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Audeze LCD-2C review: ‘Budget’ Planar Magnetic headphones

For budding audiophiles, Audeze is a well-known headphone manufacturer. For those unaware of the brand, the company made a name for itself with the original LCD-2; they’re somewhat a legacy for Planar Magnetic Headphones. First released in 2009, the open-back headphones grew a strong cult for its warm, smooth sound signature and of course, its distinctive look.

Fast forward to 2018 and we’ve got ourselves the brand-new Audeze LCD-2C (aka Classic). These headphones encapsulate the original LCD-2, but are subtly different in a few areas.

For starters, headphones aren’t elegantly finished in a wooden enclosure. This never impacted the sound, unlike the Denon AH-Dxxxx range, but aesthetically it’s a night and day difference. I know which one I’d pick and that’d be the wooden enclosure. Apart from its finish, there’s also a difference in terms of the accessories you get. Previously you’d get a travel case with your LCD-2 purchase, but not with the LCD-2C – you only get the headphones.

Finally, and arguably the most important change to note, is the removal of the Fazor elements on the new headphone. This technology was developed by Audeze to make their LCD range sound more neutral and less bass heavy.

Pros: Overall sound quality (exceptionally good soundstage), build quality, removable cable
Cons: Poor comfort due to a relatively heavy design, no accessories, poor isolation, dipped upper mids

Packaging & Accessories: 0/10
Build Quality: 10/10
Design & Look: 8/10
Isolation: 5/10
Comfort: 6.5/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Value: 8/10 – based on £600 price tag
My final Rating: 8.5/10

Review Date: May 2018
Review Price: £600

Here’s my video review of the headphones:

My full written review continues below, alternatively, click to view it.

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Brainwavz B200 review: The best earphones under £100

UPDATE: Since writing my review, the B200 have dropped in price, to £95 and now have a removable cable – incredible!

I’ve known Brainwavz for their affordable earphones and headphones – when I saw the company was offering the £150 Brainwavz B200 earphones I was immediately intrigued. This is the most expensive item on the product list, and with dual balanced armature drivers found within it, I was curious to see if the earphones were good value for money or if they’d drown under its competitors.

The B200’s can be found for £150 on Amazon UK and $170 on Amazon USA at the time of writing, they are in fact cheaper – at £95 and $120 respectively. I’ll be reviewing them at their original price.

Its competitors include the Westone W20 at £215 ($300 in the US), the Dunu DN-2000J for £230 ($300 in the US), the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 at £85 ($70 in the US), the DUNU Titan 1 at £90 ($80 in the US) and finally the 1MORE Triple Driver at £100 ($95 in the US).

Pros: Fantastic sound quality, comfortable, value, lightweight design
Cons: Cable can get easily tangled, no soft carrying pouch, no removable cable or in-line mic

Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 10/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 10/10
Isolation: 8.5/10
Comfort: 10/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Value: 10/10 – based on £150 price tag
My final Rating: 9.5/10

Review Date: September 2017
Review Price: £150

Here’s my video review of the earphones:

Let’s get into this written review!

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SoundMAGIC E10BT review: The budget E10 earphones go Bluetooth

SoundMAGIC are back at it again with the E10s. But, this time, the company takes one of the best budget earphones and adds Bluetooth, creating the E10BT. Using the E10’s as my throw-away earphones, I was intrigued to see how the E10BT would compare in both value and sound quality.

At £70 the E10BTs ($55 in the US) aren’t as affordable as their non-Bluetooth variants, the £30 E10 (non-mic) ($42 in the US) and the £40 E10C (mic) ($50 in the US). At the time of writing, the E10BT is only available in black. If you’re looking for a Bluetooth earphone that offers good sound quality at an affordable price, the J&L-102 (£23) ($22 in the US), SoundPEATS Q21 (£20) and Sumvision Pysc Espirit (£17) all provide sensational value for money and offer fantastic sound.

Pros: Accessories, build quality, highs, battery life
Cons: Price and value, recessed mids, sub-bass extension, battery design

Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 8.5/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 9/10
Isolation: 8/10
Comfort: 8.5/10
Sound Quality: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10 – based on £70 price tag
My final Rating: 7.5/10

Review Date: April 2017
Review Price: £70

Here’s my video review of the earphones:

Read on for an in-depth review of the E10BT earphones.

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Westone W80 review: Earphones that’ll empty your bank balance

The W80’s are the Westone’s flagship product, with eight drivers lobbed inside each ear, the American company had the intention of creating the ultimate universal earphone on the market. Having heard a multitude of different earphones, I was intrigued to see if and how the Westone W80’s would compare to some of the best universal and even custom-made IEMs on the market. Westone always has a special place in my heart, as it was due of the Westone 2 earphones that I got into in-ears.

The Westone W80’s aren’t cheap, at an eye-watering £1,200 price tag, the earphones are extremely expensive to say the least. They can also be found for $1,500 in the US. Everything in this review will take into account the price, as for the same money you could build a high-end gaming PC, buy several high-end earphones or even buy a car.

Pros: Packaging and accessories, comfort, build quality
Cons: Price and value, overall sound quality, microphonics

Packaging & Accessories: 10/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 8.5/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 7/10 – judged with ALO cable
Isolation: 8.5/10
Comfort: 9.5/10
Sound Quality: 8/10
Value: 3/10 – based on £1,200 price tag
My final Rating: 6/10

Review Date: April 2017
Review Price: £1,200

Here is a video review of the earphones:

Read on for an in-depth review of the Westone W80 earphones.

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Antlion Audio ModMic 5.0 Review: A comparative review between the ModMic 5.0 and ModMic 4.0

First of all I would like to thank Antlion for reaching out and sending me the ModMic 5.0. After having reviewed both the Uni-Directional ModMic 4.0 and the Omni-directional ModMic 4.0 (which I used on a daily basis), I was intrigued to see further developments from Antlion.

The new ModMic 5.0 can be found from AmazonUK for £60 and AmazonUSA for $70, which given the ModMic 4.0 prices currently stand around £35-45, it’s a significant price increase. You can find more information about the ModMic 5.0 on Antlion’s website.

Pros: Combination of both ModMic 4.0 omni- and uni-directional mics, modular design, accessories
Cons: Expensive, still needs a (cheap) soundcard to work without static noise, cable weight, no improvements over MocMic 4.0 recordings

Review date: February 2017
Review price: £60
Overall score: 8/10

Here’s my video demonstrating the recording of the ModMic 5.0 and a comparison to the ModMic 4.0:

Let’s get on with this written review!

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