Yamaha MCR-N560 Review

The all-in-1, or ‘Mini System’, isn’t a topic we often discuss here on Audio Appraisal. Such words usually hold memories of cheap, plastic budget audio systems, that are as far from hi-fi as it is possible to get. However, thanks to recent technical advancements, and an increasing lack of space in the modern living environment, all-in-1 systems are gaining in popularity even among audiophiles and music lovers. And, needing a small system for an area where a full-size separates system wasn’t  viable option, I decided to investigate the offerings on the market. I reached out to the awesome folks at...

Denon DP-300F Turntable Review

The Denon DP-300F is a fully automatic turntable that is well priced to rival offerings from Pro-ject and Music Hall. But does it equal them in sound? The Denon DP-300F turntable is a modern turntable manufactured by Denon. Its reasonable price will satisfy those looking for a fully automatic turntable that produces great sound. Deconstructing the Denon DP-300F Vintage Denon turntables tend to be either semi-automatic or automatic, and Denon have continued this trend with their new offerings. Also included is a cueing lever to allow the user to select tracks on the record, a must for any good automatic...

DD Audio TS1510-D2 Subwoofer Review

WRITTEN BY GARRY SPRINGGAY | 22 SEPTEMBER 2015 The heartland of the USA is all abuzz with talk of the new DD Audio TS series of subwoofers. Built in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the TS series woofers are designed specifically for people looking for a high performance, sound quality oriented subwoofer. To see what all the fuss was about, we had them send us the 10-inch version known as a TS1510-D2. The woofer is rated for a maximum continuous power of 400 watts and has a suggested retail price in the U.S. of $289. Features The TS1510-D2 is a dual 2-ohm voice...

FiiO Mont Blanc E12A IEM Amplifier Review

Equipment used: Headphones: Oppo PM-3, PM-2, HE-560, Aurisonics Harmony, UE900s, LZ-2A, Fiio EX1, RHA T20 Music used: From Röyksopp to Amber Rubarth, Diana Krall to Apoptygma Berzerk, Tom Jones to Sphongle, Yello to Camouflage, mostly FLACs 24/96 or 16/44.1 – some mp3 320kbps, some AAC 256kbps, some DSD files Depending on headphone high or low gain – no EQ Disclaimer: I received the Fiio E12a review unit from www.samma3a.com the local distributor of Fiio products. I have to return the unit, so there is no financial interest. I am not affiliated with Fiio or Samma3a.com Though I really highly appreciate...

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Headphones Review

If you’re in the market for audiophile-grade headphones, you’ve probably heard of Germany’s professional audio electronics manufacturer Beyerdynamic. In the business of handcrafting premium headphones since 1924, Beyerdynamic is synonymous with hi-fi audio and head-fi enthusiasts worldwide. It’s no surprise then, that when setting out to find a headphone that would deliver high-end performance free from the esoteric claims and sticker shock that have become commonplace in the world of audiophilia, Beyerdynamic’s offerings come highly recommended. Sitting back to enjoy a great stereo system is my preferred listening experience, but due to the fact that I spend more time in...

Sony STR-DN850 Review

Sony’s first amp of 2014 is an impressive and well-featured all-rounder at a great price Our Verdict – 5 Stars For Big, immersive sound Lots of detail Well-featured Strong stereo performance Simple set up and operation Lovely user interface Against Can sound bright, so needs careful matching to get the best from it Take a quick glance at the Sony STR-DN850, and you could easily mistake it for its 2013 predecessor. From the outside, at least, it seems like very little has changed. Turn it on though, and you will see just how much difference a year can make. Design...

Bowers & Wilkins 684 S2 Loudspeakers Review

Say “B&W” to non-audiophile consumers and they’ll probably think you’re mispronouncing BMW, which might be one of the reasons Bowers & Wilkins now prefers to go by its full name. But say “B&W” to any audiophile, and he or she will likely know precisely what you’re talking about: a British loudspeaker manufacturer founded in 1966 by John Bowers and Peter Hayward, and at first named B&W Electronics. Over time, as B&W grew and evolved, it became one of the best-known speaker makers in high-end audio, and in recent years has branched out into all-in-one music systems and headphones. I’m pretty...

Marantz HD-DAC1 Review

Marantz is a company which managed to successfully penetrate the area of home cinema, receivers and modern streamers while preserving audiophile roots and an aura of exclusivity at the same time. It seems that they’ve found a recipe how to balance between the world of modern technologies and this what is proved, classic and desired by the lovers of high-quality sound. If you are interested in the gear from previous ages, and if you like internet profiles with vintage audio, you have surely seen loads of Marantz’s equipment there – beautiful amplifiers, tuners with backlit scales and oscilloscopes, CD players...

Google Chromecast Audio Review

Google turns its hand to music streaming, with predictably impressive results Our Verdict Google breathes new (online) life into your old hi-fi For Brings online streaming to offline devices Easy to use Lovely design Against No multi-room audio yet Google knows a thing or two about streaming. You only have to look at the success of the Chromecast, which is now in its second generation. Now the company is turning its expertise to music streaming. Meet the Google Chromecast Audio, designed to bring wireless streaming to your offline speakers and amplifiers. Design What you get is a small disc the...

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones review

They’re made by Bowers & Wilkins, of Zeppelin and Zeppelin Mini fame, so even before seeing them you expect the B&W P5 headphones to be something special. They’re also the company’s first foray into headphone manufacture, and though they’re a ‘Made for iPod’ and ‘Works with iPhone’ product, it doesn’t put a damper on our expectations ever since going ears-on with a pair at CES in January. The clues are all there even before looking at the headphones themselves. For a start, Bowers & Wilkins are asking £250 for a pair of P5s, which is hardly pocket change. It’s a...