TouchMyApps » Felix Yau http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:42:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Klipsch Image S4 in Review – Double the Bass with Twice the Pace http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/05/klipsch-image-s4-in-review-double-the-bass-with-twice-the-pace/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/05/klipsch-image-s4-in-review-double-the-bass-with-twice-the-pace/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2009 08:27:43 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=17117 introduction After 2008′s popular Image X5, which debuted at $100 less than the X10, Klipsch began expanding the affordable line of their inner earphones. In 2009, the S2 and S4 join the Image line at the more reasonable prices of $49.99 and $79.99. When Klipsch designed the new earphones, they utilised brand new drivers which … Read more]]>

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introduction
After 2008′s popular Image X5, which debuted at $100 less than the X10, Klipsch began expanding the affordable line of their inner earphones. In 2009, the S2 and S4 join the Image line at the more reasonable prices of $49.99 and $79.99. When Klipsch designed the new earphones, they utilised brand new drivers which were made specifically for their sound signature. So, the S4 houses a special 8mm dynamic driver which packs dual neodymium magnets and the audio performance for which Klipsch is famous. Happily, Klipsch also introduced the iPhone-friendly S4i which features a mic and remote and is priced at $99.99.

Specifications
Variation: Black with Silver Accents only
Transducer: Single KG25, 8mm Dual Neodymium Magnet Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 18ohms
Frequency Range: 10Hz-19kHz
Sensitivity (1mW): 110dB SPL
Weight: N/A
Cord Style: Y-Cord
Mini Jack Style: 3.5mm right-angle gold plated

Accessories
Kllipsch’s crush-resistant aluminium case is the accessory which first attracted my attention. The shiny silver oval houses all the S4 accessories is simple, strong and elegant. The overal accessory package is very neat and well designed, but lacks a few extras. Standing in front of me is one of the best protective cases at any price. Despite this, the Image S4 comes with only an earwax/sound tube cleaner, and an assortment of exclusive silicone oval gels (S,M,L sizes) and a small/medium combination dual flange for the S4.

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Fit
It is easy to be fooled by the design of the S4. Instead of putting the “Klipsch” decal on the front side, facing forward, Klipsch put the decal on the opposite side, so that only those behind you will see which company’s earphones are plugged into you. The Image S4’s housing angle is similar to Ultimate Ears’ design – the concave bend in the earphone faces the same direction you are looking, allowing the S4 to provide an ergonomic seal.

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During first insertion, I found the Image S4 to be extremely comfortable and isolating – in fact, one of the best fits I have ever encountered. In addition to the comfortable and lightweight earpieces, the contour bend to the housing of the Image S4’s is just perfect (for me at least), placing the oval gel in the “sweet spot” for comfort and isolation. Even after long listening sessions, the Klipsch Image S4 isn’t at all irritating; instead, it melts perfectly into the ear.

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Audio
“What a great sound for the price” – should be the preamble for the sound of the S4. I have logged hundreds of hours and lots of music on the S4 and loved what I have heard. However, I noticed that classical and orchestral music are not that well-suited to the S4. Because Klipsch’s earphone lacks some sparkle up top, its sound signature may be considered too dark for those genres. Pop, metal, and trance: genres which go well with the harmony of smooth, rich mids and punchy lows, are better matches for the S4.

Highs
At first, classical instruments such as violins were disappointing, but after giving them more time, I feel that the Image S4’s treble is rather good, if not mellow, for the price and that strings, such as the violin are decently rendered. High edges are audible, but dampened. Though devoid of sibilance or irritation, they lack clarity and are quite dark – not giving up the “ring” which can enrich certain instruments. Listening to any sort of music: orchestral, classical or pop, Soprano vocals are darker than some competing earphones – listening to the remarkable voice of the Celtic Women is just short of what I would have expected to hear. The Highs of the Image S4 disappointed me on one of the Chinese songs which I have listened to for years: Little Love Song by SodaGreen. The song’s Piano and its high-pitched singer’s voice are dulled, lacking the crisp sound which I crave.Overall, the highs are very good, but not nearly as good as other earphones, especially when compared them to similarly priced offerings fron Etymotic.

Mids
Smooth with a good amount of detail, the S4 renders Celtic Woman’s Mo Ghile Mear fabulously. Each voice is detailed, with great depth, body and feel. Instruments are lively, drawing the listener in. If you’re a BIG BANG fan or listener, you’re in for a treat. Since I am a BIG BANG listener myself, Lie and Last Farewell, whether in Korean or the English, is powerful. It’s presented as one of the most enveloping sound experiences in the price bracket. In fact, only Altec Lansing Backbeat Pro has been similar. All in all, midrange frequencies are detailed, full bodied, and deep in buttery-smooth wrappings.

Lows
The low frequency is the S4′s “Sweet-Spot”. Listening to pop and metal is extremely good with deep, thumping drums, full body, and impact. For this reason, the drum-heavy Dulaman by Celtic Women, is captivating. Trance is detailed enough, catching every focal and non-focal beat; as the S4 catches its rhythm, this genre is lively. Last Farewell was the party piece with the Image S4, the kick drum and bass drum in it is so powerful yet accurate it brings the song into “hyper” mode where you just want to tap your foot and dance! Overall, the Image S4’s bass is powerful, quick, and full-bodied with an ocean-like depth. In fact, its bass is one of my favourites even compared to much higher-priced earphones.

