One of our all-time favorite affordable in-ear headphones was NuForce’s NE-7M, which has now been replaced with not one but two new models: the NE-700X (basic headphone, $65) and the NE-700M (headset model, $79). I spoke briefly with NuForce’s Jason Lim and Casey Ng and both stated emphatically and unequivocally that—good though the NE-7M was—the new NE-700 series models are substantially better. The NE-700X is shipping now, and the NE-700M will ship in late January. Playback now has review samples of both units in hand, and will prepare a review shortly. Stay tuned.
High-end audiophiles know Axiss Audio as the distributor of such uber high-end brands as Accuphase, Air Tight, and Soulution (among others), so that what we didn't see coming was a new brand called Olasonics, which offers adorable and exquisitely made little egg-shaped USB speakers priced at jus $125/pr. I found both the sound and build quality of the Olasonics to be unexpectedly good in light of their modest price. Besides, I got a kick out seeing Arturo Manzano, head of Axiss Audio, take such obvious delight in demonstrating his new desktop gems.