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.
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, 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.
Final Audio, maker of the both the world’s most expensive 2-speaker system and production earphones have released a new earphone, the single balanced armature FI-BA-SS. Like the Final Audio FI-DC1601SS, it is both housed in solid stainless steel and incorporates a custom Final Audio-designed speaker. The FI-BA-SS incorporates Balanced Air Movement (BAM) technology to control unwanted vibrations – whether or not such technology is necessary in a balanced armature design however, is debatable. Whatever the case, FAD’s new earphone is set to make a splash. At 20g per earphone, it certainly should. As a product of the adventurist Final Audio Design, the FI-BA-SS debuts at the ultra-high price point of ¥98,000, or over US 1000$.
If you can’t get enough of sleek, solid steel, then get ready to plop down your dosh at places like e-earphone which sell the newest FAD. It will be available in the middle of this month.
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If you like headphones, you are probably aware that perfect fit makes perfect sound. Earphone tips make a huge difference, especially when you tend to enjoy music or games on your iDevice for hours a day, or really care about sound. I tend to prefer foam tips because they are comfortable and safely isolate my music from the background. Unfortunately, many foam tips muck up the sound with boomy bass and midrange smear. Tips which don’t get nasty themselves: waxy and greasy after a few weeks of use. Monster’s Supertips foam tips are excellent tips for all but the narrowest-mouthed of earphones, and even those, with a few tweaks, can be made to work peachy.
Continue to our forums for the rest of the Monster Supertips review.
More details emerge about Jays 2010 earphone line up. Jays’ entry level earphone, the dynamic-driver a-JAYS will debut as a price-tiered model and start at 39$. Each a-JAYS model utilises the same-sized speaker unit, a titanium-coated 8,6mm driver. The new earphones also come with a new flat cable and excellent carrying case and package, making their asking price seem paltry. I’ve spent a few tender minutes with boy Jays a-JAYS and t-JAYS and can say with certainty, that their new line up is powerful, fun, and aimed at killing their respective price brackets.
TMA has reviewed Jays’:
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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 ostensibly 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 earphones in our forums.
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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.