Soundstage
The Image S4’s soundstage isn’t spectacular, but definitely not disappointing. While decently wide, the Image’s front to back musical tapestry isn’t very deep. The soundstage of the Image S4 leaves your music sounding as a really well done recording: tight, but not too expansive. For orchestral music, instruments tend to cram together, losing some of the essence of the massive collection of players and instruments. But for most faster music, the S4 does a good job for the price, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Quality
Like the S2, Klipsch’s higher-end earphone is rigid and smooth and of great build quality. While not metal, the S4 isn’t the most expensive looking of earphones, but don’t let that fool you! The Cable is designed to be sweat, chemical, and crack resistant (and doing its job well in this Vancouver summer which has reached above 40 degrees!). Relatively flexible and thin, there is little microphonic noise in Klipsch’s earphone which means walking around is great. Thankfully, it is also lightweight and won’t drag your earphones from your ears or put excessive pressure on your ear canals. Plug is a gold-plated right angle 3.5mm, with a soft flex end that acts as a strain relief. Taking all into consideration, the quality of the Klipsch Image S4’s is better than many earphones in its pricerange.

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Conclusion
Klipsch’s attempt to bring an affordable, high-quality earphone to the market was successful with the S2 and is equally so with the S4. Offering good, yet laid-back highs, excellent mids, and mind blowing bass, Klipsch S4 is definitely a top-tier performer. Quality is great – certainly among the best at the price, and despite lacking some accessories and some detail and clarity on the high frequencies, we would recommend these the Image S4’s to anyone entering the “High-Fi” world. This especially rings true for listeners of Pop, Metal, and Trance music. In the end, though the Image S4 is highly recommended in the under $100 category, it lacks a few accessories which hold it back. Never mind though, the S4 is grabbed with two big thumbs up from an over-eager TMA!

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App Summary
Title: Klipsch Image S4 Developer: Klipsch
Price: $79.99
  • Smooth highs
  • Excellent and detailed mids and lows
  • Excellent build
  • Ergonomic design
  • Excellent cable and low microphonics
  • Lack of Accessories
  • High frequencies lack clarity and body

If you are like the geeks at TMA, you can’t get enough of headphones. Check out some of our latest reviews below:
Mingo WM-2 Inner Earphones in Reviews-Jays Inner Earphones in ReviewMonster Beats Tour Earphones in ReviewKlipsch S2 Inner Earphone in Review

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Jays s-Jays Earphones in Review – One Quick Bumble Bee http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/28/jays-s-jays-earphones-in-review-one-quick-bumble-bee/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/28/jays-s-jays-earphones-in-review-one-quick-bumble-bee/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2009 16:02:32 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=16608 Jays from Sweden joined the earphone market in 2006 with the balanced armature earphone, d-Jays. Since then, their engineers have been busy creating new technology and designs for their products. Later, they introduced the dynamic driver, j-Jays and the dual balanced armature, q-Jays that we tested in May 2009. Today, we have the s-Jays, an … Read more]]>

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Jays from Sweden joined the earphone market in 2006 with the balanced armature earphone, d-Jays. Since then, their engineers have been busy creating new technology and designs for their products. Later, they introduced the dynamic driver, j-Jays and the dual balanced armature, q-Jays that we tested in May 2009. Today, we have the s-Jays, an earphone that uses a new technology dubbed, ‘siren’, which refers to armature drivers which work similarly to moving coil drivers (dynamic). The drivers are designed to maximize low frequency performance and allow for high volume output without distortion. Jays has taken this technology and put it in their s-Jay, for the reasonable sum of $89.99.

Specifications
Variation: Black or White
Transducer: 6.4mm Siren Armature Driver
Impedance: 69ohms
Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity (1mW): 113db SPL
Weight: 10grams (0.35oz)
Cord Style: TPE coated Kevlar Y-Cord
Mini Jack Style: Straight, Gold-Plated 3.5mm

Accessories
Our previous experience with Jays earphones is that they come “JAM PACKED” with accessories! The s-Jay is no exception and comes with with a 90cm extension cord, 5 pairs of silicone sleeves (XXS, XS, S, M, L), a pair of memory foam sleeves, gold-plated stereo splitter, gold-plated flight adapter, 4 pairs of filters, and a leather carrying case. All the accessories are of good quality (even if the carrying case is a bit too small). Otherwise, the s-Jays is extremely well-outfitted.

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Fit
I didn’t find a problem with obtaining a comfortable seal. However, I can see why many might have trouble – the body of the s-Jays is quite large compared to other earphones. Due to its size, the body may push against the back of the concha (outer curve of the ear) causing discomfort and difficulties with getting a proper seal.

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Despite this, I found a great fit and a fabulous seal with the s-Jays. They are not the most comfortable earphone to wear, but seal well with excellent sleeves which are perfectly stiff and well-shaped.

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Audio
I quickly found that classical and other orchestral music types aren’t the best fit for the s-Jays. So I moved on to rock, heavy metal, trance and hip pop music. I went through my entire playlist and all I can say is… fabulous… simply fabulous!

Highs
The highs on the s-Jays are slightly on the dark side, lacking the detail that I prefer in a earphone. In fact, the amount of detail, clarity, and the crispness of the s-Jays belies their armature driver – a design which often pulls high frequencies into focus. The s-Jays’ high frequencies could be noted as similar to those presented from a darkly-voiced dynamic driver: lacking some detail, clarity and crispness. I would recommend a product from Etymotic or Ultimate Ears if treble is what you are looking for.

