Saturday, 7 February 2015

Light Harmonic Geek Pulse Issue: What's Going On?

So I finally received my Light Harmonic Geek Pulse DAC/Amplifier after joining the Indiegogo campaign in October 2013.

Unfortunately it seems like there is a number of issues with my unit.

  • The display LED sometimes goes dim, flashes, or displays missing letters.
  • When the LED is displaying this behaviour, plugging or unplugging a headphone into the unit sends a loud pop through the unit.
  • The unit will send loud pops to the headphone during normal operation.
  • The popping is different from the power on/off popping as described in the user manual. It is loud enough to damage a headphone driver. While trying to work out what was happening, I managed to blow the left driver of my pair of Takstar Pro 80's. This was after some deliberate testing of what would cause the pops - I first noticed the pops on my K712 and MDR-Z7 and they appear unharmed (phew.)
  • These issues occur regardless of whether or not there is any input plugged into the Geek Pulse, and the problems still occurred when tested with a different power supply.

I've made two videos about this issue - a short one demonstrating the popping on Facebook, and a longer video where I am asking people to come forward with their own experiences so I can get some idea of whether or not this is a widespread issue.

I have heard from various private sources about problems Light Harmonic has had with delivering the Geek Pulse to backers. There is some question about how many units have actually shipped. At the time of writing Light Harmonic claims that 61% of the units have shipped and the failure rate is 1%. It seems odd to me that the majority of orders have been shipped, and yet there are very few reports about the Geek Pulse 'in the wild'.

 Very quickly after posting this video, Light Harmonic made the following update to their Indiegogo campaign page:

Here's an issue though. The first and fourth review are actually the same review. The second listed review is of a pre-production prototype with serial number #002. The fifth review refers to a demo unit provided by Light Harmonic themselves.

This means that despite claiming to have shipped over 61% of orders, Light Harmonic can only point to two end user impressions. 

Technically, my video is the third set of impressions?

I am looking to get a better idea of exactly what is going on with this product, so if you have any reports or any stories to share, please I urge you to drop me an email at with 'Geek Pulse' in the subject line.