Hi-Fi+ was proud to be the media sponsor for the first-ever CanJam London event held in London’s swanky Hotel Russell. Here are some of the photographic highlights of the show. As always, we apologise in advance to any worthy manufacturers or service providers we fail to cover here.
Final’s flagship Sonorous X vies for position at the pinnacle of dynamic headphone performance. And price!
Astell & Kern/JH Audio
Astell & Kern’s £899 universal-fit Angie IEM (from Jerry Harvey Audio) is said to offer monitor-quality sound.
Astell & Kern
Astell & Kern’s flagship AK380 portable digital audio player, shown here complete with its optional dock, auxiliary amplifier, and CD ripper.
AKG N90Q Quincy Jones edition flagship headphones will feature sophisticated DSP-controlled voicing optimisation and noise cancellation. The N90Q is shown here in its near-final form.
AudioQuest’s NightHawk headphone laid bare, proving that it really has loudspeaker like build.
Audeze’s EL8 is a high-performance closed-back planar magnetic headphone whose lovely (and clever) industrial design comes courtesy of BMW Design Group.
CanJam London marked the launch of Audio-Technica’s new high-performance ATH-W1000Z Maestoso–the successor to A-T’s very well like Grandioso headphone.
The German headphone specialists at Beyerdynamic rolled out a newly revised, 2nd-generation version of the firm’s flagship T1 Tesla headphone.
Ear Sonics‘ Velvet universal fit earphones are said to provide sonic sophistication that far exceeds expectations given their mid-level price.
How about a ‘hip flask’ full of hi-res music? Echo Box’s new Explorer X1 digital audio player is based on an Android platform and therefor supports Tidal and Spotify streaming services right out of the box.
Echo Box’s Finder X1’s are well-priced universal fit earphones featuring Titanium earpieces.
Fostex is one of very few manufacturers to offer a valve-type portable headphone in the form of its innovative HP-V1 (bottom).
HD Klassik headphone amplifiers offer a very high degree of customisation as they incorporate dedicated EQ correction systems custom-tuned for the user’s choice of headphone. When the EQ circuit is engaged the left hand pilot light glows green, switching to red when the EQ circuit is bypassed. Version are available to support one or two different headphone models, and there is a version that can support both dynamic and electrostatic-type headphones.
HeadAmp, one of America’s most highly regarded makers of bespoke headphone amplifiers, showed several of its amps in London, including the two-chassis, balanced GS-X mk2 model shown here.
HiFiMAN’s new flagship HE 1000 planar magnetic headphone attracted non-stop interest throughout the CanJam weekend–so much so that HiFiMAN eventually decided to run three sets of HE 1000’s in order to keep up with listener interest.
Chord’s tabletop-sized Hugo TT headphone amp/DAC/preamp takes up where the famous Hugo portable unit leaves off, offering even better sound quality and greater versatility than the original Hugo (which is saying a mouthful).
KEF demonstrated its entire range of headphones and universal-fit earphones, including the well-made and very well-priced M100 earphones shown here.
San Diego, CA-based Noble Audio demonstrated universal-fit versions of its extensive range, so that prospective customers could do direct comparisons between models to determine which model’s voicing profile might best fit their needs. Noble also teamed with London-based Aid2Hearing, full service hearing specialists led by audiologist Gisele Flower, who worked tirelessly throughout the show to take earmould impressions for clients who wished to order custom-fit in-ear monitors.
London-based Aid2Hearing, a full service hearing specialist and Noble Audio dealership led by audiologist Gisele Flower, was on hand through out the show to take earmould impressions for clients who wished to order custom-fit in-ear monitors. Here, Hi-Fi+ Associate Publisher Pete Trewin has earmould impressions taken in anticipation of ordering a new set of Noble Kaiser 10 CIEM’s.
Questyle previewed its upcoming CMA600i desktop, blanced output headphone amplifier and high-res, native DSD-capable DAC, which will sell for $1,250. In essence, the CMA600i is a ‘junior’ verison of the firm’s more costly flagship CMA800i, though the CMA600i will still incorporate the firm’s terrific-sounding signature Current Mode Amplifier.
The Scottish firm RHA Audio offered up proof positive that very good things can sometimes come in extremely small packages with its new S500 and S500i earphones, which sound great, are incredibly compact and sell for between GBP 29.95 (for the S500) and GBP 39.95 (for the S500i version).
Sennheiser showed its new HD630VB (VB stand for Variable Bass), which is newest member of its HD-series range of headphones.
Snugs is not so much and earphone maker as it is a maker of custom-fit ear tips that can be installed on a wide range of existing universal fit monitors to improve fit and overall sound quality. Interestingly, Snug uses digital eFit Station-scanning technology to create digitally modeled custom moulds. Onscreen, you see the digital map of the author’s ear canals, which have just been eFit scanned.
Soundaware Audio’s new Esther is a DSD/PCM capable digital audio player that uses an FPGA-based DAC and that can accommodate up to two 128GB microSD cards for music storage, all for the very low price of $599.
V-MODA’s new ZN earphone has been under development for several years and features earpiece housings made of zinc (hence the ZN moniker). The attractively priced ZN sounded very good indeed.
Viva Audio’s Egoista headphone amplifier is intended as a no-compromise design that is based on dual 845 valves. The amp uses no negative feedback and is a pure class A design that puts out about 15 Wpc. The sound of the Egoista, when paired with the superb Abyss AB-1266 planar magnetic headphones, was incredibly engaging.