Mids
Mids are smooth,  detailed, and warm for an armature earphone. The mid frequencies of the s-Jays are similar to Shure’s sound signature – perfectly warm and smooth, but lacking a portion of the detail that Shure earphones are famous for, and which I crave. Vocals are strong and deep, revealing the finer details and body of a singer’s voice. Depth is very good on the s-Jays, providing an enveloping, full-body experience. For the price, I have nothing really to complain about other than just a little detail – the s-Jays simply sounds wonderful.

Lows
This is the best part of the s-Jays! Lows are quick, accurate, and precise without muddy, overly “boomy” presentation. Power is just right; not too much, not too little, a power that flat out rocked with rock and pop and even trance! If you like these genres, the lows are absolutely perfect. Overall, the lows on the s-Jays are quick in the thumps, but carefully tread around the other frequencies, retaining accuracy.

Soundstage
I expected a very wide soundstage due to the fact that the s-Jays siren drivers are supposed to perform in a similar way to dynamic drivers. However, in the price range in which the s-Jays is marketed, I was rather disappointed. The soundstage isn’t as wide or long as I would’ve liked. I could describe their stage presentation like listening to a recording of a live performance through nice speakers rather than sweating, screaming with the rest of the fans with the music circulating overhead and all around at the concert. Overall, the s-Jays’ headstage is more compact than some dynamic earphones, but performs well when comparing it to lower-priced armature earphones.

Quality
We always expect a high quality build from Jays; we got it. Earpiece construction is very good with a smooth finish which is topped off by rigid housing materials. The cables are TPE coated, light, durable, and filled with Kevlar. They also perform excellently when playing sports or running since microphonics are minimal.

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Plugs are  stress relieved with Jays’ typical, but strong soft rubber. For overall build quality, the s-Jays receives a mark of 95/100. The only complaint I have is that the s-Jays hasn’t any stress relief around the ear-pieces. Fortunately, the cables connecting the earpieces are not stressed much for the majority of uses – a fact which is due to the shape of the housing and fit.

Conclusion
The Jays s-Jays is a brand new earphone, with brand new technology that we like very much and highly recommend to listeners of Pop, Rock, Metal, and Trance music. They may not have the best highs, but the mids are very good and the lows are absolutely fabulous for the price: accurate, quick, and powerful! Build too, is of superb quality with durable, class-leading cables. Jays are famous for packing excellent accessories into their products, a fact which has the s-Jays crushing a closet of useful accessories into the cardboard box. TouchMyApps has no other choice but to grab these bumble bee-like earphones!
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App Summary
Title: s-Jays Developer: Jays
Price: $89.99
  • Great build quality
  • Very Good mids
  • Excellent lows
  • Lots of accessories
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Minimal microphonics
  • Excellent cable
  • Lack of detail and clarity on Highs
  • No stress relief on earpieces
  • Earpieces may be too large for many ears

Love Headphones? Check out our growing headphone news and reviews section.

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Klipsch S2 Inner Earphone in review – Budget price, Millionaire Build http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/20/klipsch-s2-inner-earphone-in-review-budget-price-millionaire-build/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/20/klipsch-s2-inner-earphone-in-review-budget-price-millionaire-build/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2009 10:06:29 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=15869 Introduction Klipsch, a leader in consumer and professional speaker systems since 1946, began production of premium earphones in 2007 with the Custom Series and the Image X10. In 2008, the X5 joined ranks in alongside the X10 in the Image line, and in 2009, two new members, the Image S2 and the Image S4, become … Read more]]>

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Introduction

Klipsch, a leader in consumer and professional speaker systems since 1946, began production of premium earphones in 2007 with the Custom Series and the Image X10. In 2008, the X5 joined ranks in alongside the X10 in the Image line, and in 2009, two new members, the Image S2 and the Image S4, become the newest entrants from Klipsch. Both house new dynamic (moving coil) drivers, a departure from the X5 and X10, which use balanced armatures. Today, we have the Klipsch’s cheapest model, the Image S2, a $49.99 earphone which contends with many other affordable earphones. Be on the lookout for this earphone from electronics’ vendors in August as Klipsch have not yet released the new S2 and S4 earphones.

Specifications

  • Variation: Black Only
  • Transducer: Single KG15, 5.8mm Neodymium Dynamic Driver
  • Impedance:  18 ohms
  • Frequency Range: 12Hz-18kHz
  • Sensitivity (1mW): 106dB
  • Weight: N/A
  • Cord Style: Y-Cord
  • Mini Jack Style: 3.5mm right-angle gold plated

Accessories
For $49.99, I didn’t expect the S2 to move heaven and hell and, was rewarded: inside are soft, oval gel sleeves that come in small, medium, and large sizes. There is also a simple, suede carrying pouch that when squeezed, snaps open to gobble the S2. Sadly, my favourite: a dual-flange, oval sleeve isn’t included.  However, everything else in the package is very well-made; in particular, the pouch is top notch – no complaints on my part.

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Fit
“Noise-Isolating, Comfortable, Lightweight Design” is quoted on Klipsch’s package. They chose their marketing words well. When these little charms went into my ears with the medium sleeves, I could barely feel them! It is probably because the S2 is so light and has such a slim, yet long body which allows rather deep insertion without the earphone touching the inner ear. Likewise, the slim body prevents the outside of the ear from being irritated. The sleeve, or tips as some may call it, keeps the earphone fit and sealed within the ear very well. The S2′s extraordinarily light body is largely supported by the sleeve alone, a fit fact I found to be wondrous.

