Returning for my second day at CanJam SoCal I went to visit Beyerdynamic who were highlighting their Xelento remote Audiophile Tesla in-ear headset for mobile devices ($999USD). Employing a miniaturized version of their Tesla technology driver the Xelento comes complete with two silver plated detachable cables, one fitted with a microphone and a universal 3 button remote for use with both Apple and Android devices, and a conventional stereo cable for use with a DAP. Beyerdynamic also includes 3 pairs of Comply eartips along with their standard silicone eartips. Also on display was Beyerdynamics new Amiron home Tesla high-end open backed stereo headphone ($599USD).
Beyerdynamic Amiron home Tesla high-end open backed stereo headphone, Beyerdynamic A20 headphone amplifier, Beyerdynamic T5p closed back Audiophile hi-fi headphone, Beyerdynamic DT1990 PRO closed back studio reference headphone, Beyerdynamic DT1770 PRO open back studio reference headphone, Beyerdynamic A20 headphone amplifier, Beyerdynamic A2 headphone amplifier
Beyerdynamic Xelento remote Audiophile Tesla in-ear headset
My next stop was Dekoni Audio maker of fine replacement ear pads and IEM tips. On display were their Elite Series Sheepskin Ear Pads ($59.99 to $69.99USD dependant on headphone) and Velour Series Ear Pads ($29.99 to 34.99USD dependant on headphone), as well as, their Bulletz Memory Foam Isolation IEM tips ($15.99USD).
MrSpeakers always brings something special to the show and this year was no exception. Apart from their standard table displaying their full line of products including the new AEON Closed-Back Orthodynamic Headphone ($799.99USD) which may be the best value in a headphone out there, they had a dedicated sound room for demonstrations of the latest prototype of the incomparable ETHER E Electrostatic Headphone (TBA). Also available for audition were the ETHER Flow Open-Back Orthodynamic Headphone ($1,799.99USD) and the ETHER C Flow Closed-Back Orthodynamic Headphone ($1,799.99USD).
MrSpeakers AEON Closed-Back Orthodynamic Headphone, MrSpeakers ETHER Flow Open-Back Orthodynamic Headphone and MrSpeakers ETHER C Flow Closed-Back Orthodynamic Headphone
MrSpeakers ETHER Flow Open-Back Orthodynamic Headphone and MrSpeakers ETHER C Flow Closed-Back Orthodynamic Headphone with Ampsandsound Kenzie Headphone Amplfier
MrSpeakers ETHER E Electrostatic Headphone
Next stop SCHIIT Audio, showing their full line of DACs and Headphone Amplifiers offering top price performance at reasonable prices, including their flagship Yggdrasil Multibit DAC ($2,299USD) and Ragnarok Intelligent Headphone & Speaker Amplifier ($1,699USD).
SCHIIT Audio Mjolnir2 Tube Balanced Headphone Amplifier and Gungnir Multibit or Delta-Sigma Balanced DAC
SCHIIT Audio Jotunheim Headphone Amplifier & Preamp with DAC module
SCHIIT Audio Lyr2 Tube Headphone Amplifier with Bifrost Multibit or Delta-Sigma Upgradable DAC
SCHIIT Audio Asgard 2 Class A Single Ended Headphone Amplifier & Preamp Amplifier with Bifrost Multibit or Delta-Sigma Upgradable DAC
SCHIIT Audio Vali 2 Tube Hybrid Headphone Amplifier with Modi Multibit DAC, SCHIIT Audio Magni 2 Discrete Headphone Amplifier
SCHIIT Audio Fulla 2 DAC/Headphone Amp with Audioquest NightHawk headphones
aptX Bluetooth appears to have been the mantra of this year’s show and Sennheiser was no exception demonstrating their HD 1 In-Ear Wireless Earbuds ($199.95USD) featuring an ultra-soft sheepskin nappa leather cover stitched onto the neckband for enhanced comfort and attractive styling and boasting a 10 hour battery life and built in vibration incoming call alert.
