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Reviewers' ChoiceI guess we’re on the second wave of high-end headphone companies from China now. The first wave—kind of the Beatles/Stones/Kinks wave—was led mostly by HiFiMan. The second wave—kind of the Led Zeppelin/Bowie/Sabbath wave—is much larger, and one of the most interesting players is Sivga Audio, which also incorporates the Sendy Audio brand. Their specialty is big, audiophile-oriented, open-back planar-magnetic headphones, and the Peacocks are the brand’s new flagship.

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Reviewers' ChoiceFor the headphone world, the Meze Audio Empyreans—predecessor to the new Meze Elite headphones—were one of the biggest surprises of the last few years. The Empyreans cost about ten times as much as the company’s previous top-of-the-line model. Not only were the Empyreans Meze’s first planar-magnetic headphones; they were the first to use a radical new planar-magnetic technology with separate regions for bass and treble. To the best of my memory (and the limits of my tolerance for reading or watching most headphone reviews), every reviewer loved them.

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Reviewers' ChoiceConsider Focal headphones the opposite of AC/DC albums. AC/DC albums look different but sound the same. Focal headphones look the same but sound different. Sure, the Focal Celestee headphones come in an attractive shade of metallic dark blue, but other than that, I can’t see anything that distinguishes them from the company’s other headphones. So do they sound like the heavenly Utopias? Or more like the good but mid-forward Elegias? Guess we’ll have to find out.

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I finally checked out this new “You Tube” thing that my friends tell me their grandkids are watching for 16 hours a day. You know what’s weird about it? It looks like everyone on Earth is now a headphone reviewer! Why they’d want to do that, I can’t figure, but what I am pretty sure about is that every headphone reviewer has already reviewed the Sivga P-II planar-magnetic headphones. So by that logic, I would appear to be the last person on Earth to hear these. But even this late in the game, I think I still might have something to offer, because it doesn’t look like these handsome headphones have ever been treated to a full set of measurements with gen-u-wine laboratory-grade test gear. In fact, if you don’t want to read the opinions of the last person on Earth to weigh in on these ’phones, hit the link right above this paragraph to check out the measurements.

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When I lost my Sony MDR-7506 studio headphones a while back, I faced a conundrum. I’d switched to using AKG K371s for mixing and monitoring my music recordings, but I still needed something visiting musicians could wear when laying down tracks. I just wanted a good, cheap set of studio headphones, but professional reviews of cheap headphones are few and far between. The AKG K72s looked like they might be a safe bet: established brand with a strong rep for studio gear, rave reviews on retailer websites, apparently decent build quality, and $49 on AKG’s site—or just $38.95 on Amazon.

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Reviewers' ChoiceI’m actually not interested in the Life Q35 headphones for the reasons Soundcore wants me to be. They want me to get all excited because the Life Q35 headphones feature Sony’s LDAC codec, which in its highest-quality mode transmits data at 990 kilobits per second (kbps). That’s about three times the maximum that the standard SBC Bluetooth codec can achieve, and pretty close to the 1411kbps data rate of uncompressed 16-bit/44.1kHz audio.

Latest Comments

Ivan B Berger 9 days ago What Playing Music Taught Me About Audio
Bravo!
Not all audio writers are biased against technological advances; I admit to a slight bias ...
@Brent ButterworthTesting at matched levels is difficult, at least for transducers, because of frequency-response differences. No ...
They worth the 3 mths waiting. I thought that the triple driver they're bragging about ...
Brent Butterworth 16 days ago Sendy Audio Peacock Headphones
@toddMost of them do, yes. TMK, most or all started out building for other brands. ...
Do these Chinese companies that now have their own brands OEM for established brands? Where ...
If this reason for the "eardrum suck" is correct, then playing some background noise should ...
@MauroI'm looking forward to hearing what you think! It's frustrating to me that so many ...
This article is (obviously) pretty biased towards Knowles.

Some informations written here are just not true ...
@Brent ButterworthThanks for replying. I will try to get one of these expensive earphones..and one of ...