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    Elysian Diva CIEM
    Ask The Crew

    Elysian Diva CIEM

    ***Please expect up to 6-months wait time. Elysian Acoustic Labs aptly named their six balanced armature driver Diva, because of the way she sings and sparkles for every genre. Far from being just one size fits all though, a tunable bass switch allows users to select between three levels of bass for the best synergy with their music and listening preferences.


    Our Price | $2,199

    iBasso DX320iBasso DX320

    iBasso DX320

    DX320 exploits every ethos of iBasso Audio's flagship series to reach the zenith of DAP development. The Android 11 DX320 makes full use of its massive power supply and circuit board real-estate for an extreme discrete analog circuit, to give two new ROHM BD34301EKV DAC chips the platform to perform. iBasso's latest and greatest rewards those who don't look only for the obvious – those who appreciate that a wonderful music player starts with its DAC chips but arrives at the finish line with their implementation. The long-awaited successor to the ever-popular DX300 pays tribute to its predecessor, pushing boundaries in the same spirit. Yet it very much touts its own identity, packing a deep bass that is commanding, and dynamics that are resolute. It starred for being "deeply engaging" on Headfonics. Headfonia elected it straight onto their Recommended Buys list. Twister6 thinks it's one-of-a-kind for ticking so many boxes. DX320 "has everything to conquer even the most demanding audiophile" for Audio-Ph, which put it on Audiophile-Heaven's Hall of Fame. [See Product Desc. For More] iBasso's newest spawn is proudly liquid and coloured – accurate yet veering from sterility. Sweetly indulgent, like an information-rich fruit cake of a DAP. Soundstage spans forward and spherically for deep immersion and involvement, so the whole musical experience feels unified by a connective tissue. "What really stands out about this true high-end player are its excellent technical sound performance and its very natural overall presentation" to MOONSTAR Reviews. DX320 trades up its digital decoding backbone to a pair of the well-received BD34301EKV.  An in-house designed FPGA acting as a clock and data-marshaling master supplies pristine I2S to the DACs, which then oversample and decode at a 16X internal rate for peak Nyquist performance and shallow ROHM linear-phase digital filters to be employed.  Crucially, DX320's BD34301EKVs output analog in current, as demanded by a DAP that claims to be of flagship status. iBasso are therefore afforded the opportunity to tailor the DAP's sonic profile as they wish with a current-to-voltage I/V converter, and the added measure of ensuring that small-signal is of the lowest distortion to begin with. Volume is controlled via a proprietary iBasso solution, specially developed for these ROHM DACs. So begins DX320's fully-balanced, true differential analog circuit that runs at a massive 8 volt operating voltage for linear open-loop operation. Its power stage is fully discrete and boasts buffers capable of putting out 2 amperes of current. DX320's bridge-tied load operation halves impedance per output phase, but the potent output transistors comprising the power stage mean it's never fazed driving low impedances. Happily use DX320 with anything ranging from the 3ohm Empire Ears Odin, up to the 300ohm ZMF Headphones Atrium on stock Amp11 module, or switch out the modular analog card for the yet-more potent Amp12 or tube Amp13. With 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced outputs removing need for cheaply-built, signal degrading adapters for connections to make something fit, your flagships can be juiced to the max potential, signal integrity guaranteed via direct sockets soldered to PCB. The quantity of output power has been discussed, but the quality's not yet mentioned. DX320's total 6,000mAh power supply component is split into a 4,000mAh battery for the digital sub-system, and separate 2,000mAh unit for the afore-mentioned analog circuit. Doing so cleans up the lifeblood for clean, quiet audio available system-wide, iBasso touting their custom-made bypass capacitors as a DC filter for purer power yet.  All the above would mean little if DX320 wasn't built with the future of music consumption in mind. But thankfully Android 11 makes its appearance to be at the cutting-edge of DAP UI, processed by the speedy Snapdragon 660 SOC plus 6GB of RAM for smooth operation.  16X Tidal MQA and Apple Music will be streamed at bit-perfect level via Direct Transport Authority (DTA), bypassing otherwise mandatory and detrimental Android re-sampling. DX320 was the complete package to Major HiFi and deservedly took their Gold Award. Thus is DX320 – iBasso's most complete and most advanced line music player – released, designed to tackle every one of the modern audiophile's needs. Also shop iBasso's other releases here, or all our other music players here.


