Tuesday, 31 December 2019

SONY NW-A100TPS 40th Anniversary Walkman - For Old Time Sake

Did you grow up loving the Walkman? Are you missing the days of using a pencil to rewind or forward your cassettes in order to save battery life? Do you want to play all those cassettes you have stored in those old boxes? Well, you will not get to relive that with this SONY NW-A100TPS Walkman J

This is another SONY Digital Media Player (DMP) but with a touch of the first Walkman introduced to the world 40 years ago. Retails at RM 1,799, this 40th anniversary package comes with a 16GB media player running on Android (only 6 GB available space), USB C cable, stickers, manual and a soft casing resembling the first Walkman model TPS-L2.

Just like most of SONY DMPs, it is equipped with their proprietary DSEE feature, vinyl like sound processer, ClearAudio+, latest LDAC Bluetooth protocol and capable to play whatever digital format you install on this player including MQA.

Now, when SONY first announced about this special and limited edition couple of months back, I was not really interested as I have never gotten into DMP or DAP. Yes, I had a few including iPods, but once the mobile phone industry started to have very decent audio playback, I stopped using a DMP. SONY Malaysia was only allocated 100 units and consumer were advised to pre order them before 13th Nov. Myself however just got a hold on the unit on Boxing day. Why did I get one? Well, lets just say it was a gift.

The unit is veeerryyy light. I just cant believe how light it is. Didn’t impress me at all. Why make it light when you can have a behemoth DMP right? Wrong! It is meant to be light for great portability. First things first, I need to put in my 128 GB MicroSD card from my previous phone Samsung S9. Then, just like any Android phone, I downloaded TIDAL and Spotify. The set up for the unit is easy especially for Android user. Once it was all set up, the fun begins.

Headphones– Nuraphones, Sennheiser HD800S, Beyerdynamic T1, Audeze EL8
Earphones – MF EB50, RHA MA750, Samsung AKG Buds, SONY WF-SP700N
External DAC amp – CHORD Mojo

I start off with my favourite track Take Five by Dave Brubeck DSD

MF EB50 - Not up for the task to deliver the bass that I like from this track. Sound kind of flat.

RHA MA750 - Didnt disappoint me. The MA750 have been my preferred earphones when it comes to musicality. Bass was adequate. The airiness of this track was definitely the highlight.

Samsung AKG Buds - Among the earphones, this was actually the highlight. Nicely matched with regards to musicality. The DMP connected nearly instantly and on this track, the overall track sounded full and the bass was astounding. A decent sound can be achieved at about 65% volume. The bass was extended and digs quite deep.

SONY WF-SP700N - Even though equipped with its own Sony app, it somehow missed the mark when compared to the AKG. It was still a fun pair to listen too but it sounded less musical and at times sounded a bit flat.

Nuraphones - Among the headphones, this was the one that was effortlessly delivering good overall sound given you activate the Nura apps. Bass was full, the airiness from the experience with MA750 was there and the musicality was very lively. On wired mode, it was not that impressive where you need to crank up the volume to about 75%.


Audeze EL8 was the only wired headphones that shows the least struggle for the TPS to deliver good sounding music to. Had to crank up the volume to 90% to have that bass impact I like on this track.

Dont even try with Beyer T1 and Senns HD800S. Even at 100% volume, it sounded thin and unlively completely.

CHORD MOJO - To connect or Not To Connect?

Big YES if you intend to use this DMP with headphones. It just not designed to drive headphones. Need a decent amplification to drive headphones whne playing from this player. No compatibility issue to connect OTG to this player and to the CHORD MOJO. It sounds out all the different hi res files I have and it was indicated by the different colours on the Mojo.

Connecting the DMP to an external DAC amp like the Mojo is definitely the way to go to fully enjoy headphones while playing from this Sony DMP.

Other Cool Features

Highly compatible to be connected to modern ICE. In my Mercedes E350, it was best paired in BT mode as I can then stream DSD files to the ICE. It can also be connected to the ICE system via Android Auto but you will need the APK file for that.

It can also play videos, movies etc with crystal clear images. The screen size to be frank although small was fun to use too. Can easily play mp4 and avi files. Sometimes I prefer the smaller units like this as it is less taxing on the arms.


Should you get one? If you base it purely on sound quality, this unit is featured pack with all the Sony gizmos to give you the purest of sounds quality. I am of course a big fan of its DSEE and Hi res capability having to own their main deck HAP Z1 ES. But is it value for money? Well, if you do have RM1799 spare change from Xmas or the upcoming CNY, then by all means get one. But with only 16 GB built in memory (with only about 6 GB available memory), it is not categorized as a value for money unit. The sale is banking on nostalgic element. Oh and by the way, I never owned the original walkman as it was damn expensive back then. I only had a Panasonic walkman. 

