Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Goldring DR-150

I have had this Goldring DR 150 for some time already, but I was quite reluctant on reviewing it, cause I sensed it was not as desirable initially. I thought I might give it a second chance with my current Magni from Schiit Audio, and perspective changed a bit.


The packaging is simple and has no fancy items inside, just the headphone, cable and adapter for 6.5mm.

Unpacking the DR150 was easy and swift, not much plying needed, not like the last Sennheiser I did.


Unfortunately I sold off the original QED cable with my Custom One Pro, they made a great combo, and was liked by the buyer. Hence, the cable I will be using is made by a local cable maker, and named Vero150, so the whole combo I call it DrVero 150.
Specifications of this cable:

*Vero-150 made with 6N multicore cooper wire.
*Material were carefully selected to enhance the sound of goldring DR150 headphone.
*1.5 meter 6N multicore wire
*Cooper material
*Hand braided in "Quad" configuration
*Carefully hand terminated
*Each cable consist of 4 strain,
*Solder using high quality industrial grade soldering lead
*3.5mm Neutrik plug both end terminated.

Oh, one more thing, the inner cloth mod was done. Search around and you will know what mod I am talking about.



The treble on the DrVero 150 is not very sharp, but still presence. To me, it is quite "in the middle", doing an adequate amount of sharp highs and not pierce your ears till they bleed. It is doing quite a decent job.

Mid / Vocals

The vocals are slightly laid back, and IMO is at the right spot where it should be. The vocal are relatively flat in comparison with other headphones I have. 


This is considered a light bass headphone. The drums hit with a small amount of kick into it, and does not overtake the whole music. You can hear it just about there and I quite like how the bass is.


All I can say is studio quality soundstage. There is a lack of airiness despite it is an open back headphone. Echoes do not transfer into distance and cut off quite soon. This is great for people who listen to studio CD but a no no to Live albums.


I can say just about okay for the price level to this DR150. It does a good job on studio CDs and can easily run off of your mobile. The beauty that makes me keeping this piece is the 3.5mm cable jack on the headphone, which means absolute freedom to mingle around with any 3.5mm interconnects you have lying around. It might (or not) change the sound for the better. Not forgetting the comfortableness and lightweight of DR150 makes it highly portable and suits long amount of listening time. This is one that I can recommend for budget users or mobile listeners.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sennheiser HD202 ii

Today we look at a budget line if headphone from Sennheiser, the HD202 ii. The HD202 sells at $27.90 on Amazon.


This is how the item is packed, in a hard plastic packing that is a pain to open up. It took me some effort to open up the packaging, and I don't know why do they make it so challenging to open it up.

What you get in the package are these only.
Cable length is giganticly long, 10 foot long. Lucky for that cable organizer / clip that you can wrap it, or not you are going to have a bad time. 



The treble on the HD202 is rather spikey and easily clips even on a smooth song. It seems to be overdone, and I myself don't appreciate much on the overload trebles on this can.


The mids on this can is mediocre. Rather forward and sounds unlively / inorganic. Male vocals do not have the depth that it needs. It sounds like a long due fatigue waiting to happen.

Female vocals are still acceptable, but the spikes on the highs and mid highs could spoil the experience. 


Bass is one thing that still can be appreciated out of all these bad things I said. They are accurate but lacks the punch and depth that some songs could use. It only shows the presence of bass and does nothing to it.


There isn't much to critic on the soundstage performance. All I can say is it is just enough to be accepted not as "narrow"


I normally do not critic on the comfort of cans, as most of them are still acceptable up to 2 hours or so, which I feel is sufficient, but the HD202ii, man oh man, the clamp force is like "I'm going to squeeze your head till it explodes." It is really tight and the ears couldn't breath and heats up shortly after 10 minutes or so of listening. Head fatigue and pain would occur, in my case, after 20 minutes or so.


For me, this is my first time giving so much negative comment on a single can, and I am not happy about that. Every can should have their own appreciated way, but I just couldn't accept this HD202. Luckily this is from the older era of Sennheiser, and things have changed dramatically to the better. SO, the last thing I can say, better not get this, get another can, many are better than this

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shonyun 306a portable amp - SO CLOSE

Shonyun (山韵) 306a is quite a reputable portable amp from the mainland China. It has been featured in multiple review sites, and so you will have a tonne of reference in comparison, so I will make it my way, short and straight to the point as usual.
306a on the left, dacport LX on the right


Since what i got is a demo package, so I am not quite sure how accurate is the package content. They include 2x 3.5mm interconnects, one with Choseal Q563A HIFI cable, another with DIY Tefflon silver plated HIFI cable by Ancient River as shown above. The rest in the box includes a charger and the unit itself.

The package itself is made of hard paper box, which is a love or hate thing, depending on what you think of it.

The Unit

The unit itself is very simplistic, with the power inlet at the bottom, and source in, out and volume knob on the top. The unit lights up when both in and out are connected, no power switch of any, so you will have to unplug to switch it off, which I kinda not like it (who ever thought of not needing a power switch should be fired). The body is made of metal, which is nice, but why the hell is the surface using acrylic? It will be prone to scratches, which ruins the overall looks.