    Our Price | $2,129

    ZMF Headphones AtriumZMF Headphones Atrium

    ZMF Headphones Atrium

    ZMF Headphones bring you Atrium, a new co-flagship designed with a tried-and-tested biocellulose dynamic driver plus Atrium Damping System. Headfonics say it "easily ranks as one of the most agreeable sounding" flagships. "Atrium is a must-have" to Part-Time Audiophile, "an outstanding fit for a wide variety of listening rigs". Not only does it expand the range of spatial sound experience first incepted with the Auteur, through its shared biocellulose driver heritage, it also introduces ZMF's Atrium Damping System. [See Product Desc. For More] Atrium allows Zach Mehrbach full control over a soundscape, with the grille and cup venting making it the most open headphone he has introduced to date. These acoustic design innovations show up audibly with Atrium. A tremendously open listen, the cups draw zero attention to themselves when playing, virtually never colouring the sound as if they disappeared. Atrium stages wide but always sounds natural and effortless. The illusion of frontal image, depth and height have never been more apparent even among other class leaders in Head-Fi, till now. The patent-pending Atrium Damping System perfectly illustrates how far up the R&D ladder ZMF have come. Starting with biocellulose, stiff and lightweight as a diaphragm material, this fibre also promises excellent damping. Biocellulose allows ZMF to keep the large 50mm driver under control at all times even as frequencies rise, averting any harsh intermodulation due to cone modal break-up. The Atrium system then works hand in hand with the driver, allowing ZMF to choose how little or much back-wave damping is needed from the negative impulses of the driver, which back waves they had to keep, and which they want to get rid of, for the optimal acoustic headphone system. An incredible amount of fine-tuning takes place selecting distances within the cup and damping material for optimal airflow, a three-year process before ZMF deemed ready to release their labour of love to the public. Atrium brings everything ZMF owners have loved about their existing open-backed models, and adds a new expression of sound that ramps up the technicalities, spatial awareness, and enjoyment, while retaining the natural biocellulose timbre that audiophiles dream of. Also view the rest of ZMF's collection that built up to this moment here, or our other headphones here.


