Beijing HIFI Show 2018 impressions - Mimouille
Head Pie 10:27 PM
Dear headpie fanatics. I would like to share with you some impressions from the Beijing HIFI Show 2018. Highlights : Cayin N8, Suyama San from FitEar introducing the Titan Universal, and more. I am sorry but this will be brief as I could only spend 1h30mn at the show, or risk divorce.
I had only maybe 10-15 MN with the Cayin N8 as there were many people willing to try it. I tested with SE5U and Nerva X, both with 4.4 balanced, and compared to my WM1Z, on Flac Redbook tracks. These are very early stage and brief impressions. The player has incredible build quality, everything is super solid, well put together, knows are responsive and robust. Top marks for quality. I am not a fan of the looks, but it is is quite OK still. I did not fully test the UI, but it seem robust and fast. Sound wise, first thing that is obvious is power. It is loud and well controlled at barely 20-30% of volume, and SE5U has high impedance and not very sensitive. The tonality is warm and VERY full, sort of a tube type signature. On top of the natural tone and fullness, the key winning point is stage depth and layering. The music is incredibly fleshed out and holographic, even more so than the WM1Z. On the latest 2.0 FW, the WM1Z is more reference, and wins in clarify and precision. An interesting player to follow, with, at this stage quite a special approach to sound. From memory, the signature is at the opposite from LPG Touch.
I had the chance to briefly talk to Keita Suyama, the legendary FitEar creator. He comes off as a humble, kinda and simple person from a first impression. He introduced his new Titan Universal, a very interesting hybrid. The nozzle is super wide but accommodates Spinfit 145 well. It requires quite a lot of juice and I didn't have a balanced cable underhand so I had to push the WM1Z single ended almost to the max. It does not sound like the FitEar BAs I know, much less warmth and thickness, more fast, precise and neutralish. I am very interested in these and will try to grab a pair from Jaben when they come out.
I spend some time with Moondrop and fell in love with their Liebesleid Earbud, it is beautiful and very open sounding. I will grab a pair for sure very soon, in the 4.4 version. They were also demonstrating their Kanas dynamic IEM, which on top of having and incredible metal shell, sounds awesome, especially for around 140$.
One of my favorite shops had the whole Campfire Audio lineup, and I briefly auditioned the Atlas and Andromeda (white) side by side. The Altas indeed sounds big, with full and deep bass, with tons of controls (wouldn't call it tight either). The Andromeda sounds very different to me, like and extremely well balanced multi BA, less bass, more air, less meat on the bone. The Atlas is a great package, super build, quite small actually, comfortable, great engaging sound. I don't really need another bass oriented IEM but if I didn't have the IE800s I would grab it. I wish I could have compare the two by the way....from memory the Altas seems to have bigger stage and sound fuller.
The charming cosplay lady from the Eros standing was eying me all the time so I had to indulge her in a selfie (or was it the other way around, I can't quite recall).