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.
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.
The venerable Shure SE530 is a great inner earphone which has stood the test of time. But, after nearly 3,5 years, it is getting long in the tooth. Fortunately for Shure fans, a two new models, the SE535 and SE425 have been spotted at CES. These new earphones are slimmer than the old triple-driver model and come with breakaway (coaxial?) cables. Other than that, not much is yet known about the new earphones which are expected to ship in the middle of 2010.
With the release of the CK100, Audio Technica have reinvented the inner earphone. Their former flagship portable, the dual-driver CK10 is a thing of neutral, fast, and airy beauty. But no matter how good it is, its younger, pricier sibling hurdles it in every imaginable way. The CK100 houses 3 balanced armature speakers per earphone from which a brilliant atmospheric sound haunts. For audiophiles looking for a high-quality, good-sounding inner earphone, there is none better for the price.
If anyone can one-up the Nuforce, it is Maximo. They sport many reasonably priced headsets and upgrade inner earphones which work well and sound good to boot. The iP-HS5 is their premium model which hits the important price point set by Apple’s new dual-driver inner earphone headset. But unlike the white-on-white of Apple’s sparsely accessorised kit, Maximo pack in a lot of black. In fact, its accessories kit might even make Jays blush.
UPDATE: Maximo have informed me that newer iP-HS5 cables are different to the model I have. If that is the case, I will update this review accordingly.
Not sure what’s afoot, but as I was digging up information on Sleek Audio‘s intriguing new dynamic driver SA1 inner earphone, I got the above from Sleek’s homepage. Something is up. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, but not at Sleek, so I will put forward a couple of guesses. A: Sleek are upgrading their website and have it offline for a few hours. B: The above webpage is a spare tyre, installed because Sleek have too much traffic. C: They have been hacked. I have a feeling that it might be one of the first two. Sleek have just been picked as a recipient of CES’s video award, so they may well have been deluged recently with traffic. I hope it isn’t the latter.
Their video and some SA1 glamour shots after the gap. Warning, video is Flash.
Sherwood have been a big name in home audio since the 1950’s and currently rank among the best-selling hifi companies in the United States. It was only a matter of time before they released a hi-end earphone for the growing portable audio market. The SE-777 is a single ultra-wide balanced armature design which weighs in at a respectable 53 ohms for the paltry sum of 79$ USD. Equally newsworthy is that SoundCAT and Uncle Wilsons, two of Asia’s premier audio distributors, have secured exclusive distribution rights for it. SoundCAT have been on the cutting edge of custom and consumer audio since their founding and are continually moving forward in both segments. TMA recently did an exclusive article on SoundCAT’s business which will interest the audiophile and music lover.
TMA will be providing an in-depth review of the earphones in the near future, so keep an eye out in our headphone news and reviews section for this new entry.
UPDATE: TMA’s review of the Sherwood SE-777 is up. Spoiler: it’s a good one!
Spec, pictures and more info after the gap:
The Head-Direct RE0 is considered by a boisterous section of Head-fi to be one of the best inner earphones in the world. Head-Direct have already dropped the RE0’s introductory price from over 200$ to 99$. And just in time for America’s biggest feasting day, their high-end IEM has dropped another 20$. Thank you Head-Direct! In case you were wondering, the RE0 is positioned two steps above the GRAB-worthy RE2. And just in case you didn’t know, the RE2 is also on sale, coming bundled with a Fiio headphone amp!
Driver unit: 9mm
Impedence 64 OHM
Rate input 10mw
Max. input 30mw
Feequency response: 15Hz ~ 22KHZ
30 days refund and 1 year replacement
Be sure to keep an eye on our Headphone section for more reviews, contests, and news.
Nary does news get me all tizzied up, but this bit is hot. The Head-Direct RE2 inner earphone which earned a GRAB from TMA has received another price reduction in a new bundled package with the miniature E5 headphone amp from Fiio (which retails at up to 25$). If you are looking for an excellent, but flat-line neutral dynamic listen, the RE2 is one of the best earphones (if not the best) in its price category. Enjoy!
Check it out: RE2 and Fiio E5 combo 39$
Jerry Harvey Audio, the world’s current custom inner earphone technology leader, have taken a major step in rearing their new business in opening an online store. If you have forgotten who JHA are and why they are important, let me remind you: founder Jerry Harvey began the in-ear professional monitor business back when he mixed for Van Halen. Since then, he has been pushing the limits of the technology, and now at the helm of his new company, reshaping the hi-end earphone world. Jerry Harvey Audio is his second major hi-end business; the first, Ultimate Ears is still hands down the market leader, but has since been sold to Logitech and subsequently, renamed to Logitech Ears.
Still looking for more? Try TMA’s review of Jerry Harvey Audio’s top of the line custom earphone, the JH13Pro (below), a six balanced-armature driver beast which really sizzles. They are earphone for the serious professional, or the outright insane audiophile.
Jerry Harvey Audio Store — accessories coming soon!