Archives for March 2019

MEE Audio 2-Pin Bluetooth Cable for $35 [MD]

Non-magic cables also exist at Massdrop, such as this new drop, running for the next five days and change, it is the new condition MEE Audio 2-Pin Bluetooth Cable offered for $35 with free US shipping. International shipping is surprisingly higher than expected, around $10 for a tiny little cable 🙂

This is bluetooth 4.0, with IPX5 rating. It will ship in late April 2019 from Massdrop. There’s no mention of warranty in the listing…

Sunday is World Back Up Day – backup your music, feed your DAPs!

The last day of March is “World Back Up Day” and a good opportunity to back-up your music, especially music that is hard to find on streaming services, or music that has rights issues and disappears from streaming service, bootlegs, high-resolution music, audiophile editions, and so forth.

Anyway, to celebrate this day, the Amazon US Gold Box is having a big storage sale with over two dozens of products, including microSDXC cards for your DAPs/PADs, internal and external hard drives for your music collections, SSDs if you prefer faster and high-resolution music, NASes (that’s not the plural form, is it?], and more!

Limit of two of each item per Amazon account. The sale ends on Monday at 3am eastern or earlier for any item that runs out…

Monoprice portable DAC/amp w/THX AAA for $250, Bluetooth Receiver with apt-X for $40

One of the big bang Monoprice audiophile products is currently on sale, it is the new condition portable Monolith DAC/amp with THX AAA going for $250 instead of its standard price of $280…

Meanwhile the new condition Monoprice bluetooth streaming receiver with apt-X and NFC is on sale for $40 with free standard US shipping. It averages 3.9 out of 5 based on 80+ customer reviews at the Monorprice website… It receives music through the ether (the bluetooth receiver part) and outputs it either via 3.5mm or S/PDIF TosLink digital optical… A couple of audio cables (for the 3.5mm port) are included…

Woot headphone sale includes Bose QC25 ANC Over-Ears for $160, Momentum IEMs for $50 to $60, Etc

Woot has long-running deals, in addition to their more famous daily deals. One such is a headphone sale that features 14 models and it is good for a few weeks unless a particular model sells-out (which happens often):

+ Sennheiser Momentum in-ears for $50
+ M2 (2nd generation) (iOS buttons) for $60

+ Bose QC25 ANC Over-Ears for $160
+ Bose case for QC15 for $14

+ Sony WH-1000X M2 ANC/BT over-ears for $290

+ Sennheiser HD 471G for $56
+ Sennheiser HD-205 II for $60

+ also Philips, Cowin, Gibson Sports, Skullcandy, and … “Batman vs Superman” 🙂

1More Quad Driver IEMs for $130

If you are fond of more drivers, the 1More Quad Driver in-ears are currently on sale for $130 in two listings at, one offered by Amazon actual, while the other listing is by a marketplace seller (fulfilled by Amazon) who includes some free accessories at the same price…

NOTE that multiple different models are included on the same root listing at Amazon, so the reviews and the review-score is an aggregate of all of them. You have to go through the reviews and filter them individually to find the reviews for this quad model…

Budget find: 1-to-5 3.5mm splitter ships from China under $2

We have a budget find. If you don’t mind waiting, GearBest is offering this 1-to-5 3.5mm audio splitter for under $2 delivered. IT takes one 3.5mm audio input and has five 3.5 audio outputs. A basic 3.5mm audio cable is included so you can connect it to a music source. The headphones (should) have their one 3.5mm plugs 🙂

Note that this is unpowered, so the sound will be affected depending on which and how many headphones you connect to. I’m sure some can do the equations to figure it out ahead of time. I can’t [yet] 🙂

$10 off $40+ purchases at HD Tracks

Good until April Fool’s Day at 11:59pm eastern time, coupon code HD10BUCKS gets you a $10 off discount on the purchase of digital music of $40+ at the HD Tracks website. Better yet, the coupon can be used multiple times during this promotional window, so if you are planning big purchases, try to organize them in chunks of $40s 🙂

Homage Earphones to Galaxy S8 for $2 shipped [from China]

If you are not in a hurry to receive them, about $2 get you a pair of earphones that appear to be an homage of the Samsung Galaxy S8 earphones. Unregistered shipping is almost free.

