Many Japanese audio companies don’t distribute headphones (let alone other audio equipment) overseas. It is is a flying shame since brilliant products such as the Victor/JVC FX500 can’t be sampled by international buyers unless at extravagant importer prices. The Japanese exporter, Seyo-Shop, manage to supply eager international hands with Japanese headphone gems which otherwise would cost an arm, leg and part of your jaw to buy.
Buying from Seyo has a few strong advantages
- selection: there are dozens of domestic releases which cannot be found elsewhere under one roof.
- price: Seyo serve up great prices for international buyers: from headphone deals to excellent international shipping rates, they are ahead of the curve.
- shipping: Seyo ship via the world’s defacto express postal service, EMS who are unrivalled for cost, speed, and ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of your product.
- guarantee: if your product suffers manufacturer’s defect, purchases from Seyo are guaranteed for up to one year.
Look below for some good deals from Seyo Shop.
Last year, the Monster Turbine rocketed the cable manufacturer into the realm of hifi portable audio. Great sound and a sturdy housing set the Turbine aside in its price range, and like other ‘grabbed’ headphones at TMA, cemented its spot as a great buy. Its weakness, however, was cable design which has no stress relief, comes in a straight-jack, and has a wishy-washy y-split.
Apparently, things have changed: Monster are listening to customer requests and the feedback from reviewers.
The Monster Turbine Pro (while not in these hands), looks to change a lot of that. The new earphones retain the same sturdy housing design, but enter the market with strain relief, a right angle plug, a better y-split, and according to Monster, better sound. The MSRP is a stiff 250$, but if Monster pull all of the punches listed above, the new earphone should be worth it.
Additional Monster literature, spec, and pictures after the gap.
Every month of every year, enterprising audio designers create new gadgets which achieve some paragon of aural nirvana. Jerry Harvey founded Ultimate Ears to support the rockers, Van Halen with products which would both protect their hearing and relate greater production value to their fans. For 1099$, the JH13Pro stands with a 50$ cheaper price tag than its older — and now estranged — brother, the Ultimate Ears UE11Pro, but lacks a few of its amenities. What it doesn’t lack, however, is beautiful sound.
INC have a great article detailing Jerry Harvey’s moves which changed the stage performance industry.
I am a hearty fan of the Monster Turbine, a great-sounding earphone from the cable giant. Monster say the Turbine Pro will deliver a few things to their already great formula including: a better cable (needed), driver, and higher quality parts. I say bring it on. Look for pre order of the the Turbine Pro in early October.
If you want to check out the headphone Monster will be one-upping, take a look at my Monster Turbine review.
Among mainstream electronic companies, Victor (JVC) have quietly shed traditional speaker manufacturing techniques in creating driver diaphragms from wood rather than synthetic materials. Several of their small cabinet systems utilise wood driver technology, and the FX500 inner earphone also benefits from wood. In 2008, it was the world’s first earphone to employ wood in both its housing and driver diaphragm and is still the only production earphone whose driver is made from wood. Wood has the potential of fielding vastly more natural echo characteristics in comparison to plastic or metal.
The original Shure E500 set the inner earphone industry ablaze. It was the first consumer-oriented triple-driver balanced armature earphone, and in 2006, it stormed into many eager audio-lover’s hands. Today, the the venerable earphone has been overhauled and re-badged. The SE530 retains its glorious mid-oriented signature sound which is one of the most stunningly presented among all inner earphones. Smoothly detailed, it twists and turns in time with any musical genre, paying homage to all, but favouring none. Today, there are many other triple-driver consumer earphones, but Shure’s striking debut is still one of the best.
I will not get into which sound signature I am more partial to, rather the pictures are merely to illustrate the differences and similarities between both high-end iems. Sensaphonics’ 2X-S is a stodgy contender for the better part of a decade and has survived several cosmetic and build overhauls since its infancy. It is made from soft silicon, a pliable material which stretches with minute changes in the ear’s internal shape. Jerry Harvey’s JH13Pro is made out of the more traditional hard acrylic material that with a perfect fit, feels almost as comfortable as the Sensaphonics 2X-S. Differences in materials do mean a different flavour of sound; the hard acrylic of the JH audio renders extremely clean sound in all frequencies, but both earphones are incredible.
If you would like to read our review of the JH13Pro, please click here.
A couple of days ago, TMA reported on the impending release of the Westone 1. Today, we receive the official press release of the earphones which are due for release on 4 September. Again, they take after their older sibling, the Westone 3, which pioneered true 3-way balanced armature drivers in a universal earphone. Both phones are aimed at the discerning listener who is obviously not content by her earbuds. Both the Westone 1 and 3 are inner earphones which block a certain amount of outside noise and are compatible with ear pieces from Comply, Westone, Shure, Futuresonics, Earsonics and many other thin-mouth manufacturers.
Their Press Literature is below:
Last year, Westone released the first true 3-way earphone, the Westone 3. It comes in an overhauled shell, but remains similar in size to the UM2 before it. With a focus on consumers, the Westone 3 has a ‘fun’ sound which is graphically v-shaped in its frequency response with emphasis placed on bass and treble. This year, Westone are releasing the Westone 1, a one-way balanced armature earphone which utilises the same housing and what looks to be the same accessory kit. But, at 199$ versus the 399$ MSRP of the Westone 3, the new headphone will be an easier decision.
In typical Westone fashion, the Westone 1 will utilise the excellent cable which is the industry’s least microphonic and best relieved and bumpered earphone. The suggested street price will likely fall to around 139$, making this a perfect earphone for the active audiophile.
Yeah, it doesn’t get much cooler than today. Companies are doing giveaways left and right. Already, Jays’ c-Jays giveaway is live at their blog and just after waking up, I found out that Monster, too, are playing Santa Claus. The Jamz are a new headphone product from Monster which seems to be debuting with this contest. As for Anjulie, Canadians rejoice! Another home-grown pop star is rising from among our somewhat low-key population. She is a musician from Toronto who has just been nominated for an MTV music award and does seductive pop rather well. The contest convolutes both the Jamz and Anjulie – rather, Anjulie’s signature will accompany the Jamz if you win.
Check out her Myspace page here, or click more below for a few of her videos.
As for Monster – for some they need nearly no introduction. For the others, Monster are a cable company, but have branched out into anything music. We have done a couple of Monster Headphones reviews which are part of our larger headphone section.
The contest takes place at Monster’s webpage and requires you just to fill in your name, date of birth, and acceptance of the terms and conditions – in other words, I joined!