LOS ANGELES (PTA) — This year’s CanJam SoCal 2019 is bigger, better, and already on track to be the most newsworthy yet. There are over 1,000,000 brands exhibiting here at the Marriott Irvine — okay, okay — maybe not a million brands exactly, but the 100+ brands that are have brought their A-game. CanJam SoCal 2019 feels every bit like the headphone heaven of sunny California. Lots of exciting product debuts are taking place at this year’s ‘Jam, and we at Part-Time Audiophile are committed to bringing you the most comprehensive highlights of what’s NEW and out-of-this-world in the exciting headphone universe.
Let us then carry on with the Day Two Highlights of CanJam SoCal 2019
HifiMan (Booth B1-B2)
Scheduled to ship in mid-July, HIFIMAN’s new TWS600 True Wireless Hi-Fi Earphones offer a technological twist with Bluetooth that extends reception as far as 150 meters/490 feet, thanks to the company’s customization of the standard True Wireless chip. The improvements in RF reception result in a significantly lengthened signal range.
In addition to the extensive reach of the Bluetooth transmission, the TWS600 features HIFIMAN’s Topological Diaphragm: each earbud’s diaphragm, which converts mechanical vibrations to sound, is covered with a Nano particle coating that contributes to greater sonic detail than is typically associated with True Wireless earphones.
iFi, Mountrose Music (Booth F7)
The newly updated Pro iDSD from iFi, and available from their new Reno, Nevada dealer Mountrose Music, has a few new features that are surely to make it an instant and undeniable hit. New in outputs is the removal of the 2.5-balanced out for the addition of a 4.4-balanced out. A five-percent power increase takes numbers up to 4.2-Watts, from 4-Watts. Along with updated and refined circuitry for better isolation.
Audeze (Booth F8-F9)
The Mobius headphone is a gaming headphone that carries with it all of Audeze’s pedigree build, sound quality, and popularity. It’s laundry list of features runs deep. Bluetooth, DSP, in-play head-tracking, 3-D audio, etc. However — on display — the new LCD-GX headphone which is an even more extreme gaming headphone in that it carries a lot more of what Audeze is known for in their standard designs. I would say it is built for the few of us (myself included) who are not just gamers. The new ‘GX swings hard for the audiophile fences as well.
Periodic Audio (Booth E11)
The NEW Carbon IEM using a diaphragm made from an 8-micron lab grown diamond layer, fitted to a proprietary high temp polymer substrate. Full in the bass, and with a pleasant sizzle on top. Overall, this might be one of the cleanest sounding IEMs I found at the show at the price. Also showing was their Nickel amplifier. Small form, but big power for a sub-1OZ device. Using a 10k-Ohm analog input impedance, the Nickel draws almost zero power from your source device, and relying on the source’s built in DAC for decoding.
RAAL-requisite (Booth C2)
The Requisite SR1a headphone is unlike any headphone I’ve ever seen or heard. Well, maybe not heard, as in the two-channel world RAAL tweeters are all the rage with some speaker builders. Including a familiar manufacturer who builds an all-ribbon speaker called the Magnepan. Like those maggies, the RAAL driver is all-ribbon and moves like lightning. This lightning means bass unlike anything you or I have ever heard. A definite must hear set of cans. However, be warned that if you fall for these RAAL’s the amplification needs are ample, and require the supplied amplifier interface for easier impedance loads. Is this the best thing I’ve heard at CanJam? Yes, but maybe even more than anything I’ve heard in the two-channel rooms at other shows as well.
Beyerdynamic (Booth D11-D12)
The NEW Lagoon ANC Bluetooth headphones come with sweet sound and finishings. I didn’t get a long chance to sit with these new cans and discuss the full specs, but in talking with a few attendees, this will be the ones I start with during my final day at the show.