If you like headphones, you are probably aware that perfect fit makes perfect sound. Earphone tips make a huge difference, especially when you tend to enjoy music or games on your iDevice for hours a day, or really care about sound. I tend to prefer foam tips because they are comfortable and safely isolate my music from the background. Unfortunately, many foam tips muck up the sound with boomy bass and midrange smear. Tips which don’t get nasty themselves: waxy and greasy after a few weeks of use. Monster’s Supertips foam tips are excellent tips for all but the narrowest-mouthed of earphones, and even those, with a few tweaks, can be made to work peachy.
Continue to our forums for the rest of the Monster Supertips review.
Westone already make some of the best professional and audiophile earphones in the world which are renowned for build quality, if not looks But coming this May, the earphone company will offer two of its best-selling professional monitors, UM3X and UM2, with removable cables. Pricing is still up in the air. There are advantages and disadvantages to both fixed and detachable cable systems. Ultimate Ears’ detachable cable earphones are quite infamous for cable breakages, while Sleek Audio’s cables are known to crack. If Westone can support the contact well enough, they will have an earphone solution which will outlast most DAP’s and maybe catch up to good wireless mics.
TMA has a review of the Westone UM3X from a self-dubed ‘casual listener’. I can vouch for its quality and sound – a lovely, neutral presentation maintained by excellent midrange/bass detail. My second high-end IEM was the benchmark-setting UM2.
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More details emerge about Jays 2010 earphone line up. Jays’ entry level earphone, the dynamic-driver a-JAYS will debut as a price-tiered model and start at 39$. Each a-JAYS model utilises the same-sized speaker unit, a titanium-coated 8,6mm driver. The new earphones also come with a new flat cable and excellent carrying case and package, making their asking price seem paltry. I’ve spent a few tender minutes with boy Jays a-JAYS and t-JAYS and can say with certainty, that their new line up is powerful, fun, and aimed at killing their respective price brackets.
TMA has reviewed Jays’:
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Cheesy title aside, the M11 really is the king of MEElectronics’ earphone line up. Luxurious in your choice of 2 turned aluminium colours, it hits its price point pointedly, if more politely than the skull-splitting lance which felled King Henry II. For the budget-conscious upgrader, its modest 39.99$ price tag scintillates royalty, and like most of MEEl’s line, is tough, made to last even the most organised of coups at the hands of its careless market.
Sensaphonics are a virtual monolith in the American professional/musician earphone business. Their hitherto bread and butter, 2X-s and Max are excellent custom earphones for professionals and audiophiles alike. While TMA is still working on the 2X-s review, Sensaphonics one-upped us by introducing their newest, the triple-driver 3XMax. The new earphone shares many similarities to its older brother: both earphones are housed in medical-grade silicon which isn’t susceptible to the horrors of cracking whilst in the ear. And, mirroring last year’s 2X-s upgrade, it touts a field-replaceable cable for added insurance. Of course, the addition of an extra driver will aid dynamic range and accuracy in musical reproduction.
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Around Christmas time, Sleek Audio injected a little class into their product line when they introduced the wooden SA1 earphone. Pretty in natural rosewood and shiny turned aluminium, it’s a luxurious earphone at a reasonable price. It is also the first earphone the in Sleek’s arsenal to sport a dynamic driver. In typical Sleek Audio fashion, the SA1 features both VQ sound tuning and a removable cable. For its price, it may well be the most versatile earphone on the planet. Feel free to discuss the this Sleek Audio SA1 Review in our forums.
The Swedish portable audiophile company, Jays, have several new cards up their sleeves: seven new headphone products for keen listeners with all sizes of pocketbooks. Firstly, their a-Jays and t-jays, a pair of dynamic-driver based earphones will come in a variety of colours and different sound qualities for customisation freaks. Perhaps bigger news, however, is their new flagship, the x-Jays, a quad-armature design! Not only is it the first universal quad armature based universal-fit earphone, it is designed for size and sound quality. TMA will be taking a look at their new earphones over the next two quarters. Expect 2010 to be an exciting year for the portable audiophile! Feel free to discuss Jays’ new products in our forums!
TMA has reviewed Jays’:
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Car audio enthusiast Rockford Fosgate have taken a personal step with their newest product, the Punch Plug earphone. The earphone carries a massive 15mm driver which is smaller only than Final Audio’s 1601 series which stretches the ruler to 16mm per driver. The new Punch Plugs however, will debut in March at a much easier to swallow 99$. Recently there have been a lot of great sub 100$ earphones to hit market among which the Rockford’s debut model may be one to watch.
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With all my bagging on Korean devices, I am surprised at how much the EXS X10 rocks my socks off. EXS are one of the world’s largest OEM headphone companies and are based in Korea. Actually, there is a lot more to go ‘wow’ about than just sound. This ~55$ earphone performs well and should handle bumps better than a lot of mid-tier upgrade earphones. While I won’t ask you to go out and abuse an EXS, I will suggest that if you are on a budget and looking for a great earphone, the X10 is pretty darn good. Feel free to discuss the EXS X10 review in our forums.
2009’s party, mixed by last year’s Monster Turbine earphone, was off the charts. But in 2010, Monster’s sophomore Turbine, the Turbine Pro Gold, does everything better. Everything the original Turbine did right: bass, mids, treble – is trumped, and each is more controlled, more readily adapted for any music you throw at it. The Turbine Pro proves that Monster are ready to pick up the cheque as the best high-volume dynamic inner earphone maker on the planet. If you’d like to discuss the Monster Turbine Pro Gold, head to our forums.