Being a Galaxy homage, they have a 3-button Android remote (along with a mic). They average 4.61 out of 5 based on 260+ customer reviews. As far as I can tell, you only get the earphones, no eartips or other accessories included. Well, it’s $2 after all 🙂

These are part of a weekend sale

Saturday: Feed your DAPs with 512GB PNY microSDXC

Good until Sunday at 3am eastern, the Amazon Gold USA is having a PNY storage-related sale. Of DAP/PAD interest, they have 512GB PNY microSDXC cards going for $110 (Elite) to $120 (PRO Elite)… They also have full-size SD cards from 64GB to 512GB, along with a vast variety of USB flash drives, sold individually or in 5-packs or in 50-packs. Might as well send them by the pound 🙂

Marantz MPH-1 Closed Over-Ears for $30

Good until Sunday at 8am eastern (or earlier if sold out) you can get the new condition Marantz MPH-1 closed-back over-ears as the Musician’s Friend Stupid deal of the day. These are studio-ish style headphones and looking at them it reminds me of some Tascam/CAD models, but I haven’t mapped them out yet…

Saturday: Jaybird Run True Wireless for $130

The headliner among the Best Buy deals du jour for Saturday 3/30/19 is the new condition Jaybird Run True Wireless offered for $130 with free shipping or free store pickup where available…

As fate would have it, we have a text & pictures unboxing of these truly-wireless.

I’m planning to plan how to start posting more content (unboxings, reviews, new headphone talk, etc), but I’m still in the planning stages 🙂

Sony WIC-400/L neckband bluetooth earphones for $20 w/FS

For a limited time, as part of a spring time eBay featured-sale, eBay seller “1 Shop Direct 305” is offering the new condition Sony WIC-400/L neckband earphones for $20 with free US shipping with up to three pairs per customer at the sale price. These are bluetooth models with NFC… Optionally you can add a 3-year Square-Trade protection plan for +$2…

Fearless Audio S4 IEMs for $280, S6 for $380 [MD]

IEM fans, unite and take over! Yet another option is now running at Massdrop ~ for the next three days and change from posting time. It is the new condition Fearless Audio IEMs. Three options are offered: the S4 for $280 and the S6 is available in two differently-tuned variants (audiophile or “lively music”) for $380 each.

These will ship in mid-April from Massdrop. There’s no mention of warranty in the listing but at least you get 12 pairs (!!!) of ear tips with them 🙂

Monoprice 8323 with Bluetooth Over-Ears for $23 w/FS

If you are looking for a budget or utilitarian type of a bluetooth headphone and with free shipping to boot, for a limited time, the Monoprice website is offering the new condition 8323 with bluetooth for $23 with free US standard shipping. Up to twenty pairs per customer at the sale price. This is based on the good old 8323 closed-back over-ears, with the addition of bluetooth (supports apt-X as well).

On the other hand, if you are a fan of wired in-ears, they also have a limited time sale on the new condition HR-3 Triple Driver IEMs for $45 with free standard US shipping.

Also continuing is their Quarter End sale that includes some of their more audiophile-friendly headphones:

  • M600 open over-ears for $90
  • M560 open over-ear planars for $170
  • M1060 open over-ear planars for $250
  • M300 planar earphones for $100
  • various other items on sale as well

Focal Elear Open Over-Ears for $549

IF you are looking to get the open-back over-ear Focal Elear in new condition, as of the time of writing, Amazon actual is offering them for $549 per pair. You can buy as many as you like at the price. This is not a lightning deal, so there’s no public expiration date…

FOCAL has multiple options these days on the open-back front and of course the competition is not sitting idly either. Check your favorite forums and websites if you need ideas on what to pick and what to avoid…

EU fans: Massdrop begins shipping audio gear from within the EU

Are you an audiophile in the EU and want to get some of the Massdrop exclusive headphones and DAC/amps but don’t want to pay so much more and wait longer? It looks like your prayers have been answered because Masdrop has just launched a European shipping test

[Read more…]

Creative Labs SX-FI DAC/amp bundled with Aurvana SE Over-Ears for $140 [MD]

Everybody’s jumping on the Massdrop hype train, including Creative Labs [now just “Creative”] with their Super X-Fi technology. Their new condition SX-FI DAC/amp is currently fully unlocked for $140 with free US shipping for the next five days and change from posting time. International shipping hovers around $5.