Whether mowing the lawn, or on busy streets, I couldn’t be happier with isolation. Under every circumstance, I am able to simply enjoy the music without outside interference. And, as for comfort, even after long listening periods, I have tended to forget that I am wearing the earphones until, that slight inner earphone itch comes along.

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Audio
The tiny  KG15 drivers of the Image S2 are custom made for the slim body, and at 5.8mm, are among the smallest neodymium magnet toting dynamic inner ear drivers. But, how does this new and miniscule technology affect quality of sound? Let’s find out shall we?

TMA ‘burns in’ all dynamic driver/moving coil driver earphones like the Image S2 with a minimum of 100 hours to allow the diaphragm of the driver to loosen, helping each earphone to perform to the best of its potential.

Highs
High frequencies perform a bit below my expectations – they are far too warm, lacking both detail and crispness. When listening to soprano singers’ high voices, vocals lack richness, detail and body. Simply, when listening to Granuaile’s Dance by Celtic Woman, violin pieces were a little soft, not as agile as they could be. Separation of instruments, which often is defined by crisp treble, therefore is not a huge strength of the S2. If you are someone who prefers a bright, detailed, and crisp high end, I recommend looking at something from Ultimate Ears MetroFi series or MEElectronics. If you are looking for a less intrusive high frequency band, then these may just be perfect for you.

Mids
The mid frequency band is recessed compared to the other frequencies, however, they perform smoothly.For the price of $49.99, the S2 is among the better-performing earphones along with MEElectronics Ai Series, and Head-Directs RE2. “Whenever You Call” by Mariah Carey and Brian McKnight is detailed with smooth voices that carry a good hint of emotion. However, one thing lacking in the mid range is that instrument and voice separation isn’t the greatest; sounds may tend to mingle a little too much at times, sometimes causing music to ‘mumble’.

Lows
Despite the small driver, (which I’m sure of you may be worried about already), low frequencies are in fact the most dominant and powerful frequency of the Image S2. They are just powerful enough with perfect depth, giving rock the liveliness that it needs. There wasn’t a particular piece of music where the Image S2 disappointed; whether it is bass guitar or drums, the Image S2 performs well above its price. The only “con” about the lows frequencies is that they are not nearly fast enough for trance music. Even if the S2 can keep up with the more powerful beats of slow trance music (slower at least…) the little beats in between couldn’t be picked up with these little baby Klipschs. Big trance fan? The Image S2s aren’t for you.

Soundstage
Soundstage isn’t one of the parts that were “astonishing”, the soundstage was above average for earphones competing in this price range, with great width, but less extension front to back. Pinpointing arrangements like: “the drums are on my right, guitar on my left, singer in front of me”, was not as easy as some other earphones. While listening to “Mo Ghile Mear” by Celtic Woman, the S2 didn’t impress me as much as phones that have a wider soundstage such as the similarly-priced MEElectronics’ Ai-M6.

Quality
The quality of the Klipsch Image S2 is in fact far above average in this price range. The earpieces are made extremely tough plastic. I wouldn’t want to take a knife to the S2, but it has survived my efforts to snap the nozzle off – not even a budge. They are that well-built. Cables too, are well made, but thin and in fact, very similar to the more expensive Jays earphone cables, but with more flex and no Kevlar® filling. The earpieces and the plug have a soft, rubber piece which acts as a strain relief which works very nicely, just not as great as a real, moulded strain relief.

Out and about with the S2
Microphonics isn’t a problem for the Image S2, though they do complain a bit from when you rub the cables with your fingers. Even with wind blowing against the cable or the cable rubbing against your shirt, wagging back and forth, there is no annoying noise. So when listening to your music, there’s no unwanted guests in the audio party you’re hosting.

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Conclusion
Priced at $49.99, these are going to be a strong contender in the affordable earphone sector. Good looks, good price and a great upgrade, the S2 will especially draw teenagers and people who are looking for good sound quality and a great warranty (2 years) without breaking the bank. Despite highs that lack detail and recessed mids, these are earphones that are very good value for the money. Comfort, isolation and build quality of the Klipsch Image S2 are all above and beyond expectations at the $49.99 price point. I would recommend these to people who are looking to wear earphones for a long period of time, and those who are slightly rougher on their gear than those at tma (sic)who polish and watch for every scratch that happens on our earphones and headphones. Overall, the Image S2 are very good-sounding earphones that feature an excellent build quality. Sadly, these little babies from Klipsch won’t come till August, but they are worth a ‘Grab’ from behind!

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App Summary
Title: Image S2 Developer: Klipsch
Price: $49.99
  • Excellent build quality
  • Modern and great looks
  • Accessories’ quality is high
  • Fantastic fit and comfort
  • Minimal microphonics
  • Good mids and bass
  • Affordable Price
  • Warranty
  • Poor High frequency presentation
  • Minimal accessories

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Can’t get enough headphones? Check out our headphone section and budget earphone reviews.
Meelectronics Ai-M6 and M9 in ReviewHead Direct RE2 Inner Earphone in ReviewNuforce NE7M mobile phone compatible earphones in review

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MEElectronics Ai-M6 & Ai-M9 Review – Royalty on a Budget http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/13/meelectronics-ai-m6-ai-m9-review-royalty-on-a-budget/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/13/meelectronics-ai-m6-ai-m9-review-royalty-on-a-budget/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2009 16:05:02 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=15312 . Established 2005 in southern California, MEELectronics focus on providing customers with quality products and services at the best prices possible. MEElectronics’ products are aimed at iPod and iPhone owners, offering a multitude of earphones and portable speakers. Today, we have their top-tier earphones with us, the Ai-M6 and the Ai-M9. Both house the same … Read more]]>

