Many of you know I've been on the road for a couple weeks now. I had to bring a sort of personal survival kit with me. A: I needed to keep some gear close for evaluation for future reviews (Sennheiser, ALO Audio, Audience, the Riva Turbo X, and other cool coverage comin' ASAP) and B: As stated MANY times - I'm a confessed music addict. Music is essential in all areas of life for me, but especially on road-trips! This time I couldn't imagine a better situation for pluggin'-n-playin', experimenting with different portable headphone-based system configurations - in order to discover my current FAVE! For part II (I wrote my first Mercers Winning Combo piece for Part-Time Audiophile) I was seeking the ultimate, truly portable-I-can-run-with-it-out-the-door system as well as a solid laptop-based system.
I'm psyched to say that the feel of the open road, plus the bangin' system in my John Cooperworks Mini (JL Audio-based) have provided me with some fun adventures thus far. Workin' to find the most satisfying headphone-based systems for the road, well, it hasn't exactly felt like work. But I have tried lots of different stuff in order to choose these systems as my current Must-Haves-For-The-Road!
I'm facing an 11-12 hour drive tomorrow - and I hope to land back in Northern Cali sometime latenight/early-morning. Once I catch some REM sleep (yeah, gettin' some of that has been like an elixir for my brain) I'll be punchin' away at the keyboard for my up-coming Sonic Satori column at EnjoyTheMusic.com - covering these glorious portable systems! The Gear Geek Out List consists of:
Astell & Kern AK240 DAP (digital audio player)
MacBook Pro Retina SSD running Amarra Symphony & TIDAL for streaming + Amarra sQ
CEntrance HiFi-M8 headphone amp/DAC
Lehmann Audio Traveler headphone amp
Oppo PM3 planar closed-back headphones
Audeze EL-8 planar open-back headphones
Cabling mostly via Double Helix Cables, along with the new MIT Cables Vero Reference for Audeze LCD-series
Nordost Quantum power products