Audio - Audio hardware and technology
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  • Although Apple is not the first one in removing the headphone jack, there are still a lot number of manufacturers following because of Apple's market volume and influence. We care about both the influence of this change on audio and the trend of industry changes. Does it really affects wireless headphone market? Does it give an impetus for headphone change?
    Q1 Mark II is the more attracting product among FiiO latest products released in the conference this year, compact design, budget price, and their experience. It adopts AKM entering level AK4452 DAC chip, XMOS USB audio interface for DSD256 and PCM 384kHz decoding, 2.5mm TRRS balanced headphone output, and supports analog audio input.
    The Touchbar means Apple had redesigned PCB, cooling, battery layouts, as well as speaker system. New internal speaker and cabinets cooperate with a tweeter, and it is amazing that the holes beside keyboard are mainly for decoration.
    The newly Huawei Honor 9 sports the AKM Hi-Fi chip with enticing advertisement: With innovative ultra-wide 3D sound field technology, you'll be able to enjoy virtual surround sound through your earphones in three different modes. Immerse yourself in music, whenever, wherever. Audio fine-tuning by Grammy Award winner Rainer Mailler.
    OnePlus 5 remains the affordable price with the best processor and larger RAM, but not the audio sub-system. OnePlus was not the best ones in audio performance in this price range, but also not the worst ones.
    It has been a long time since we reviewed HTC smartphone last time, because they are not outstanding in all aspects, not that unique, not popular in China mainland, and we are poor. This time, the U11 ranks the first in DxOMark, and removed the 3.5mm headphone jack, which attracts our attention.
    Samsung upgraded processor, display and camera in Galaxy S8 & S8+, as well as the appearance. We found that the S8 & S8+ really made progress in display and audio performance than the previous generation. Will they make progress in call quality, too?
    The Samsung Note 7 recall seriously harmed Samsung's brand around the world, especially in China. Could its brand image be overhauled? S8 & S8+ is the key factor. This time we got S8 and S8+ at the same time, so the audio review is about both of them. Both are Chinese version.
    Since Pixel C released in 2015, Pixel series had replaced the Nexus series to become the most Google Android brand. The Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone released last October were the upgradation version of Nexus 6 series, ODM by HTC. We bought the Pixel XL to see its performance and experience the latest Android. As a Google product, how about its audio performance?
    S50 is Edifier's very first sound bar, which uses a Titanium dome tweeter and two 70mm aluminum sub-woofers for each channel. This sound bar, just like other Edifier products, is also equipped with Edifier's digital crossover technology, and a TAS 5754 amplifier.
    Not long ago, a wealth young reader provided a Huawei Mate 9 for us to test. The audio performance of Huawei Mate 9 is just average. Will this Pro vision have a Pro audio performance? We suppose the answer is NO, because Huawei does not mention anything special on audio.
    CM102 is a new JBL branded speaker system, but it does not seem like a JBL product, because it just has an ordinary appearance. It adopts wood cabinet rather than plastic, which are widely adopted by other JBL speakers. Sold at 999 - 1299 RMB (about $150-200).
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