    Our Price | $3,399

    Hiby R5iiHiby R5ii

    Hiby R5ii

    It's devices like R5II that really change the game. HiBy Music disregard this Android 8 music player's entry-level status, taking it to giant-killing heights by building it with a Class A discrete transistor balanced amplifier outputting in 2.5mm and 4.4mm. It leapt immediately onto Headfonia's Recommended Buys list. Headfonics confirm R5II does it all. There was nothing of note for Twister6 to dislike! Never mind that beginner DAPs have sounded good for the longest time – HiBy build R5II to sound great and punch way above its weight. Class A shows up in the sound, with a sense of vibrancy and vigour delivering notes with charged energy. There's a trademark HiBy accuracy to frequency response too, coloured yet always correct. Dual ESS Technology ES9219Cs supply the usual precision as a decoding backbone, allowing you to play back Apple Music Hi-Res Lossless, 16X Tidal Masters and Spotify with no shortage of mobile fidelity. [See Product Desc. For More] What's special about the ES9219C is that it grants R5II access to its on-chip analog volume control – the baby of HiBy's bunch attenuates volume in the analog domain granting much better signal-to-noise performance than the average competitor's lossy digital volume control. You'll see that we're already discussing R5II as a much higher-end offering than it is. And there's still more. Small signal accuracy in the DAC and gain stage is key, because this flows on to a series of eight discrete dual bipolar transistors working in pure Class A. Differentiating itself from so many others who use op-amp ICs with inordinate amounts of gain, R5II's open-loop linearity remains excellent before application of feedback, owing to its Class A bias. That ensures individual transistors are working in optimum condition. Distortion and noise are kept low, without resorting to the excessive use of negative feedback. HiBy designed a true-balanced differential amplifier to further improve R5II's linearity, and you can count on common-mode rejection at its best whenever you plug in via 2.5mm or 4.4mm. Without adding cheaply-built, signal degrading adapters to your balanced connections to make something fit, even your flagships can be juiced to the max potential, signal integrity guaranteed via direct sockets soldered to PCB. R5II's current handling is impressive given its number of output transistors in parallel, meaning this HiBy remains unfazed driving even Odin and Legend Evo from Empire Ears, the Craft Ears Aurum, or Madoo's Type 711.  By putting such a high-performance circuit in the palms of people's hands, and offering them a Snapdragon 425 with full Google Play support with the ability to bypass Android sample-rate conversion for bit-perfect playback, music is truly accessible to anyone and everyone. TechPowerUp award their Highly Recommended and Innovation awards to R5ii. Discussing the above, it's so easy to forget we're talking about R5II as HiBy's entry-level offering. See what these forward-thinkers can really do higher up the range here, or view our other music players here.


    Our Price | $599

    Questyle M15Questyle M15

    Questyle M15

    Questyle Audio adhere faithfully to current-mode amplification at all form factors, and building a 4.4mm balanced output into the M15 just extended the capabilities of their flagship dongle. Headfonia says "M15 offers one of the most sophisticated designs in the industry". ecoustics rate it on par with legacy music players and "would suggest trying it before you pay for anything else". MOONSTAR Reviews echo M15 competes on equal terms as music players. Headphonesty hail it as liquid gold. M15 "managed to wring musicality out of the ESS DAC chip that I frankly did not think possible" praised Headphone Guru. It's easy to hear why, if audible results count to you. Operating in current-mode, audio signal gets passed in current instead of the more standard voltage. The Legend Evo from Empire Ears provides instant synergy, given its 3ohm load. Current-mode amplification eliminates the lag time of the signal that might otherwise occur, as it builds up at the capacitances in the circuit – current signal passes through unhindered as compared to voltage, with speed and ease. [See Product Desc. For More] By doing away with the issue of transmission delay in M15, Questyle virtually eliminates any of the harshness caused by the intermodulation distortion associated with high capacitance, solid-state circuits. Typical of their high-end offerings, M15 decodes digital via its ESS Technology ES9281AC DAC smoothly and organically, without exaggerated warmth or bloat.  That small signal then takes advantage of being unhindered by capacitance in the signal path. An added benefit from current-mode amplification is that huge signal bandwidth is possible, leading to phase response being accurately preserved in the human hearing range. Indeed, to hear current-mode is to hear a naturalness to music not encountered before in a conventional circuit, and Questyle build M15 as an affordable entry to such a topology. Happily use with any low-impedance device (current signals excel the closer a load is to ground) such as Rosson Audio Designs, the Vision Ears Elysium EXT, plus CIEM heavyweights Craft Ears and Empire Ears – particularly the latter's Odin and Legend Evo. Driving low impedances is M15's forte. But bridge-tied load balanced operation now means this dongle also doubles voltage swing compared to single-ended operation, to drive higher impedances credibly too. Explore how Questyle's current-mode scheme in CMA15 can further benefit your planar-magnetic headphones at the desk, or browse our other mobile DAC/amps here.


