At Can Jam, industry giant Monster Cable was highlighting several models drawn from its broad (and growing) range of headphone products—most notably the flagship Monster Turbine Pro Copper Edition in-ear headphones ($399) and the new Beats by Dre Solo HD full-size headphones ($199). I recently reviewed the Turbine Pro Copper Edition ‘phones in Playback and found them extremely impressive in their overall accuracy (though perhaps a little too revealing for some tastes); click here to read the Playback review. I sampled the new Solo HD’s and felt, on the basis of a brief listen, that they just might be the most accurate and natural-sound Beats by Dre models yet released (a point on which at least one of the Monster Cable staffers present concurred).
Moon Audio is both a manufacturer and an importer/distributor of a broad range of headphone-related products. At Can Jam, Moon showed its deceptively simple-looking Silver Dragon and Blue Dragon iPod-to-headphone-amplifier interconnect cables. The trick with both these cables, said a Moon spokesperson, is that they bypass the iPod’s OK-but-not-great analog amplifier stage, effectively delivering a purer analog signal the Moon likened to the line-level outputs of a CD player. The Silver Dragon cable ($65/6-inch) features silver conductors, while the Blue Dragon cable ($55/6-inch) features high purity copper conductors. Also on display was Moon’s Dragon Series v.1 headphone, which is essentially a tricked-out and customized Beyerdynamic DT880 that incorporates 10-foot Moon Audio signal cables.
Music Hall is perhaps best known as an importer/distributor of high-end audio components from the U.K. and from China, but it also offers an extensive range of turntables and electronics offered under the Music Hall name. On display at Can Jam were the Music Hall DAC 25.2 ($595, with USB, coax, and AES inputs) and the Music Hall PH 25.2 headphone amplifier ($395). Both components were shown as part of the Moon Audio exhibit.
Watch for more manufacturer and product coverage in Can Jam 2010—Part 3.