But this is not just a DAC/amp. This bundle also includes the Aurvana SE closed-back over-ear headphones, based on a Fostex-the-people design [okay, Fostex design; sorry, I can’t resist]. They have 32 ohm impedance and 40mm drivers.

Massdrop will ship these orders in late April 2019. There is no mention of warranty in the product listing over there…

Friday Headsets: Logitech G230 for $25, G633 Artemis for $60

Amazon USA has Logitech on its mind for their Friday daily deals as a Logitech PC accessories sale headlines the day’s deals du jour. Of headphone interest, they have the G633 Artemis Spectrum gaming headset on sale for $60, and the more budget G230 for $25… Keyboards and mice dominate the rest of the sales, including the (indispensable?) Anywhere I and II mice.

PS: practice Spelling Bee word: indispensable! There are so many i/e/a/c traps in this word 🙂

Three Month Free Trial of YouTube Music Premium

Skullcandy is offering its VIP fans a three month free trial of the new YouTube Music Premium service. After the first three months, your account will be charged unless you manually cancel it. This offer is only available to new users of the service, ones who did not previously used a trial or had been a member. If so, you may be offered a 1-month free trial or no free trial at all.

[Read more…]

EU: OKCSC M2 Open Over-Ears for 62 euro

Sub-$100 headphones in Europe are harder to find than the US market (there’s no Grade for one thing and AT prices are higher), but if you are willing to boldly go with a chi-fi brand instead, as of the time of writing, Amazon Germany itself is offering the new condition OKCSC M2 Open-Back Over-Ears for 62 euro with free German shipping. The in-stock estimate of this is April 4 in 2019.

This headphone has a bit of everything, some wood on the earcups, a detachable cable, and 57mm drivers. There are seven good gallery pictures over there to give you a good visual feel for it. Judging by the last picture, it comes with a zippered case (I think).

I haven’t seen or touched or listened to it. The search-engines are your best online friends 🙂

Crutchfield Outlet sale (up to 40% off)

It’s sale time, the Crutchfield Outlet store is having a sale, featuring up to 40% off on the items featured there. These are not like those rando sales on eBay: items include a manufacturer warranty, are inspected/tested, get 60-day returns from Crutchfield and lifetime tech support. So if you are comparing prices, factor all these benefits in the price as well. For example, there are 45 items in the Over-Ears category

Little Dot Mark III for $200, SE for $460 [MD]

It’s a Little Dot that leaves a big dent in the wallet 🙂 Running for the next four days and change at Massdrop is a sale on new condition Little Dot Mark III headphone amps. The base edition goes for $200, while the SE (Special Edition) goes for $460. They have two input tubes and two output tubes.

The SE is balanced and has more power among other things. These will ship in mid-May 2019 from Massdrop. There’s no mention of warranty in the listing…

SoundMagic PL50 in-ears for $25 [MD]

One of the best kept secrets in the audiophile world is that you can achieve “good enough” with a fraction of the money of audiophile/phool products you see audio-magazines and forums-stars and forum-divas rave on about. There are always compromises but so is the case with every single flagship product out there 🙂

Which brings us to a budget option that is running for the next four days at Massdrop, it is the new condition [I’m starting to add this because MD occasionally offered refurbished or beef stock {B-stock}] SoundMagic PL50 in-ears with free US shipping. International shipping seems to hover around $8 for these ones.

They come with a case, over-cable hooks (so you can put them around your ears for sports or better stability), and seven sets of eartips (of different kinds).

These will ship in mid-April by the vendor [mayhaps that’s why international shipping is higher]. There’s no mention of warranty in the listing.

