Ophidian Mojo 2.

The second pair of speakers I’ve been sent by Ophidian. Could I be any more surprised?

Disclaimer:
I have not been paid or sponsored by Ophidian for this review.
The views in this publication are unbiased and my own.
A big thank you to Gareth for sending out the Mojo 2 for review.

For more details follow this link on Ophidians website:
https://www.ophidian.co.uk/mojo2.html
They retail at £1,200.

Review equipment & software:
Ophidian Mojo 2.
Hifi Rose RS201e.
Airpulse ST200 stands.
Cyrus ONE.
Musician Audio Pegasus.
Audioengine B1.
Pro-ject Debut Debut EVO.
Technics SL1200 MKII.
Musical Fidelity Vinyl.
iPad Pro.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
Custom Cans cables throughout.

Music:
Hi-Res files on Qobuz.
Various albums on vinyl.

What’s in the box:
Ophidian Mojo 2 x2.
Front grills x2.
Documentation.

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Spec:

Frequency response – 52hz to 25khz (-3dB).
Sensitivity – 86dB (2.83v).
Recommended power – 40 to 120 watts.
Impedance – 4 ohms.
Dimensions – 286mm H x 158mm W x 220mm D (including grilles).
Weight – 4.4kg.
Available finishes – Oak or Walnut.
Dual 115mm coated paper midbass with powerful motor systems.
27mm neodymium high frequency unit with a Sonolex coated fabric diaphragm.
AEROFLEX port system for a precisely controlled bass performance.
Braced and optimised cabinet built in Sheffield, UK.
Detachable magnetic protective grilles.


Build and finish:
This is the second set of speakers from Ophidian that I have had the honour of reviewing.
They are extremely well constructed, using premium materials.
The veneer is flawless and finished beautifully.
Drivers are mounted just right and the proportions look really pleasing to the eye.
They are heavier than they appear and will sit quite comfortably and securely on speaker stands.

Sound:
Unlike the Minimo 2 I found the Mojo 2 more forgiving when it came to positioning.
I was able to have them at a far less aggressive angle.
For the majority of the review I had them set up on my shelving in my office, which I know is going to ruffle some feathers with some of my readers.
However, I found, even when up on my shelving, they still sounded fabulous and lost none of their punch or definition.
Not an ideal listening position I admit, but this is what I currently have to work with in this space.
I did also have them set up in my main system in the living room on speaker stands.

Soundstage is spacious and has a lot of depth.
Separation is on point with the Mojo 2’s creating a really nice 3D image, making the speakers essentially “disappear” within the listening space.

Mid bass and lows are most impressive, carrying a lot of heft, with texture and great definition. No need for a sub with these speakers!
Mids are forward and natural. Very smooth with vocals and acoustic pieces.
Highs shine with crystal clear clarity, speed and ultra sharp detail.

Final thoughts:
For £1,200 you’re getting a lot of speaker in a compact package.
They’re ideal as a nearfield monitor, bookshelf speaker and placed in a larger room in a larger system.
They’re easy to drive and have a very full bodied, lively personality which matches a varied style of music.
The Mojo 2 impressed me so much, they’re in my top 5 selection of potential candidates for my permanent office system!

Thanks:
As always, I’d like to send a massive thank you to all of my readers, contributors and sponsors.
All of you make what do worthwhile!

Please do like, share, follow and subscribe. Every little helps 🙂

Best wishes.
Paul.

STAX SR-003 MKII In-Ear Electrostatic Ear Speakers.

Hot on the heels of the D10 review, I get to grips with the SR-003 MKII portable in-ear ear speakers…

Disclaimer:
This review is sponsored by STAX.
Thank you to Audrey & Kay, who have been very kind and shipped me these in-ears.
The SR-003 MKII retail for $284 and can be found here:
https://staxheadphones.com/collections/earspeakers/products/earspeaker-series-sr-003-mkii
I will note here that although this is a sponsored review for STAX, I have been honest and unbiased in my opinion.

Review equipment:
STAX SR-003 MKII.
STAX SRM-D10.
STAX cable accessories.
Astell & Kern AK70.
iBasso DX80.
iPad Pro.
Audioengine B1.

Music:
Various Hi-Res files on the AK70 & DX80.
Qobuz Studio Premier on other devices.

What’s in the box:
STAX SR-003 MKII in-ear ear speakers.
Headband.
Ear tips.
Plug cover.
Documentation.

STAX provide everything you need to use the 003 MKII’s with ease and comfort.

The ear hooks are from a different in-ear that I custom fitted.

