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.
Piccies and more info after the gap:
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.
Big news in the world of headphones: @BJ, organiser of the Tokyo OFF headphone amp exhibition where dozens of local manufacturers and audiophiles met, will be meeting with Apple next week to showcase the merits of portable headphone amplifiers on portable media players such as the iPod. The meeting is scheduled for February 8, and if successful in wrangling the right ear, could mean very prolific exposure for the world of high-end portable audio. Discuss Apple and BJ in our forums.
As HiFi headphone listening evolves, so does its component base. Chic design has influenced many market heavyweights – even boutique audio companies have opted to create sexy. But whereas amps like the ALO Rx is a masterpiece of steam and industry, the Graham Slee Voyager is plastic and comparatively bulky. Thankfully, looks are deceiving. This amp really takes off, surpassing all of my expectations.
Update: Feel free to discuss about the Graham Slee Voyager in our forums
Pretty sweet news: the Klipsch Image X5, a great earphone which usually sells for 250$ has dropped to 149.99$ today only! It is a balanced, comfortable inner earphone which keeps the outside out and the music in. Though TMA has not reviewed it, shigzeo has spent a considerable time at the Apple Store in Seoul auditioning and wishing. If only I lived in a place where Amazon ships!
Like stealing the king’s ransom, reviewing arguably the world’s best earphone is no easy task. Final Audio Design is no ordinary name in hi-end audio; its staple audio system have been hailed as among the best in the world, clear and true on the other; but overall, they are certainly pricey. Their new earphone products are marvels of esoterica: just like their speakers, they produced in small quantities with one aim in mind: mind-blowing sound. Of course, Final Audio’s top earphone range, the 1601, is made for the choicest of audiophiles. The same company produces the Opus 204 speaker system which not only costs 500 thousand dollars, but by merit of its solid steel chassis, weighs 800 kilograms per channel! In the same vein, the solid steel FI-DC1601SS is heavy and expensive, but ultimately, wonderful.
Monster’s Turbine was a surprise hit and the first official headphone for review at TMA. Now a year later, Monster are still on a roll, pushing out an impressive number of headphones at an equally impressive range of prices. Jamz and Lil’ Jamz are a couple of the latest to grace Amazon’s virtual shelves and thankfully, can be had for south of 100$. TMA will be reviewing the Monster Turbine Pro in the next couple of weeks and will not; I repeat: will not spoil the review by admitting that it is better in every way than the Turbine.
Monster Lil’ Jamz: $79.99
Monster Jamz: $89.95
Monster Turbine Pro: $249
MEElectronics’ earphones rode onto the scene last year with aplomb. Not only are they priced to sell, they sound good and in general, are made well. Now, MEEl have jumped on the wood bandwagon started by the venerable Victor FX500. The R-1 is a solid earphone which will rock the clocks of bass lovers who happen to have no more than 40$ in the bank.
Final Audio Design’s earphones say hi-end better than any headphone product. They are built from the ground up to deliver perfect sound rather than convenience. To accomplish this, Final Audio employ a special metal alloy on the earphone’s inner sound chamber which eliminates distracting vibrations. Equally as important is the regularisation of air pressure on both sides of the speaker. Both earphones are things of audio beauty, but as we will see, are as audiophile esoteric as high-end power supplies. The all-steel FI-DC1601SS tips the scale at just above 800$ US, while the FI-DC1350M2 checks in nearer 250$. Their top model, the FI-DC1601SC costs more than 2000$. But contrary to most expensive earphones, Final Audio Designs’ products strike impressive balance of sound quality rather than diamond dust.
Please take a look at Final Audio Design’s earphone webpage (Japanese) for more information and stay tuned for our in-depth article.