General Room Notes – Canjam! Did you know that Canjam is the single largest headphone expo in the world? That’s right, and it happens right here in Denver every year. It has grown from a few vendors scattered about that huge event center, to being completely packed this year. And it was busy, the most foot traffic I’ve seen of anyplace in the show. And, not just a bunch of old people either. Actual young people were there! Lots of them, too. People say that our hobby is dying out, but it’s not true – the audiophiles of the next generation are cutting their teeth on headphones. And, because they are younger, and digitally based with their music, and it’s actually a real growth market, this area has the one thing you don’t really see at the rest of the show – true innovation.Jason’s Notes
So CanJam is crazy big these days. Amazingly big. It's getting to the point that the vendors are way too close together and it's crowded. Used to be you could see it all in a matter of a few hours now it's so overwhelming we actually sorta just made a b-line to the iFi table as we had heard from various people that we have to go check them out. Tyson's Notes
Speaking of innovation– we did hit the iFi booth. It is run by the same guys that did the Avatar room last year. This year they have gone small. Very, very small. They have a full line of iFi stuff based on some pretty cool trickle down technology. The coolest part is that it’s mainly PC audio focused, and it sounds seriously good. The Audeze headphones that they had set up are a model I’ve heard several times in several different setups. It always sounded good, but kind of mediocre in the past. Which is what I was expecting here. Queue up Michael Jackson and I swear to God that it’s the best I have EVER heard that album sound. Who knew that the Audeze’s were world class headphones? Guess they just needed the right front end gear to really shine. Oh, and for you bargain shoppers, these things are cheap. Lets put it this way, I have never bought any gear from any manufacturer at RMAF, ever. That changed this year – I walked away from the iFi booth with not one, but 2 new boxes – a USB-SPDIF converter, and a dual run USB cable. Jason’s Notes
Sure enough iFi was an amazing experience. A lot of great gear all specifically designed for computer audio and mobile phone/tablet audio. Great looking gear and that mini system..... Wow el84 amplication, Bluetooth this and that, the thing is a perfect fusion of old school with a new thang. We didn't get a chance to listen to it as there is some sort of CanJam rule against playing sound through speakers, but it looks amazing none the less.
We did walk around and listen to a couple of other booths, and there were some very cool art-deco headphone stands with an integrated amp, dac, and volume control built in, but they were in use and we didn’t get to listen. But it was very, very, very cool, and one of the most innovative products at the whole show.