that is elevated too long will encroach on mids and create a veil that can cover the entire mids and sometimes the whole audible spectrum. This is most apparent with vocals both Male and Female vocals as the fundamental range of both sexes  spans more than half of the mid range. The harmonic range fully crosses and goes way into the treble If it is veiled by late bass or recessed tuning or an un natural bump before the treble you will hear it.




This Fleetwood Mac track had at least 2 female and 2 male voices. There are often other layers with unknowns but Mick, Lindsay Stevie and Christie are definitely there. It sounds like Stevie Nicks was mastered in at a slightly higher level than everything besides the guitar and some effects. The other vocalists are a tad back but if this track is played with bad mids they will sound quite distant. Stevie is met by backing vocals by Christie that are about as loud as Stevie appears to be during the outro both saying “woman” together near the end of the song. If you know this song really good you can hear scooped/veiled/forward or recessed mids pretty much right away.

If the bass is good and the treble is great…you got 2 outta 3…right…that’s good yeah?

No…the whole thing will go down the “V” sig toilet and be just another set of in ear monitors.

The mids….they make this set great.


What’s in the Box bro?


The video…it shows all






Review in vid and on this site coming soon







Campfire Audio’s Site




Head-Fi’s thread





Campfire Audio’s CASCADE Headphone REVIEW

The crunching, grinding harmonic chaos that is an electric guitar with pedals down is just so ….damn…hard to get right. It does not matter the design or driver type, something is always missing. It’s not missing now




Time:          1977

Place:         Some kids room, somewhere in America

Reason:     Reason?      Mom….GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!


cascade and farrah

That kid is so stoked!



This guy is so stoked!

Campfire Audio CASCADE life




The kid?

unfurling the biggest selling pin-up poster girl in history…

and you can see her nipple….for an 11 year old boy that’s like big time stuff.



The Guy?

I think the guy in the 2nd picture and the kid in the 1st are actually… the.. same.. dude!













Same lines that Campfire Audio has become famous for but in “L” size. Absolutely beautiful down to the last detail. Everything is awesome.

Seriously…it is.




“The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself. The machine that appears to be “out there” and the person that appears to be “in here” are not two separate things. They grow toward Quality or fall away from Quality together.”
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


  • Well respected guy as it relates to voicing and building IEM in the audio industry.
  • Dreams of doing some over ears headphones.
  • Takes lots of time to get the reality and the dream lined up.
  • Pic posted above would indicate said dream.. has met reality


Respected, smart, dreamer…nails it.


I want some of that.


You want me to paint a picture?




**Bob Ross voice**

There’s a happy little aluminum cup over there, yeah..

moving up,…what do we have….oh,

it’s a nice yolk connected by a strong pivot section, for you folks watching at home any old brush will do….lets just enjoy, that’s what it’s all about …yeah?

The padding seems really nice and hey…those plush pads , like clouds…happy clouds being warmed by Mr Sun…….those clouds come right off! Lets just use black, it’s a dark color but it is one of my favorite colors because I can make almost aaaaaany other color with a little help from Mr. Black.

Alright then, lets dip our brushes now…just a bit,



Excellent pics and from all angles are at the site where you will buy it:



I have to this point,



Farrah, Robert Pirsig and Bob Ross into this.


1977 is...in…the ….house!!!





Moving right the fuck along…..








Closed headphones always have and always will fall short of open backs when it comes to a sense of space around the listener.

That said, Pink Floyd’s On the Run which is fantastic for panning and spacial audio cues sounds great. Using mostly IEM lately and not my MA-900 has sort of conditioned my mind to getting a sense of space from tuning more than actual air coming into my ear in addition to the sound.


The left to right and back pans,  and  both sides panning to opposite sides simultaneously is well captured as is the woman’s gate and boarding announcement which resides partly in the early mids but is very clear which is not the case with over extending bass.






Tupac Amaru Shakur (beloved god of THUG LIFE)…his favorite song was:

“Vincent” by Don McLean

Just a knowledge bomb for ya.

About that bass…


I bought these because having a driver with good mids and great bass is something beryllium drivers are becoming famous for. That and it’s cups being made of a metal along with the reputation of Campfire Audio is mostly why I pulled the trigger.


