TouchMyApps » Sleek Audio 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 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:31:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Sleek Audio SA7 inner earphones in Review http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/10/20/sleek-audio-sa7-inner-earphones-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/10/20/sleek-audio-sa7-inner-earphones-in-review/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 00:28:04 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73281 This review is verbatim the one at Ω image. In case you are confused by all the ohmages and porridges, head to Ω’s about page. It’ll get better. Back when Cube, was rolling with Lorenzo in a Benzo, Sleek was polishing their chrome-trimmed SA6. Under da hood was a single ultra-wide band driver that laughed … Read more]]>

sleek-SA7 standing up

This review is verbatim the one at Ω image. In case you are confused by all the ohmages and porridges, head to Ω’s about page. It’ll get better.

Back when Cube, was rolling with Lorenzo in a Benzo, Sleek was polishing their chrome-trimmed SA6. Under da hood was a single ultra-wide band driver that laughed in the faces of the tubby competition. But times is changing. Sleek has doubled the SA6’s ultra-wide band armature count and dropped most of the chrome. Sleek’s hard core: the customisable VQ system, the coaxial detachable cable still roll with their shit off safety.

Spec

2 Year Limited Warranty
Speaker type: ultra-wide band balanced dual armature driver configuration
Variable Equalization (VQ) Tuning
Wireless Hybrid (wireless unit sold separately)
50” detachable/swivel cable
Frequency Response: 18 Hz.-20k Hz
DC Resistance: 25.4 ohms
Impedance: 50 ohms
Sensitivity: 115 dB/mW

3 Pairs of dual flange silicone ear tips
2 sets of Treble Tuning Tips
User’s Guide

SA7 Limited Edition 249,99$ USD

MADE IN USA

ohmage & porridge: customisation

The SA7′s VQ system does the same thing the SA6′s VQ system did. Except that metal eschews plastic wherever possible. Rubber gaskets and metal screw mounts keep treble and bass ports in place. Better tolerances and materials between earphone and VQ parts reap better sound.

Bass ports plug in at the back. Treble ports screw into the nose. Both seal their respective ports much better than before. Your choices are: flat and minus. The effects are rather stark, but never jarring.

Finally, the cable can also be exchanged- that is, if a viable third party option existed. Currently, the number of after-market cable producers working on Sleek’s otherwise excellent coaxial cables is close to damn all. Sincerely, I hope that number grows.

We will see why this matters in the section entitled build quality

ohmage & porridge: comfort and fit (C&F)

Like the ER4 and most of Final Audio Design’s earphones, the SA7 fits like a nail in the ear. But if you were Frakenstein’s monster (and let’s face it: most of us portable audiophiles are), the SA7 would be one of the more luxurious nails out there. It certainly betters the ER4 nail. Its angle of entry is comfortable and it’s soft silicon tips quite workable. Sensitive-eared people may take issue to the shallow umbrella silicon flanges. Their shallow fit can rub the ear canal the wrong way. Undead creatures borne of lightning and dressed in someone else’s skin may find Sleek’s umbrellas just dandy. Instead, I use Comply or Shure olive tips. I bother with third party pieces because the SA7 is worth the effort.

Because its body is triangular, the SA7 is easy to grip. Getting it in and out of the ear is spectacularly simple. But the freely rotatable coaxial cable tends to pop out when screwing the earphone into your ears, prompting bouts of plugging and unplugging, whence mechanical wear and tear is birthed.

The major plus to the freely rotating mount is that  the cable can be worn both over the ear and hung down like a traditional earbud. The SA7’s triangular prefers over-the-ear fit, but is right at home with a hung cable. The cable is a light and supple affair. It bends and writhes in the most comfortable of positions. Unfortunately, it also tends to harden after time, and fray. I’m on my second replacement.

ohmage: kitsch

Sleek Jony Ived away most of the SA6′s chrome. Thank Jobs. The new earphone shines less, and thanks to an abundance of metal, is far more robust than the SA6. More attention has been paid to items that ensure good fit and sound. Less bling affords the SA7 a truly sturdy design. And like FitEar, Sleek chose to go with a smart, indestructible and utilitarian Pelican storage box.

sleek-SA7 Pelican Case

ohmage & porridge: build quality

The Pelican will long outlast both you and your earphones. While the SA7′s reliance on metal and rubber elements is commendable, their are a few items of concern to the long-term investor.

The first is the cable. As hinted at above, it is awful. I said the same thing in my CT7 review. It is the same cheap cable used in the Sleek Audio SA1- a cable which I bemoaned even in a 55$ earphone. If you think I’m joking, try a Sleek Audio SA1 Google Search. The SA1 replacement cable shows up at the bottom of the FIRST PAGE!

The plug-side strain relief of my SA7 came apart mere days after I received the earphones. It also tends to harden faster than other cables I bag. I would enthusiastically take the ageing SM64 cable over the SA7 cable. Of course, Sleek’s coaxial connection is wondrous. It precedes today’s popular MMCX connection by years and is just as rotatable and secure. It is a simple wonder, however, that it has been yoked to such a dollar store bit of rubber.

The other bit that concerns is the the treble tips, and only for the reason that the grill came off my treble + tip while I removed a SHURE olive tip for cleaning.

Sleek Audio have assured me that I am one of only two customers to whom this has happened. (I wonder if the other customer was also a sensitive eared chap or chappette that tried millions of ear tips.) They also assure me there will be better cables coming- though it seems they are from third party manufacturers. While I hope that is true, it is imperative that Sleek start making a reliable cable for their earphones. Cable breakage has been a big problem since 2008.

The good news is that the cables are quite inexpensive. And besides being supple and light, they are probably the least microphonic of any production cable out there.

I’ve now used my CT7 for two years both on the pedal and on the bus, in weather both blistering hot and bitingly cold. The coaxial mount is still in great shape. But I’ve gone through three cables. I expect the SA7 to stand up similarly well.

ohmage & porridge: quality of finish

The SA7 is beefier than its predecessor. Both channels bulge quite like the calf muscles of a Greek god. The coaxial connection sits high like the like a exhaust pipe of a rally-ready VW Beetle. The treble port is its hood scoop. Vroom vroom! And while the paint job doesn’t quite rival Elite Detailing, it is more than adequate for the small area of an earphone.