Spec & features:
Type: push-pull electrostatic, canal-type inears.
Frequency response : 20 – 20 kHz (±4dB).
Static capacity : 44pF (including attached code).
Sound pressure sensitivity : 110dB/100V r.m.s. / 1kHz.
Bias voltage : 550V – 580V.
Ear piece : L/M/S size made of silicone rubber (M size equipped at factory shipment).
Cord : 5-pin for STAX PRO bias, 6-core parallel, total length 1.5m.
Weight : 38g (including code), 12g (main part only).
Dimension: 28mm (diameter).
Overhead arc weight : 15g.

Build and finish:
I already own the previous version of these which has a proprietery plug for use with a portable driver.
The same high quality of craftsmanship is apparent here with a premium finish.
They are lightweight and fitment is perfect.
I do wish STAX would include a carry pouch or case for these smaller in-ear’s & maybe that’s something that can be thought about in the future?
I also think the headband is great, however the clamping force is quite aggressive so it’s sometimes uncomfortable to use.
This is what led me to utilising a set of ear hooks from a different in-ear and I believe is something else STAX could think about for a new version somewhere down the road.
All in all though they’re made extremely well and well thought out.

Comfort:
The 003 MKII are a comfortable in-ear once you figure out the best way to use them for yourself.
Once I figured which ear tips were the best fit for me the 003 MKII’s were very comfortable and could be worn for hours of use with no fatigue or discomfort.
However I will say here as before, the headband, although a great idea, does have aggressive clamping force so may not be comfortable to use for some users.
This is where the aftermarket ear hooks came into play, and is something I really think STAX should consider in the future.

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Sound:
The 003 MKII’s offer a wide spacious soundstage with well defined separation.
We are rewarded a warm, textured low end with a decent punch.
Mids are resolving, organic & airy.
Then we finish off with fast yet smooth highs dusted with a little sparkle up top.

Final thoughts:
We’re getting a lot of electrostatic in-ear for our buck here.
They sound like a product that belongs in a much higher price bracket.
The only complaint I really have is the clamping force of the headband and there being no carry case or pouch.
Otherwise these are an excellent purchase and I’ve enjoyed them so much that I’ve bought a pair myself.

Thanks:
As always a massive thank you to all of my readers, contributors and sponsors!
Please remember to like, follow, subscribe and share.

All my very best.
Paul.


STAX SRM-D10 Portable Electrostatic Driver and DAC.

Another STAX review, this time it’s a new portable DAC and energiser. Let’s see what I think of this one.

Disclaimer:
This review is sponsored by STAX.
Thank you to Audrey & Kay, who have been very kind and shipped me this DAC/Energiser.
The SRM-D10 retails for $945 and can be found here:
https://staxheadphones.com/collections/amplifiers/products/driver-unit-for-ear-speaker
I will note here that although this is a sponsored review for STAX, I have been honest and unbiased in my opinion.

Review equipment:
STAX SRM-D10.
STAX SR-L300.
STAX SR-003 MKII.
Astell & Kern AK70.
iBasso DX80.
iPad Pro.
iPhone XS Max.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.
Audioengine B1.
Musician Audio Pegasus.

Music:
Various Hi-Res files on the AK70 & DX80.
Qobuz Studio Premier on other devices.

What’s in the box:
STAX SRM-D10.
Wall Charger.
Stereo jack to jack cable.
Micro USB cables.
Documentation.

STAX provide an abundance of accessories in the box, enabling different connection choices.
All accessories are neatly organised into separate boxes which are clearly labeled and sat snuggly in protective foam.

Spec & features:

Features:

  • Compact electrostatic headphone amp/DAC
  • Battery-powered, rechargeable Li-ion built-in battery pack
  • High-resoluton Digital-to-Analog converter, supports up to DSD128
  • User selectable line-in and USB DAC 
  • All-aluminum chassis

 Specifications:

  • 5-pin PRO bias Stax earspeaker output
  • Micro USB digital input,
  • 3.5mm analog input
  • Supply voltage: DC 14V (charger included)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 40KHz (+0dB,-3dB)
  • Rated input level: 230mV (100V output)
  • Harmonic distortion: <0.025% / 1KHz-10KHz
  • Input impedance: 10 KΩ (analog input)
  • Maximum output voltage: 200Vr.m.s / 100Hz-10KHz
  • Power consumption: 6.4W (USB input) 5W (analog input)
  • Recommended operating temperature: 0-35°C, <90% RH (No condensation)
  • Dimensions: 75(W) X 32(H) X 141(D) mm
  • Net weight: 450g

Build & finish:
The team at STAX have designed and built a magnificent portable electrostatic device.
Build and finish are of the finest quality & the D10 has been very well thought out.
The volume knob and switches are robust and have a lovely feel to them.
The D10 looks stunning in an understated manner. Subtle with clean lines and curves.
Rear IO is laid out well and easy to understand.
Connection possibilities are unlimited, and STAX including all the cables needed gets you off to a running start.
Battery power is pretty reasonable with the D10 lasting a few hours more in “line-in” mode. I found that in DAC mode I got around 4 hours with Line in mode giving me about 5.
This DAC/Energiser will look great on your desktop, on your side table or wherever else you feel enclined to use it!