PS: Massdrop uses the word “vendor” without giving any further details. That’s why I write “vendor” since I don’t know any more than what it says over there 🙂

Tuesday Headphone Deals: Sony WH-1000X M2 for $290, and Gaming Headsets

It’s headphones day in the Tuesday daily deals, starting with the Amazon USA gold-box where there’s a big computer gaming sale that includes the HyperX Cloud II gaming headset going for $70 in two color options, and the Corsair HS70 wireless going for $60… Some of the other deals are audiophile-adjacent (eg storage, fast routers for high-quality streaming, powerful desktops for music processing, and so forth)…

Sony has been trying to break into the upper end of the smartphone market without a lot of success, but they managed to storm into the $300-ish ANC + wireless over-ear headphone category and give BOSE a serious run for its money. We are already at the third generation of this attempt, but if you are okay with the second generation, the new condition WH-1000X M2 closed over-ears with ANC and bluetooth 4.1 with LDAC is on sale for $290 with free shipping for Prime members [or $6 flat for non-members], with a 1-year Sony warranty and up to ten units per customer at the sale price.

PS: note that while LDAC is great, you also need a music source that supports this, otherwise the connection will happen at the highest common denominator protocol…

Moondrop VX Classic Earbuds for $50 [MD]

The good old VE Monks have made actual earbuds great again,so the resurgent onslaught continues with a new earbud arrival at Massdrop, it is the new condition Moondrop VX Classic Earbuds going for $50 with free US shipping or around $5 international shipping [I can’t test all countries though].

These dynamic driver earbuds come with four pairs of eartips and nothing more. There’s no mention of warranty in the listing. They will ship from Massdrop in early May 2019. They are so new at MD they have just one comment under “Discussions”.

PS: Moondrop is part of what MD calls their Spring Remix, the arrival of new-to-MD brands which includes Moza,, Mohu, Hario [hooray-io!] and more…

Monoprice M300 Planar Earphones for $100 w/FS

Monoprice is having another quarterly sale (yes, the first calendar quarter of 2019 is about to end) and as part of said sale you can get the new condition M300 Planar Earphones for $100 with free standard US shipping. Limit up to twenty per customer at the sale price…

HiFi Boy OS V3 In-Ears for $125 [MD]

Massdrop is back with another offering, good for the next four days and change they are offering the new condition cutesy-ly named HiFi Boy OS V3 in-ears going for $125 with free USA shipping with sub-$5 international shipping (for the countries I tested ~ I haven’t tested them all obviously)…

They will ship in late April 2019. They come with a case and eartips. There’s no mention of warranty in the listings…

20% off new releases at HD Tracks

For a limited time, HD Tracks is offering 20% off new releases using coupon code HDSPRING20 over there. The same coupon code gets you 20% off music by former Yardbirds, which of course is an impressive list, Jeff Beck, Eric Claptop, Jimmy Page,.. The same coupon code also works with Aretha Franklin, celebrating the 77th birthday of the Queen of Soul…

There’s also a sale, not using a coupon code (the price you see is the price you pay), a 25% off discounted factored in the price you see, for their Women’s History Month

ESS 252 Closed Over-Ear Wood for $90 [MD]

Do not panic, there is a slightly remodeling of the Massdrop website. Your memory has not been re-arranged by The Reptilians and The Grays while you were asleep! Which brings us to another new offering over there, it is the new condition ESS 252 closed-back over-ears going for $90 with free US shipping and around $10 international shipping [I can’t test every country, so YMMV].

These have wooden (walnut) earcups, detachable cable, collapse [into now?] into the included case, 32 ohm impedance, 50mm drivers and such. There’s no mention of warranty in the listing. They will ship from Massdrop in late April 2019…

MaCaw GT-600s In-Ears for $40 [MD]

The parade of new listings continues at Massdrop, this time we go to the sub-$50 IEM category where they are offering the new condition Macaw GT600S IEMs for $40 with free US shipping and low international shipping (under $5 for the random countries I tested). It’s easier to offer low cost shipping on a small box of IEMs than a giant box of monster-sized over-ears 🙂

Despite the low price, they have detachable cable (coaxial MMCX) and also user-replaceable tuning filters, three of which are included: standard, bassy and piercing [oops, I mean treble!]. The “piercing” is just a joke, I haven’t seen or heard this earphone 🙂 They come with a pouch and two kinds of eartips (silicone and memory foam).

