CanJam Singapore 2023

CanJam Singapore 2023 Show Report

Effect Audio x Elysian Acoustic Labs

The X is due to the recent tie-up between Effect Audio and Elysian resulting in a close working partnership for product launches. That includes booths side by side at CanJam Singapore 2023 and staff equally comfortably talking about both cable and IEMs.

We have already reviewed the fruits of that first partnership with the recently launched Gaea monitor last December 2022. The latest is more Elysian supported by EA with a refresh of their high-end Annihilator, ($3500), and Diva, ($1500), models, (using the Moniker 2023). 

This is the first time I had heard both IEMs so I cannot tell you what the changes are from the originals but they do have very distinctly different tunings. 

CanJam Singapore 2023

Annihilator & Diva 2023

The Annihilator is Elysian’s flagship and it is a 7-driver tribrid configuration using a single dynamic driver for the lows, 4 BA for the mids, and dual EST for the highs. The Diva is all balanced armature with 6 drivers including a 3-mode adjustable tuning switch.

CanJam Singapore 2023

Both IEMs come with Liquid Links cables which surprised me given their hook-up with EA but perhaps this was a done deal before the tie-up. They are nice-looking cables though and terminated with unusual Pentaconn connectors for attaching to the monitors as well as 4.4mm plugs. 

Performance-wise I think the Diva 2023 is probably going to win the vast majority of fans out there. It’s got a nice vocal-centric rich tuning, and excellent resolution but more intimate than the Annihilator 2023. It pairs well with almost anything with a tuning curve that feels “Harman Sensitive”. 

The Annihilator 2023 is a completely different proposition. It is more ‘out there’ and on the ‘edge’ with deep dynamic driver lows, clean and pure highs, and a very air staging quality to it. It is cleaner sounding compared to the Diva, perhaps more strident in its delivery, and not as rich in the mids but with excellent resolution and plenty of slam.

I find the Annihilator 2023 the more interesting of the two for my tastes and one I would want to come back to just to hear how it gels with different genres and sources. 

CanJam Singapore 2023


EA had their full lineup of cables at the show and that included our recently reviewed Code 23 as well as the new Cleopatra II and the latest 8-wire versions of Ares S and Cadmus S.

I did not get to try the Cleopatra II at the show, and to be honest I rarely try cables at shows because of the conditions making it challenging to A/B. That being said we do have the Cleopatra II for review in the coming weeks so I can shed more detail on the 8-wire Octa version shortly.

CanJam Singapore 2023

The Code 23 I managed to handle and compare and it looks stunning but oh man it’s a thick boi for sure with that 16AWG-rated solid-core copper wire inside. Even compared to the 8-wire Liquid Links stock cable it’s a monster creation and most likely a talking point at any local meet if one pops up.

The plugs though are superb quality, probably the best EA have done to date on their cables. I believe this is part of their new TermX connector system so along with ConX on the connector side you should be able to fit these cables onto a very wide range of IEMs. 

CanJam Singapore 2023

Visions Ears

Vision Ears are one of the stalwarts of the CanJam experience so it was no surprise to see them at CanJam Singapore 2023.

They had their complete lineup plus 1-2 prototypes and encouraged people to test and write down their impressions with the names going into the raffle for an EVE20 monitor as the prize. That is a damn good IEM to win by the way.

Now, as in CanJam NYC, the two prototypes came in a ‘red’ and ‘blue’ plain shell with enough color to block you from peering into the internals and guessing what each monitor is using driver-wise.

However, based on the impressions from both shows I have a feeling they switched the color schemes as the NYC descriptions for the red version matched the Singapore descriptions for the blue version and similarly for the blue-to-red descriptions from both shows.

CanJam Singapore 2023

So for the blue model, this was a very dynamic-sounding monitor, more v-shaped for me with extended lows and highs and a stronger upper-mids presence. It sounded more neutral, brighter than the red version also, and would likely suit a lot of EDM lovers out there.

CanJam Singapore 2023

The red version I felt was more in line with the VE sound. It was smoother, more vocal-centric, and slightly more intimate. The timbre was richer and more agreeable also but I did feel both had a dynamic driver timbre on the low-end, (vented shells), just more accentuated on the blue model. 