Well done.

Small things like the treble port bore being off centre, indelible manufacturer smudges, excess glue at the seems- these things detract somewhat from Sleek’s muscular image, but not to a degree that ruins the earphone.

sleek-SA7 and cable

sound 

The Sleek Audio house sound is as muscular as its looks. It is fast, grippy, and serves precise, and sometimes heavy punches to the mid and low ranges. It is the perfect evolution of the SA6 sound. Both electronic and acoustic chimes sound freaking awesome. The overall signature is mid-focused but linear. Fast guitars are crunchy. Electronic bass is atmospheric. Female vocals are impressively clear and void of accent. Speed of attack and decay is good. And no matter which ports you plug or screw in, the SA7 will serve up aggressive mids.

Crispness

Shiny mids are the Sleek way. The largest overall swell of shininess resides in the vocals and strings. Interestingly, vocals can also trend wispy. Adaptability to the idiosyncrasies of your music is one of the SA7′s biggest draws.

Bitey percussion keeps the edge in rock and roll, the live in folk.

No matter the ear piece you choose, the SA7 is never congested. That said, it presents details with softer inter-frequency contrast than, say, the Earsonics SM64. Its most resilient instruments are electronic chimes, horns, and high strings. Higher frequencies than that are slightly muted. Certainly you would not call them veiled, but no fan squeaky eaky sound could call the SA7 bright.

ohmage: space

The SA7′s sound stage is honest. It is energetically live and grippy, and at times, raw. It puts you in front of the stage. Floor standing monitors whip at your sweaty business face, the crowd nips at the party in the back. The focus is the music, not the crowd, or room acoustics, or your fabulous mullet. Details go wide, but never wrap around your head. Think IMAX, not VR headset.

ohmage: Bass vs mids

The SA7 keeps religious balance between bass and mids. The two breathe in and out with ease, never erring towards one or the other. Bass pressure is rather flat. Plus tips add more body, but sound pressure levels remain similar between frequencies.

The SA6 tended to boom, losing bass detail on heavy tracks. Not so the SA7. Even the most ferocious of lows are clean, level, and supportive. It is one of the most clean and speedy of any compact dual-driver earphone out there. It is a do-all signature that, day by day, grows on you. This quiescent cooperation of bass and mids is almost pastorally utopian- until you out the SA7 in fast rock and industrial. Aggression attends this gangsta just as well as peace and harmony do. Give it time. If you are coming from a more accented earphone, you will need to adapt. If you are coming from a truely neutral earphone, you will need to count to ten. When finally you acclimatise to the SA7’s goodness, goodbye. This sucker is addictive.

ohmage: Bass vs highs

Even with treble + filters plugging its nose, the SA7‘s high frequency sound pressure is slightly lower than mid and low sound pressure. The difference is slight but certain. Upper mids are shiny and bass is energetic. High hats decay a little too quickly; yet strangely, a ragnarok of violent Viking metal causes high hats to splash.

Upper mids have excellent body and edge. Guitars. Holy frack. Forget Ol’ John Denver (RIP). SA7 is all about strings. And Guitars. Arcade Fire. Arcade Fire. Arcade Fire. Bruce Springsteen. The Boss. Born in the freakin’ USA. These is rock through and through.

That said, the SA7 does American hip-hop quite well. It can’t hit duff duff lows, but the post-2001 tendency to mix medium-high pitched chimes into a rap is perfect for modern beats.

Trance: great. Classical: could use a bit more contrast between stage elements, but overall, good. Jazz: good unless you want more accent. I recommend the SA7 to fans of flat, semi-bright sound signatures. Bass pressure is strong but mids rule.

ohmage: drivability

Despite toting two balanced armature drivers, the SA7 is no harder to drive than your typical single driver earphone- unless of course, you are using a terrible source.

Interestingly, setting the volume slightly higher than usual yields the best sound. I listen to the SA7 about 3-5 decibels louder than I listen to other favourite earphones. It really does wake at slightly louder volumes.

ohmage & porridge: sensitivity

SA7 is as sensitive as its predecessors. It is one of the most sensitive earphones in my collection, very nearly matching terrible hissers like the Shure SE500 and Westone UM2. It outs hiss from every source I own. Among my favourite players, the iBasso DX50 hisses the most, the iPod nano 6g the least. My Sony players are downright obnoxious through this Sleek; HiSound’s Amp3Pro is unlistenable.

Earsonics’ recent turn to high resistance makes their top earphones the easiest to drive. I wish that Sleek will follow suit.

ohmage: isolation

Earlier in the year, I missed a train. I very nearly missed the departure time for a rather important shoot that day. The SA7 was in my ears and my iPod nano set to a volume of about 5. The Tsukuba express is a loud train. But the SA7 drowned it out completely. If you want to turn your back on everything around you, SA7 will do it. It isolates far more than most universal earphones. Study hall? Oh yes. Commuter train? You betcha. And here in Asia where coffee shops, malls, and every other public place are rife with annoyingly inane loudspeaker adverts and jingles, the SA7 is a miracle. Honestly, isolation was never something I absolutely craved until I came here.

My ergonomic favourite Grado GR8 doesn’t deliver enough. The SA7 is what is necessary to drown out the worst Asia has to offer.

At its current price of 249$, I expect it is flying off the shelves. And it should. It more than worth its asking price. It rocks aggression like it was 1999 but still purrs when more delicate genres hit the output circuts of your favourite source. An earphone this limber is seldom seen outside of expensive customs. If only Sleek replaced their cable with something realistic. That cable is Sleek’s Aftermath. No one knows why Sleek are still using such a chintzy piece of rubber and wire. The sooner they replace it, the better.

An earphone of this calibre deserves much, much better.

ohmage: 10

porridge: 5

This review is verbatim the one at Ω image. In case you are confused by all the ohmages and porridges, head to Ω’s about page. It’ll get better.