On 2pac’s Ambitionz az a Ridah’ the bass thump is clean and falls fast. The speed of the driver is preventing an elevated bass from becoming a mid frequency issue. Nothing else is clouded or less resolving because of the bass hit that pins down the entire track. I like bass but I like mids even more. Scooped mids kill. They kill hopes, they kill smiles they ..

I would rather it sound as if the lead singer were standing on my fucking face than sound like he was in another room behind the band. This set makes me not have to deal with either discomfort but if they had thin mids or distant vocals I would be shredding them in a video..I NEVER DO WRITTEN REVIEWS OF GEAR UNLESS IT IS BOSS. Vids are easy. Writing is an A.D.H.D torture event.






AC/DC’s  Girls got Rhythm,

I have come to realize how much this track which is a fantastic vinyl rip, throws guitar and vocals a notch or more back whenever there is a dip in the mids. If the 300-2Khz range is warped it will show on tracks like this and Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman loud and clear.

Noteworthy to say the least is the ability of this set to play back guitar with distortion pedals in a way, I have not heard on many sets of head gear of any type, be it B.A. , PLANAR , DD..IEM, on-ear or overear.

The Beryllium driver coating is clearly cleaning things up via speed and recovery of all the minutia that happens during distorted guitar playback. It is almost like a unicorn for folks who have never heard good audio gear as they have never heard it and literally have no idea what they are missing. Ignorance is not bliss but it helps to not drain the wallet like this hobby does.


The crunching, grinding harmonic chaos that is an electric guitar with pedals down is just so ….damn…hard…to get right. It does not matter the design or driver type, something is always missing. It’s not missing now



Hearing this vinyl rip like this and knowing I can grab this set anytime and hear this kind of replay is worth the price of admission alone.





E.L.O Telephone Line


All kinds of trebles ready to make you want to rip your skin of your face if the driver has spikes in the wrong areas.

Seriously…50Hz tone at 145dB for 20 minutes or

8.5Khz at 145dB for 5 minutes?

Man, I’d get to minute 2 of 8.5Khz and cry before going insane and jumping out a window and impaling myself on something.

The FiiO F9 original version is good for 2 songs in a row and that is it. Game over, fatigue has arrived and annoyance and anger are following close behind. I bought the Beyer T1 and long term listening sessions with that beauty was just impossible.

The Campfire Audio CASCADE is built for long listening. Maybe it’s the basshead in me but this is not a bassy set it is a mid centric one. This is built for full album sessions. I believe this is the first review I wrote while listening to the item reviewed the whole time.





1 = Get these things off my fucking head

10 = Sound so good I forgot something important and…don’t even give a shit. I’m in this hobby for the 10’s brah!


Well…I got an e-mail asking to change a boxing spar session to tomorrow instead of Sunday (J.S.T) and forgot to reply till typing that 1-10 stuff and he has a new baby and I am not gonna mail him at 11:50 P.M and wake his kid and piss off his wife.

My Review of the Campfire Audio CASCADE Headphones.  is done. A pretty good video review will soon follow.



A star and a movie from 1977.  EPIC,…like these headphones.







I knew about The Walkman before I knew about the ipod.


Somewhere along the way the teacher (Sony), became the student of Apple. The ipod was simple and snappy and small. Sony was all over the map with new ideas every year and proprietary devices, systems and connectors. The must have made more money from folks trying to enjoy and integrate their devices with non Sony than they ever made of the devices themselves.

It was tiring and often not good.


However for every for every 5 FAILS there were some wins. The Sony EX1000 is considered by many to be the apex form of the single dynamic driver IEM design. I like mine so much I spent more decorating it than the item itself.



I also found the MA-900 t be to my liking enough to do the same for them.




I had not realized that Sony had dug their way back into my life until they were there. They had not broken back into the player realm though.


It was hot garbage. It favored Sony’s own file type…of course. I would rather learn a new version of Android than walk through that mess.


Then somebody tapped me on the virtual shoulder and thought i should have another look and I did..



sony zx2sony zx1sony zx6sony zx4sony zxsony zx3



Like an ipod on steroids with a nice weight and size. build quality supreme.



Navigation style



sony zx8


The interface is a series of panels that sit around the main screen that you can reach by swiping up/down/left/right. If you are in direct mode it’s that simple. ipod like in it’s ease.