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Established 2005 in southern California, MEELectronics focus on providing customers with quality products and services at the best prices possible. MEElectronics’ products are aimed at iPod and iPhone owners, offering a multitude of earphones and portable speakers. Today, we have their top-tier earphones with us, the Ai-M6 and the Ai-M9. Both house the same driver, same specifications, and the same sound. The difference you ask? The Ai-M6 is a $39.99 “over the ear” style inner earphone and the Ai-M9 is a $19.99 “straight down cable” style inner earphone that has a mic’d brother for only $10 more.

Specifications
Variation: Ai-M6 is available in Black and Maroon, Ai-M9 is available in black with/without mic.
Transducer: 9mm Neodymium Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 16 ohms
Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity (1mW): 95dB SPL/mW
Weight: N/A
Cord Style: Y-cord
Mini Jack Style: Gold Plated Straight (First Gen iPhone adaptable)

Accessories
The MEElectronics Ai-M6 and Ai-M9 come with nearly the same accessory packages. Each is adorned with 3 sets of single flange silicone rubber sleeves (small, medium, large) along with one pair of specialty sleeves. The Ai-M6 comes with a pair of memory foams, while the Ai-M9 comes with a pair of dual flange silicone rubber sleeves. (Note: As you may see below, our pair of Ai-M9 arrived with an extra pair of Medium silicone sleeve by some gracious accident). In addition to the sleeves, both models come with a semi-stiff carrying case, a wire organizer, and an airplane adapter and can be considered very well-equipped for their respective prices.

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Fit
Fit wise, both are comfortable and as for isolation, both models are comparable, if slightly less than the $249.99 Phiaton PS200. While wearing these earphones on the busy streets and buses here in Vancouver, they kept me in a well-separated world of silence where only the music and I were interacting.

“How do these feel?”, you’re wondering. I find that the Ai-M6 are a bit lighter on my ear canals, causing less pressure-discomfort than the Ai-M9. However, the rubber memory wire around the ear causes slight discomfort around my ear. The Ai-M9 on the other hand, doesn’t have memory wire (and consequently, the same problem), but like I said earlier, they exhibit a bit more pressure on my ear canals. Overall, I prefer the Ai-M9 over the Ai-M6’s sometimes itchy fit.

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Audio
Before I start this section, just a reminder that both earphones have the same sound. From high to mid and low frequencies; and when considering soundstage or detail, the identical driver and musical tuning result in the same sound. As always, I made sure both models perform at their peak by giving them healthy doses of frequency sweeps and pink noise for over 200 hours. Audio quality is the party piece of both models. After a quick listen, I decided to give them the same test as the Phiaton PS200 and stray from my often-used Mariah Carey. This time, MEELectronics earphones will face Celtic Women’s lovely voice, their excellent crew of musicians, and the famed fiddler, Máiréad Nesbitt.

Highs
Simply put, Meelectronic’s M6 and M9 are detailed and Crisp. Listening to “The Last Rose of Summer” by Celtic Woman, they instantly shoot spot on to vocal detail and power. One thing they lacked on a small scale is the pitch of the notes which were presented just shy of truly emotional. This slight lack can detract from music like Celtic Women’s great vocals and some instruments like violins and flutes.

Mids
Smooth, Lush, and Buttery. Listening to “Mo Ghile Mear”, Méav’s voice is beautifully presented. The depth, richness, and clarity of her voice tangible, but not be as detailed and full as on the Shure Se420, or Se530 (both of which cost many, many times more). All in all, the mid frequency band is still top notch, comparable to Head Directs Re1, and detailed and able-bodied enough to draw comparison to much more expensive earphones.

Lows
The most powerful frequency band of the Ai-M6 and the Ai-M9 and the most attractive to the market is powerful, deep, and speedy. Not as quick as Head Directs Re0, but definitely on par with the Re1 in terms of speed, depth, and power. Once again, listening to “Mo Ghile Mear”, drums are captivating from the start. The two little MEElecs give drums a full-body punch, and an ocean-deep richness to keep you into the song – truly amazing for the price.

Soundstage
Both models were quite average when first out of the box. However, after breaking them in, the soundstage widened to reasonable levels which would compare to a spot in between the Head-Direct RE1 and RE0. The front-to-back depth too, is quite believable and again, for the price, one of the best in the industry – certainly a great choice for the smart buyer and the teenager!

Build Quality
Both are such affordable earphones that I found it surprising how well-made they are. The cables are flexible, thin, yet not super tangle-prone. Unfortunately, they are prone to a microphonic nature. If you’ve heard the Monster Turbine cable, then you will know what I’m talking about. If not, they are around 70% as loud as the similarly priced Skullcandy Ink’D earphones are. Of course, the over-the-ear M6 suffers much less microphonics than the M9.

Strain reliefs on the earbuds themselves work, are flexible and are well-made, however, there isn’t one on the cable, so no ‘insured’ feeling. Material and build wise, both earphones have a flawless plastic housing that is well-built, yet stylish – no complaints from me there!