Friday, 15 November 2019

Fosi Audio Q5 - DAC Amp With a Bite

We are one spoilt community! Spoilt with choices to fulfil our audio desire. Comparing audiophile with headphile, I believe the latter have waaaayyy more options within a given price range. This time around, again courtesy of a demo unit of TechX, I land myself with a Fosi Audio Q5 DAC headphone amp. 

Comes in just in a size that is slightly bigger than my palm, this DAC headphone amp comes fully loaded with 3 digital inputs (USB, optical and coaxial) with one RCA output on the rear. On the front fascia, you get the input selector, power button, volume knob and headphone socket 6.35 mm. The unit also comes with its own USB cable to connect to a PC, headphone adaptor to 3.5 mm and a power plug.

The overall built is solid with smooth finishing. No sharp edges to worry about. A bit industrial looking but I guess if it can keep the cost down, why not?

  • Headphone output power: 305MWatt @32Ohm RMS
  • Frequency response: 10Hz- 20Khz(+/- 0.5dB)
  • S/N ratio (DC to 20Khz): >110dB
  • THD+N: (1 KHz FS 96 kS/s)<0.002%
  • Input sampling rate: Up to 192KHz
  • Input bit depth: Up to 24 bits (upsampled)
  • Input type: Optical/Coaxial/USB
  • Output type: RCA and 6.35 headphones jack
  • Power requirement: 12V, 1A or more (power supply included)
  • Headphone impedance: 10 ohms to 300 ohms
  • Headphone amplifier: TPA6120 + OPA2134
  • D/A converter: CM6642 + CS8416 + CS4398
  • Size: 235*210*65mm


I mainly used my Audeze EL8 for all my session with this unit. Music was fed from my Mac via USB and the files are mainly WAC 16/44 or 24/44. Connectivity to Mac was seamless.

First up was Take Five by Dave Brubeck. The intro caught me by surprise. While I usually builds up the mood once the sax starts to play but this time the mood kicks in as soon as the music starts with the drums and piano. The presentation sounded big compared to playing it through either my phone or previously reviewed Oppo HA2SE a couple years back. Although this Q5 is not portable like the Oppo, this Q5 sounded really clean and straightforward. Comparing to my dedicated HA1 amp, this Q5 do sound a bit thin on the bass but the energy that it produces through the huge ambient compensates that.

Cue in Enter Sandman by Metallica, this is more the bass that I was looking for. Lars's kick pedal was hard hitting through the Q5. The hi hat was splashy just at the right sharpness and Hetfield's vocal was upfront sounding. The solo by Kirk was electrifying. It sounded texture heavy with lots of energy pushed through. This was the highlight of my session.

Wanted to see what else can this Q5 do, I feed through a more complex music. Bambaleo by Gypsy Kings. My my my....the details and layering that comes out from this Q5 was astonishing. I hear layer after layer of the different guitar arrangement and and the percussion was just spot on with its vibrant and extended sound. Vocal was again upfront but does not drown the clarity from other instruments.

Last but not least, lets check out the bass again. Comes in Way Down Deep by Jennifer Warnes. This was a bit overwhelming for me. The Q5 is good in clarity and certain level of low frequency. But playing this through the Q5 was a bit fatiguing. While it still maintains its clarity and luscious mids and highs, the bass was a bit too heavy. 


An all rounder the Q5 is not. It excels in clarity, reproducing complex music in its true form, mids and high were also very sweet and luscious but the lows is a bit tricky. It depends on the musical genre I suppose. Metal and rock sounded spot on. Jazz somehow missed it here and there. But hey, at RM450, this is still a steal for an entry level audio nirvana. You can find this unit at TechX Malaysia

Saturday, 2 November 2019

JBL Everest 710 - Designed For The Laid Back

I can still remember many years ago (BOSE BT headphones being my first wireless experience), a lot of people laughed at me when I got into wireless headphones. Almost all online forumers, audiophiles and headfiers just could not fathom the idea of enjoying music wirelessly. People still believe that having wires with its own natural resistance will always be superior than wireless. :)

Now, the market is literally flooded with wireless gears...headphones, speakers, sound system. Even the big names in the industry finally succumbed into this technology.  Each company put in their own R&D to compete in providing better SQ and battery life into their design. This JBL Everest 710 is one example of a wireless headphones made simple.

One of the challenges in wireless headphones design is the bulkiness to make it a real portable one. JBL fully collapsible and flat cups makes the headphones casing smaller than most of its rivals. This one plus point for this model. It also comes with a charger cable and detachable wire if you run out of juice.

