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 couldnâ€™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.
Noise-isolating earphones are hitting mainstream, and that’s a good thing. Apple and nearly every other digital audio manufacturer in the world distribute their phones and digital devices with open earbuds that not only sound crap, but that ruin ears on short order. The volume of an earphone has to rise 8-9 decibels above ambient noise to be heard. To be enjoyed, however, music has to be punched much louder. Using open earphones on the bus, in the tube, or about town is the perfect recipe for destroying your hearing.
Last year, Etymotics introduced custom-fit ear pieces for their popular line of noise-isolating earphones and headsets, but other companies offer custom-fit ear pieces for a variety of earphones.
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, theyâ€™ve been trained on MD players and really high tech shoes and my iPod touch 2G. Iâ€™ve tickled the ACSâ€™ 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 â€˜manly fashionâ€™.
For all photos and discussion of this ACS T1 Review, head to our forums.
The q-Jays is already a wonderful earphone full of details and space. But Jays aim to make it even better with a new service: custom silicon ear moulds for their current top-of-the-line earphone. Unlike other manufacturers, Jays will make use of silicon rather than acrylic. This ostensiblyÂ affords listeners and performers better isolation and comfort than traditional acrylic moulds. Jays’s partner is Bellman & Symfon AB, a Swedish hearing protection company, to bring audiophiles and professionals alike, a kick apps in-ear system. Feel free to discuss the Jays launch handcrafted ear moulds for q-Jays earphonesÂ in our forums.
Piccies and more after the gap:
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.
More after the gap:
We have a busy few months ahead of us in order to finish reviews for the fabulous products from the above companies. Without going into too many details, look forward to our first Custom Inner Ear Monitor review from Sleek Audio, high end products from Sennheiser and the popular Monster Beats Tour as well as a new Metro Fi from Ultimate Ears.