The IEMs are available in your choice of black or silver color scheme in the shopping cart. This should not be confused with the color of the tuning filters. All three tuning filters are included in the package. You don’t have to purchase additional tuning filters!

The shipping estimate is late April 2019 from Massdrop. There’s no mention of warranty.

PS: quick quiz, what number is MMCX in latin numerals? Don’t read any further, the answer is in “PS2” below 🙂

PS2: if I write the answer here, our digital-age skim-reading will read it whether you intend it or not, so here’s the answer at this link (the mouse-over won’t give away the answer either)…

PS3: it’s easier to build up a big collection of IEMs versus over/on-ears for the practical fact that you can store half a dozen IEM boxes in the space of one over-ear box 🙂

1Voice Z99 Bluetooth Over-Ears for $30

Stacksocial is back with another headphone offering, they have the new condition 1Voice Z99 Bluetooth Over-Ears for $30 in an all-sales-final promotion. The orders only ship to the contiguous 48 US states. It is a bluetooth 4.0 device and there are four color schemes available…

Speaking of Stacksocial, they are offering in three color options the new condition Brand Breeders closed-back wood headphones for $18. Yes, the brand name is “Brand Breeders”. I couldn’t even make up such a name even if I tried 🙂

Audirect Beam Portable DAC/Amp for $75 [MD]

The sub-$100 “laptop” DAC/amp segment has more and more options these days, and of those new options is offered at Massdrop, it is the new condition Audirect Beam Portable DAC/Amp going for $75 with free US shipping and low international shipping (hovering around $5 depending on country ~ and of course I can’t test all countries)…

There are two color options at checkout. They will ship in late April 2019 from Massdrop. There’s no mention of warranty in the listing. It comes with a trio of cables so you can use it with Android (USB-C) and iOS (Lightning) and “real” computers (USB Type A)…

Tribit Xfree bluetooth closed over-ears for 46 euro (EU) or $48 (USA)

The EU doesn’t have as many options in the budget bluetooth closed over-ears segment as the US, but one of the models that is finding itself in some recommendation lists is the Tribit Xfree bluetooth closed over-ears and it is currently going for just under 46 euro, with the order fulfilled by Amazon Germany… At Amazon USA, this goes for $48, thanks to a 5% off clip-on coupon ~
fulfilled by Amazon USA

In Germany, they average 4.6 out of 5 based on 159 customer reviews, while at USA they average 4.6 out of 5 as well but with 650+ customer reviews. They also have nearly 200 answered questions…

1-Year Stereophile for $10 (digital)

For a limited time, Discount Mags is having a hobbies sale. Under the “Technology and Science” sub-category, they are offering a 1-year digital subscription to “Stereophile” for $10. This is 12 issues. The digital subscription is delivered and managed by Zinio.

You can sign up for up to four years at the $10/year price. You can also renew an existing subscription [append years to its renewal date]. From what I can tell, there’s no option for a gift subscription this time around.

PS: make sure you adjust the auto-renewal option at Zinio after your subscription goes live. I believe they default it to auto-renew!

Pre-order the Hifiman HE-35X for $90 for a limited time [MD]

A new exclusive is coming at Massdrop! A new “fruit” of their co-operation with HiFiman, available for pre-ordering right now [what Massdrop calls “in the works”], it is the open-back over-ear Hifiman HE-35X headphones, a dynamic, an improved driver over the HE-350 per the listing over there. Not everything Hifiman makes is planar after all 🙂

The listing stresses that their durability has been improved, which was a must have given the many problems Hifiman users had experienced ~ as you can see in various forums and blogs and such…

This “in the works” has a special pre-order price. If you place an order before April 19 in 2019, you will pay $90 instead of the headphone’s regular price of $120. There is also a limit of 750 units available for this run, so the offer ends when they run out or when the deadline arrives – whichever happens first.

Being an “X” product, it comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty. Note the shipping date however, late August 2019 that’s four months from blog-post date!