T.H.E. Show Newport 2013 Highlight: CEntrance HiFi-M8
CEntrance HiFi-M8 (~$699)
Here's a product with a hell of a story. As Michael Goodman (CEntrance's CEO) began the development of the M8, he began strongly interacting with the Head-Fi community in this thread, which is now some 2268 posts long! In the thread, Michael continued to ask what people might like to see in a top-of-the-line portable headphone amplifier, and boy did he get a lot of feedback. Having had many experiences developing products myself I know how difficult it would be to start taking advice in the open on a forum as popular and well trafficked as Head-Fi. But he persisted, and now feels that while the process took much longer than he would have liked, the product is much better for the input from Head-Fi members.
For example, the HiFi-M8 will be available with three different front panel layouts featuring a variety of connector configurations for both balanced and unbalanced headphones. The rear panel also has some unusual controls. The bass boost and gain switch are reasonably common, but the treble boost and switchable impedance are pretty unusual. I've noticed that a number of headphones tend to roll-off a bit over 10kHz and was very pleased to hear the treble control tastefully compensate for this. Here's a pic of the rear panel.
This is a complex and very interesting product and I can't wait to get my hands on one for an extended listen as what I've heard so far is very promising. There are far to many features for me to go over in this short show report, so I'll simply point you to some resources if you'd like to read about it further.