Connectivity is easy and I tested it with both Samsung S10+ and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. For the review, the unit stayed connected with no loss of signal for a good 3 hours.


I first play Heroes by The Wallflowers. This mellow track sounded lively with high clarity in vocal. I was submerged in an engaging vocal with a sense of swirling guitar surrounding me. The drums was also well presented with a subtle bass experience. Collectively, the 710 provided a neutral sounding experience for this song. No fuss and no restrain in sound.

Trying to test the bass, I put on Dave Brubeck's Take Five and found that the 710 gives our clean bass sound. Not over distorted and ear pinching bass like Dr. Beat (ooppsss). Its not the king of bass but I pretty like the decent low frequency being churned out by this headphones. Given its an Over the Ear design, it definitely helps in containing the sound, giving listener a full musicality.

For some newer and modern music, I put on Kita Punya Malaysia by Bunkface just because when I reviewed this unit, it was in August. Now for this catchy tune, Sam's vocal sounded very energized. The drums and percussion was forceful and hard hitting but I can do with more bass. Increasing the volume also does not show any sign of distortation. 


Looking for a fuss free wireless headphones with long battery life? The 710 is a neutrally balanced headphones with high level of clarity. Its not for those who wants heavy bass production but more for those looking for a comfortable and easy going sound. If you are the type that listen to music for long hours, this might just be the cans you need as I didnt experience any listening fatigue for 3 hours. At its original price point of more than RM1000, listeners would have plenty of choices. But at TechX currently, I believe its almost 40% off. Go figure.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Sennheiser HD800S - Is It The Ultimate Headphones?


Written by :
Shaiful Anuar Sulaiman

The HD 800S easily ranked among the most comfortable headphones. It delivers a comfortable listening experience. They have large, spacious ear cups, they are not too tight on the head and well padded with a suede-like material that feels good on the skin.


I started the session with the track Spanish Harlem from Rebecca Pidgeon.This always be my reference for vocal.Vocal was delivered in a neutral ambient, infused with openness. It does sound a bit bright but it flows with grace and subtlety, beautifully textured with transparent with full of dynamic.

Take Five from Dave Brubeck take my journey to midrange section.All the extra fill and harmonics with rhythmic extends the  throw to fulfill musical space.
Individual instruments delivery was accurate and  was easy to keep resolution lively.

Highs was pleasant and much more airy and neutral sounding. Very harmonious across the spectrum.

For Bass testing I picked track from Marshmello title Alone. It is a EDM genre but good to test bass. I feel the weight and hefty bass pounds with sense of control. The low frequency is real deal of depth and recreate  deep bass notes.


HD800s give wider sense of music and the presentation is full of dynamic and synergy. Layer and placement of instruments was evident and refined.
Uncolored and naturally sound, lively with excitement.


This HD800S is well designed and developed. For me is a TOTL Dynamic Driver headphone to have. Detail in revealing and articulate sounding.Well nice revamped for sensational sound quality for critical listening.

My test equipment :
Aune T1 tube DAC amp
FiiO M11 DAP
Astell and Kern KANN CUBE DAP
ALO Audio International DAC amp

Thank you to Mr Shahril Mokhthar for loan this HD 800s.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Grado SR325e Prestige Series - Spacious Yet Musical Cans


Its been a while since I did a Grado. Grado headphone is one headfi gem that grabs me attention as soon as I put them on.
I dont need hours and hours of listening to Grado to review it. For many years I was using Alessandro Grado MS Pro and it is one of the most natural, transparent and spacious headphones I have used.

This SR325e may not be in the same league but it sure does bring back memories.
Putting on September Justin Timberlake rendition, the bass just pops out sufficiently to make me move. His vocal was energetic, the snare was hard and crisp and the wind instrument was airy. But music was still delivered at a very punchy and melodic way.

Comes in Somewhere, Somebody by Jennifer Warnes. The bass was not extensive like hearing it through a pair of speakers but the plucking and slabbing were still evident and it creates that lively environment. Her deep vocal can be felt to be very passionate. In the background, the percussion created a wholesome listening experience.

Take Five took centre stage with a delivery of layer by layer of musical instrument. Separation of sax, percussion, double bass and piano was  just surreal. The highs were sweet and no sign of giving me any fatigue. Yes I can do with a little bit more bass but hey, for an open back cans, it was just nice.

Just to reconfirm, I then played For No Apparent Reason. The bass was just as extensive as Take Five. The enveloping sound around my ears was just of emotion and energy that it pulls the listener into a quite soothing experience.