If you switch direct off you get another level of DSP options including a nice 10 band EQ with another couple of options to satisfy the tweaker that lives in most gear geeks.

sony zx7





Dude..how the FFffUUUUuuuuUUU does it sound?


Sounds a tad south of Neutral. I hate Neutral. Has a tint of warmth and body to the music. Sounds real. Vocals and guitars sound clear and have good texture and transients. The note has a full life from the moment a bass guitar string is pulled until the harmonic extension has died away. This captures that perfectly.


Music will usually be whatever your earphones or headphones are tuned for. Good music players really should not be notable …just kinda get the fu out of the way and maybe leave a small sonic reminder they are there. The Sony NW ZX300 leaves a nice residue of musicality that is well received by the ex1000 or Unique Melody ME.1 (planar) or the 64 Audio U12 (Balanced Armature) or the NCM “Bella” (Hybrid).



Review of Sony NW ZX300 Video form



You are being pic bombed








Balanced output is where this thing shines the brightest. Believing in balanced benefits aside the power output is better and thus dynamics improve. There is always that.





I listened to this to come to this conclusion




NW-ZX300 – Key Features:

  • Large TFT 3.1″ / 7.8 cm WVGA [800 x 480 Pixels] Display,
  • Touch-Sensitive LED Backlight Color Display,
  • 30/26 h – Standard MP3/High-Res Music Playback,
  • Body:
    • Solid single part CNC processed Stable Aluminium Body
    • Benefits: Best Shielding and Noice canceling Results,
  • S-Master HX™ – The Best Sound quality is Guaranteed By Design widely Implemented the “True Digital Paths”.
  • High-Resolution, Hi-RES:
    • Direct Stream Digital – DSD 11.2MHz,
  • Standard MP3 – Up to 320 kbps, VBR Support,
  • FLAC,
  • WAVE,
  • WMA,
  • APE *.ape/ Up to 24 bit/max 192 kHz,
  • DSEE HX™ For Restoring The Sound Quality of Lossy Compression Files,
  • CXD-3778GF – Digital Amplifier,
  • Connectivity:
    • Bluetooth v.4.2 with A2DP and AVRCP,
    • NFC,
    • USB – V2.0,
    • 22-pin WM PORT Socket,
  • 10 Band equalizer,
  • Dual Peak Meters Graphical Presentation,
  • Spectrum Analyzer,
  • Audio Output:
    • Balanced Audio Jack – Diameter 4.4mm:
      • Power Output: 2 x 200mW,
    • Stereo Minijack – Diameter 3.5mm:
      • Power Output: 2 x 50mW / 16 OHMs,
  • Rechargeable battery Powering:
  • Charging Time:
    • Approximately 5h.
  • High-Quality Components: FTCAP and Film Capacitors,
  • Storage Space:
    • Internal 64GB,
    • The Storage Volume is Expandable with MicroSD Card.
  • Dimensions:
    • 57.7 x 120.4 x 14.9 mm,
    • 2.28 x 4.75 x 0.59-inch,
  • Weight:
    • 157 g,
    • 5.54 oz.




Sony has come a long way.

They seem to by luck or …nah…by luck, to have nailed it.

This is what they have done




Just reading that makes me remember why it took so long to return. Like they were trying to keep me away and kill their own market…and now they are on their way back to taking what was theirs. Do they even realize that? Who cares. This unit is awesome. This review is about that and it is in fact excellent.


Get it in Asia




Get it in America




The Great Sound Generator

The Hiby R6 is the world’s most advanced HiFi music player, it comes with not one, but dual ES9028Q2M DAC chips, coupled with a HiFi discrete amplification architecture after the dual DACs comprising 5 separate chips, including high quality OPA1612 LPF and TPA6120 amplification chips for high power output (up to 300mW under a 32Ω)

R6 supports all high-resolution audio formats, equipped with WiFi and DNLA Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, ensuring flawless wireless communication.


From Hiby



Unboxing and build






Even the cables are awesomeIMGP0300IMGP0279IMGP0282

pictures with lint of dust will be removed later and burned forever. OCD folks accept my apologies

Photo bombs awaaaaay!!!










You wanna Tweak? Me too!


Hiby has it’s own steroid enhanced version of Viper for Android and boy is it a winner.