On a side note Amin and I discovered a shared love for FKA Twig’s music and we both had a wry smile listening to that from the N7 on the prototypes. Sounded beautiful folks, I do recommend you try her stuff when doing a demo of any headgear.

CanJam Singapore 2023

Dan Clark Audio

Dan and Andy couldn’t make it to the show this year but AV One was on hand to give everyone a taste of their new flagship Corina open-back electrostatic headphone, ($4499) and this was one I was looking forward to a lot.

We had reviewed the VOCE a few years back so this builds on some of the thinking behind that combined with a lot of the new technology developed from the Stealth and Expanse including their AMTS, (Acoustic Metamaterial Tuning System).

It also blends some of the new design languages into the build with the lightweight NiTinol memory headband and the pressure strap system which matches the EXPANSE version with a blue threaded finish. It still feels refreshingly light which is a hallmark of most of the recent Dan Clark Audio headphones. 

CanJam Singapore 2023

The demo setup was a Linear Tube Audio Z10e with the source coming from a FiiO M17. It’s a setup I am not wholly familiar with for powering electrostatic headphones with my usual rig a Stax tube amp or the HIFIMAN Shangri-La Jnr tube amp with a Musician Audio Aquarius DAC for decoding. 

What I did hear was a surprisingly beefy tone from the Corina with great bass dynamics and a fairly natural-sounding midrange and a relaxed and not overly spicy treble performance.

This is something I would love to A/B against the Stax SR-007MK2, another bassy electrostatic headphone I have in my collection. I suspect it will out-resolve it also and from the initial impressions, the Corina sounded a bit more balanced in its performance. I suspect Audeze CBRN owners might gravitate to this performance also. 

CanJam Singapore 2023


It was great to see FiiO back at CanJam Singapore 2023 now that Covid regulations in China have eased up. Sunny and her team were all there showcasing most of their new lineup including their latest headphones, the FT3.

Mike will be reviewing that one in more detail in due course but I did manage to get a few minutes demoing this 300Ω open-back dynamic driver headphone at the show.

First off, it’s a comfortable headphone though at 390g it is not the lightest out there. It sounds fairly neutral on the bass and a bit mid-forward in its presentation and with some good extension into what seems to be a very well-controlled top-end. Overall, it sounded surprisingly smooth with decent resolution and good vocal presence. 

Some other releases that I did not get to try but did manage to get one of them back home with me which is a new white version of the BTR7. Louis reviewed this originally but I have always been curious about their BT Amp/DACs since the original BTR3 review in 2018. Sadly, the other guys have been reviewing the newer BTR5 and 2021 editions so this all slipped me by a bit.

I won’t be posting a review of it but I might slip some pics of the white version online and reference it in some future reviews. 

CanJam Singapore 2023

Catching Up at CanJam Singapore 2023

One of the more underrated aspects of attending shows like this is the chance to catch up with friends and clients whom you have come to know quite well from previous shows and just generally many years of working with them on various projects. 

It is also one of the reasons why I probably did not get to showcase as many demos as I would have liked but then I have always enjoyed speaking to the people at the show and finding out what makes them tick or motivates them.

I wanted to therefore give a special thanks to Kristy and Jeremy from Zeppelin & Co for their support before during and after the show in terms of product introductions and for helping us sort out what will be some exciting review projects over the coming months.

I also wanted to extend my gratitude to the team at the 64 Audio Booth and Jeremy Hong from AV One for managing some gear I wanted to return but couldn’t due to the long covid blackout. 

CanJam Singapore 2023

And finally, some old friends whom I bumped into for the first time in a 1-2-1 situation such as Klaus, our former contributor on Headfonics and now the International Sales Manager for HEDD Audio, and Raghav and Bhavika from Headphone Zone.

Also, it was great catching up again with Sunny Wong from FiiO who has been a constant peer of mine since we started in this business almost at the same time around 13 years ago or more.

How time flies but thankfully, the show remains as strong as ever despite the challenges of the Covid era and I should be there once again in 2024.

Sharing is caring!