The world of earphones has been ripped asunder by the ‘driver war’ which is now sillier than the blade war which rears its ugly head in between French handball goals on TV. Today, models which boast 8 drivers roam the prototypical plains in the underbellies of inventive manufacturers – and mark my words, that number will only climb. On the heals of the Jerry Harvey JH13Pro, the Fitear Private 333 will expose another niche, another customer base, and another sound among custom earphones. This time, the badge of honour (other than “made in Japan”) which the 333 proudly wears, is that of ‘fun’. Indeed, this custom is somewhat of a departure from the more neutral options from Sleek and Jerry Harvey and goes the Ultrasone route of fun, space, and speed. And it rocks.
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:
Tucked away from Seoulʼs flashy fashion and meet-market districts is a unique and foreign world. Geeky and lively, Yongsan is home to major electronics companies, importing thoroughfares, haggling hawkers, and most importantly, a thriving distribution/ manufacturing community. This teem of life and business spans the gamut from massive corporations to one-person electronic chop-shops: an organic melange of commerce and concoction. It is also home to SoundCAT, sponsor of Head-fi, and one of the audio communityʼs most diverse and fastidious distributors.
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$). If you are looking for an excellent, but flat-line neutral dynamic listen, the RE2 is one of the best earphones (if not the best) in its price category. Enjoy!
Check it out: RE2 and Fiio E5 combo 39$
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.
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.
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: