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    SP-10R at heart: Technics’ $20K SL-1000R turntable

    ATTN: high-end vinylphiles – it’s time to ready an appointment with that re-mortgage broker because Technics have announced pricing on the SP-10R ‘turntable’ teased by the Japanese manufacturer IFA Berlin last September. Yours for a cool US$10,000. The SP-10R’s coreless direct drive motor is an improved version of that found in the SL-1200G but with […] More

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    Chord Electronics announce £1195 Qutest DAC

    There are two ways to look at Qutest (£1195), the latest D/A converter from Chord Electronics, launching at CES 2018 this week: 1/ A black Hugo 2 stripped of £600, its headphone amplifier, Li-on battery to leave a DAC whose beating heart is an FPGA loaded with Rob Watts’ WTA filter + user-selectable shaping and is housed […] More

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    New David Byrne album, FSOL Lifeforms vinyl reissue

    New from the old. The 14 year drought is over. Former Talking Head David Byrne has announced a new album. Entitled American Utopia, it is his first solo release since 2004’s Grown Backwards. Remember: 2012’s Love This Giant was split with St. Vincent and 2008’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today with long time collaborator Brian Eno. […] More

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    Sennheiser teases HD820 closed-back headphones

    First blood on product announcements for CES 2018 falls to Sennheiser with their HD820 high-end headphone: an iterative development of the HD800/S that puts Gorilla glass on the back of the German manufacturer’s Ring Radiator driver to seal sound in for a closed-back version. Per the press release: “The patent-pending curved Gorilla glass serves to […] More

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    MQA streaming goes mobile: nugs.net on iOS, Groovers on Android

    MQA (the company) dropped the mother of all news annoucement bombs at CES 2017: Tidal’s desktop app would execute the first unfold on MQA-encapsulated hi-res audio streams. The tiny corner of the Internet populated by audiophiles subsequently exploded, mostly with enthusiasm but also some displeasure. The former celebrating the arrival of hi-res content to the […] More

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    Letters to the editor: Bowers & Wilkins PX

    Vacuums. New products aren’t born into airless isolation but land next to rivals that collectively provide price-point expectations against which any newcomer is assessed. Today’s review subject is the PX Bluetooth headphone from Bowers & Wilkins but our story doesn’t start there – and neither will it end there. A reader letter sets the scene […] More

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    Sonos control comes to Tidal, Pandora mobile apps

    [Editor’s note: We start 2018 not with a spring in our stride but with a limp and a news hangover from 2017.] Connect. For Spotify and Sonos, a means to sidestep Sonos’ own long-in-the-tooth mobile app to keep things green and black, allowing the Spotify app itself to act as a remote control, instructing the […] More

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    2017 – Counting backwards

    219,373 – the number of uniques (individual readers) visiting DAR in the last 4 weeks. “Is that a lot?”, you ask. Like this site’s own review commentary, performance must be triangulated from comparative data points. Back in October, the number of unique visitors clicking through to DAR was 182,637. That means the site has enjoyed […] More

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    DAR’s Product of the Year 2017

    Take a look at DAR’s Favourite bits of 2017 and what do you see? The majority play to a similar aesthetic: rectangular boxes dressed in black; and despite this selection being the best of the best and reflecting DAR’s Future-Fi manifesto. Granted, the KEF LS50 Wireless are also available in white, the Sony WH-1000XM2 in […] More

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    DAR’s favourite bits of 2017

    This (and not that). Filtering (and not just summarising). Explaining why. Just as the Sieve of Eratosthenes removes all divisible numbers to leave only prime, choosing the best audio products of 2017 is a process of elimination – one that leads us to the prime cuts of the year (just as it did last year). […] More

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    One vision: three key audio trends from 2017

    What does it all mean? Not life but the slew of products heard by yours truly in 2017. Reproducing a summary list is an easy cop out – a hat tip to pull quote culture. Yeah nah. More of a challenge and therefore more rewarding (for me and you the reader) is to tease out […] More

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    How to enable aptX (HD) Bluetooth audio on your iPhone, iPad?

    ATTN: Bluetooth beginners. Did you receive a nice pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones for Christmas? Has the manufacturer made a big noise about aptX (HD) support on the packaging? aptX developer Qualcomm asserts that their Bluetooth codec provides “wired quality sound – wirelessly.” Understandably, you want some of that good stuff. As an iOS user you […] More

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