Urban Ek

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Can a Danish high-end speaker rock the Audiophiliac's world?

The Audiophiliac spends quality time listening to a new Dynaudio speaker, the Contour 20.<p>I know the sound of Dynaudio speakers well, I've lived with more than a few of them over the years, but with my first impressions of the new Contour 20 it was clear something's changed. With previous …

Audiophile

Believe it: This $13 headphone is an overachiever

For $13 the Audiophiliac wasn't expecting much, but the KZ-ATE-HiFi looks better than you would expect.<p>The KZ ATE-HiFi in-ear headphones are getting a lot of attention from audiophiles craving decent sound, but don't have much dough. So I had to hear them for myself and bought a pair of KZ …

Audiophile

Affordable audiophile bliss: ELAC speakers and their new little amplifier

The Audiophiliac reports on the ELAC Element amp, and finds joy with it teamed with ELAC's Uni-Fi UB5 speakers.<p>ELAC's speakers have been favorites here at CNET for a couple of years, so when I heard the company brought out a handsome little stereo amplifier I had to check it out. It was obvious …

Audiophile

A desktop audio system to die for

The Audiophiliac checks out the Audeze Deckard headphone amp, Audeze EL-8 headphones and Adam Audio F5 speakers.<p>I've been listening to the Audeze Deckard for months on my desktop, and I've taken it for granted. It was just there, doing its job so well that I didn't really think about how it …

Audiophile

With the Cardas EM5813, in-ear headphones just got a lot better

The Audiophiliac auditions a new audiophile headphone model, and it sounds like no other!<p>Cardas Audio has been making audiophile cables since 1987, so I was taken aback when I heard George Cardas was working on a headphone model. That was four years ago, when Cardas was approached by a major in-ear …

Audiophile

How small can a high-end speaker be?

PSB's Imagine mini speaker is just a hair over 9 inches tall, but it sounds as refined and clear as a much larger speaker.<p>PSB Speakers has always been one of my favorite brands. The company gets it, and has a knack for making bona-fide high-end speakers with real-world prices. Even by PSB's high …

Audiophile

M Audio BX5 D2 Speakers

<b>Device Type</b>: Powered Speaker <b><br>Input</b>: XLR balanced and 1/4” balanced/unbalanced <b><br>Output</b>: __ <b><br>Dimensions (H x W x D)</b>: 10” x 7” x 7.7" <b><br>Weight</b>: 11 lbs./each</b> …

Emotiva's sweet-sounding $219 amplifier

Emotiva's stereo amp isn't very big, but the Mini-X a-100 is built like a miniature tank, and sounds very decent.<p>I recently raved about Emotiva's Airmotiv 4 powered speakers, but if you already have a nice pair of speakers and need a great affordable amp, the company's Mini-X a-100 deserves an …

Audiophile

Affordable American hi-fi, does it exist?

We no longer manufacture computers, TVs, or cameras, but America still makes high-quality audio gear. And not all of it is expensive.<p>While I regularly write about ultra-high-end gear that's made in the U.S., I also cover as much affordable stuff as I can find. Grado Labs in Brooklyn manufactures …

Audiophile

How to buy a turntable

LPs are groovy again; here's what you need to know about buying a decent turntable.<p>Records, aka LPs, have been around since the 1950s, so there are lots of them out there. I've bought great records for a buck or two at thrift shops and yard sales, and found them on the street for free, but records …

Audiophile

Two gizmos that could dramatically improve the sound of your iPhone

ALO's new Rx-3-B headphone amp and Cypher Labs' digital-to-analog converter can make iPhones sound like a bona fide high-end audio component system.<p>I've reviewed my share of portable headphone amplifiers, but ALO's new Rx-MK3B just might be the best on a number of counts. First, the amp is compact, …

Audiophile

How to hook up a subwoofer to a stereo system

Hint: You don't necessarily need a receiver with subwoofer output jacks.<p>Subwoofers are used in most home theater systems, but subs can also radically improve the sound of stereo systems -- and not just the ones with small speakers. Subs can provide a foundation to the sound that few speakers can …

Audiophile

Things to think about when buying speakers

For starters, there's speaker size and price, but room size is also a major factor. Also, do you listen to more music than movies?<p>The No. 1 question I get from readers is something along the lines of "What's the best speaker?" Some readers include a price range, which is a huge help, but there are …

Audiophile

HiFiMan RE-400 review: Audiophile earphones for less than $100 - CNET

<b>The Good</b> The affordable <b>HiFiMan RE-400 In-Ear Monitor</b> earphones have an attractive, understated design with machined-aluminum earpieces. They're lightweight and comfortable to wear and offer exceptionally pure and refined sound.<p><b>The Bad</b> No inline remote/microphone for cell phone calls; no protective …

Audiophile

How to make your speakers sound better

Exactly where you place speakers in a room can make a dramatic difference in their sound. That includes iPod, hi-fi, and home theater speakers.<p>Think about it: when you're listening to music or movies most of the sound that reaches your ears doesn't directly come from the speakers. You're hearing a …

Audiophile

Review: Lirpa Labs Ts1-Lirpa iPad app

There is no audio company in the world more revered, feared, disputed, or discussed than Lirpa Labs. Its speakers and headphones are unmatched in …

Music Production