    Our Price | $329

    DCS Lina Headphone AmpDCS Lina Headphone Amp

    DCS Lina Headphone Amp

    No one knew exactly what to expect from dCS Data Conversion Systems' first separate analog power amplifier, but neither is anyone surprised by the excellence of Lina headphone amplifier anyway.  Headfonia didn't do a very good job, trying to prevent their jaw from dropping at Lina's performance. From "planar headphone fan" Headfonics, "this is a tremendously satisfying and engrossing world-class solid-state amplifier". Lina saw Headphone Guru's headphones replace his speakers over a month of testing. She was a Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product. Exhibiting remarkable specs on paper, it's immediately apparent how Lina's discrete transistor solid-state reference amplifier product translates those into spectacular audible results – an analog product that proves worthy of bearing the dCS name. A pinnacle of frequency extension and transparency, Lina headphone amplifier makes its case to be the ultimate, final headphone source you'll ever need – conjuring macro and micro dynamics before your ears while always sounding relaxed and completely natural in its tonality. READ ALSO Building a dCS statement in analog design When fed by dCS' accompanying Lina network DAC, Lina amp's fully-balanced, differential design encased in solid aluminium brings out even more than you thought your flagship headphones could produce. [See Product Desc. For More] Lina amp outputs up to 2 watts per channel with enough current-handling ability for loads like the Abyss AB1266 Phi TC, Hedd Audio HEDDphone and HIFIMAN's Susvara. At the drawing board, dCS invest every effort in building Lina amp as a linear open-loop design.  Rather than achieving current-handling capability via the usual technique of building with more output transistors in parallel, Lina amp opts for quality over quantity and a lower parts count. Less is more, and dCS elegantly selects fewer but more unconventionally capable devices with current capability exceeding the normal needs of headphone amplifiers. Feeding this potent array of beastly power transistors is a proprietary driver stage that dCS designed to operate linearly with low open-loop distortion, unfazed by pushing the large output devices. This secret voltage gain circuit is more than up to the task of passing along and upsizing the signal of Lina DAC transparently without adding noise and distortion, thanks in part to cascodes operating supplementary and reducing voltage-induced non-linearities. Said cascodes also play a part reducing capacitance at the bases of transistors where they operate, which provides tremendous high-frequency performance with Lina amplifier extending out to 100Khz at -3dB. Meanwhile, Lina amp's DC-coupled nature also means bass extends down to subterranean levels – this kind of frequency performance down low and up top guarantees superbly flat phase reproduction in the audible human hearing range for potent and realistic musical dynamics. Through the audio microscopes that are flagship headphones, Lina's perfect phase response is undisputedly audible. The above – low output impedance, excellent current-handling, low distortion and frequency extension – all remarkably achieved in the open-loop. After getting these basics of an excellent analog circuit right, dCS then apply the cherry on the cake – closing the loop with negative feedback to make an already good design great. dCS thus achieves the amplifier ideal of a straight wire with gain, adding as little colouration as possible to let your transducers speak freely, to the fullest of their potential. It's been thoroughly thought out. When used with Lina DAC, Lina amp takes advantage of the former's high-current line-stage. The latter boasts an unbuffered balanced input, bypassing unnecessary active input stage devices and simplifying the circuit further for less chance of error.  Now we see – with the gargantuan task of creating a standalone amplifying product that lived up to the dCS name, these digital specialists pulled off a masterclass in analog design. A true testament to the skill of the designers, for the benefit of the most dedicated headphone listeners. Elsewhere, explore the digital chops from the rest of Lina here, or browse our other desktop products here.