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Conclusion
Affordable, well built, and stylish with astonishing audio performance rivaling competitors that cost more than many times their price, Meelectronics M6 and M9 are great. These cheap phones even nailed isolation and fit which means you can maintain a seal even when participating in sporting activities! What more can I say?! The Ai-M6 walks away with a grab from behind due to its slightly higher price of $39.99, while the Ai-M9 is definitely getting a doggy-pile full of kisses at its unbelievable $19.99 price-tag.

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M6

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M9

App Summary
Title: MEELectronics Ai-M6, Ai-M9 Developer: MEELectronics
Price: M6 $39.99, M9 $19.99
  • Great construction
  • Inexpensive
  • Great sound
  • So many accessories
  • comfortable
  • Microphonic cables

Buy Now from MEElectronics:

Ai-M6: $39.99

Ai-M9: $19.99

Please also take a look at our Headphone section or, if you want to read other low-cost hifi earphone reviews, check below:
Klipsch Image S2 inner earphone in review – Head-Direct RE2Nuforce NE7M Mobile Phone Compatible Inner Earphones in Review


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Phiaton Primal Series 200 Earphones in Review – Mini Jet Engines http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/06/phiaton-primal-series-200-earphones-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/06/phiaton-primal-series-200-earphones-in-review/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2009 17:28:58 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=14867 Introduction Phiaton, a brand new company that branched from Cresyn Audio introduced itself to our Industry last year, is a stylish, quality manufacturer that focuses on insane-looking products and superior sound quality. Here with us today is the Phiaton Primal Series 200 Earphones which house dual balanced armature drivers with an Integrated 2-Way Crossover and … Read more]]>

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Introduction
Phiaton, a brand new company that branched from Cresyn Audio introduced itself to our Industry last year, is a stylish, quality manufacturer that focuses on insane-looking products and superior sound quality. Here with us today is the Phiaton Primal Series 200 Earphones which house dual balanced armature drivers with an Integrated 2-Way Crossover and a price tag of $249.99.

Needless to say, once the package arrived, I was expectantly ripping the plastic off of these “Mini Jet Engines” which stun even from the first glance.

review-headphone-ps200_packaging

Specifications

  • Variation: Anodize Aluminum with Black Accents only
  • Transducer: Dual Micro Balanced Armatures
  • Impedance: 39ohm (@1kHz)
  • Frequency Range: 8Hz-30kHz
  • Sensitivity (1mW): 95dB SPL/mW
  • Weight: .176 oz / 5 g without cord
  • Cord Style: Y-cord
  • Mini Jack Style: Gold plated Straight (First Gen iPhone compatible)

Accessories
When I opened the box, I was quite surprised. I peered into the hard plastic container, finding the square, ultra stiff magnetic case and was on the edge waiting for a thousand items to burst out. but when I opened the case, I wasn’t able to find any accessories within the box itself. Unfortunately, all I was faced with were two extra pairs of silicone sleeves, a cable winder and a 3.5mm airline adapter/single headphone jack. If you are someone looking for a lot of choice, especially when regarding fit, you may want to look somewhere else.

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Fit
Grumbling aside, upon insertion, the PS200 introduced me to a world of isolation. The extremely well made sleeves are comfortable and offer ultra isolation. I was so astonished that I picked up my SE530, Earsonics SM2, and UE700 for on-the-spot comparison testing. In the end, even the SE530, which I personally found to have the best fit, only made par with the Phiaton for isolation.

Comfort wise, the PS200 are one of the most comfortable “straight down cable style” earphones that I have tried, even when including the q-Jays and UE700. They stay fit even when actively playing sports such as badminton. The cables are soft and light enough to stay put against my body. If you are an energetic person who’s into sports but wants to enjoy your music at the same time, I would definitely recommend these.

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Audio
During testing, I strayed from the usual all-inclusive test: “When You Believe”, “Whenever You Call” and “When You Were Young”. The reason? These perform extremely well…and I mean extremely well with rock, metal, and as I would put it “teenage” pop music…

Highs
When visiting my ears, I was astounded by the crisp violin from Celtic Woman’s, “Mo Ghile Mear”, that the PS200 brought to dinner. They give the instrument such a lively feel; as though Máiréad Nesbitt was dancing barefoot and playing right in front of me. The PS200 presented the high notes with such crispness, clarity, and detail – the high frequency details are among the best I have heard in an earphone.

Mids
The mids are very warm. If you are a vocal fan, these earphones are definitely for you, giving body and richness to vocals. These are not exaggerated boosted earphones that some manufacturers utilize in order to offer an “enhanced” vocal presentation. The PS200 has what I would call a naturally balanced, detailed and smooth midrange that many will enjoy.

Lows
I found that the PS200 offers deep, warm, and enveloping low frequencies that are decently powerful. But, they aren’t nearly as powerful as I would like on some tracks that I am very familiar with. For example, in “Dúlaman” by Celtic Woman, the drumming that starts the piece off isn’t full enough, and not powerful enough to really draw you into the song. Earsonics’ SM2 and Westone’s UM2 are able to bring power and quantity of lows into focus enough for real enjoyment.

Soundstage
The PS200 are much wider than I expected them to be. When listening to “Mo Ghile Mear” by Celtic Woman, it was as though the whole crew was standing in front of me, each singing from unique positions. However, the soundstage was much too short front to back, and a tad too short in height. I found this out when watching “Harry Potter, the Order of the Phoenix”. In some dining hall scenes that require strong and high front to back soundstages for a real movie immersion, the PS200 let me down a bit. However, overall soundstage is very good for listening to music – just lacking for movies.

