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.
If someone told me that a dual-driver earphone would catch my ear, I’d have yawned a juicy mess of contempt into their face. If, however, that person first mentioned that the dual-driver wasn’t just another ba-ba balanced armature earphone, I’d have kept my spit and contempt to myself. Sonority may be have been damned in naming Radius’ new HP-TWF11R dual-dynamic driver earphone, but the Japanese company surely show that they’ve what it takes to make an earphone sound great. Feel free to discuss the Radius HP-TWF11R in our forums.
Ever been so enamoured by a new gadget that you take it to bed wrapped in your favourite dainties? I have. My lecherous fingers have caressed many pieces of technology, late into the night. But until now, they’ve been trained on MD players and really high tech shoes and my iPod touch 2G. I’ve tickled the ACS’ T1, an earphone whose quality belies its silicon shell, far into the dark night. Its sultry curves, great bone structure, and whip-strong cable cry to be handled in a Wash-like ‘manly fashion’.
For all photos and discussion of this ACS T1 Review, head to our forums.
Let’s get one thing straight here: mid-priced inner earphones are really starting to put out like their more sexy/pricey colleagues. They’ve bass, mids, and treble now rather than just bass and some, like the Sherwood SE-777, are just great all-round bargains. For 80$ the SE-777 isn’t cheap, but it sounds great, looks great, and has a pleasant surprise for DIY enthusiasts! Feel free to discuss this review of the Sherwood SE-777 in our forums.
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.
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.
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.
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.