Battery life is also quite at an acceptable level, on my listening level of 9 o clock, it can last around 10 hours or so in single charge, all thanks to 21V of battery, consisting of 5 x 3.7V in serial. Not forgetting, there is no battery level indicator, it only either lights up the logo, or not. Depleting battery means sudden shutting off of  the amp without notice. What a mood killer!
Power On
The 306a also has a secure feature, where the volume knob can be pushed into make sure you don't accidentally turn it too loud. This I will give a "like" to.
The charge is where the indication of charge level is, instead of the unit itself. When charging it lights up red, and when done lights up green.
Picture extracted from lowyat.net forum.



The treble / high range of this amp, although sounds good overall, in a nit pick manner, there are still some wobbly high notes reproduction, which is weird and I couldn't explain it in exact terms except wobble wobble ( like the vocal tone going slight up and down but not changing the tone level -> the vocal vibrations). Putting that aside, the cyrstality level leaves it very suitable for mobile usage, especially line out from devices like iDevice or even Android line out to a DAC then to 306a. The thick sounding source of the usual mobile devices lets the treble on 306a be tamed down and be much comfortable to listen to.

Mids / Vocal

Vocal on the 306a could use some improvements, as the vocals are relatively recessed, and can be clearly heard off modern day music. Drums though are placed quite in a good position, as every hit can be clearly heard, and not missed out or cut off. Overall speaking, the vocal got suppressed by almost all the instruments added up together (feels like the music player is bullying the singer).

Guitar is also a portion that I am quite liking on the 306a. Strikingly appearing, and glares like a sun shining down on the music. 


The bass on the 306a is what I am loving to the utmost. The bass hits hard, accurate and full of authority. It doesn't scale to the basshead level, but if you appreciate quality bass from bass guitars and bass drums, you will certainly love this one. I never expected such amount of bass out of the Q701, but it did oush out all the bass mass it needs to sound great. Definitely a great bass prone amp, and a good one!


Soundstage on the 306a can be quite a subjective matter that is very much a bull shit debate that can cause a massive forest fire. Even then, I will still comment on it, and depends on your perspective compared to mine. To me, the soundstage is quite wide, and not quite restrictive provided that you have such a good source to decipher it. Staging feel from a concert music is very entertaining, and does not cause a fatigue of tight space feel to the music.



  • Quality bass
  • Secured volume knob
  • Environmental packaging
  • 2 cables (varies according to retail)


  • Lack of power switch
  • Acrylic surface finishing
  • Lack of battery indication


From an overall look, I do like this amp, and almost will give out the "recommended" stamp, once all the annoyances are fixed, and some features implemented back. IF yu can live through the minor annoyances, this is a good to go amp to buy.
Credits to Stars Picker Enterprise (reg no: CA0199613-A) for loaning the unit for review.
Contact method/details:
Email: starspickeraudio@gmail.com
Facebook shop: Stars Picker (http://www.facebook.com/StarsPicker)
Hp: +6012-3395413 Willy (preferably via lowyat forum - https://forum.lowyat.net/index.php?showtopic=3024046&hl= or any online mode)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Coming soon

Review on the next item will be this item

Shonyun 山韵 306a portable amp that is made in China

credits to the following for the unit loan coming in:

Stars Picker Enterprise (reg no: CA0199613-A)

Location of seller: KL, Hong Kong, China

Contact method/details:
Email: starspickeraudio@gmail.com
Facebook shop: Stars Picker (http://www.facebook.com/StarsPicker)
Hp: +6012-3395413 Willy (preferably via lowyat forum or any online mode)

and of course Shonyun for the unit itself

Sales thread for Shonyun by Stars Picker Ent:https://forum.lowyat.net/index.php?showtopic=3024046&hl=

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Philips SHP2000

My uncle recently bought a, as he said, "cheap" headphone to use, and it comes out to be Philips SHP2000 headphone. Philips, as I tend to put it, sells headphones at more of a mainstream uses, except for the fidelio series, so, I didn't expect too much out of the headphone itself. For a 40mm driver, I'm going to expect some heavy bass down on it, and I was right.
SHP2000 - $19.99


The packaging is right out of the box, nothing much. Below is shown what you will get.
Headphone + plug= whole package



Treble on the SPH2000 is relatively mild and soft, sometimes feels like a little muffled. Not a lot of specialty and mot much to talk about.


The mids on the SPH is quite mediocre, not too much forwardness, but doesn't seem to be pushed back a lot. Vocal wise is still acceptable, speech or the pronunciations can still be heard quite okay.


BASSHEADS REJOICE! I would call this SPH2000 quite heavy on bass, but the bass is quite entertaining frankly. Not my taste, but I'm sure some people will appreciate the good bass you can get.


I normally do not mention on the comfort of headphones a lot, as they have nothing special. SPH2000's headband is quite uncomfortable on the edges, it sticks and pressures on my head, and feel discomfort almost instantly.
The circled corner is uncomfortable


For $19.99, I can't say this is a bad choice, neither a spectacular one, but I can say this is for budget bassheads.