    Our Price | $13,500

    Cayin HA-300B Mk. IICayin HA-300B Mk. II

    Cayin HA-300B Mk. II

    Cayin Audio’s HA-300 MKII is upon us, to ensure the modern headphone enthusiast can continue to enjoy the magic from historic 300B tubes with any headphone. Important refinements over its predecessor include a MUSES72320 resistor ladder electronic volume control part. This preserves signal-to-noise ratio and channel balance down to the ALPS-controlled encoder's lowest level – perfect for however much, or little, travel you need. A 4.4mm output ensures yet more headphones can be plugged in via Pentaconn’s ubiquitous connector for transformer-balanced operation. With headphones having developed leaps and bounds since the turn of the decade, Cayin guarantee their latest and greatest flagship keeps up with the times. That was exactly as Headfonics discovered, such that any can thrown at it performed in ways not thought possible. [See Product Desc. For More] HA-300 MKII has been built again as a Class A single-ended triode amplifier to preserve the all-important even-order harmonics audio enthusiasts crave from such topologies. But Cayin's flagship remains a truly reference device. The direct-heated magic from Genelex PX300Bs – bearing the Gold Lion mark of quality – continues to provide Cayin with access to square law, load line and graceful soft-clipping triode functions at the drawing board to push down distortion without the crutch of negative feedback.  HA-300 MKII's high tube operating voltage ensures excellent open-loop linearity and additionally reduces the need for negative feedback. Clean power is supplied by a physically separated power supply built around a massive toroid. A choke input in tandem with a huge smoothing capacitor locks stable, quality, DC power in place without sag, post 22DE4 tube rectification. Indeed, power supply regulation is thorough, extending beyond typical small signal regions to encompass even the power stage and high-voltage sections of the amplifier. Huge EI-core output transformers with reinforcing shielding are wound in-house to Cayin’s exact spec for frequency extension at the extremes, lowering impedances and providing immense inductance for the lowest bass reproduction, plus great top-end transparency owing to their shape. Custom-built AudioCapX MultiCap coupling capacitors upgraded for MKII's signal path are also ideal for passing low frequencies and extending bass down to 10Hz. Phase reproduction in the audible human hearing range remains stellar as a result, with taut dynamics and impactful slam – not the wooly affairs of yesteryear's transformer amps. That high bandwidth gets delivered into any working personal audio transducer, with HA-300 MKII's output transformers allowing it to drive low-impedance, low-sensitivity planar-magnetic headphones balanced via 4.4mm and 4-pin XLRs pushing up to 6 watts on the front. That potent Class A power can even be switched to speaker terminals on the rear to drive high-impedance, high-sensitivity passive speakers from the likes of Rogers, DeVORE Fidelity or Zu Audio. What's crazier is this brute in ballet shoes produces next to no hiss into sensitive earphones via 4.4mm ... a true feat, barely imaginable, till this point. There is therefore almost no scenario in which you can't enjoy this HA-300 MKII behemoth. Or, employ a different Cayin specialist that you can browse here, and view all our other amplifiers here.