MageSound 8-Ball


That’s the name of their main DSP or should I say full suite of DSP’s






It’s called 8-ball but has 10 setting bars




Each of the 10 sliders has an effect of counter effect that can be adjusted in increasing amounts of range



Other DSP include a Parametric EQ which is really what most folks like myself want. It is a work in progress as I have a pre-release device and pre-release firmware. It should be epic when complete.




Has a standard  Graphic EQ with some pre-sets.






Before we continue..




Digital music players do not have sound characteristics like:

speakers/transducers/drivers <<<all names for the same thing which are your headphones or earbuds and everything in between.


Calling a Music player “U” shaped (Bass up, mids down, Treble up) is a symptom of the internet allowing anyone with a website…(looks in mirror) to make pronouncements about shit they know nothing about. George D. (Figure it out) is a guy who loves everything and drops the collective I.Q. of the entire hobby by about 20pts. He’s a hype man who thinks he reviews stuff.


No, I’m a hype man. I hype what I love and you don’t see stuff I don’t like. You see an un-box and then nothing ever again. What happened to that thing?


Short version?

kinda sucked, not gonna advise anyone spend anything on it. That’s it.



These devices with help from filters have very subtle nuances that make one or the other more preferable to any given individual.


You got it? Your fucking headphones exert more influence on the final sound you hear and anyone who implies otherwise is a fucking con man plain and simple.


Moving the fuck on….




20171206_21550020171206_215522Hiby R6 DAP



  • Bit-perfect output (bypassing Android SRC)

First DAP manufacturer to come right out and claim bit-perfect without any qualifiers about this mode or that setting. It has what they call DTA (Direct Transport Audio)

  • Dual ES9028Q2M DACs for a silky smooth sound

Mobile version of high quality DAC x2

  • Snapdragon 425 SoC Processor with 3GB RAM

This is where shit get real. 3 gigs. What is the difference between a DAP with 1 gig or 2? Who cares…They both don’t have 3. The Hiby R6 has 3 and this device is very fucking fast son

  • 4.2’’ 768X1280  Touchscreen

Very nice screen, lie the Dx200 without ghosting and pedestrian ipod audio quality.

  • Android 6.X system 

Almost the latest and very stable. no glitches even on my demo model

  • Four-Way LPF for First-Rate Amplification

  • 32GB Build-in Storage and up to 2TB expandable Storage

  • Support most high-resolution audio formats, at up to 384kHz/32Bit, DSD 256

  • Supports Line out and coaxial digital output

  • 12 hours playing time with Quick Charge 3.0 

  • 2.4/5G Wi-Fi

  • Bluetooth 4.0 ( aptX )





Why this DAP and not the other?



Blazing 3Gig of RAM…hold my phone wait… no that’s my DAP ..kinda speed that is going to be the industry standard within months of this post for top shelf items running robust droid platforms.





The R6 has the fastest, most intuitive user interface of any droid based DAP I have ever touched. It’s insane.








Stuff I don’t like:

  • 1 SD card

This is done with a mind toward speed and was not a cost saving thing on the part of Hiby…knowing that and understanding that makes it O.K., but…….I want the whole world in my hand

I want the whole world in my hand

I want the whole… world… in… my…. haaaaaaaaaand!!

  • I want a cover, should have a jacket to protect it’s sexy body. Fake leather…free in package…real leather…optional item 🙂






(Insert comparisons to other DAP’s here)

Ever read music player compares and the dude never even mentioned the songs played when the conclusions were made? Kinda boggles the mind.


I got you bruh!



Before I started messin’ with DSP the sound had a sense of impact that is not going to show in a graph.  Aside from that every trait assigned to this device by others in the future will be them talking about their IEM/Headphones.

Bass, wide stage, mids/treble are driver traits.




Sony EX1000 are my ears. I know these so well.

They have a audiophile bass but can be EQ’d. Before doing so, the bass on these seemed stout and defined with impact when using the Hiby R6 in balanced mode. The filters and power stage on this device must be real good.



If you want to ask about the R6 compared to another it will be using the Sony EX1000 or Unique Melody ME.1 and it will be a song from the albums above so if you don’t have those IEM or listen to that music it is a waste of time. Sorry but welcome to the real world. With different gear and music the result will be different. That is self explanatory.






My video review






Kind of an un-box








Do I rec it?


Yeah, I think it is the fastest best sounding most tweakable DAP on the market at any price range and the build quality is outstanding.   They built this to punch the market in the mouth and they broke some teeth…they really built an amazing device.


