CEntrance HiFi-M8

Mi8's newest gadget – If you work in hifi's secret service, the new CEntrance HiFi-M8 v2 [$750] just added four outputs and Bluetooth. "It's our portable headphone amplifier and D/A converter for audio enthusiasts on the move. The new version adds balanced Bluetooth, four headphone outputs, LED VU meters, USB-C and more. There's a choice of two each balanced/unbalanced outputs for extra flexibility while swapping between sensitive and hard-to-drive headphones.

"With all four outputs live at once, it’s easy to compare headphones at a store or to listen to music or watch a movie with a friend even on an airplane. A digital volume control offers perfect channel matching all the way down to minimum loudness. We support all standard sampling rates including 24/44.1 up to 32/384 and DSD. An ASIO driver is available for Windows 10. Stamina mode gives longer battery life and calibrated VU meters visually compare differently mastered music.

"We worked very hard to offer a pitch-black noise floor for users of high-sensitivity balanced armatures. HiFi-M8 v2 features eight amplifiers in total, four on the 'cool side' for IEM use, four more on the 'hot side' for higher power into inefficient headphones. On the cool side we have a 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm unbalanced output. On the hot side there's a 4-pin XLR balanced and 6.3mm unbalanced output. IEM users can engage the Stamina switch to disable the extra amps and extend useful battery life to 11 hours. The internal battery can be charged from a USB socket in about four hours. The chassis is made of lightweight aluminum and recessed controls are kept safe while the product bounces around in a backpack."