    Our Price | $5,899

    Cayin N8iiCayin N8ii

    Cayin N8ii

    Cayin Audio, you keep outdoing yourself. When every release from these innovators is expected to be a revolution, N8II had to break significant new ground. This tube or solid-state flagship music player achieves exactly that, with upgrades on every front. N8II plays with a deftness of touch to dynamics, realistic distances and imaging, plus a soundstage bathed in a gentle light that is at the same time detailed but never fatiguing. Headfonics heard N8ii up Cayin's tube DAP game. It went right onto Headfonia's Recommended Buys list. Twister6 heard "Cayin take their original N8 DAP to a whole new level ... beyond of 'everything but the kitchen sink'". Ear Fidelity declares it a "masterclass of a DAP", with "tube and Class A a game changer". Dual ROHM BD34301EKV DAC chips make their debut in N8II and portable audio, fronted by a full Google Play Android 9 operating system. That all feeds Cayin's new timbre selector that applies to both balanced and single-ended discrete amplifier outputs. [See Product Desc. For More] Four years in the making since Cayin's original N8 made history as the first portable tube music player ever, N8II achieves what its predecessor couldn't even have begun to dream of. It doubles up on its 6P1 tube complement in its small signal gain stage, packing two of Nutube's direct-heated dual triodes for true balanced, differential, operation from either its 4.4mm or 3.5mm outputs.  N8II's Nutubes can be turned on or off on both outputs to match your listening preferences. If you choose to bypass tubes, signal direct from the DACs runs to the power stage, benefitting your gear that loves the precise, clean detail associated with transistors. READ ALSO DAPs have gone down the tube Taking inspiration from Cayin's tube/solid-state C9 portable amplifier, N8II's differential analog design relies heavily on common-mode rejection to serve as a clean, transparent – but never sterile – flagship reference with 125dB of signal-to-noise ratio. A marvel of miniaturisation, N8II packs C9's discrete power stage, operating in switchable Class A or Class AB to put out up to 1,200 milliwatts. This bias system ensures the output of watts that are supreme in quality – a result of individual transistors being turned on and operated where their open-loop linearity is optimal to further push distortion down. Cayin leave you the ability to boost N8II's operating voltage beyond seven volts, further ensuring transistor linearity while guaranteeing headroom for large dynamic swings on bigger cans that need it. However, it's not only about the quantity of power, but more importantly the quality. Signal integrity is key. N8II's volume control remains fully analog, eschewing a lossy digital control thanks to JRC's NJW1195A resistor ladder part, implemented only after the gain stage. Any attenuation is kept far away from the delicate output signal from new ROHM DACs – of which Cayin's implementation has been key. READ ALSO C9 – nothing is too extreme for Cayin BD34301EKV decodes DSD as a native 1-bit stream without PCM processing, owing to N8II's external analog volume control. ROHM's flagship chip's ability to output analog in current, pushing distortion figures down and upping tuning potential via N8II's extensive current-to-voltage I/V converter, also cannot be overlooked. This small-signal segment beginning from the ROHM DACs has been overbuilt for a music player. But what might be considered extreme elsewhere, is only expected from Cayin. Currawong says "N8II is for people who must have the best DAP of its kind, regardless of the cost".  ROHM's input signal processing via dither and advanced clock handling, plus a chip layout that's been streamlined for silent operation, are also talked up. N8II's FPGA feeds a pristine I2S signal to the dual DACs, after which they are upsampled by up to 32 times before being converted according to ROHM's linear-phase digital filters. Cayin have deployed the perfect Google Play-based Android 9 UI to feed every imaginable kind of content to its shiny new digital sub-system hardware. Direct Transport Audio bypasses otherwise mandatory sample rate conversion of stock Android. So play Tidal 16X MQA, Qobuz and Hi-Res Lossless Apple Music as the file was originally encoded with full confidence, with no undue digital tampering. The flexibility yielded by Cayin's Snapdragon 660 CPU and 6GB of RAM running optimised Android 9 is phenomenal, and fully at the service of N8II – Head-Fi's most advanced and complete music player in 2022. Those wanting more horsepower yet from Cayin can look at C9 as a potential stacking option from N8II's balanced line-outs here, browse Cayin's other revolutionary products here, or view all our other music players here.


    Our Price | $4,799

    PW Audio First TimeS 4W (IEM)PW Audio First TimeS 4W (IEM)

    PW Audio First TimeS 4W (IEM)

    This is the endgame. First TimeS cements PW Audio Founder Peter Wong's unofficial title as Copper Magician. After researching a new type of copper for nine months, First TimeS was born. Released as the pinnacle of what audio's longest-standing conductor can achieve, the notion of First TimeS is undisputedly romantic. When was the last time you were impressed by your music. Nay, when was the last time you were impressed by a copper cable – First TimeS is here to be the last-time endgame, the fit-all copper cable flagship that elevates every listening experience. Liquid midranges and effortless bass extension are a given. Transients and dynamics are reproduced with a deft touch, with instruments and vocals presented 3D as if you were there immersed, Live. The realism and effortlessness from First TimeS has to be heard to be believed. Twister6 lauded its "high level of micro-detail retrieval, noticeable improvement in the perception of soundstage width and 3D imaging". A conclusion you'll similarly come to, listening to First TimeS with your favourite Empire Ears Odin flagship. Also view the rest of our PW Audio cables here, or our other cables here.


    Our Price | $3,399