10. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Monster is expanding its Inspiration line of headphones. In addition to its over-ear model, the company hasMHINSIEBKCA128975_GLAM_01 introduced its Inspiration In-Ear headphones (SRP: £149.95). The new in-ear Inspiration headphone provides consumers with a lighter, extremely thin profile without sacrificing any of the sonic qualities of Monster Inspiration over-ear headphones. 

Founder and Head Monster Noel Lee, the audio engineer behind the sound of Beats by Dr. Dre® headphones, noted: “Our original Inspiration headphones gave serious music lovers a way to really kick up their listening experience, while at the same time expressing their personal style in new ways. Now, with Inspiration in-ear model, we’re offering much lighter designs that are ideal for business travellers and style-conscious women looking for a lighter, great sounding headphone option. For instance, thanks to our in-ear model, travellers now have a high-quality, easy-to-carry compact listening option that silences unwanted noise almost as well as a much larger noise cancelling over-ear headphone.”

They will be in both Titanium and White versions.

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“Designed by and for music lovers and audiophiles, Aria from DigiBit is a music server system that has been designedaria_hi_res to please both the most demanding audiophiles and music lovers with large collections of CDs and digital files for whom a powerful and easy-to-use music library management tool is key.

DigiBit’s Aria is the only music server in the market to support an unlimited number of extended metadata fields for any music genre. This facility allows users to sort and view their music collection in multiple ways such as: albums from the romantic (Period) for piano (Instrument), played by Maurizio Pollini (Soloist). Aria has 18 predefined fields automatically matching the tagging structure of our proprietary classical music database, SonataDB. You can also delete or add fields at will. For any other music genre, all fields can be manually tagged.That should make life easier for many.

Aria’s other software features include:

1) Fully automatic (insert & rip) error-free CD Ripper

2) Metadata retrieval results from five databases

3) Bit Perfect playback up to 32bit/352.8 KHz and DSD files,

4) Multizone support

5) Remote access to your music over the internet

6) Play files from memory

7) Gapless playback

8) Seamless integration with future Songly lossless downloads music store will allow to buy music with three clicks.Aria rear

Aria’s slim, fan-less aluminum case has been designed by Ochoa & Diaz-Llanos, a leading European industrial design studio. The standard Aria configuration comes with all-solid-state circuitry and has no internal storage so it’s 100% silent but optional internal storage can be provided by near-silent and superfast hybrid SSHDsor full SSD 2.5” disks with capacities from 1TB up to 4TB.

A USB to SPDIF converter board with asynchronous operation up to 24-192 provides the following outputs: SPDIF Coax RCA, BNC, AES/EBU and I²S interface. An additional USB output is also provided for playing higher sampling frequencies and DSD files.

Aria Music Server is controlled by a proprietary multilingual iPad™ app (Android app soon to follow) that provides remote control for all the functions of the music server.

Aria Music Server will ship in July and its MSRP starts at 3.999€ included VAT in EEC and3.299€ elsewhere.

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 Hifi Pig was lucky enough to attend the premier of the Trident II Loudspeaker from Gryphon Audio in late TRIDENT_FRONTprototype form at the Munich 2013 High End Show and we liked them a great deal. You can read our mini-review of the Gryphon Trident II loudspeaker.

Gryphon founder and CEO Flemming E. Rasmussen says, “Gryphon have never felt the need to constantly replace our product line-up to suit the changing seasons. Our observation has been that most “Mark 2” versions are simply trivial bug fixes promoted as major breakthroughs. We prefer to expend the necessary effort and resources to get things right the first time. That is why Gryphon products have an exceptionally long lifespan both in the marketplace and in the home.”

“In the case of the Trident, we identified specific areas in which technological advances made real improvements possible, so it made sense to pass them on to music lovers.”

Constant Phase

The Gryphon Trident II incorporates specially developed constant phase technologies to ensure that all drivers are in phase at all frequencies at all times. As Rasmussen proudly declares, “Few loudspeakers can truthfully make this claim and they are all made by Gryphon.”

Compared to its predecessor, Gryphon Trident II is housed in a slimmer, taller, massively braced enclosure with precisely contoured baffle and driver surrounds and baffle covering carefully selected and applied to effectively address baffle reflections and eliminate diffraction phenomena.

Air Motion Transformer Tweeter

The most crucial upgrade in Trident II is perhaps the implementation of an AMT (Air Motion Transformer) high frequency driver with minimal mass for instantaneous response to the audio signal.

Because of its large surface area, the pleated diaphragm structure energises a large air volume withTRIDENT_BAGSIDE minimal diaphragm motion, for a highly desirable point source sonic presentation. Eliminating fundamental issues of mass, inertia and internal resonance, the Gryphon Trident II high frequency driver promises lightning fast transients, combining flat frequency response beyond 38 kHz with extremely low distortion and a total absence of compression.

Self-Powered Bass System

By implementing a semi-active configuration based on dedicated Gryphon on-board 1,000 Watt bass power amplification in conjunction with heavily modified drivers, handmade crossover components, proprietary Q Control room integration and a non-resonant enclosure, “the Gryphon Trident II sidesteps the electrical and mechanical problems which plague lesser systems”.

Active bass also allows the owner to select the ideal amplifier for the upper frequency range without having to worry about deep-bass power demands.

Price:  €97 000  plus local taxes


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Hifi Pig thought this was an interesting audiophile item on the business start-up funding site Kickstarter. It’s for a fullyThe Orbit manual, belt-drive turntable called The Orbit which the people behind the project say is a turntable of “engineering and playback quality never before seen at the entry-level”.

The turntable doesn’t have any gimmicks with the company prioritising the ability for it to play music.

Interestingly the tonearm fitted to The Orbit forgoes gimbal bearings and uses a“unipivot-style” tonearm which comes factory fitted with an Ortofon moving magnet cartridge.

The Motor on The Orbit is a 24V AC synchronous model which is decoupled from the plinth by a “unique rubber suspension system”. The platter rides upon an inverted main bearing that has been optimized for the platter’s centre of gravity and the plinth uses CNC cut MDF which is supported on SBR rubber feet.

A pledge of $150 got you the basic turntable whilst a pledge of $250 secured the turntable in Kickstarter green with an upgraded acrylic platter. For those who pledged $500 there was the funky looking Orbit Renaissance which had been hand painted by the company’s resident artist.

It’s clearly been a huge success for U-Turn Audio, the company behind the project, as their $60 000 target has attracted 1133 backers and raised $233 940.Sadly the project now appears to be closed.

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Linette took this little digital audio player with a touch screen to Germany to put it through its paces. Its not a massively expensive bit of kit but it does have a touch screen and is very small and lightweight. Find out what she NOVAthought about the HiSound Audio Nova 1 Digital Audio Player in her review for Hifi Pig.

As previously mentioned Linette will be carrying out more reviews in the coming months and we think that her female take on what seems to be a predominantly male dominated hobby will make for interesting reading. Her coverage of the Munich High End show was certainly very well received.


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Stuart and Linette had the opportunity to have a pair of the TSAE Evince Loudspeakers in the house for a few days for review. Evince LoudspeakersThey are a really interesting design that takes the traditional transmission line design for loudspeakers and turns it into something that looks visually stunning. Visually stunning they may be but what did they sound like? Read the full review of the TSAE Evince Loudspeakers.


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