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Sleek Audio CT7 custom earphone in Review – masterless sound http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/07/07/sleek-audio-ct7-custom-earphone-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/07/07/sleek-audio-ct7-custom-earphone-in-review/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 07:57:44 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=54530 In 2009, Sleek Audio officially released the CT6, their first custom earphone. At its introductory price of 300$, the single driver earphone dominated the budget custom earphone world with great sound and a slew of innovations at a great price point. A LOT has happened since then, and while the CT6 remains a great earphone, … Read more]]>

In 2009, Sleek Audio officially released the CT6, their first custom earphone. At its introductory price of 300$, the single driver earphone dominated the budget custom earphone world with great sound and a slew of innovations at a great price point. A LOT has happened since then, and while the CT6 remains a great earphone, it has been outclassed by newcomers. Naturally, Sleek Audio couldn’t leave it at the top of their portfolio. Enter the CT7, a completely redesigned custom iem sporting dual drivers, higher sensitivity, better artwork, and one of the rawest, fastest, most impressive sounds I’ve heard at any price.

Specifications
Speaker type: ultra-wide band balanced dual armature driver configuration
Variable Equalization (VQ) Tuning
Wireless Hybrid (wireless unit sold separately)
50” detachable/swivel cable
Frequency Response: 18Hz.-20kHz.
DC Resistance: 25.4ohms
Impedance: 50 ohms
Sensitivity: 115dB

  • Price: 699$
  • Guarantee: 1 year
  • Production time: 2-4 weeks
Contact Sleek
600 8th Ave West, 3rd Floor
Palmetto, Fl 34221
info@sleek-audio.com

T: +1 800.777.7937
F: +1 941.866.0626

Accessory and package
The CT7 is a custom earphone. You have to order it through Sleek Audio or a Sleek Audio partner audiologist. You’ll have to get gooey stuff squirted into your ears, then you have to ship those gooey things out to Sleek’s home in Florida. No matter who you buy from, there is very little variation on the scene. Sturdy pelican case: check. Detachable cable: check. Wax loop: check. Personalised foam inserts: check. Personalised, engraved name tag: check.

What? Personalised box tag and foam inserts, you say? Yes, I do say. Sleek Audio deserve their hard-earned whuffie because their custom earphones not only fit your ear, they fit your ego, too. Sleek Audio are the only company I know that completely customise their entire retail package. So, when I designed the robot skirt and trousers for my earphones, Sleek made cut prints on my earphones. I wasn’t expecting matching foam inserts, though. And just like before, Sleek personalised the box with the TouchMyApps logo. Yep, they are the kings of customisation.

Their new printing system is pretty damn cool, too. At CES this year, I saw some amazing examples of buffing systems, etching, and paint jobs. Of course, everyone has stepped up this year, but Sleek’s new system is top notch and comes with comparatively cosier price points.

From what I understand, Sleek also offer a soft-sided earphone wallet.

Fit and isolation
As an an acrylic custom earphone, the CT7 will nudge coolly wedge into your ear. Acrylic is hard, but don’t let that scare you off. Providing that you obtain good impressions, the CT7 will be as comfortable as an ear plug. It isolates about 26 decibels, which means you can keep your music at lower, safer volumes, and will never be bothered by the outside world.

Now, acrylic has one or two problems next to the silicon used by ACS and Sensaphonics, and the semi-soft fit employed by Westone. Namely, that is that the earphone doesn’t adapt to the changing shape of your ear canal. When you sing, talk, eat, whatever, your canal will change from round to oval, and vice versa. A lot of stage musicians use acrylic earphones and get on fine, but I promise you, it isn’t the ultimate choice. Semi-soft and soft iems adapt better for expressive singers.

For audiophiles and music lovers (generally, I prefer to separate these two since the latter tend to gear head around rather than enjoy their music), acrylic is simply the bomb. The hard material has the best-sounding echo for fast, clean bass and treble.

Build quality and cable
Message to Sleek: the CT7 cable HAS to change. It is horrible. The CT6 got away with its half-arsed design because of it’s price. Its cable was known to come unglued at the seems (mine did), crack, and in extreme cases, break open to reveal the wires. That was 2009.

You’d think that by 2011 things would change for the better. Nope. The current cable is by far the worst cable on any custom earphone I’ve seen yet. It is the same thing that comes with the cute 55$ Sleek Audio SA1. My SA1 cable failed after light use. It’s a bugger of a shame, too, as Sleek Audio’s coaxial cable connection system is one of the best in the industry. It fits firmly, sports a resilient earphone-side pin, and turns 360 degrees so you can use it up, down, sideways.

The cable will stiffen from sweat and body oil in short order. Its plug is a poorly-relieved straight-angle piece of metal that sticks out like creaky tower. The rubber sheath around it comes unglued and offers very little protection, as inside, the hard pylon that stems from the plug, pinches the cable at stern angles. The y-split is a cheap off-the-shelf sheath of aluminium with a rubber plug. At the ear, the CT7‘s rubber grommets are better than the those of the CT6, but alas, they’re attached to what is else wise, an unprofessional throw together of rubber and metal.

You can opt for the Kleer Wireless bundle, however, and forgo the horrible cable from the start. That option is unique to Sleek and a real boon to the system and Sleek’s amazing coaxial plug.

The good news is that otherwise, the CT7 is a well made earphone. It has thicker walls than its competition from giants Ultimate Ears and Jerry Harvey. It will survive falls better than those two. Of course, for stage musicians, acrylic is a liability unless you are very careful.

The dual Knolls drivers are anchored pretty typically, and the tiny crossover sits atop the larger driver like a cap. Like the CT6 before it, the CT7 can be custom-tuned to your preference, but unlike the CT6, it is pretty much perfect without any tuning at all. Tuning comes from widening or tightening the sound bore.

As you can see, the drivers sit deep inside the CT7 housing unlike FitEar, and Jerry Harvey earphones.

Sound
Want a nutshell sound review? Here goes: fast, tight, awesome, sensitive, wide, detailed, raw, pleasing, smile, trance, rock, great. It is a tweaked-for-the-better custom version of the Audio Technica CK10, my favourite earphone of all time.

The CT7 is everything the CT6 was, but better; it is in fact, everything the Jerry Harvey JH13Pro is but rawer. The first listen cut smile lines all over my face for that exact reason.

Gearheads: the CT7 has two speakers per side. It compares very well with earphones sporting 6 or more per side. If you want to brag, you can brag that your dual driver earphone sounds as good earphones with more drivers, and still save hundreds of dollars.

