Alpha Design Labs (ADL) will be showing off their great sounding X1 USB DAC and the very comfortable and good sounding H118 headphones. We here at Dagogo had the opportunity to sit down with this combo at the AXPONA Chicago Show earlier this year and were very pleased by the sound.
The H118 headphones were indeed, as advertised, very comfortable. But that doesn’t mean much if they don’t sound good. But the H118 offered a very pleasing sound. Smooth highs and punchy, clean, bass offered an engaging sound. The mid-range was open and seemed to be very transparent. For inclosed headphones, the soundstage, appeared to be fairly wide but not like open headphones like the AKG K701.
If you are attending the High End show in Munich, and are interested in high-end but not budget busting headphones, give the ADL X1 DAC and H1118 headphone combo a listen.
Alpha Design Labs – creates innovative, smart-looking components for computer-based systems as well as personal and portable electronics. Tokyo-based ADL by Furutech™ aims high using the best materials and innovative design for an expanding line of Japanese designed precision products that includes the superbly comfortable H118 Headphones and now the X1 USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier.
The X1 has Landed! • Goes Anywhere • Stacks Easily • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery • Digital Inputs for iDevices or Computer-Based USB • Superb Sound • A Perfect Match with ADL H118s • At Your Desk or On the Go!
Headphone listening is an intimate sonic experience and most enthusiasts use headphone amplifiers and a good pair of headphones – like ADL’s H118 – to get even closer to the musical experience. Headphone amplifiers determine the quality of sound in hand with the headphones so both must be technically capable and offer fine sound as well. And in that department the X1 reigns!
The X1 is small, discrete but highly specified with inputs supporting iOS digital at up to 16/48 via APPLE MFI-certified USB cable for iPod, iPhone and iPad devices. The X1 also runs 24/192 SPDIF with high resolution files from MAC and PC via USB. There’s an analog line-level 4-pin 3.5mm input and a 4-pin 3.5mm output for headphones in the 12~600 ohm range. The 4-pin input supports 3.5mm Remote and Mic Earphones. The 3.5mm TOSLINK optical output delivers SPDIF up to 24/192. There’s a convenient GND TRRS switch making it easy to change from one 4-pin set of ‘phones to another. No drivers are needed with Mac computers while a single standard driver is available for Windows computers.
H118 Headphones… It’s All In Your Head!
What could possibly be more intimate than listening to music through headphones? It’s just you and the sound in your head. Headphones are in close sonic and physical contact with the listener and many have too much bass, or they’re too bright with a thick, congealed midrange, and most of them are uncomfortable to wear and ultimately fatiguing.
Alpha Triform Contour Earcups™
Triform Earcups are specially designed for a superior seal improving bass response over other designs. The Triform Contour also reduces internal standing waves and reflections for reduced distortion. The headband flare over the earcups make the H118 supremely comfortable, an observation everyone makes before suddenly captured by the sound!
The ADL H118 is balanced in a completely audiophile way, a very Furutech way. Rich tonal colors and textures with intimate and close harmonic interplay, a sense of space and quiet backgrounds are the key. It’s an involving emotional experience when you’re THIS CLOSE to the music.
Alpha Design Labs at Munich High End Hall 3 C14 in the MOC
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