Joe Bloggs and team kicked some ass.


That’s my Hiby R6 review….beechuz


Pre-order here




Trust me. Or another dude you never met who never talks about what they listened to while judging audio gear…


NCM Bella 1DD 8BA Universal IEM REVIEW

The NCM “Bella” is an IEM that will appeal to Bassheads and Audiophiles alike…no easy task..that.

The “Bella” is an absolutely gorgeous set of IEM which bridges the Audiophile/Basshead gap quite nicely






The NCM “Bela” uses

(x1) Dynamic 10mm driver

(x8) Balanced armature drivers.




Shock proof case
Soft carrying pouch
Cleaning tool and cloth
OFC ultra soft removeable cable





Specs (from site)





Photo Bombs away motherfuckers!


















Typical Universal IEM using the bump for resting on the inner ear to hold the DD. They actually have made the smallest 1DD 8 BA hybrid I have seen and it is smaller than the Kumitate Labs KL-REF which is a DD BA hybrid but has less BA




NCM has stuffed a lot of stuff into a shell the size of 64 Audio’s U12 sized frame

The “Bella” is smaller or identical to U12 and smaller than ME.1












Sound impressions:










Going Back to Cali



Hit that play button!!

The Bella slams on this classic track. Without EQ it hits hard and with an amp and EQ it is among the heaviest hitters I have tried. NOTHING beats a Dynamic Driver for bass impact. The 8 BA drivers assure that the rest of the frequency does not disappear.

This is a set that goes from polite to slamming pretty easy.


bella freq


Git some of that low end baby!











On the Run


My go to track for panning cues and the Bella has a massive virtual stage. The 8BA are doing good work and the tuning lends itself to present big stages in a big way. I hate compact deliveries and this does not do that. Having lots of bass and lots of stage is a hard find and Bella does it well. The left to right and back panning cues on this classic Floyd track are all there and very clear. I was expecting a bass monster with no mids and a limited stage and got a shit ton of space and sparkle.









Gold Dust Woman


Because of the male and female vocals through this track and the quality of the mastering it is a great track to judge  vocals and any sense of them being pushed back or forward. The mids are a tad forward but it is actually a nice listen and the graph shows a smooth transition from bass thru mids to treble. they sound a bit forward (vocals) bit recessed is unacceptable to me and a touch forward is what I prefer.









Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’


This is where the “Bella” really really shines. See that graph above again. The treble is bumped right in the sweet spot and not spiking at 7.5-9khz. It is falling but no sense of roll off. The details in this awesome track on this fucking awesome album…..Mike got weird but this lbum was an epic masterpiece of mixing by Quincy Jones and others.

For a set that was focused on bass when sent to me…I imagine?  The Treble steals the show. Absolutely tuned perfect for my ears.  I played through and loved this whole fucking album on Bella….absolutely fuckingdope!


This is sparkle.  Slam and sparkle with no scoop…2017 ladies and gents…good times!! The Hybrid sets are getting better and better







I had no idea who NCM was and they contacted me…and I am glad they did. Thomas was polite and did everything he was going to do when he said he would do it.

I would rec the company anytime. I have no incentive to kiss ass. I wouldn’t anyway but I got none. The dudes from Vietnam are cool very cool and the gear they make is fanfuckingtastic!


I highly rec the “Bella”. Never assume but……gotta imagine they make some more good shit over at NCM.


Big Thanks to Thomas!



Their website is here



Their Facebook is here



Their Instagram is here





Listened to this just before my review…good shit!

















Unique Melody ME.1 Planar IEM REVIEW

**Waits for Unicorn IEM**
Unique Melody: Hold my Beer, I got this..

Like a Game of thrones, The Sony EX1000 has finally been put down

by the Unique Melody Me.1

Unique Melody ME.1

The Unique Melody Me.1 is what is known as a “Planar” IEM

It is a technology developed and used for expensive headphones costing in the thousands of dollars. Recently the technology, forms of it, have been miniaturized and used in IEM or “In Ear Monitors”.  This is a very good thing for music listeners obsessed with detail. The minutia that is barely audible and sometimes lost to harmonic distortion is now available to you, the O.C.D crowd (me) and people who expect the whole recording to be played back…ALL of it



Sound impressions

Unique Melody ME1 FiiO X7MKII

Finest, clearest most impressive sonic playback of any IEM I have ever heard at any price.