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Sound:
The STAX SRM-D10 is quite the power house.
I currently have the L300 ear speakers and 003 MKII “in-ears” and it’s able to drive either effortlessly with stacks ( pun intended ) of headroom.
From memory I believe that the D10 could probably drive the 009s without breaking a sweat.
Hopefully I may get more higher end ear speakers in at some point to see how they fare.
Soundstage is wide open with a generous helping of depth.
Separation is superb, to the point of being clinicaly precise.
The low end is sumptuous and has plenty of punch.
Mids are neutral, yet clear and organic.
Lending a beautifully natural, airy clarity to the experience.
Highs are crisp and perfectly presented, being neither too bright, or rolled off too soon.
I found the L300’s performed better than the 003 MKII’s in Line out mode, however this was not as evident when using the D10 with it’s Hi-Res DAC selected.
Obviously, it’s going to sound at its very best when in DAC mode playing Hi-Res files, however, even with my Audioengine B1 feeding the line in with Qobuz playing over one of my smart devices, the sound quality was phenominal.

Final thoughts:
Don’t let the price tag fool you.
For $945 you’re getting an extremely well made portable electrostatic DAC and energiser with astonishing audio quality, oodles of power, flexibility and damn great looks to round it all off.
Would I recommend it to anyone?
I enjoyed it that much both as a portable device and as a fully fledged desktop device, that I bought one for myself and the 003 MKII’s to go with it!
But more on them in their own review which is coming very soon.
So yes, I absolutely recommend the STAX SRM-D10, whether you’re new to electrostats or an enthusiast.

Thanks:
A massive thank you to my readers! And also my ongoing thanks to STAX for their constant support and sponsorship.

Please remember to like, share, subscribe…..

Many thanks, and have a wonderful easter.
Stay safe.
Paul.

Edifier S3000 Pro Active Speaker System.

Following two Airpulse active speaker system reviews, I get to tackle the S3000 Pro from Edifier. Let’s see how it went down….

Disclaimer:
This review is sponsored by Edifier.
Kathryn & Edifier have been very kind and shipped me this set of monitors.
The S3000 Pro retails for £699 and can be found here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edifier-S3000PRO-Wireless-Speakers-Bluetooth/dp/B07LC7LDQX/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=edifier+s3000pro&qid=1646336402&sprefix=edifier+s3000%2Caps%2C121&sr=8-3
I will note here that although this is a sponsored review by Edifier, I have been honest and unbiased in my opinion.

Review equipment and software:
Edifier S3000 Pro.
Airpulse ST200 stands filled with Atacama Atabytes.
Technics SL1200mkII.
Ortofon Quintet Red.
Musical Fidelity Vinl.
Hifi Rose RS201e/RS250.
iPad Pro.
STAX SRM-252s.
STAX SR-L300.
Andrew Foster Audio cables throughout.
Audiowalle TP1000 mains conditioners.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
Apple Music Lossless.

Music:
Various vinyl.
Streaming from Qobuz and Apple Music.

What’s in the box:
2x Edifier S3000 Pro.
User manual.
2x mains cables.
1x stereo 3.5mm male to 2x male RCA cable.
1x stereo male RCA to male RCA cable.
1x USB data cable.
1x optical cable.
1x remote control.



Edifier don’t skimp out on accessories here, echoing the generosity of Airpulse.
I was pleased with what shipped with the S3000 Pro’s.
Edifier include everything you need to get up and running with all the cables required to get your gear connected. The only cable that is missing is a coaxial cable, though considering everything else in the box it’s not the end of the world.

Spec:
Frequency response 38HZ ~ 40kHZ.
Signal-to-noise ratio ≥85dB(A).
Total power output R/L (Treble): 8W+8W RMS R/L (Mid-range and bass): 120W+120W RMS.
Input type Line In/Balance/Bluetooth/Optical/Coaxial/USB.
Driver unit Bass unit: 6.5” (179mm) aluminum alloy diaphragm.
Tweeter unit 107 x 107mm Planar silk diaphragm.

Build & finish:
The S3000 Pro are built to a very high standard with the various materials used brought together flawlessly.
The connections and rear panels are robust and nicely finished.

