After skipping 1.3.0, which brought the LDAC codec (among other tweaks) to the ES100, I decided to apply the latest update via my Mac mini. Fortunately, Radsone has improved the instructions for entering DFU mode and it worked perfectly.
Once finished with the update, the LDAC codec was automatically selected and I must say, it sounds fantastic paired with my Pixel 2. For those unfamiliar, LDAC supports 24/96 over Bluetooth. Bravo!
On May 8th Radsone delivered their 6th firmware update adding DFU support for macOS users (among other features). A welcome update indeed. Previous firmware updates were available only through a Windows PC.
The update instructions were not difficult, just a bit confusing. The update is run in Terminal and when I got stuck I emailed Radsone support for help. They got back to me with the solution a few hours later.
Thank you Radsone!
You can find the download at EarStudio by Radsone
Radsone recently announced the EarStudio is now available on Amazon (only in the USA for now):
Some early reviews are starting to come in so I thought I’d share them here. I’ll add to this post as time goes on. I’ll also throw in some forum links for those interested.
Steven Stone (Audiophile Review)
In early July 2017 I stumbled across an interesting product on Kickstarter and decided to back it. The Radsone EarStudio Bluetooth Receiver is quite the little gadget and proved very timely for me. Anticipating my next mobile phone would likely come sans headphone jack I began looking for alternatives to Bluetooth headphones and the dreaded “dongle”. Frankly, I have enough headphones already and didn’t want to invest in another pair. The 2 headphones I most often use are the Audio Technica ATH-R70x and the Bowers & Wilkins P5.
The EarStudio packs quite a bit of techno-wizardry into a tiny and very light-weight box to which you connect your corded headphones. Rather than re-hash said wizardry the Radsone’s Kickstarter page, along with these 2 reviews, sum up the device quite nicely:
Major HiFi – October 2017
TechHive – July 2017
Soon after backing the project I settled on the Google Pixel 2 which, of course, has no headphone jack but sports aptX HD capability and, as it turns out, aptX HD is right in the EarStudio’s wheelhouse (so to speak). After a longer wait than anticipated Radsone shipped the device to us backers and I must say, it was worth the wait .. the sound quality is the best I’ve heard from Bluetooth.
The EarStudio doesn’t appear to be available on the open market quite yet but no doubt you’ll be hearing more about this great little device in the near future.
Like many an audiophile I’ve had way too many components pass through my doors over the years. Here’s a list of gear I simply don’t want to part with. While packed away for now, each will see the light of day again at some point. Why hold onto such excess? What holds my interest? The speaker collection, for example, consists of a quasi-ribbon panel, a two-way mini monitor with an AMT tweeter, and a pseudo-omni floorstander. Each design philsophy is radically different from one another and offers a different presentation with unique strengths and weaknesses. Of course, they all sound good too. I just can’t part with them. Besides, it’s never a bad idea to have backups.
- Chord Qute EX
- dB Audio Labs Tranquility (Gold Level mods)
- iFi SPDIF iPurifier
- UpTone Audio USB REGEN
- Wyred 4 Sound bLINK
USB to SPDIF converters
- Bel Canto mLink
- SOtM dX-USB HD
- APPJ PA0901A
- Fleawatt Audio TPA3116D2
- Odyssey Audio Cyclops (SE+ w/ps upgrade)
- Response Audio RAM 301
- Magnepan MMG
- Mark & Daniel Maximus-Ruby
- Ohm MicroWalsh Tall
- Ohm MicroSubwoofer 10 (pair)
- iFi Audio iPower
- iFi Audio iUSBPower
- KingRex PSU MK2
- SOtM mBPS-d2s
- Teddy Pardo 12/2
- Decware ZSB
- Outlaw Audio ICBM-1