Let’s start off with bass. The CT7 bass attacks all its bases well, but excels in the difficult to control range of 70-200Hz. That range is drier than the bass of the aforementioned JH13Pro, standing out against the wetter, liquidy Earsonics EM3Pro. It is taut, energetic, and hard-hitting, but not abundantly thick. Thickness goes to the ACS T1. It hits with a handful more decibels’ impact than the CK10‘s bass does, vibrating deeply and strongly along the entire range. There is very little inflection at all in its range, though as the signal moves ever higher, the CT7 tends towards sugar, not spice. In other words, artificial bass of fast trance and IDM never abrades, lower percussion is tight and controlled, and there is plenty of detail.

It is fast, ferocious, and squeaky clean. Metal, not wood. No delay, no unwanted reverb in the sound tube. Bass belts out quickly, then fades just as quickly. It is much preferable to the ACS T1 for listeners who value neutrality and clarity.

The JH13pro and EM3Pro, on the other hand, present finer bass texture and space. If there is dead space between bass instruments, you will hear it more clearly through the CT7‘s more expensive competition. The JH13Pro is the champion here, painting low notes like the clearly defined hyperfocal lines of an old Nikkor 50mm 1,2 lens. The CT7 follows along, respectfully, delineating bass and mid voices perfectly well, but at the same time, presenting each within tighter spaces.

I don’t feel that there is a right or wrong here. The CT7 is blunter, the JH13Pro is finer. If you get used to one, you’ll find the other takes time to adjust to, but neither is better than the other unless you give most listening time to genres such as jazz and vocal, in which case, the JH13Pro is just sublime. For industrial rock, electronic, and classical, the extra bite of the CT7 is smashingly good.

The CT7‘s midrange follows its bass. It is forward, edgy, and fun. It’s got detail. It’s got space. It’s got bite. It even has softness where needed. You can hear very clearly the small wet sounds of the mouth, stray breaths into the microphone, the gnarled strings of a guitar. It’s all there.

Vocals are crisp, and guitars forward. Percussion is excellent from the toms to the high hats. Where the the JH13Pro softens, the CT7 tweaks. Natty drummers are natty, crappy guitarists are crappy. The CT7 isn’t sibilant, it’s honest.

Both male and female vocalists excel. They are clear and strongly rendered. The CT7 has a special affinity for mature, lusty voices. The likes of Melody Gardot and Madeleine Peyroux are perfect matches. Nick Cave follows suit. Even Dr. Dre sounds great.

Certain, scratchy voices, however, aren’t the best fit as the CT7’s honest voice will emphasise the scratches till your ears itch in all the wrong places.

Again, it isn’t a weakness, it is merely honest. Milk, not molasses.

If I were to attach a numerical value to CT7 vocal quality, I’d give it an 8. While the formula is right, higher pitches voices lack lust in comparison to the JH13Pro. Of course, the JH13Pro comes costs 300$ more than the CT7. It’s a trade off, one I think that rock, electronic, classical, and pop listeners can live with. Jazz and vocal listeners – if you really really want a custom, the JH13Pro is probably your best bet. The EM3Pro is as good if not better for that genre, but is overall warmer.

The CT7 has almost the perfect balance of power and tenderness. Its equals are more expensive than it. It’s price rivals generally have more audible tradeoffs.

Finally, I’d like to talk about one of the biggest changes between the CT6 and CT7: sensitivity. The CT7 is on par with the FitEar Private 333. If there is any hiss in your source, no matter how timid, you will hear it. The iPod touch 4G is by far the quietest reasonable source I’ve head. It makes no background noise with 99% of the earphones on the market. The CT7 are that 1%. It’s not annoying, it’s surprising. Usually, classical music is dead silent with my CK10, JH13Pro, EM3Pro, Westone 4, and everything but the Private 333.

On the flip side, I can keep the touch on a volume setting of three to four no matter what airplane I’ve boarded. Incredible. Again, I don’t listen to loud music, but even so, the CT6, CK10, and JH13Pro are generally set to as much as 50% of the volume slider.

And, if you have a modern iPod or iPhone, you don’t need an amp to get all the detail you crave. There is a small amount of bloom in the lower bass region when driven without an amp, but it is minimal. Treble notches out to the tune of 2 or 3 decibels way up top only to recover again quickly. A good amp may get everything perfect, but I doubt the difference is audible in controlled, blind listening. Well, actually, since most amps output much much more background noise than an iPod touch, the difference will be audible – and probably not savory.

Out and about
Despite a deep disrespect for Sleek’s crappy cable, I’ll have to admit that it works well for the commute. It is dead silent, light, and unobtrusive. Sure, it tangles, but all good cables tangle. It is long, thin, and because it lacks memory wire, is perfect for glasses wearers.

The cable is long enough to comfortably drop into a pocket or purse, and of course, it can go wireless to a comfortable distance of 10 metres with Sleek’s Kleer Wireless accessory.

Conclusion
Sleek outdid themselves again, making a perfect-sounding earphone for the price point. The CT7 shines with everything you throw at it, even in comparison to pricier juggernauts. If you love music and have 700$ to invest in a near custom earphone, the Sleek Audio CT7 is probably my first recommendation. It has slid ahead of the FitEar Private 333 as my overall favourite for electronic and trance. The CT7’s guitars, too, are to die for. There’s so much going for it that the crappy cable really sticks out, sore and red.

If Sleek can ship a professional cable worthy of the CT7’s 700$ price tag, they’ll have the must-have custom on the market. I unreservedly recommend it to kiddy-gloved music lovers, but scorn its shoddy cable.

Pros
Wonderful sound
Best customisation
Good build quality
Incredible accessory package

Cons
Horrid cable

HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-allaccessories HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-cable HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-coaxial HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-fit HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-foamfaces HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-leftright HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-tmalogo HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-with-touch HPR-SleekAudio-CT7-glamourRead more]]>
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Sleek Audio SA1 inner earphones in review – aluminium and rosewood = the new peas and carrots http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/18/sleek-audio-sa1-inner-earphones-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/18/sleek-audio-sa1-inner-earphones-in-review/#comments Thu, 18 Feb 2010 07:22:43 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=28416 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, … Read more]]>

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.

