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CanJam London 2015 headphones round-up

Richard Easton
1 Sep 2015
Sennheiser Orpheus
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We went along to CanJam London 2015 to check outs some of the exciting headphones and audio gear on show

It's pretty staggering how far Head-Fi.org has come. For those not aware, Head-Fi is an audiophile forum that's been going since the early 2000s. Over the past weekend, it held its first European premium audio event, CanJam London 2015. There were plenty of attendees at the event, from Sennheiser and its HD 630VB (in-depth hands on here) to some slightly more obscure and up-and-coming manufacturers. I’ve rounded up a few notable headphones it's worth keeping an eye on.

Pendulumic

Pendulumic Stance S1+ controls

Pendulumic is a Singaporean audio company you might not have heard of. Its first wireless headphone, the Stance S1+, was on show at CanJam alongside its newer sibling, the TachT1, which is expected to be released in the coming months. The Stance S1+ is an interesting pair of headphones due to its 30 hours of battery life. This mammoth longevity is achieved through a combination of a lithium-ion battery backed up by a pair of AAA batteries. You'll get 18 hours from the former and another 12 from the latter. There's a switch to swap from one to the other.

Pendulumic Stance S1+ battery

The headphones also have a built in amplifier and you can also swap to using a wired amplified mode, as well as a wired passive mode when the battery is dead. Wireless is achieved over Bluetooth 4.0 and there's support for the less-lossy aptX codec. The Stance S1+ has a frequency response of 10Hz - 22,000Hz, so good bass presence. They felt comfortable on my head and I liked the slightly retro style, especially of the volume adjustment knob.

Pendulumic TachT1

The slightly smaller TachT1 has a battery life of 25 hours and similarly utilises a AAA battery back up. As a refinement over the Stance S1+, the TachT1 will automatically fall over to the backup AAA batteries without any need for you to do anything. Like the Stance S1+ you can use Bluetooth Wireless 4.0, wired or a passive mode that doesn't use the amplifier when the battery is dead. Both headphones also have a microphone for hands free calling.

Pendulumic TachT1 dual sharing

Another feature that separates the TachT1 is its dual sharing mode. If you have two pairs, two users can listen to the same music from one source. One pair will relay the audio to a second, something I've not seen on any other headphones. The TachT1 is more portable than the Stance S1+. The actual sound hasn't been finalised yet, as only an unfinished prototype was on show. 

RHA

I was a big fan of RHA’s T10i, so much so I gave it a 5 star review. The British audio firm was at CanJam to show off the slightly more expensive T20i as well as the decidedly more entry-level S500i. The latter costs as little as £30 if you opt for the model without an inline remote control and microphone (the S500). This could be the headphone to give the Sound Magic E10 a run for its money as our favourite budget-level headphone of choice.

RHA S500i

The S500i are designed to be worn straight into your ears, so lack the over-ear hooks of many of RHA’s other headphones. As such it’s fortunately they don’t weigh very much, being constructed from lightweight aluminium. Still, with the appropriately-sized ear tips I never felt they were about to fall out. The aluminium actually belies the S500i’s low price. The fabric-braided cable also felt great. Early impressions from a brief listen were also very positive without the muddiness that often plagues cheap headphones.

RHA T20i

At around £30 more than the T10i, I was hoping for a worthy audio upgrade from the T20i. Fortunately they didn’t disappoint. They maintain a similar sound signature but there was more crispness from the treble produced by the dual-coil dynamic drivers. The driver casing uses the same injection moulded stainless steel as the T10i and feel just as weighty. Fortunately the over-hear hooks have made the transition and keep the headphones locked in place. The interchangeable tuning filters have also been included again so you can customise the sound signature to your personal preference. 

Soul Electronics

Soul Electronics Impact

I reviewed the Soul Combat+ previously and, while undeniably the headphones were well constructed, I've never been a fan of over-ear headphones for sport, especially when they're wired. Soul Electronics took to CanJam to launch its Impact headphones, which are Bluetooth wireless in-ear neckband style headphones. They're similar to the company's Run Free Pro sport headphones but come in considerably cheaper at around £79. There are remote control buttons as well as a microphone for hands-free calling.

The Impact is geared towards a more entry-level market, compared to the Run Free Pro, which is more distinctly for sport. Not to say the Impact won't survive some physical exertions as the headphones are sweat resistant. The main difference is the lack of the wing tips of the Run Free Pro, which help to keep them firmly in place when you're powering through a workout. The Impact should be releasing in the next few months. Expect a review of the Run Free Pro very soon, too.

 

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