Setup:
It didn’t take long to set these monitors up.
They pair imediately when you power them both up.
Just like the A200’s they are very straight forward to use and Edifier include all the neccessary cables to get you connected.
In my case I used them primarily via the line in from the pre-out on my RS201e/RS250.
Although I did test the optical, coax, USB and balanced inputs and they all worked as well as expected.
Unlike the A200 however, the S3000 Pro has a built in DSP allowing you to further tweak the sound.
The controls for this you’ll find on the remote.
I found that using the “Dynamic” preset, the soundstage became wider and the bass a lot fuller.

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Sound:
The S3000 Pro’s have a wide soundstage that becomes more spacious again when they are in Dynamic mode. I was impressed with the level of instrument separation, depth of field and headroom that these speakers create.
The bass that they produce is enough to make you second guess whether you have a sub in the room or not. Suffice to say, you won’t need a sub with these!
Bass is full, yet controlled and textured with a quick pace and excellent clarity.
Mids are forward, but smooth and airy. Very pleasing on the ear, especially in vocal and acoustic pieces.
Highs are detailed, crisp and clean with pin point accuracy and speed.

Final thoughts:
For £699 you’ll be getting a lively, full bodied active speaker system with plenty of power and detail.
No need for an additional subwoofer.
Sleek styling and beautifully finished.
These were hard to part with!

Thanks:
Thank you to my readers, sponsors and contributors for all of your ongoing support!
Please remember to like, follow, share and subscribe.

Meze Audio Rai Penta IEM.

Next up from Meze Audio are the Rai Penta. I’ve been looking forward to this review. Let’s see what I make of them…

The Penta’s sat neatly to the right of the Solo’s.

Disclaimer:
I have not been paid by Meze Audio for this review.
The views in this publication are unbiased and my own.
Alexandra and Meze Audio kindly sent this IEM my way to review.
The Rai Penta IEM retails at €1,099 at the time of this review.

You can pick a pair up here:
https://mezeaudio.eu/collections/all/products/rai-penta

Review equipment:
Astell & Kern AK70.
iBasso DX80.
iPhone XS Max.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.
FiiO i1 Dongle-DAC.
Audioquest Dragonfly Black.

Music:
Qobuz Studio Premier.
Apple Music.
Various FLAC & other High Res files.

What’s in the box:
• MMCX braided cables made of silver plated copper
custom wires ending in high quality 3.5mm
• Hard Case: protective EVA case with Meze Audio metal logo
• 4 pairs of soft silicone eartips XS, S, M, L
• 1 double flanged eartips
• 2 deep insertion double flanged eartips
• 1 pair of comply foam eartips
• 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter
• airplane 2 pin adapter
• cleaning tool

Spec:
Driver: PENTA-HYBRID DRIVER
(4 x Customized Balanced Armature and 1 x Dynamic
Driver working harmoniously together)
Frequency Range: 4Hz – 45kHz
Impedance: 20Ω
Sensitivity: 100dB SPL/1mW Sensitivity
Max Input Power: 30mW
Distortion: <1%
Stock cables: MMCX connector ending in 3.5mm, Rhodium plated
Upgrade cables: MMCX connector ending in
2.5mm TRRS balanced and 4.4mm balanced as extra accessories
Warranty period: 2 years

Build and finish:
These are the final pair of Meze Audio IEM’s I’ll review for now. That is until they bring out another model.
I remember in my earlier reviews I commented on how much I appreciated Meze’s approach to design, build quality, sound and presentation.
The Rai Penta are the epitomy of IEM design, both in aesthetics and superior sound quality.
I already have the Rai Solo and they are in my top 5 IEM’s. The Penta are another step up the ladder in excellence.
I could wax lyrical here, line after line. But I won’t.
The Meze Audio Rai Penta look, feel, are, exquisite. That’s it.

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Comfort:
With the plethora of included tips and the clever design of the Rai Penta, they’re one of the comfiest IEM’s I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.
I can wear these for hour after hour of listening enjoyment without breaking a sweat. Zero discomfort.
Zero fatigue.

Sound:
At this price point you expect something quite special in this catagory, and these IEM’s do not dissappoint.
A wide spacious soundstage with lots of depth and headroom.
Seperation is very, very good.
Mid bass and lower frequencies are a pleasure to listen to, the Penta’s dig deep and punch hard.
Mids are crisp and organic, giving vocals and acoustics a beautifully natural vibe.
Highs are sharp and precise with just the right helping of sparkle, providing enough clarity and pace to put a smile on my face regardless of genre or how long I’ve been listening.

Final thoughts:
€1,099 is a high price point compared to most IEM’s I’ve reviewed.
After several months listening to them, using various sources, DAC’s and amps, and listening to every which genre I could throw at them, and not forgetting the sheer luxury in the craftsmanship and finish, I can say that if you have the budget and are looking for something that extra bit special, then look no further.

Thanks:
Thanks as always to my readers, sponsors and contributors. You all rock!

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