For those of you not able to make it to Denver, CO for the 2012 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I’d like to let you in on a little secret. These days, by teaming with HeadFi.org, RMAF now offers attendees a show within a show thanks to an event called Can-Jam. What’s a Can-Jam? In simple terms, it’s an exposition and celebration of all things pertaining to high-end headphones, earphones, and the specialized electronics required to drive them.
Below, I describe some of the coolest new products seen and heard at RMAF/Can-Jam 2012. As always, my apologies in advance to any manufacturers whose worthy products I fail to mention.
KingRex is a Taiwanese company founded in the late 1980s that has a rich background in the development various entertainment-related electronics products. Through a process of ongoing evolution, though, the company eventually moved into the audio product arena and, by 2006, had dedicated itself to the development of very high quality computer audio and, as KingRex puts it, “mini audio” components. At Can-Jam, five specific KingRex products were highlighted in a demo area sponsored by KingRex’s U.S. Distributor, Moon Audio. These products were the:
Monster Cable is plainly looking to regain its footing in the headphone marketplace after its break with Beats by Dre (a company that Monster Cable was instrumental in putting on the audio map). Thus, over the past year Monster has launched at least three new Monster-branded models:
Mr. Speaker is not so much a headphone manufacturer as a very serious headphone modifier whose key product is an extensively re-worked version of the Fostex T50RP headphone. Specifically, changes include revisions to the headband, ear pads, and other comfort features, plus a thoroughgoing set of revision to the headphone’s acoustic envelope. Mr. Speaker’s version is called the Mad Dog headphone ($314), and it sounds very, very impressive for its price; it’s truly one of the few mid-priced ‘phones that manages to sound like a much higher priced product typically would. Moreover, the Mad Dog is extremely comfortable to wear, which was one of Mr. Speaker’s primary goals in developing the product.