Specifications
Standard Cable: 52 inches (132 cm)
Impedance: 25 ohm
Speaker Type: Ultra Wide Band Balanced Dynamic Driver with Custom Porting
Speaker Size: 6mm
Body: Rosewood and turned aluminium

Fit and Package
Bravo Sleek! The SA1 is comfortably seated with useful items. Firstly, its carrying case is perfect: just the right size to safely stuff in all accessories and even an extra cable. Pocketable? In the Territorial Army? Then yes.

Probably the SA1′s best case for comfort is its semi-narrow sound tube which won’t put too much pressure on the inner ear. Even muffled by thick foams and flanges, it nestles comfortably into pretty much any ear canal. Sleek’s stock dual flanges are very soft, and the new single flange silicons fit comfortably into the ear canal. Things aren’t perfect though.

Overall, it is a decent set up, but no matter how good or durable their flanges, fit will either be A: perfect, or B: awkward. I fall toward the latter for the following reasons: the SA1 inserts itself at a stark angle and protrudes from the ear. Because my ear canals are narrow, the earphone really sticks out. Aslo, its coaxial cable mount slants away from the face, forcing the cables to hang out, then fall in toward the body at unnatural angles. The cable can be worn over the ear to reduce microphonic noises and support the earphone better, but not as easily as some earphones with flexible cable stems.

Build Quality and Cable
The SA1′s well-finished wood, semi sweat-resistant cable, and a good box of goodies, make it feel like an earphone which carries a higher price tag. The wooden housing is solidly sandwiched by an aluminium cap and sound tube – it is a solid and tiny bullet. And like the Sleek Audio CT6 custom, the SA1’s coaxial cable is solidly mounted into the earphone.

Where it starts to lose steam is when vivisected. Its cable is soft and relatively free from microphonic noises, but it lacks good stress relief, and sticks out like a wart from a DAP or amp at a dangerous straight angle. Fortunately, it isn’t apt to crystallise when in prolonged contact with sweat and body oils as Sleek’s former cable. It will crystallise, but the cable will definitely remain supple for longer. But in comparison to Sleek’s oft’ maligned 2009 cable, it may be a step backward. I expect problems to occur at the base plug AND at the earphone base where the long coaxial connector digs into the earphone. The detachable design is stronger than most detachable designs on the market, but is far from perfect.

I would put overall build quality just ahead of the Maximo iP-HS5, but wouldn’t wager the SA1 to last forever. Also, there is one last thing to note: since the SA1’s filter twists on and off at the mouth of the sound tube, removing the earphone may leave the flange AND filter in the ear. This doesn’t happen often, but it is possible.

Sound
Here is a spoiler: the SA1 is a good balance point between the smooth, but deep Monster Turbine Pro, and the more agile Maximo iP-HS5. In other words, it is pretty versatile; it takes trance, pop, rock and folk in stride while still managing great vocals and a good midrange.

Trance
DJ Tiesto – Kaleidascope
This is new trance, but not as new sounding as Tiesto’s older Bunkka. Trance heritage is preserved with hard beats and catchy vocals, but Kaleidascope is edgier and grippier, falling into the arms of hard-pop and rock. Thankfully, it remains technical, wide, and complicated – a great playground for distortion. The SA1 handles it handily!

Electronic
Depeche Mode – Exciter
When Depeche Mode put down the guitars, they started playing music. Their tightly refined electronic is loud at times, but smooth, eerie, and spacious. This prodigal album’s atmospheric dark can get heavy with a lumbering headphone, but with resolution and a good-voiced top end, a great sounding album and a good headphone-tripping tool. The SA1 is well-matched to this album, but it lacks some deep bass resolution.

Metal
Danzig – Danzig
I’m no big metalhead, so I fall for easy stuff. Metal’s Morrison, Danzig, is a great cacophony of mis-filed talent, and near-evil to excite any headphone addict. The man’s melodic downers simply rock with melodic headphones. The well-extended top end and smooth mids keeps the heavy in this metal, but it would be nice to have a harder kicking kick drum.

Vocal
Diana Krall – The Look of Love
It could be because I am tired that I chose Krall instead of Peyroux, or it could be because her delicious Frim Fram Sauce has me waiting for my own bacon. Her lusty vocals deserve a bit of smooth emotion. Again, Diana Krall’s lusty voice is a great showcase for just how agile this earphone is. The SA1 is truly a budget jack of all trades.

Folk
THE BOOM – THE BOOM
If it’s good enough for Brazil’s national football team, it’s good enough for me. THE BOOM are just one of those bands whose pure tunes strike melody with fun. They require light-stepping, but thick-sounding headphones to drag their listeners up and down the 中央線. The SA1 tip toes around THE BOOM very well.

The SA1’s tiny 6mm driver looks unimpressive on paper – the axiom ‘the bigger the better’ usually applies to dynamic driver earphones. But, it seems that Sleek have cut through enough paper prejudice to deliver very good sound in a small package. It isn’t as smooth as the Monster Turbine Pro, but if I were to compare it directly to a competitor ;) , the lovechild of Monster’s Turbine Pro and Maximo’s iP-HS5 might explain it pretty well. In other words, the SA1 explores close to the bowels of bass, but remains agile up top.

SA1’s speaker is the little driver that could; it delivers smooth transitions between all frequencies while skirting distortion. If more bass is wanted, fit on the black filter caps and stuff on an earpiece with a smaller aperture.

Incredibly low-voiced songs progress forward with the smallest of tremors, hovering just above what typical dual/triple balanced armature earphones kick out. This means the SA1 can retain an excellent sense of speed for trance music without tripping on the floor. But it also means there is less rumble and deep resolution than either of its parents. In the same way, texture and separation of deep bass suffers in comparison.

In typical Sleek Audio fashion, mids are clever and clear. Vocals are smooth, soothing, and strike the frontline. Instruments keep up a good pace and play naturally with each other. Percussion and mid-low voiced strings are excellently textured considering the price. Think of balance and extension because the SA1 deviates very little across the spectrum though its highs and mids are probably the its forte. Its siren, its personal beacon, is its varnished high frequency. They are smooth, well extended and bright. But, they aren’t fatiguing.

That brings me to mention the SA1’s filters. Sleek Audio has this thing for personalisation – something which has been the crux of every earphone in their arsenal. The SA1 comes with two VQ filters: black to enhance mids and bass, and silver to bring out mid-high frequencies. Both work as advertised, but the difference isn’t as pronounced as that of the SA6, and ostensibly, as that of the CT6 custom. I tend to prefer the silver which maintains a congestion-free sound while allowing highs to really sing.

