Audio Gear For Your Home Office – Headphones, Earphones, DACs and more

People deciding to work from home is on the rise – and why not? There are lots of perks to be had when working from home, and along with being able to stay in your PJ’s – you can listen to music all day without disturbing the office.

WFH Headphones, Earphones, Speakers and more

People deciding to work from home is on the rise – and why not? There are lots of perks to be had when working from home, and along with being able to stay in your PJ’s – you can listen to music all day without disturbing the office. Here’s our pick of some the best audio tech that every home office could benefit from.

Lypertek TEVI

lypertek-tevi

There are many reasons why the Lypertek TEVI is a solid favourite for true wireless earbuds under £100, and many of the TEVI’s features are well suited for use in your home office. The 70 hour battery life means they’re unlikely to die during an important call, and the microphone quality is impressive. The TEVI is IPX7 waterproof rated, so they’ll survive if you spill your morning coffee on them and you can give them a full wash if needed – you can even take them into the shower with you! Most importantly, they sound superb with people even describing them as audiophile worthy – so they must be good!

B&W PX7

bowers-wilkins-px7

For the ultimate package, then the B&W PX7 is a complete solution for your audio and isolation needs. These full sized, noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones will give you freedom from wires, able to connect wirelessly to devices supporting Bluetooth. Being B&W, you can expect the sound quality to be up there with the best. The PX7 is energetic and clear, with deep and well controlled bass and a great sense of space. Then the features give you 30 hours of listening, Bluetooth 5, AAC, aptX and aptX-HD codecs and B&W’s leading noise cancelling technology for uninterrupted listening.

JDS Element II

jds-labs-element-2

If it’s a desktop option you need, then the JDS Labs Element II will not only bring an audio upgrade – it will look great too. Beautifully designed with a simple yet striking look – the Element II headphone amplifier and DAC will fit into any setup. Historically, JDS Labs has been known for their functional design and great sound – now with the Element II, they have shown that they can make great looking equipment too.

Flare Isolate 2

flare-isolate-2

There will be some of you out there that prefer complete silence when working from home – don’t worry, we have you covered. Flare are leading the way when it comes to hearing protection, and their newest model – the Isolate 2 – is going to be the one we recommend. These are made of aluminium and not only do they do a great job of blocking out unwanted noise – they look stunning too. The Isolate 2 is CE certified and has a high sound protection rating of SNR32, so you can be confident they’ll do a good job.

Campfire Audio Cascade

campfire-cascade

If you’re not ready to ditch the wires, and you want to listen comfortably with maximum isolation, the Campfire Audio Cascade closed back headphones will do just that. The Cascade is extremely comfortable, which is ideal for wearing for long periods of time while getting your work done. These are closed back headphones, so they will also do a great job of blocking out external noise – allowing you to enjoy your music in peace. Then the sound is what you’d expect from Campfire Audio – engaging, punchy and very enjoyable. The Cascade uses filters which can be changed to suit your taste in sound – allowing you to customise your listening.

Audeze LCD-GX

audeze-lcd-gx

Those of you who want the very best headphones that can double up as communication headsets may be interested in the Audeze LCD-GX. This is a high end gaming headphone aimed at audiophiles. The attachable microphone will give you superb voice quality and can be used for those all important business calls. Then, when you’re done with work – fire up your favourite game and enjoy the real to life spatial awareness and clarity provided by these all purpose open backed cans.

Final E500

final-e500

The Final E500 is the ideal earphone for those wanting to upgrade from the ones supplied from your device – without breaking the bank. At £20, these are the best value performers we’ve come across. Sound quality is the E500’s main focus, and their level of detail, separation and imaging challenges models twice the price and more. The earphones themselves are small so they are very comfortable, and the supplied Final eartips will ensure you get a good seal which really helps isolation – blocking out background noise to help you focus.

B&W PI3

bowers-wilkins-pi3-wireless

If you want some wireless earphones, and true wireless doesn’t appeal to you – then B&W has you covered with the PI3. These hybrid dual driver wireless earphones use a neckband design, and come with all of the latest features including Bluetooth 5, AAC, aptX and aptX-HD codecs, 8 hours of playtime, and very impressive microphone call quality – perfect for those video conferences. The dual hybrid driver setup means you get a 9.2mm dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver inside each housing. This driver combination delivers sound that’s packed with detail and space – with an almost 3D quality.

Kanto YU4

kanto-yu4

While you’re going to be at home a lot more, you may want to improve your audio setup. The Kanto YU4 is an ideal speaker for desktop use. They are powered speakers, so don’t require a separate amplifier, and they have Bluetooth functionality – so you can connect them to other Bluetooth devices wirelessly. Their compact and stylish design means they’ll fit into most setups and their sound will really impress you. They pack a lot of punch for their size, and deliver a tight and detailed sound. A great all-rounder for those days working from home, and to enjoy once the work is done.

Shanling UP2

shanling-up2-dac

Want to go wireless but are not ready to stop using your favourite wired headphones? Fear not. The Shanling UP2 is a Bluetooth headphone amplifier and DAC, meaning that you can plug your headphones in and then connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth compatible device. This is perfect for use with PC’s, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. The UP2 also has a built in microphone, so you can take calls even if your headphones do not have a built in mic. Fully charged you can expect up to 11 hours of playback and the UP2 will support all popular audio codecs including LDAC, aptX, aptX-HD and AAC.

