Oh my lordy! I was taking a break from listening to new music and put on an old classic; Eric Clapton / Cream – Sunshine of your love. Has anyone else heard yelps and subsonic thumps near the end of the track? I’m listening on my AKG K712Pro’s and Chord Mojo ; walking around like a fool with wires and hardwear in every pocket. But increasingly I’m finding it hard to listen to anything else; even speakers.. the sound from this set-up just makes me smile, smile and smile some more.
I did a quick google and also replayed the section a few times to ensure I wasn’t just hearing something from outside (the AKG’s have virtually no sound isolation), but no, the studio sound is there. Impressed much. This is why I’m into hifi. Little moments like that, justifies the money I’ve spent over the years.
Yes, I know there is hi-fi / head gear out there costing £$Thousands per component, but I firmly believe that the law of diminishing returns means that even with the equipment I have, I am at least two thirds of the way to the best possible and most accurate music reproduction. Not that I want to risk a life of debt, sadness and upgraditis (unfulfillable) by actually listening to mega-top-end kit…
I tend to avoid equalizers of any sort like the plague, but for the princely sum of £3.50 (in-app purchase from USB Audio), I thought I’d giver it a try, as every pair of headphones I have, have some element of their presentation that I’d like to change..
So, i’m getting to grips with this baby. The reviews are mostly accurate I’d say, but DAC’s (albeit ones with a headphone amp built-in), are always gonna be subtle, compared to headphones, speakers or amps. I tend to back away slowly with arms raised, from any reviews which claim a ‘night+day’ revolutionary difference between DACS.
I consider myself to have, if not golden ears, then certainly silver ones and it took me at least half an hour after set-up in the shop, to start to be able to put into words the differences I was hearing between my Dragonfly DAC and the Mojo.
So, the Mojo has a smoother sound, but that smoothness does not, to my ears, result in any decrease in detail. Quite the opposite in fact. This, to me indicates that the smoothness is an innate characteristic of the hardwear, rather than the shortcut which i feel some lesser devices employ- simply filtering off higher frequencies to give an ‘analogue’ type sound. Um, no.
The Dragonfly, on the other hand, made vocals stand out that little bit more- they were less a part of the whole soundstage and more distinct, yet flatter sounding. Overall though I prefer the Chord and it’s soundstaging is magnificent; when used in line-out mode through speakers, I was hearing layered female vocals, way out from the speakers. That said, for the purposes of this comparison I was not able to use the Dragonfly through speakers.
I have too many headphones. In-ear, over-ear, on-ear, (“underground, overground, wombling free..”), wired, bluetooth, wireless, noise cancelling .. and now.. studio monitors.
Suddenly however, all of my previous headphones sound thumpy, congested and muffled. It’s official. I’ve seen the light. Or more precisely, I’ve heard a neutral and realistic sound from around my head for the first time, and it’s a revelation.
Of course no transducers, be they speakers or headphones, offer ‘perfect’ sound. There’s a flaw or something you wish could be better in every set of phones, or speakers, or indeed any hifi component. In the case of the AKG’s, I find that I do miss some of the subsonic, rumbly bass that, for example my B&W P7’s produce. Trouble is, they also produce a lot of upper-mid bass too and this tends to get wearing after a while.