News A list of the audio audio gear I covet most for 2021

AVDude

Well-known member
Oct 17, 2020
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Studio Monitors:

Adam Audio A77x A & B (powered right and left)
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1250 USD per a channel

Adam Audio powered 10" subwoofer
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1450 USD

Focal Shape Twin Dual 5" are a close second, pricing at 1200 USD per a side.

Headphones:

Focal Celeste

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Pricing at about 990

HiFiMan Sundara


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Typical pricing around 349.
These are Planar Magnetic headphones with a very
broad range of frequency response.​



Headphone & Combo DAC Boxes:

RME ADI FS2 Pro

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The RME ADI is about as close to perfect as I can hope for in terms of having a world class AD/DA DAC, a fully functional headphone amp with custom EQ options and possessing XLR analog as well as optical SPDIF/TOSLink, USB connections for a broad range of studio and audio enthusiast applications.
The ADI FS2 Pro prices around 1700 USD, their RME ADI Babyface FS Pro (updated for 2020)
is a solid alternative for approximately 850 USD with a more studio focused design.


Mytech Digital Liberty Headphone DAC

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For what this includes as a packaged unit, it offers a very generous amount
digital connection options and includes some analog as well, the front is simple, uncluttered and requires no menu diving. This unit has the most generous range of connection options of any unit I've looked up in this price range and below it for portable studio or mobile listening tasks.
This unit prices for about 880.


Schiit Audio Magnius

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All kinds of Schiit jokes I could toss in here but this company is not making Schiit-y products,
but may in fact be full of Schiit, in this particular instance that's a very good thing!
The Magnius provides a very respectable amount of power to the headphones, particularly when using balanced headphones.
It is analog only but I doubt that will reflect poorly on it's performance, at 199 it's the cheapest of the lot and most plain looking.

They do have plenty of options that appeal to the budget conscious audio fan.
The base model sells for 99 and is well regarded by audio nerds.​
 
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AVDude

Well-known member
Oct 17, 2020
41
9
45
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The SHURE MV7 deserves honorable mention, it's my new favorite audio toy.
The issues reported in reddit and other forums about plosives, sibilance or other spoken word issues can be almost entirely solved by placing the filter element of the SM7B over the MV7's pickup head. It's a hack and the filter probably doesn't seat securely onto the mic but it does work. I haven't bought a filter for it yet.

This is something that Shure needs to address, i'm hopeful they will.
The USB powered onboard DAC functions separately from the XLR port, so you could record to two separate streams at the same time or just run it as a standalone from either output. You can put a headphone into the back while the USB DAC is powered to listen to mix audio from the PC or listen to your own audio feed from the mic.
 
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AVDude

Well-known member
Oct 17, 2020
41
9
45
My head has been turned by the Focal Celestees but, I'm not sure they will be much of an upgrade over Focal Elegias.
I don't own either so far, DT 770's from BD are completely dead. The focal celeste and hifiman have my attention but I won't buy them until my purchase of the Adam audio is complete. Right now I have no functional audio outs and don't want any half measures.

Whenever I do get around to buying one or both, I expect it'll be almost transformational in terms of sound quality compared to what I've used before. AKG 702's were on my budget wish list too.
 

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