Finally, I would like to set this straight: the SA1 sings pretty wide, likely due to its ported wooden inner dome. That said, instrument separation isn’t exceptional. In the same price bracket, Maximo’s 590 and iP-HS5 have a leg up on the SA1, as does the 39$ Head-Direct RE-2. But, while closer together than those competitors, instruments are free of entangled smear.

Altogether, this is a very good sounding earphone.

Special Feature – Clip the tail
All of Sleek’s earphones are compatible with the excellent W1 Kleer Wireless adapter. The W1’s cables, which bend at right-angles, were designed for the SA6 and CT6, but work without too much fuss with the SA1 and the set sounds great together. There is a little background noise, overall, the W1 is a stunning accessory for any Sleek Audio earphone.

Out and About
The 132cm cable is great while out and about. Firstly, it is long enough to pocket comfortably, and almost good enough to purse without problems. And, thanks minimal microphonic noises, you can walk about without getting thumped by footstep and clothing noises. The neck cinch is decent, but will probably stretch and fall over time. It helps in reducing touch noises and so too does wearing the cable over the ear, though the cable’s angle may cause problems for certain ears.

Finally, the open port allows a bit of the outside in, but otherwise, the SA1 isolates reasonably well. It is no Audio Technica CK100 or Earsonics SM2, but it will allow you to keep music at reasonable levels while in the bus or walking about. One thing to watch out for, however, is driver crinkle. All ported earphones will funnel wind into the sound chamber and flap the driver around. It probably isn’t dangerous to the earphone, but it is annoying for those intimate moments with your favourite tunes/movie/game.

Conclusion
80$ isn’t cheap. But with a good accessory package, nice carrying case, the ability to go wireless, and overall decent construction, the SA1 looks pretty good. It is smooth and reliable with a pretty top end. And while allowing minute adjustments via its VQ tuning system, its low end isn’t as detailed or resolved as a few of its competitors. Things to watch out for are: cable construction and a comparatively laid back separation of instruments. But overall, this 80$ earphone is well worth its price tag and easily recommends itself not only in its price category, but in offering choices unheard of even in earphones well above its price range.

App Summary
Title: Sleek Audio SA1 Developer: Sleek Audio
Reviewed Ver: SA1 Speaker Type: 6mm Dynamic (moving coil)
Price: $80 MSRP ($50 at Amazon)
  • Sturdy, pretty earphones
  • Good, smooth sound with some kick
  • Excellent replaceable cable system
  • Can work with wireless or future headset option
  • Good fit kit and great case
  • Cable has weak strain relief and plug portions
  • Low end not as detailed as possible
  • Strangely angled cable plugs

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Hot damn! Headphones really are a rockin’ way to enjoy music, right? Feel free to explore TMA’s headphone oubliette

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Sleek Audio CT6 Custom IEM in Review – Perfection http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/11/sleek-audio-custom-iem-in-review-perfection/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/04/11/sleek-audio-custom-iem-in-review-perfection/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2009 07:13:30 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=8980 Sleek Audio: Company Sleek Audio is a father and son partnership. Since their release of the SA6 Inner Ear monitor, they have been making waves in audio circles for uniquely designed phones that excel in audio performance despite their lower cost. The Sleek Audio Custom IEM is their finest work to date and a truly … Read more]]>

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Sleek Audio: Company
Sleek Audio is a father and son partnership. Since their release of the SA6 Inner Ear monitor, they have been making waves in audio circles for uniquely designed phones that excel in audio performance despite their lower cost. The Sleek Audio Custom IEM is their finest work to date and a truly audiophile product despite costing hundreds less than many of its competitors.

Sleek Audio was started by Mark and Jason Krywko, father and son respectively. It began when Mark found himself dissatisfied with the sound signature of the dozens of different earphones he had tried over the years, so as a 30 year veteran of the audio and custom hearing aid industries, he decided to build his own.

What started as a fun project turned into a three year endeavor developing a product with his son that would revolutionize the audio industry; the SA6 acoustically customizable earphone.

Mark and Jason took their extensive experience in the audio industry and vast knowledge of the ear to create a new ideology in personal audio. Rather than focus on adding multiple, larger speakers to earphones, go back to the starting point and focus on the acoustics of the ear canal and how best to  get sound from a music player to the listener’s ear in a form recording artists intended.

Sleek Audio pride themselves on offering a tailored experience to the consumer:

All of our products are designed with the individuality of every ear in mind.
Sleek Audio allows you, for the first time, to find “your audio fingerprint” without having to sacrifice anything when it comes to your music. Sharp, precise sound can come out of a small, comfortable earphone. We’ve looked at what music lovers want out of their audio experience and designed our products accordingly……incredible sound quality, comfort, and flexibility.

Sleek Audio CT6
In my life, I have been silly enough to own many 300$ plus earphones, all of which have been benchmarks in some area or another. My Westone UM2 was incredibly comfortable and came tethered to a nearly noiseless cable and perfectly designed headphone jack. The Shure E500 model presented me with to-die-for mids and a sleek design while Audio Technica’s CK10 provided both looks, great sound and superior construction.

Sleek’s Custom earphone, embodies nearly every plus that the aforementioned companies have brought to portable audio, but are better in many regards. Firstly, their removable coaxial cable is both soft and noise-free and features above-average strain relief. Secondly, they provide thick, deep bass and smooth treble that edges out my hitherto favourite: the tiny CK10. But above all, their custom fit ensures comfortable, fatigue-free wear. In fact, a custom earphone is so natural feeling, that it is possible to forget that they are in the ear.

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Not available at your local Futureshop
Because Sleek’s custom earphones are tailored to your ear’s size, shape and sound preferences, they cannot be purchased directly from anywhere, unless you live in Sleek Audio’s neighbourhood. You will first need to have impressions of your ears taken which is normally done by a visit to an audiologist. Sleek will also recommend an audiologist in your area if you are in the United States in case you need recommendations. My impressions were taken locally by Brad Davidson of Hearsafe Canada.

