Headphone amplifiers are an essential part of any audio system. They become just as important as the DACs and even the source that you play with. While there are headphone amps out there that can pair decently with any sort of source, there are also quite a handful that are picky about what is connected to it. The SilverStone EB-03 seems to fall into the latter category. Though, once paired with the right equipment, it sounds smooth, musical, and involving.
In the Box
SilverStone EB-03 Amplifier
Power Cable (with Adapter)
Stereo RCA Cable
Stereo RCA to 3.5 mm Cable
One of the things that really sticks out with the EB-03 is that the design has a bit of finesse over most other DACs and amps. In other words, the EB-03 isn't a rectangular box with a knob sticking out the front. This one uses a beautifully brushed aluminum to give it a distinctive, textured finish. A creative curve on...
The Bluetooth era has finally hit, and it has hit hard. It seems that today every company has their own set of BT speakers and BT headphones. From the ones that are known for high-fidelity all the way down the smallest startup. JBL, owned by Harman, has introduced quite a few BT headphones. The E40BT represents one of their entry level, BT, on-ear models which does great for a sub-100-dollar, wireless headphone.
Driver: 40 mm Dynamic
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 22 kHz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 114 dB
In the Box
USB Cable (for charging)
JBL seems to know how to incorporate a very unique twist on a past design style. The design of the E40BT seems to be very metallic. Despite having plastic, much of the molding and textures gives the impression of a heavy-duty metal. Colored, metallic accents allow the...
With September 9th predicted as the day for Apple's next keynote presentation, rumours are gaining more and more momentum for what will be unveiled this year. Based on previous leaks and confirmed information, here is my prediction for this year's keynote presentation lineup:
- Tim Cook welcomes guests
- Apple business progress update (might mention the first Apple Store in the Middle East, possibly the biggest flagship store in the entire world)
- New Apple Campus progress
- OS X 10.10 public beta
- iPhone 5S and iPad Air sales
- Possibly a video about everything that has been ongoing for the past year
2. iOS 8
- Craig Federighi presents, reiterates iOS 8's new features
- Focus on the seamless bond between iOS and OS X
- Release date in October?
- Free update, as always
3. OS X 10.10 Yosemite
- Brief update on the changes since WWDC
- Again mentions the efforts of both registered developers and public beta testers
Are you tired of a cluttered home screen? Are icons getting in the way of an otherwise beautiful backdrop you have set as your wallpaper? Well, there is a way to clear off the entire first home screen "page" without the need of a jailbreak. Although this didn't work in iOS 6, I've been using it in iOS 7 for quite a while now (about a month after I got my iPhone 5s ).
You simply hold down any icon until they start to wiggle (and you can rearrange them). Drag all the icons on the first page off of that page (to the next one), then press the home button. Your first home screen page on your springboard should be entirely empty, allowing you to enjoy your wallpaper's goodness!
Sure, maybe some of you know about this already, but it's a nice thing to have (I hate cluttered desktops as much as I hate cluttered home screens).
NuForce, before they started making headphones, focused their time on high-end amplifiers and digital-to-analog-converters, or DACs. They eventually did begin making more affordable DACs and amps; the NuForce uDAC-3 is the third iteration of the uDAC. It’s small size makes it very portable and practical, though it could offer a little more power.
In the Box
The little, minute metal shell that covers what NuForce calls the uDAC-3. The shell looks no different from its predecessor, the uDAC-2. The aluminum housing is sandblasted and has the NuForce name embossed into it. The DAC doesn’t demand attention, rather it sits back trying to do the exact opposite. A single blue LED shines while it has power through USB.
Although this DAC can be used standalone with a 3.5 mm headphone jack in the front, it’s...
Nowadays, brands and manufacturers are pushing Bluetooth more than ever. Although BT branches among lots of different things, from smart watches to phone controls, I will be focusing this mainly on Bluetooth Audio transmission. Basic information about how it works, what it entails, and even the common myth that you can't get quality from wireless will be talked about.
How Bluetooth Audio Works
Bluetooth, at its core, depends on a BT profile, in this case, BT has a profile specifically designed for audio: A2DP which stands for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile. This profile is broken up further, but at its core, it allows the transmission of digital audio both ways, in and out (as a mic and speaker/headphones). By default, one codec (for audio transmission) must be supported, SBC... Not the old internet provider (yes I'm old). This codec supports both mono and stereo streams up to 354 kb/s...
Recently, we got introduced to the new Brainwavz S1 IEM, it was the entry level to S-series, essentially, a new series of IEM pioneered by Brainwavz. The S5, the current flagship to the S-series, takes many characteristics from the S1, but also some characteristics from some previous models. Continuing with the v-shaped signature, the S5 remains a very well-tuned IEM for the masses.
Driver: 10 mm Dynamic
Frequency Response: 18 Hz – 24 kHz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 110 dB
We first learned about NAD on iFans through their headphones, the HP50 have shown to be one of the best values in a pair of headphones. However, before headphones, NAD has focused mainly on electronics. With a DAC/Amp that is closer to their roots, the NAD D 1050 proves to be a very promising DAC and amplifier combo.
Inputs: Coaxial x2, Optical x2, USB
Outputs: Balanced XLR, RCA, 3.5 mm Headphone Jack
DAC Resolution: 24-bit, 192 kHz Sample Rate
In the Box
NAD D 1050 DAC/Amp
A discrete box that is rounded off on one end is what shapes the D 1050. The NAD badge sits on the left side of the tower as the volume knob protrudes like a tube out of the main body. The sides of the body are matted with a slit that reveals grating on the side, this is mainly used for airflow it seems.
Smartwatches have come a long way from the original prototypes. They come in a wide variety of ranges and offer different features. Whether it’s a watch designed to be able to replicate every function of your phone or something more subtle, getting a drawing point for what is and isn’t a smartwatch is actually quite gray area. Martian’s Notifier smartwatch is designed to be a watch first and smart second. The design as a whole works quite well.
In the Box
As stated, the first and foremost function of the Notifier is to be a working watch. With that regard, the watch functions just as any analog watch would. Additionally, there is a standard watch battery that powers the analog movement wired separately from the rest of the device. The face of the watch does look quite elegant and very professional. To simply say, it looks like a...