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Quality

The PS200 leave me speechless: the housing is made of anodized aluminum, with strong black plastic turbines in durable “Jet Engine” black. Strain Reliefs are flexible, but not too flexible so that the cable might bend and break. I would describe as similar to “Westone Strain Reliefs” with a different look. When comparing the earpieces themselves to similarly price competitors, these are a long mile ahead, and I would even rate them above the Westone Um2 which is known to have one of the best build qualities in the range.

Cables are thick, well made, but very flexible at the same time. They aren’t quite as flexible as braided cables, but they have one of the most flexible cables which I have used. Despite being thick, microphonics aren’t a problem with the PS200 cable. Microphonics are minimal and not disrupting when listening to music. The split at the cable for the earpiece is in sturdy aluminum with the words Phiaton on it. The Plug is a Gold plated straight, also with a very nice flexible strain relief on it.

Conclusion

In the End, Phiaton’s Primal Series 200 In-Ear monitors (or earphones) astonish me. They really bring out the “feel” and emotion of Celtic Woman. They simple rock with… rock, metal, and pop music I had. I would recommend these to anyone that is able to get them, as I truly think that nothing in this price range offers the same sound quality coupled with such an excellent build as the Phiaton. The only down side is the sad quantity of accessories that are included. Fortunately, the well designed sleeves and the extremely high quality leather case makes up for a lack in first-class accessories for these jet engines. However, some may find the bass to be too subtle for them.

In the end, despite their great build and overall sound, I just can’t let these engines take off with a kiss – the lack of a few accessories and some rumble down low keep this grabbed on the runway.

Phiaton PS 200 Sound Isolating In-Ear Earphones with Dual Micro Transducers (Woofer andTweeter)

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App Summary
Title: Phiaton PS 200 Developer: Phiaton
Price: $249.99
  • Good Looks
  • Non-Microphonic Cable
  • Good instrumental separation
  • Fantastic high and hid band frequency
  • High quality build and materials
  • Very Comfortable
  • Lack of Accessories
  • Subtle low band frequency

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Ultimate Ears 700 Earphones in Review – “Bling Bling” Jube Jubes http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/29/ultimate-ears-700-earphones-in-review-bling-bling-jube-jubes/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/29/ultimate-ears-700-earphones-in-review-bling-bling-jube-jubes/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2009 17:26:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=14476 Introduction After Jays released its dual micro balanced armature Q-Jays at $180 in late 2007, there was a big party. For the next few months everyone raved on and on about their unique design and sweet, neutral sound signature. About a year later, and in response to the Q-jays, Ultimate Ears released the UE700 that … Read more]]>

review-earphone-eu700-contents

Introduction
After Jays released its dual micro balanced armature Q-Jays at $180 in late 2007, there was a big party. For the next few months everyone raved on and on about their unique design and sweet, neutral sound signature. About a year later, and in response to the Q-jays, Ultimate Ears released the UE700 that house, you’ve guessed it right … dual micro balanced armature drivers. The bottle shaped plastic UE phones come at a $50 premium to the q-Jays at $229.99, but how do they stack up the the cheaper Swedish earphones?

When Ultimate Ears generously sent a UE700 demo unit, we were gripping the edge of our chairs in anticipation. The earphones arrived in a simple square retail box with a clear facing window – it was a beautiful moment. Without waiting a second, it was business time with these “bling bling” jewels.

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Specifications
Variation: Silver with Red and Blue Accents only
Transducer: Dual Micro Balanced Armatures
Impedance: 40ohm (@1kHz)
Frequency Range: 10Hz-16.5kHz
Sensitivity (1mW): 113dB SPL/mW
Weight: 11.6 grams
Cord Style: Y-cord
Mini Jack Style: Gold plated Straight (First Gen iPhone Adaptable, and tested individually)

Accessories
I was rather disappointed, however, after opening the box looking for the “Ear Jube Jubes”. Inside was pretty spare – two Sets of Comply Foam sleeves, four sets of soft silicone sleeves, an Airline Attenuator for reducing loud bursts volume and a cheap-looking plastic case. The competing Q-Jays tramples the Ultimate Ears 700 in this category – complete with seven pairs of silicone sleeves, two pairs of foam sleeves, two extension cables, four pairs of filters, along with a leather carrying case. In the end, if you are someone that usually has problems finding a perfect fit because of sleeve sizes, the Ultimate Ears jewels may not be suited for you.

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Fit
I am one of the lucky ones – usually never experiencing fit issues with universal in-ear monitors and earphones – the UE700 fits me spectacularly. However, I have found each earbud so small, that they tend to fit better with the smallest sleeve that goes deep in the ear. This way, the fit is better, they will not fall out, and provide a clearer, more accurate sound. The medium silicon piece fits me well, and when I say well, I mean well as in the sense of going deaf. Isolation on these isn’t shy of 30dB. In other words, trains and bus stations sound like exam halls; even lawnmowers are hushed in likeness to bees collecting pollen.

The UE700 are one of the most comfortable earphones I have tried, whether over the ear or straight down and using both the Comply sleeves or the silicon pieces. After ten to fifteen minutes, you stop realizing you’ve got earphones in your ears and they begin to feel like a part of your body. Even when you are walking, hiking, running, biking or go-carting with them on (I really wouldn’t recommend swimming with these), the UE700s are still as comfortable as when you are still.