The black quiet background is unlike any BA,Hybrid or Dynamic driver I have ever tried. It is absolutely addicting.

A Benchmark.

The sound of the needle gliding along between tracks on a vinyl rip is like being there. Next to Mom’s record player again, young, loving music and not analyzing it.

The moments between “The Battle of Evermore” and “Stairway to Heaven”


Those kind of moments are why I love this hobby.

I decided before starting to write this to just say what i think without trying to be some balanced robot infonator passing facts and general thoughts on to you. Nah, fuck that, these fucking RULE!



It is very much like the Sony EX1000. No measured increase of note between 20Hz and 1Khz. It is very clear and the speed of planar is second to…nothing. Bass guitar is outstanding. The pluck and pull and resonance of bass strings on some thing like the Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun” is pure joy.


Who is she? No idea? Mommy or Daddy sure know their freakin’ music though. Whole album sounds sick on the Unique Melody Me.1


The best pairing for this IEM is the FiiO Q1MkII with it’s hardware bass boost switch. Most any good amp with a good bass switch will bring out the thump in these in a way an EQ cannot. Most DD or BA can be EQ’d to a reasonable point but for thump these love a good hardware boost..to my ears anyway.



Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are an awesome pair of Male and Female vocals. Christine Mcvie reaches a little higher and brings in what is the sole weakness of the Planar…all of them. From 1.5Khz to approx 4.5Khz there is a harmonic event. A dip. Just prior is often a hump. Vocals on planar IEM without EQ can come off as shouty or odd if no EQ work is done.


Bass can go up because…it’s planar,

mids will not become veiled.

1Khz is very sensitive with this IEM IMO and it is my dip.

I do that at 400-500Hz usually but here it is 1Khz then I slow rise peak between 4-6Khz

Pretty simple and the payoff is perfect mids that transition to treble well, anchored by tight and authorative bass if you want it to be



“Telephone Line”

Woooo!! WOOOOO!!!

every crispy little detail pulled out and layed there for you. NOTHING shaded, trimmed,dulled…nothing. I coulda used any track with some sparkle but I was listening to this, wanted to try the widget so BAM….there ya go.

Science,  muf __kers!!


Product Specifications

Impedance: 23.1 Ω
Diaphragm Diameter: 18.5 mm
Magnet Type: Dual-Layer High Strength Neodymium

Shell: 3D Printed Medical Grade Acrylic with CNC Finish Connector Type: 2-Pin Protruding Connector
Cable: 6N Single Crystal Copper
Cable Termination: 3.5 mm Headphone Jack

You can change the cable..

But why??



Pimp C would blush….then wear it.

The cable is sick, the comfort is great (I use comply) the earhooks are soft and easy to adjust to your ear and the cable is sick….did I mention that?



Un rivaled SQ

Speed of driver and it’s assurance of the TOTL quality

Very responsive to EQ

Comfortable for long listening

The cable is unicorn hair dipped in gold


EQ near 1.5-4.5 Khz would be advised

hardware bass boost really needed to push bass properly


Your desk without these on them

I once watched Twister6 stumble over announcing one top of the line IEM after the other till he said he would stop making such grand statements and I thought..pffft, get a grip dude!

Now I am looking at my EX1000 considered by many old timers and myself to be the apex of dynamic in ear monitors. And I find myself rationalizing that they are in the Dynamic driver world but I am just splitting hairs over here. The Unique Melody Me.1 are the finest IEM on the market and they are not over $1000, they are not even near Unique Melody’s most expensive IEM yet here I am calling them the King.


Do I rec em?

They are in the header image of this site.


You can purchase the Unique melody Me.1 here (below)

UM Universal ME.1 Planar magnetic Drivers IEM







FiiO X7Mk II Hi-Res Music player REVIEW

Fiio X7mkII

Original FiiO adverts for player

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  • 2GB RAM ,

  • 64GB ROM ,

  • ESS9028 PRO,

  • Balanced

  • + DSD + BT 4.1 aptX + Dual mSD + Dual Band WiFi + Optical



Shii, let’s get right to the point

There has been a lot of discussion about the sound of music players and due to laziness or stupidity or both, the terms often used to describe speakers , headphones or any audio transducers has been ascribed to Music players as well and let me tell you it is total bullshit.