Sennheiser HD 1 In-Ear Wireless Earbuds
Sennheiser RS 185 Wireless Headphone System
Sennheiser HD1 Over the Ear Headphone and Sennheiser HD1 Wireless Over the Ear Headphone
Sennheiser HD 630VB Over the Ear Headphone, Sennheiser HD 599 Over the Ear Headphone and Sennheiser HD 579 Over the Ear Headphone
Effect Audio is a unique IEM cable company that goes that extra distance to offer custom versions of IEMs wired internally with their cable. On display they had a pair of Vision Ears VE 6 Limitied Silver Edition CIEM ($3,999USD) featuring 6 Balanced Armature drivers with a 4 way crossover, Litz Silver & Copper Internal Wiring and an 8 wire pair of their Leonidas Gold/Silver Hybrid cables, as well as, tuning by Marcel Schoenen.
For more truly excellent IEMs I moved onto Campfire Audio where I listened to their 5 Balanced Armature Driver Andromeda IEMs ($1,099USD) featuring a Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber and their Liquid Allow Metal Lyra II IEMs ($699USD) which employ a 8.5mm beryllium PVD dynamic driver.
Campfire Audio Orion and Nova Balanced Armature Driver IEMs
Campfire Audio Jupiter and Andromeda Balanced Armature driver IEMs and Campfire Audio Vega and Lyra II Dynamic driver IEMs
Moving on to Final Audio who had an intimidating array of IEMs to go along with their highly acclaimed over the ear headphones, I listened to one of the most unusual IEMs in my experience, the Piano Forte X-G ($2,200USD). Their quite attractive gold plated chrome copper alloy casing is designed to work without tips, quite a feat for universal IEMs, but they are not meant to create a seal, giving them an open back headphone sound. The closest comparison coming to mind is the HD800s, the Piano Forte Xs give that same vast open soundstage.
The Final Audio IEM line.
Final Audio Sonrous VI Headphones, Final Audio Sonrous III Headphones, XIAUDIO Formula S Headphone Amplifier, Questyle Audio QP1R Current Mode DAP and Questyle Audio CMA600i Current Mode DAC/Amplifier
Catering mostly to the Pro-Audio market, but reaching out to high-end Personal Audio with their new Ella Planar Magnetic Closed-Back Headphone ($699USD) is Blue. Their multi jointed headband design offers the best seal I have ever achieved with over the ear headphones and their built in amplifier insures compatibility with mobile devices. And for Bluetooth users they were demoing their soon to be released Satellite Noise-Cancelling Audiophile Wireless Headphones featuring separate dedicated active noise cancelling drivers.
Blue Ella Planar Magnetic Closed-Back Headphone
Blue Satellite Noise-Cancelling Audiophile Wireless Headphones
Blue Sadie Mo-Fi Powered Headphones
Blue Bottle Tube Microphone
Blue Robbie Tube Microphone Preamp, Blue Raspberry USB Microphone
Pioneer and Onkyo displayed together this time, showing their line of IEMs and updated DAPs (the essential difference between the two being a use of higher quality components in the Onkyo line). Of interest was the new Pioneer SE-9T IEM ($129.99USD) sporting detachable cables and a bandwidth of 5Hz to 40kHz and the fact that all of their new DAPs now include 2.5mm balanced outputs including the soon to be released budget DAPs the Pioneer XDP-30 ($399USD) and Onkyo DP-S1($499USD), as well as their flagship models the Pioneer XDP-300R ($699.99USD) and Onkyo DP-X1 ($899USD). The DP-X1 and XDP-300 feature Dual ESS® Sabre ES9018K2M DACs and 9601K amps for balanced output, plus Wi-Fi and aptX Bluetooth. All of the DAPs support MQA and TIDAL.
My last visit of the show was JDS Labs who were auditioning their stylish budget minded EL DAC ($249USD) and EL AMP ($279USD). The EL DAC supports up to 32bit / 384kHz PCM via the AK4490EQ DAC chip and the EL AMP offers dual gain settings with an output impedance of only 0.1 Ω for use with IEMs and a Peak Power output of 1.5 Watts at 32 Ω to drive planar magnetic headphones.
JDS Labs EL DAC and EL AMP
JDS Labs OL SWITCHER, JDS Labs OBJECTIVE2 Headphone Amplifier and JDS Labs OL DAC
And as I conclude my coverage of the 2017 CanJam SoCal, I just want to thank Ethan and Jude and all of the CanJam employees and volunteers for once again providing a provocative and entertaining show, and I especially want to thank Nobel Audio for sponsoring Headphone.Guru’s coverage of the show.
Gary Alan Barker is a writer who has been a member of the Audio Industry since 1978, having acted as technical writer for several high-end audio companies, and been an electronics hobbyist since 1960. He has also been a musician and writer since the mid 1960s.