The only problem I found when running and biking to work is that their non-braided cable is “bouncy” – they get hooked on my hands, etc., but they hardly emitted any microphonics at all. These, like the Q-Jays also don’t hiss too much, but you will notice the rushing sound like a whisper in your ear with noisy sources.

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Audio
If you are coming to high-end earphones from iPod earbuds, then you may not appreciate these as well as you could if you have other hi-end gear. Owners of other hi-end earphones, however, who are looking for something that is small, portable and lively, have just hit earphone central.

During this review, I focused on several of of my favorite songs that I truly think a headphone or earphone needs to perform well on in order to receive praise. First, “When You Believe” By Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. This song tests an earphone’s ability to present deep, separated and smooth bass while clearly describing high and high mid frequencies. “Whenever you call” by Mariah Carey and Brian McKnight is an excellent test revealing a headphone’s soundstaging character, emotion and the lushness of mid frequencies. Last but not least, “When you were young” by the Killers stresses the low frequencies which need power, speed, and depth in order to sound good. I believe that this combination really covers everything important. Let’s get testing shall we?!

Highs
If you are familiar with Ultimate Ears, you will know that the company has some of the most impressive high frequency performance in the Industry – and the UE700 is no exception to the rule. The inner earphone is characterized by crystal clear highs with lots of detail. Some may find them irritating as they are extremely crisp and sometimes even a little sibilant. Even when compared to the king of high-frequencies, Etymotic’s ER4, the UE700’s are not far behind for clarity and detail. When listening to “Whenever you Call”, high notes sung by Mariah are no less then extraordinary with the Ultimate Ears 700. They reached the pinnacles of her song without distortion and deliver her music and her calibre of performance perfectly to the listener. Just great.

Mids
Overpowered, why? The Ultimate Ears 700’s mid presentation is definitely not disappointing. Smooth, gentle and buttery, mids are characterised by decent detail and excellent manners. However, because the high frequency band on the Ultimate Ears 700 is so forward and powerful, the mid frequency tends to be overpowered so that you lose a sense of vocal and instrumental emotion which is especially evident in “When You Believe”. When comparing these to the Shure SE420 and the Q-Jays, both competing models are above and beyond the Ultimate Ears 700 mids by a couple of leagues.

Lows
Ahhhh, finally the most popular frequency band. Looking at reviews of Earphones, where most comments reflect in unison, “There’s no bass!” gets me to think why is it the most popular frequency band and why many won’t listen to music without it. The low band gets your foot tapping – that has to be it. Ultimate Ears 700 is definitely quick enough, punchy enough, and low enough for “When You Were Young”, however, they lack power. When directly comparing to the q-Jays, or Earsonics Sm2 which are both dual driver configuration, the UE700 is blown away. If you are someone who likes to be enveloped in low frequencies (the so-called bass), you may want to stay away from these.

Soundstage
Soundstage is the accuracy of a speaker system or monitor to produce the size, shape, location, and depth of a specific sound in the recording. The UE700 is a tad on the small side. While not disappointing and much wider than stock Earbuds or low-End Earphones, I was expecting more from an earphone that costs $50 more than the similarly staged Q-Jays. The Earsonics SM2 on the other hand, really puts you in the centre of a live performance where you hear every instrument clearly. The UE700 gives you a very good stereo sound and feel, but won’t envelop you in the music.

When comparing sound quality to the competing q-Jays, the Ultimate Ears 700 presents a more detailed, clear high, with a faster low-end – wrapped up in a wider soundstage. The q-Jays, on the other hand, better the Ultimate Ears 700 in mid frequency band and add a more powerful punch to the low end.

Quality
The Ultimate Ears 700’s are one of the best-built plastic earphones that I have come across. The molding and gluing of the earpieces are smooth, and bind together tightly. Ultimate Ears use hard, dense acrylic that is almost as solid feeling as the Q-Jays’ polycarbonate. Its cable is very well made, but again the Jays’ Kevlar cables are a step up in quality. The Cables are also connected and managed very well, so microphonic is not a problem at all – not as good as Westone’s or Earsonics’ cable design, but better than the Jays cable. Strain relief is the only down side I see as these do not have any at all; only little plastic rings that lead the cable out from the Earpiece protect the cable. However, I understand that it is quite difficult to make strain reliefs on earpieces that are so small, as the strain relief may come into contact with the wearer’s ear and could cause discomfort.

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Conclusion
Overall, the UE700’s are earphones endowed with a great listening experience. Music is lively and “fun”, just not as neutral and balanced as the Q-Jays. What they provide is a dynamic listening experience which many look for. However there is a big problem that you have probably guessed: the competing Q-Jays. Jays offers the same comfort, same isolation, better build material, three times the accessories, and 95% of the 700’s sound, with a two-year warranty instead of one. What’s more, you have to pay $50 more for the UE 700. So in the end, it is easy to conclude that the Q-Jays are a better price/performance purchase. However, if the Ultimate Ears 700 price ever reaches down to the same level, it might be better to grab at the Ultimate Ears 700 for its slight edge in sound quality over the Q-Jays’ package.

The UE700 are very definitely good IEMs, but not good enough to be Grab.
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App Summary
Title: Ultimate Ears 700 Developer: Ultimate Ears
Price: $229.99
  • Great “jube jube” looks
  • Non-microphonic cable
  • Good detail-resolving sound
  • Comfortable
  • Extraordinary high band frequency
  • Not as robust as Q-Jays
  • $50 surplus in comparison to the Jays phones
  • Could be more solidly constructed, e.g., stress relief and housing quality.
  • Needs more accessories

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