Punk? All Out of Angst by NOFX was so impactful that I can differentiate between El Hefe's guitar from Eric's. The trumpet by El Hefe was delivered with such energy that it might as well be a lead instrument.

Metal? Playing Atlas, Rise! By Metallica made me realise how versatile  these cans are  the ferocious guitar sound was not compromised by Grado open back design. James's vocal was clear and forceful. I could do with a little bit more dramatic sound with the drums but hey, I may be biased.

Conclusion - very capable headphones at this price level. I must quite an all rounder and not fussy with musical genres. The Oppo HA1 headphone amp can easily drive this and provide an impactful overall sound.

For shop demo, please contact Shaiful Anuar Sulaiman of E1 headphone store.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

EPSON EF-100 3LCD Home Projector Launch Event

Coverage By :  Shaiful Anuar Sulaiman

Epson Malaysia launched a new projector model Epson EF-100 3LCD laser light. It is a compact size unit making this to be the world smallest 3LCD projector. The event was held in White Box, Publika between 3 to 6 pm on Tuesday 27th August 2019.

Epson's market target is for those age 20-39 years old who are interested in tech-digital product and the latest in lifestyle gadget.

Second target is for those who like hassle-free and with easy function from their comfort and need minimal maintenance.

  • EF -100 specification:
  • Liquid crystal shutter system
  • LCD size 0.59 inch 
  • WXGA native resolution
  • Laser light source up to 12,000/20,00
  • Screen Size can up to 150" wide and
  • 111" tele 
  • Standard is 60" screen 1.34-1.81m
  • Brightness is 2000 lumens
  • Contrast Ratio over 2,500,000:1

This projector comes with built in speakers with 5W Monaural. Network connectivity includes wired LAN, wireless and Bluetooth connection to support external speaker. Digital input are HDMI and also USB interface Type A for power supply. Type B for firmware update.

This projector can be used at vertical and horizontal for watching at living room and ceiling from bed.

Quality of picture is vivid, vibrant, natural no matter the room is dark or bright.Clear and bright delivery form laser light is breathtaking.

This EF-100 brings entertainment to next level. It can be accessed from phone ,tablet, BD player and laptop. You can connect to streaming device to enjoy your movies. Gamers  will choose this product because they can enjoy in big screen game play.

Epson EF -100 price is RM3999.00 and is suitable to put at home and became rival with flat screen. It is small, lightweight and compact.

Full of digital connections and up to date with lifestyle item for audio visual enjoyment.

Thank You Epson Malaysia for good, warm and comfort hospitality.

EF - 100 come with 2 model Classy White and Tailored Black

Price is RM3999.00

Sunday, 18 August 2019

KEF LSX Wireless Music System - Compact and Simple System

I remember the time where the users of wireless systems are shunned away by audiophiles and music lovers. The common statement of wireless is inferior compared to conventional wired set up always would be the baseline debate. While there is some truth in it, the technical and quality gap between them have become narrower with time.

While some hifi designers opt for a full deck, cube or soundbar design, KEF stick to what they know best... A wireless music system in a speaker. Take the award winning KEF LS50 speakers, put in wireless module and Michael Young in the equation, shrink it a little bit and voila - you get yourself KEF LSX wireless music system :) . Sounds simple? Well its not that simple if you want to get good sound quality from them.

What Is Inside The Box?

The LSX comes complete with all the required accessories for you to set it up. 
  • 1 Master and 1 Slave speaker unit
  • Power cable for each unit (with 2 pin plug)
  • Ethernet cable to connect the Master and Slave speaker unit
  • 1 remote controller

The Built

Small but heavy. Each unit weighs about 3.5 kg and stands at 240 x 155 x 180 in dimension. Small to call it a bookshelf speaker but big to call it a PC speaker. The review unit came in a grey fabric finishing which was designed to make it look different form the ordinary speakers. And yes, it comes with various colours.

It is sturdily built with no sign of skimming things on quality that KEF is known for. And of course, one can admire the Uni-Q driver array from far away. The design is equipped with a 19 mm aluminium HF driver and  115 mm magnesium/aluminium allow cone. Caution - the speakers need to be handled gently and only to lift it from the rear side.

The remote is moderately sized with all the main functions to control the speakers. Volume, input selector, play/pause/next/previous tracks etc. Even though made of plastic, it feels right in my hands. 

The LSX can also be controlled using the inhouse KEF apps. You have to download 2 apps - The KEF Control and KEF Stream. A bit inconvenient as you have change between the apps back and forth. The latter is to choose and control the music while the KEF control is to choose inputs and control volume.


What Can It Do? 