The process of taking impressions is short and consists a couple of steps. Firstly, a bit of biologically safe putty must be injected into your ear behind a safety stopper. Then, after a few minutes, the putty hardens creating a virtual mould of your inner-ear. The final step in the process takes the longest. The moulds must then be sent to Sleek and after a few emails and a good, long telephone conversation about sound preferences, your Sleek Custom earphones will be lovingly created.

Note: custom earphones take a long time to create. Be prepared to wait. Also, have your impressions professionally done. DO NOT use a home impression kit as you can damage your ears.

Why Customs?
This is not an easy question to answer. Originally, customs were made exclusively for stage musicians who needed hearing protection from the crowd and from loud floor-standing monitors. They have been in construction for many years by different companies such as Futuresonics, Sensaphonics, Westone and Ultimate Ears – all of whom make products that start from 600$!

Recently, smaller custom manufacturers with emerging designs and markets have taken on the more established companies and created affordable alternatives for musicians and music lovers alike. Among these are Sleek, Livewires, Alien Ears, Hear Yourself and SoundCage. I have used inner earphones since 2002 and after seven years of changing flanges, losing ear pieces and the general discomfort that I sometimes experience, decided that it was worth the switch to custom monitors.

If for no other reason, the decision to purchase custom earphones can be made solely to ensure superior comfort. Because they perfectly fit your individual ear shape, custom monitors feel almost as if nothing is in the ear. That said, the hard shell does not remould as do foamies, flanges or silicon, so if you listen whilst eating or other activities when your ears may flex and move, custom phones may intermittently lose their seal.

Fit and Packaging
Because Sleek’s Custom is not a typical in-ear earphone, it does not come with a typical fit-kit. Rather, the earphones, a cleaning tool, detachable coaxial cable and box are the only accessories to the shipping box. To protect your investment, Sleek provide a crush and dust proof water resistant Pelican case. They take care to ensure that your investment will not suffer from either tough couriers or your own negligence as long as it stays within the Pelican case.

Unfortunately, Sleek neglected to ship a toss-pouch or hard-sided case for more portable use, however their packaging is not wasteful. There are no throwaway plastics or hard edges on which the customer may hurt herself – it is well thought-through with every effort aimed at simplicity and utility.

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Specifications – Single Wide-range Balanced Armature Design

• Frequency Response: 10Hz-20KHz
• Noise Attenuation: -35 dB
• Standard Cable: 60 inches
• Impedance: 50 ohm
• DC Resistance: 24 ohm
• Speaker Type: Ultra Wide Band Balanced Armature Driver with Custom Porting
• Sensitivity: 110 dB SPL/mW

What that means is of little importance if you are not really into your audio. If so, then just skip over this bit. Sleek’s cable is longer even than Zagg’s 1,37 cable which is a great length for portable use. Since it is light and soft, it does not impede movement.

If you care about how easy the Sleek Customs are to drive and how much hiss they will exhibit, then the above spec will help you. An impedance of 50 ohms is nearing a gold standard at which most portable audio players are let loose and able to produce deep bass and open sound stages. Even the iPhone and iPod Touch 1G will be able to sustain good, detailed bass at 50 ohms, but will still benefit from external amping.

As for soundstage, iPod and iPhone users – you are in luck. The iDevice remains to this day on top in terms of left-to-right separation even when under load. Lastly, with a sensitivity of 110b, the Sleek Customs can be driven loudly from nearly any portable and will not hiss too much with dirty sources. Phonak’s PFE are the kings when regarding the effortless rendering of a black background even with rather hissy soruces, but Sleek’s earphones are not too sensitive as to hiss with every source.

Unique Coaxial cables
Firstly, Sleek’s cable is an interchangeable creation that works on all of Sleek Audio’s high end earphones including the SA6 universal IEMs. The connection is extremely robust with no play that could damage the internal connector. I had doubts as to the reliability of this system but after owning and listening to the custom in a variety of conditions for over a month, my fears are assuaged.

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Cables can be purchased in a variety of colours as well as a pioneering new wireless technology called Kleer. The Kleer option is available for 120$ and is as testified by the following reviews, lossless and definitely peerless in wireless technology and besting BlueTooth.

Sleek’s cable material is similar to Phonak’s cable – it is soft and non-microphonic but is less pourous and probably less susceptible to hardening and cracking. Strain relief is a mixed bag: though well thought out on the headphone plug, the terminal jacks which connect to the earphone are prone to splitting – a problem which Sleek are working on. The Y-Split is also missing strain relief. The headphone jack is a right-angle construction, which protects both the iDevice and the headphone jack.

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Aside from those strong points, Sleek’s cable is ‘blingy’ with shiny plastic bits around the headphone jack and the lower portion of the Y-split. Personally, I find this design to be gaudy and unfitting for a high-end earphone – rather more in tune with cheaper looking mass-market alternatives. Adding to this image, the plastic bit from the headphone jack sometimes pops off. If you have read my reviews, you will understand that I am not a fan of weak, all plastic construction – a fact which lowered my ratings for the Audeo PFE.

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Acrylic Housing Quality
Sleek’s Custom housing material, is made of layered acrylic which surrounds each driver unit. Since the acrylic material is hard, it is very sturdy and despite being solid and compact, when in the ear, it is incredibly comfortable.

As a true custom product much like my Marinoni Fango steel bicycle, the Sleek earphone can be chosen in a variety of colours and you can even design a custom logo for printing on the outside shell. Mine obviously, is adorned with the letters ‘tma’ in Bahaus93 font denoting TouchMyApps. I also chose differently coloured earpieces for added personality and wuffie from the audiophile crowd. Bill from Sleek Audio was very kind in walking me through colour schemes, sound preferences and any questions I had in the process of making my earphones.

Sound
It might seem strange that I mention fit as custom monitors are made to fit perfectly to you ear, but problems occur even with custom monitors. This can stem from the initial moulding process, from packaging, from the manufacturing step or from a multitude of other reasons. Have patience – this process may take longer than you expected, but in the end, it is worthwhile. Misfits occur with every custom monitor on the market, including the ultra expensive models from Ultimate Ears, ACS, Sensaphonics, Futresonics and Westone.

I had to apply a little nail polish to the under side of my ear pieces to get a snug fit and when I finish this review, will send my customs back to Sleek for a UV hardening process to finalise the fit.

