Thanks to the truly rubbish glut of pack-in earphones from Apple, Cowon, Sansa, et al., earbuds have got a bad rep. The truth is that there are many good earbuds. Sennheiser’s MX series has been a low-priced, high-value hit for years, and YUIN’s OK and PK series is even better. Even the Apple iBuds, though not really ergonomic, economic, or well built, can sound good. The newly-minted Sunrise, a Vietnamese company who’ve been OEM manufacturing for years, have debuted the following: AS-Miss (entry level), AS-Feeling (audiophile level), and AS-Charm (high end), which are perfect companions for music lovers who can’t bear the feel of slimy inner earphones, but still want good sound.
Any headline from boutique audio house, Final Audio Design, is news at TouchMyApps. Recently, their first balanced armature series headphone, the Final Audio FA-BA-SS hit the market to some good reviews, but with a price around USD 1000$ and sold in very limited numbers, this flagship earphone didn’t have a chance to capture the market before selling out. The two new models, FA-BA-A1 and FA-BA-SB (ostensibly in aluminium and brass), however, are sold at the much more reasonable prices of 300$ and 400$. Final Audio look to be following Monster and Jays’ lead by introducing a flat tangle-free cable for the FA-BA-SB. A more traditional cable will adorn the FA-BA-A1 earphone.
Currently, both models are sold out across Japan, but FAD are accepting pre-orders for the next batch. If you are scared about ordering from Japan, don’t be. There are a couple of reliable options. One is Seyo Shop, an exporter of fine Japanese headphones and camera equipment. Their prices are usually excellent. Currently they don’t carry Final Audio.
Preliminary review impressions of the FA-BA-A1 are up at TMA’s Forums. For more pictures and product spec, jump the gap:
“Back when Cube was rollin’ with Lorenzo” – stolen from Dr. Dre’s What’s the Difference, is innocuous; it betrays nothing of Dre’s ego. But American rap’s pride is why after years, I keep coming back to it. And though this is a headphone review, I think that a bit of good ol’ fashioned American pride applies tastily. In 2010, the Swedish headphone guru, Jays, redesigned itself, shirking cuteness in favour of big business, of pride. One look at the newly minted a-Jays will prove to you just how much business they mean too: flat cables, matte colours, three bold designs, and good prices is enough to make any Monster shake – at least a little bit.
Earsonics have a killer lineup. Their SM3 professional universal monitor is fantastic, blowing the socks off a disgustingly large portion of the audiophile earphone market with its easy-to-drive architecture and beautiful sound. Its lofty price tag is worth it. So how about Earsonics’ top end; how ‘bout their customs? you might ask. Same old story. The triple-driver, dual-crossover EM3Pro is a beautiful product at a fantastic[er] price that should come away from a firefight with the biggest and best in the land without a hitch.
The ever-stylish Jays have got a new piece of eye-candy headset for music-loving iDevice owners. The new headset is based on the a-Jays Three, a bass-driven earphone for music/movie lovers on a budget. The new a-Jays comes in the following models: One, Two, Three. The headset, a-Jays Four is a natural extension of the new line. The a-Jays Four has a beautifully designed remote/microphone pill built into the cable.
TouchMyApps will be reviewing the a-Jays Three in a couple of weeks.
More information after the gap:
Back when Earsonics’ SM2 debuted, it rocked the professional earphone scene. Dry, neutral, detailed, powerful, and well-constfitructed (for a professional earphone), it sort of bagged the cat as it were. It was – and still is – one of the best professional earphones available. But Earsonics perfection-pursuing head, Franck Lopez, has looked to his laurels this year and debuted an even better earphone. The Earsonics SM3 betters the SM2 in almost every benchmark and along the way, has become a personal favourite of mine.
The earphone market has never been more poised. Multiple driver earphones have come down in price, build quality is on the rise, and selection is huge. But with a huge selection comes the nearly impossible task of selecting the perfect earphone. Every company has a party line, each one sounding better than the last. Then, there’s the driver war that follows the following formula: competitor’s flagship model + 1 speaker unit. The formula and good marketing surely sells earphones, but meanwhile, hapless customers have to sort through a hogwash of marketing speak. Well, cartridge-baron ortofon, commissed the clever lads and lasses from the land of the rising sun to make the e-Q7, a single balanced armature earphone that really munches on the brains and selling points of many of its multi-speaker brethren.
Feel free to discuss the ortofon e-Q7 in our forums.
2009’s party, mixed by last year’s Monster Turbine earphone, was off the charts. But in early 2010, Monster’s sophomore Turbine, the Turbine Pro Gold, took everything to higher levels. 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. Today’s Turbine Pro Copper review will differ only slightly from the Gold review, so I’ve copied and pasted all the ‘same’ stuff: fit, package, build quality; and I’ve re-written the sound portion as only that really differs. For your posterity (you know what I mean), however, I’ve taken shiny new photos.
If you’d like to discuss the Monster Turbine Pro Copper earphones, head to our forums.
Antrepo Design have a great-looking and surely whuffie-inflating headset design for the wannabe med. In layman’s terms, it is a stethoscope headset, but its medical name is the Stetheadphone. Anyone else think this thing would look rad with their iPod touch/iPhone? iWant one. Bad.
The “I’m not product series” is continuing, The last one is “Stetheadphone”, created by Antrepo Design Industry. It is headset with remote and mic, you can make and receive calls, access voice-control features, and listen to and manage playback from your iPhone or iPod.
Material used is ultra light and flexible plastic for your comfort Also three sizes of soft silicone ear tips help you tailor a fit that’s right for you. The color options are white, black, pink, blue or green.
We are now in a research process to find a partner company for the production process. The companies interested in this product may contact Antrepo Design Industry through its website.
By all means, intrepid headphone companies, get on this!
Check the Stetheadphone out at A2591
Sennheiser’s founder, Dr. Fritz Sennheiser died yesterday at the respectable age of 98. More than anyone in the professional audio field, Dr. Sennheiser influenced condenser audio for the on-the-road professional. His company has also gone on to produce some of the best headphones in the world, and the smashing Sennheiser IE8, a great portable earphone. Portable music lovers everywhere, doff your hats for the good Doctor.