There is no loose bass, recessed mids or rolled off treble with a music player which has at it’s heart a DAC which is a Digital to Analogue converter.

It converts digital data into analogue data.

That’s what it does.


There is a thing happening. Cannot measure it. Cannot do anything but marvel at how some music players using the same exact DAC cam exhibit a tonality that is so different from another.

ESS9018K2M  Used by OPUS #2 (x2) and Calyx-M (x1)

They sound nothing alike and it has nothing to do with dual DAC’s.

The X7MkII is using an ESS9028Pro (x1) and the Dx200 (x2)

They sound different. I prefer the single DAC implementation but can appreciate now (unlike a few months ago) that it is a fine device in it’s own right. NOT my type of sound but very well liked by some.

Excluding all the babble about “loose” and “recessed” lets put them on one plane and call it a neutrality line

Warm (implies some sort of perceived focus in bass and vocal range)



FiiO X5iii

Shozy Alien +

Neutral ( no emphasis perceived anywhere along frequency)

FiiO X7 *1st gen stock amp*

DX200 *stock amp*


Cold (implies some sort of perceived focus in treble, perhaps forward mids)


Aune m1S

If that is reasonable, and I think it is, I would place the FiiO X7mkII in the Neutral category with a slight lean towards treble. It seems to have no more weight to bass than the 1st X7 but the clarity seems…well…clearer. The minutia in some music is there and while DAP’s that are leaning north of neutral can be a bad match for long term listening the X7mkII is actually the opposite. It is more engaging and comfortable than the X5iii and warm music players are supposed to be good for longer term listening.

Maybe true? But the X7mkII is an exception to the rule which makes it…exceptional.



I was unable to get past the tiny font on the Cayin i5.

Sometimes a simple little thing can make a device almost un useful if it does not mimic an ipod like ease of use experience with as few clicks and swipes as possible and a minimum of missed touches/clicks.

The FiiO X7mkII is a mature, easy to navigate Android based music player with no annoying habits. I have had it for 5 months and picking it up and using it is a thing done without thought of any kind.

I do not have to “put up with” anything annoying.

There are 3 basic themes.

Several ways to browse your music

The ESS9028PRO has 7 filter settings embedded in the DAC to make subtle adjustments to the sound

Screenshots taken with players screen capture

(hold down power and “up” on rocker switch at the same time for 1 second to do this)

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 Using the thing

Adding your music is as simple as plugging it into a PC or MAC and dragging the music files onto the devices storage. It is in fact less tedious than using itunes with an idevice.

Most common question I hear from folks not crippled by music gear collecting is:

“How do I add my damn music??”

Just plug it in bro.

It will ask to be storage device and you allow it then find it on your computer where your other drives are and open it and go.

Easy peasy.

Photo Bombing





fiio x7 and sonyma900Fiiox764audiou12

 Compared with other music players?

This is a thing you can ask directly in a question as I believe the headphones/IEM have the final say in the sound so I would need to know what music and what other gear. I can do it. Have no problem declaring one over another but just in general terms? Nah, that’s a hype game parlor trick.

X7ii and OPUS2fiio x7ii and x5iii

What do I listen to?

DSD when I can

Vinyl rips of classic albums

70’s Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae

I sometimes EQ Bass up for a more “live” feeling and i do it with every device that I can

The good

Sound Quality is pretty damn awesome

Very easy to use

You can change the amp at the bottom of the device and get more power without stacking

Battery life will get me through a regular day with no worries

Android allows you to use other music apps like on your phone and Neutron will work with this and not resample to 48Khz

The bad

The EQ is just O.K.

1/2 of screen is taken by control panel and other half for album art? It would be nice to auto hide that big panel

The leatherette case is very very hard to take off. Almost had a meltdown taking that back off

The Ugly


It sounds great, it is priced great compared to it’s rivals, the company updates the device to add things that people ask for.

This device was given to me for free.

Does that help make my review positive?

Legit question.

I dunno? I had it for months, I use other music players too. I enjoy being brutal and honest and sometimes burn bridges because of that.  So I guess no. I definitely like it and have no problems telling you it is one of the finest devices you can buy to listen to music with and it will not cost you a shit ton of gold. Your good, this is a good purchase.

Highly rec’d