Test Music
For my listening tests, I spent most of my time with these staples of my collection:
Armin van Buuren – Trance
Paul Oakenfold – Trance
DJ Tiësto – Trance
Ice Cube – Rap
MC Solaar – Rap
Kent – Rock/Alternative
Ultima Thule – Rock/Punk
Madeleine Peyroux – Vocal
Aphex Twin – I care Because You Do – Ambient, Space

Bass
Sleek will cater to your listening preferences when making your custom monitor. You can choose from nuetral, plus or minus for both bass and treble – I chose plus on both frequencies. Thus, my Sleek customs render more treble sparkle and slightly greater bass presence than the standard Sleek house sound.

At 50 ohms, Sleek’s product is relatively easy to drive – a side effect is that bass definition is superbly deep and defined even from a first generation Apple iPod Nano. However, Sleek’s products utilise balanced armature type transducers – this sort of driver tends to react quickly to variations in music and appears incredibly accurate. Part of the reason for this is that the drivers do not move as much air so bass is less tactile and apt to ‘bleed’ into other parts of the music.

On that note, bass presence is nothing like the astounding dynamic-driven Turbine or NE7M, however it has much better positioning within the rest of the audible spectrum. This is due to the very hard acrylic sound tube and the fact that the driver unit itself is further out from the ear. Since custom’s sound must travel further and achieve a tighter, less giving fit with the ear, slight rumbles are more noticeable to outer portions of the ear than with units that use flanges or foamies that dampen vibrations. There is less overall bass impact, but sound vibrations which rumble along the outer ear canal help in creating a more organic and fluid bass presentation. Saying all of that, the Sleek CT6 isn’t going to wow any bass heads, and even for the more meagre bass lovers, has a softer bass presentation than many other customs. While nothing is wrong with it, it is the weakest link in the CT6.

If you love thick bass, be sure to tell Sleek’s team so they can tailor-make the best custom for you.

Mids and Treble
Many people praise Sleek’s other model, the SA6 for its forward, lush mids and smooth highs. Their custom model is no less beautiful. I cannot say whether or not the actual sound frequency extends from 10HZ to 20 KHZ as I am not a bat, but I can say that treble reaches far on these earphones. It is smooth, non-fatiguing and simply, beautiful.

For those who love vocals, the Sleek customs will impress but not to the extent that extremely mid-oriented earphones such as the UM2 or SE530 do. Instead, the mids presentation of the Sleek customs is atmospheric and lively but does not invade into genre where overly warm mids are unneeded.In particular, Madeliene Peyroux’s voice is lovely with the Sleek on any source, but not as lusty as with a warmer sounding earphone. For this reason, the setup that I have chosen is excellent for electronic and rock music and even with rap. Again, be sure to discuss with Sleek Audio’s team about how to tailor your custom to your preferences.

Soundstage
Where dynamic driver based inner earphones far extend to the side and back, Sleek’s custom creates a tight but extremely well-defined sound space around your the head. If you have not noticed 3D positioning in your music before, you will with customs. They best the incredibly well placed CK10 stage and violently thrash the delicate PFE amped or unamped. Again, this likely is aided by the perfect fit that customs provide as well as from the sound vibrations that interact with your ear canal through the acrylic case rather than being absorbed into rubber or foam ear tips of universal inner earphones.

In simple terms, Sleek Audio’s Custom earphones sing an eerily accurate soundstage that dances above, below and around your head-space. They are tightly defined yet awesome in spacial presentation – unlike anything I have heard in an inner earphone.

On the Go
Because of their high-quality cable which is low on microphonic noises, Sleek’s Custom monitors are divine for out-and-about listening. They are comfortable, secure and with a good fit, unperturbed by wind noises that howl on lesser designs. However, no matter how good the sound is from an acrylic case, customs probably will not provide the same amount of isolation as a dense foamy ear tip on another deep-insertion universal earphone. This can either be a boon or a point of contention for you. Personally, I find the level of noise attenuation similar to the Turbine but lower than the PFE which nearly shut out background noises when worn with foamy ear pieces.

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Amped
Since I am working on finishing a short but pithy review on the Nuforce Icon Mobile headphone amplifier, I have been religiously using my various earphones with and without dedicated amplifcation. I prefer not to amp earphones as my tastes rest in portability at the sacrifice of some sound quality. However, the Sleek Audio Custom earphone amps beautifully. The most noticeable change is their sound staging which pushes out vertically and horizontally even further and depending on the amp, treble and bass nature also change. The Nuforce adds some clarity to treble and greater authority to the bass.

Rather than a dedicated amplifier, I prefer to use an impedence cable that adds resistance to the line. This option is more elegant, requiring less baggage but also renders less stellar results. For its part, my 75 ohm resistor cable eliminated any hiss from my Rockboxxed iPod Nano and went a long way to quieting my extremely noisy Sony 828 walkman.

Conclusion
For the almost reasonable price of 300$ plus the dosh for an audiologist exam, you can experience unrivalled sound and comfort. The Sleek Custom audio experience is far above any inner ear phone I have yet tried – accurate, deep, expressive and smooth whilst engaging the outer parts of my ear canal for phenomenal soundstaging. Are they worth the fairly high price of admission and long wait? Undoubtedly. The cable is well constructed if gaudy with cheap plastic bits, but overall, Sleek’s presentation and packaging including strength of design is top-notch.

Finally, Sleek do not engage in marketing in the same way that many custom balanced armature companies do. Their single balanced armature provides incredible extension and body. Most companies use multiple drivers and passive crossovers or frequency limiters to ensure that an accurate sound image is still presented to the listener. Since this is likely a marketing decision more than anything else, there is no right or wrong for the consumer.

Sleek Audio’s CT6 monitor gets kissed by TouchMyApps. Please take a look at our other Headphone reviews.
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App Summary
Title: Sleek Audio Custom earphones Developer: Sleek Audio
Price: $300 plus impressions and custom artwok
  • Usable and environmentally sound packaging
  • Wonderful customer service
  • Excellent sound
  • Realist sound stage
  • Detachable cables with excellently anchored contacts and wireless options
  • ‘Reasonable’ pricing compared to many competitors
  • Gaudy cable
  • Not cheap

Can’t get enough of headphones? We got loads more here in our headphone section with many upcoming custom monitors.

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