I don’t always go down to that big headphone room on the main floor of most high-end audio shows, mostly because we have some real headphone freaks at PTA and they always beat me to the coverage. But ever since I visited the Moon Audio booth at RMAF 2019 and played Tool’s “Chocolate Chip Trip” ’til the cows came home, heck yeah I’m stopping by.
What makes Moon Audio booth so unique is that you can sit down in a chair and listen to a combination of just about any headphone and headphone amp on the market–along with Moon Audio’s incredible Silver Dragon cable line, until you find the one you love. You can spend the day in Drew Baird‘s headphone heaven, learn as much as you can, and then you can be an expert on audio discussion forums because you’ve heard everything. You know it all now.
That sounds snarky, but it’s not. I always glean so much information during these visits to the Moon Audio booth, these frantic auditioning exercises that I feel like I get up from my chair knowing so much more about the world of headphones than before.
At the Moon Audio booth at AXPONA 2022, I was able to focus in on the perfect pair of headphones, something I’ve already announced as my favorites–the Focal Clear MGs that I was able to use with my Ferrum Audio review last year. I settled into my seat, cued up some of my favorite spacy headphone tracks from Hildur (Chernobyl) and Hans Zimmer (Blade Runner 2049, Dune) and, of course, “Chocolate Chip Trip.” Finally, I noticed the headphone amplifier I was using at the Moon Audio booth, which looked like a rather conventional but well-built high-end audio preamplifier. I couldn’t see the brand logo at first–you have to look at it at a certain angle–but eventually I saw the letters…TEAC.
The TEAC UD-701N ($3,999 USD) looks a lot like a preamp because it can be used as one, or as a standalone headphone amp. It also includes a network streamer and a DAC. And it really, really sounds nice and big and spacious–something the Focal Clear MGs already do. I thought it was a lovely set-up, and I could see buying the TEAC and the Clear MGs and the Moon Audio Silver Dragon cables and retreat to my own personal headphone heaven for a very long time–until the next time I visit the Moon Audio booth.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2022, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.