Fostex TH7BK Headphone Review – Staying Sober for the Studio

The Fostex TH7BK is good value as a tool for use in the studio, and can be used as a general listening headphone too.

Fostex TH7

Fostex TH7BK Studio Headphone Review

The Fostex TH7BK seems to be a revision of the former model, the TH7BB. However, the older TH7BB had a semi-open design whereas the new TH7BK is closed. This lends itself better to the studio applications it’s designed for, but the 1.2m cable may require an extension cable. The TH7BK can be used for portable applications but will require a little help with amplification if being used with most handsets.

Pros:

  • Decent low cost studio cans
  • Good for monitoring

Cons:

  • Cable could be longer for studio use

Fostex TH7BK

Design and Appearance

The Fostex TH7BK is exactly like its older counterpart in terms of looks; it’s a plain design which doesn’t draw attention and doesn’t want it either. There is nothing unattractive about it, but it’s not going to suit you if you are planning on making an impression!

The plastic material has a rubberised coating of some sort, giving a matt finish all over.

Durability and Build Quality

Build quality is satisfactory, but the TH7BK is not designed for particularly heavy use. Sit on these and you’ll be looking for new headphones, but with care these will last for a good while.

Comfort

The TH7BK might be classed as an over-ear model but things are a little snug in there; if your ears are on the large side, they might also be partly on the outside, but most should be fine.

Fostex TH7BK

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READ MORE: Dunu DK-3001 Hybrid Quad Driver IEM Review

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Sound Characteristics

The Fostex TH7BK is designed to be a low cost solution for project studios and the like; the overall sound signature is fairly flat and dry, but with enough to work as a headphone for listening to music as an end user too.

  • Bass

Bass is not as emphasised as with most consumer headphones, but is well controlled and fits in with the rest of the presentation. It starts low and gives a bit of a thump, but no bruises are formed.

  • Mids

The midrange is clear and fully present without any troublesome peaks. Very good for monitoring and spotting details; vocals are clear enough but there is a slight raspy quality to them. Similarly, harmonics are not as clear as with higher priced offerings from Fostex, affecting imaging a little.

  • Treble:

Treble is clear too, but as with the midrange there is a grainy element to it. These are under £70, so it’s not meant as a criticism so much as a description of the sound. Hi hats and cymbals still sound good, but with an element of ‘rock ‘n roll’ roughness about them.

  • Soundstage and Separation

Soundstage depends on the production; some genres can seem a little flat and narrow, but others widen out quite a bit, such as classical. Given that these headphones were designed for monitoring and the like, this is not really an issue.

Separation is fairly good; everything has its place in the mix but it’s not completely distinct all the time.

Music genres good for and why

From the standpoint of an end user rather than a studio user, the Fostex TH7BK works well with electronic, dance and similar genres. Live music, classical and acoustic performances may seem a little two-dimensional however.

Fostex TH7BK

Summary

The Fostex TH7BK is good value as a tool for use in the studio, and can be used as a general listening headphone too. Any criticisms regarding the sound involve the TH7BK’s perceived use as an ‘end user’ headphone and so should be taken with a grain of salt; this model is not primarily designed for that purpose.

Westone UM Pro 30 Triple Driver In-Ear Monitor Earphones – Announcement

The HifiHeadphones team is pleased to announce the new Triple Driver In-Ear Monitor Earphone from Westone, the UM Pro 30 is now available on our website.

The HifiHeadphones team is pleased to announce the new Triple Driver In-Ear Monitor Earphone from Westone, the UM Pro 30 is now available to be purchased on our website.

Westone UM Pro 30 professional reference IEM for on-stage monitoring and home or studio recording. Tuned for performing artists, the three-way crossover is matched to individual low, mid and high frequency drivers to make the mix smooth and balanced across all frequencies.

UM Pro 30 uses three balanced armature drivers that are significantly more compact and efficient than traditional dynamic drivers. This enables the UM Pro 30 to provide enhanced sonic detail and frequency range that extends well beyond dynamically driven in-ear monitors.

Individually hand-crafted in the USA, the UM Pro 30 is comfortable and secure with Up and Over cable routing that helps prevent microphonics and keeps your earphone securely in place.

Reinforced with a special braided Aramid fibre, the EPIC cable offers superior durability, acoustic transparency, and isolation from mechanical cable noise. The new audiophile connector makes this cable solution conveniently user-removable, upgradeable and replaceable.

Features

  • Ideal for on-stage monitoring and home or studio recording
  • Triple balanced armature drivers with sophisticated crossover
  • Sound isolating Star and True-Fit tips in multiple sizes
  • EPIC replaceable cable helps prevent microphonics
  • Universal earpiece delivers maximum comfort and ear coupling
  • Designed & Assembled in the USA

Package Includes

  • Westone UM Pro 30 IEM Earphones in Clear
  • Premium comfort tips
  • Mini-monitor vault
  • Cleaning tool

To purchase the unit, please visit our website:

Buy Westone UM Pro 30 Triple Driver In-Ear Monitor Earphones

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