Articles, Reviews and Measurements of Audio Products

Hifiman HE-6 Test with Dekoni Pad

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I recently reviewed the Hifiman HE-6. The owner had also sent me some replacement Dekoni sheepskin pads (TH-900) and asked me if I could measure them. I didn't realize the original ones were asymmetrical so took them off without looking. :( Dekoni video says to point the thin side outward so that is what I did. Or maybe I have them 180 degrees backward, I don't know. :)

Either way, here is the frequency response measurements:

HE-6 with dekoni pad.png

As a way of reference, here is the original review response:


As I have noted, the biggest difference is the new pad filling in the gap that was at around 6 kHz. And possibly lower higher frequency levels. Alas, there are so many ways the new measurement could be wrong that I can't...

Understanding Headphone Measurements & Hifiman HE-6 Review (video)

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This is a detailed walk-through of my headphone review and measurements in the context of Hifiman HE-6 headphone. By definition is rather long but you can watch it faster than real-time and slow down where needed:

Text review of Hifiman HE-6:

Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 Review (Streamer & DAC)

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 balanced DAC, streamer and headphone amplifier. It was kindly purchased new by a member and drop shipped to me for testing and costs US $1,025.

The Pro 3 comes in the usual high quality casing from Matrix, weighing a lot relative to its size:

Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 Review DAC streamer headphone amplifier.jpg

As you see the display is high resolution and shows a lot of information including album art and such. Pushing the rotary control lets you select input but for other settings, you need to press a rear button:

Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 Review DAC streamer headphone XLR balanced amplifier.jpg

Notice use of USB-C for USB audio which we have rare (if ever?) seen in a desktop DAC. Balanced line level XLR is provided as well as headphone output. A slick remote control is supplied but with no battery so I did not use it.

Usability was fine but I did not care for the very slow changing volume control. It goes in half dB increments which is good but then it takes a ton of turning of the...

Triangle Borea BR03 Review (bookshelf speaker)

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Triangle Borea BR03 bookshelf speaker. It was kindly sent to me for testing by a member and costs US $499 on Amazon including Prime shipping.

I like the distinctive white face of the BR03 but don't care much for the imitation white oak enclosure:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Review.jpg

The dual ports and distance above woofer, push up the tweeter higher than other speakers I have tested, landing it above my ear height. I had to sit up during my listening tests to compensate.

Binding posts on the back were comfortable to use since they were not recessed:
Triangle Borea BR03 Bookshelf French Speaker Review.jpg

One online blogger raved about this speaker back in 2019 causing it to become quite popular. It will be interesting to see how it does in our testing.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic...

Speaker Testing: why mono is better

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This topic of "why Amir tests speakers in mono" keeps coming up. I must have explained that a hundred times in text. Most of you probably know why. But I thought I do a video that covers the research and explains it all. Here it is:

Subjective Measurements of Loudspeakers: A Comparison of Stereo and Mono Listening
Comparison of Loudspeaker-Room Equalization Preference for Multichannel, Stereo, and Mono Reproductions: Are Listeners More Discriminating in Mono?
A New Laboratory for Evaluating Multichannel Audio Components and Systems

Hifiman HE-6 Review (Headphone)

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hifiman HE-6 open-back, Planar Magnetic Headphone. It was kindly loaned to me by a member. There are different versions of this headphone in the wild. This is the "4-screw" version. The HE-6 has been discontinued. When available, it cost US $1,300.

The HE-6 has a serious look to it and beefy metal parts:

Hifiman HE-6 Review open-back headphone.jpg

I think the wiring provided are aftermarket.

The large cups allowed it to instantly fit on my head with excellent comfort despite its above average weight.

The cup is round and its inside diameter is 60 millimeters. The depth is 18 millimeters.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are preformed using standardized GRAS 45CA headphone measurement fixture. Headphone measurements require more interpretation than speaker tests and have more of a requirement for...

Creative SXFI AMP Review (headphone adapter)

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Creative Super XFi headphone amplifier and DAC "dongle." It was kindly sent to me by a member. Unfortunately it is discontinued but from what I can tell, it cost US $149. Its claim to fame was multi-channel virtualization customized to your face and ear shape. My review is focused on its audio performance and not this feature.

I liked the nice buttons on the SXFI:

Creative SXFi review headphone amplifier DAC multichannel.jpg

They have a very positive action. The top button turns on its eq/virtualization.

The class driver in Windows recognizes it as an 8 channel DAC. That way, it can receive multi-channel content in order to down convert it to stereo. Alas, as with other dongles, the class driver only works in 16 bit mode with my Audio Precision software. So for testing, I had to use my Roon player to stream content to it which means no sweeps (other than power). In addition, it only supports maximum of 96 kHz sampling so I could not run my 192 kHz...

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Review (video)

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This is a follow up video review to my text version of the same for the B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition. It is another tutorial on how to read the measurements and a bit more insight on the performance of this bookshelf speaker:

As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using:

Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Review

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition. It was kindly sent to me by a member and costs US $700 through their various dealers.

The 607 S2 comes in different color. My same was in black:
Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Review.jpg

Disappointing to see no attempt at directivity control with a waveguide. The corners are pretty sharp which at this price point, would have expected to have had some rounding over. Back panel binding posts surprisingly are not gold plated which is the norm in this era:
B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition Review.jpg

I love the masculine and nicely textured port. Cleverly it is molded and tooled with the binding post, helping save cost in manufacturing and assembly (which is in China).

I only found two reviews of this speakers, one from WhatHifi in UK which gave it perfect score of 5 out of 5. And one by Steve Guttenberg which gave it speaker of the year award for 2020.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the...

JBL CBT 70JE-1 Review (CBT Bass Speaker)

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the accessory bass module for the JBL CBT J70-1 that I just reviewed. It was kindly sent to me by the same member and costs US $594.

My sample is still sitting on the measurement gear so I thought I just show you the stock picture:

JBL CBT 70JE-1 70J-1 review speakers.jpg

Note that the 70JE-1 mounts on top, not bottom. I am not sure how stable it will be as the 70J-1 did not want to sit by itself all that much. So likely you need to mount these to a wall or something. A bracket is provided to attach the two speakers together.

As you see the 70JE-1 only has the bass drivers and lacks the "J curve" of the 70J-1.

Since this is a bass module, I limited by scan to 8 kHz and used my usual 1000 point measurements. Error rate was well below 1% up to 2 kHz which is way past or frequency of interest. Measurement temperature...
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