HifiZine
The enthusiast's audio webzine

Equipment Reviews

HifiZine publishes independent reviews of a range of audio equipment. We don’t impose budgetary constraints – equipment is reviewed at the interest of our reviewers.

Edifier H840: good sound for a song

“I never really consider myself a headphone user” writes Patrick Dillon as he starts his review of the Edifier H840 portable over-ear headphones. Nonetheless, he admits to regular headphone use anyway, and decides that “the H840s offer a bargain-basement price for a genuine taste of good sound. For all essential matters: sonics, ergonomics, and price, Edifier have a winner here.”

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Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Preamplifier II

“Sometimes, it’s the little things that drive you crazy… take, for example, gain. It seems there’s always too much or too little, never the perfect Goldilocks amount.” Oliver Masciarotte test-drives the Tisbury Audio Mini Passive with adjustable gain switches as a solution. “For modest or minimalist systems, the Mini Passive is a no–brainer; versatile, compact, low cost and aurally unobtrusive.”

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PranaFidelity Fifty90 loudspeakers

“A couple of years ago at RMAF I lucked into a room on the quieter Sunday morning session… the sonics were excellent, the music interesting, and the vibe relaxed…” Patrick Dillon continues the journey by spending quality time with the PranaFidelity Fifty90 standmounts in his own listening rooms, concluding that “the Fifty90s are among the most memorable pairs I’ve had the good fortune to spend unhurried listening time with in my own home.”

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Gauder Akustik Arcona 40

High style and higher fidelity, the ARCONA 40’s exceptional voice draws you into an ever deeper infatuation with your music; It commands, “Just sit still and listen!” Oliver Masciarotte reports.

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Raven Audio Blackhawk Limited Edition

Patrick Dillon listens to the Blackhawk Limited Edition amplifier, the upgraded version of the Raven Audio Nighthawk reviewed earlier in HifiZine, and enjoys its fuss-free operation and excellent sonics. “In a world of mass-marketed, cookie-cutter products, the Raven Audio Blackhawk LE offers something a little different, and in my view, something a whole lot better.”

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Audioengine B2 Bluetooth speaker system: another listener’s experience

Patrick Dillon takes a look at the Audioengine B2 speaker previously reviewed by Oliver Masciarotte in HifiZine. Less versed than Oliver in the wiles and ways of digital music, Patrick comments: “I want to add a few more listening and use observations from the perspective of someone dipping their toes into digital convenience.”

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Canorama — Four Value–priced Earphones

Thinking of buying headphones? Here are four In–Ear Phones from thinksound, Etymotic, RHA and Ultimate Ears to consider. Each is exemplary for their cost and represents “excellent value in their class.” Read what $60 to $400 buys you in terms of fit, finish, features and sound quality…

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Geek Out 1000 by LH Labs

The USB dongle form factor for DACs has become not quite common, but certainly not a surprise. With the fairly rapid appearance of DXD and multi–rate DSD downloads, many consumers desire a future–proof purchase that will play everything. To address that market, LH Labs decided to… get weird! Oliver Masciarotte reports that “It’s a tiny techno tour de force, and a bargain to boot… highly recommended!”

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Raven Audio Nighthawk Integrated Amp

“All of my audiophile life, I’ve been a solid state guy…” writes Patrick Dillon in his review of the Raven Audio Nighthawk integrated tube amplifier. From budget speakers through to his high-end reference, Patrick experiences the joys of the Nighthawk. “Everything seemed just right: smooth vocals, a sufficient sense of space, clear instrumental lines, and a vibe that just made listening effortless.”

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Audioengine B2… Fun in a Box

“A long time ago, there were ‘radios,'” writes Oliver Masciarotte in opening his review of the Audioengine B2 Bluetooth speaker, a genre he considers the “modern equivalent of a hi-fi clock radio, without the clock.” A step up from battery-powered portables, most of which fail to meet his expectations, Oliver considers the B2 “a tough one to beat.”

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