Given the name, the LSX is designed to stream music wirelessly (or you can still opt for a cabled connection) either over the wifi network or bluetooth AptX. Over the network, it reads my Western Digital NAS and SONY HAP Z1 ES with ease. Once set up, you also can pair it with your Spotify and TIDAL account.


You can also connect a digital player such as a CD player or an MD player via an optical cable into the LSX. If your equipment is not equipped with a digital out, you can opt for the Aux In port with a 3.5 mm jack.

As for the output, the LSX is designed with a healthy amplification of 70 watts to the LF and 30 watts to HF. It can go loud up to 102 dB. 

Can it play anything under the sky? Unfortunately no. It is limited to a resolution of 192 kHz/24 bit files. Hence, anything higher than that such as DSD, the pair will not be able to detect.

The LSX is also equipped with a special feature where you can set up your own sound profile depending on where you set up the LSX and also your listening area.

For more features, you can download the product info here

The Listening Session

There are various ways to set up the KEF LSX. For my review, I have set it up as follows:

1. Wired ethernet from my router to the Master speaker
2. Wireless set up from Master to Slave speaker

1. S'Wonderful by Diana Krall on WAV 16/44

With standard 16/44 digital file like this, it sounded very natural with the LSX. Diana's vocal sounded soothing and the clarity that this speaker produces really amaze me. Its gives out crystal clear vocal without leaving out the music surrounding it. The music just flow fluently and the LSX reproduces the ambient in a big soundstage compared to the size of the speakers.

2. New York New York by Andrea and Tony Bennett on FLAC 24/96

For a live album, nicely recorded like this track, the LSX delivers the liveliness of a live show with quite airy presentation. It befits the intended sound for a live track. Even though its a live track, the LSX still capable to reproduce Andrea's deep vocal with such boldness and melody. When Tony's vocal came in, the LSX does not have any problem to deliver the a different spectrum of vocal as well. Very versatile to adapt the different depth of vocals. Tony's husky-loungy vocal sounded very natural.

3. Japanese Roots by Takedake on MP3 320 kbps

The wind instrument sounded huge on the LSX and the percussion was also quite entertaining. It digs quite deep given the small size of the cabinet. The highs from the percussion sounded sharp and detailed enough that it does reproduce and overall punchy sound on this track. Surprisingly given the source is an MP3. The LSX somehow injects a different breath of liveliness to this track that people may not realise it is an MP3 file.

4. You Were Always My Mind by Willie Nelson on WAV 24/192

This was the most entertaining track played on the LSX. It sounded big. Bigger than what I thought these speakers can do. Willie's vocal was energetic and extended to give me the goosebumps. It delivers the emotion that this track carry. The piano sounded very melodious where the LSX reproduce the ambient of the song in a very emotional way. 

5. Take Five by Dave Brubeck on WAV 24/192

This has always been my reference track when it comes to highs and lows. Somehow I feel that LS50 DNA is in the LSX where the highs from the wind instrument sounded sweet, sharp and full of energy. No sign of fatigue from prolong listening. The low end frequency however was a bit laid back to my liking. I could use with a deeper and punchier bass response for this track. 

6. My Hero by Foo Fighters on WAV 16/44

For heavier music like this, the LSX belts out quite a raw sound. This particular track is actually quite complex when it comes to the drums. The works on the kick pedal needs a system or speakers that can handle speed and accuracy. While the LSX is capable doing that, the bass response still lacks a little bit of punch. While it delivers quite a high level of energy for this track, it lacks some dynamics to it. It still does really good with vocal where Dave's vocal was reproduced with such rawness which is required for this track. The guitar riffs also sounded energized and delivered with a powerful loudness.

Overall Verdict

Does the KEF LSX ticks all the boxes on my true wireless system? 

Maybe about 90% of it. I am a heavy DSD user. Having to set up Roon to decode DSD before the LSX can play it is a bit cumbersome and will add cost to the set up.

Does it meet my musical expectation? 

Yes for its size and price bracket. It might not be the most attacking and punchy speakers but given its size, use it for the right usage, it will give you hours of pleasure.

Is it stable as a wireless system?

I didnt experience any drop out of music signal in my review. But the app to choose lags a bit when changing from one track to another.

Who would enjoy this KEF LSX?

If you are looking for simplicity but does not want to compromise on SQ and also need vibrant colours for your home, look no further as this is a one stop solution. Not for those who seeks for heavy bass reproduction. Suitable for vocal, jazz, ballad and rock.

KEF LSX is distributed by Perfect Hi-Fi. For a shop demo, please call +603-58821693.

Local RRP: RM 5,699