3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Atomic Floyd SuperDarts +Remote Headphones,
This review is from: Atomic Floyd SuperDarts Earphones with in-Line controls and Soundproofing (Electronics)
Atomic Floyd SuperDarts +Remote Headphones
I am an audiophile, and listen more or less exclusively to classical music. My main listening system is high end, and my last pair of ear-phones were etymotic i6's. I used these for 6 or 7 years, but alas one of the channels died last month. Consequently, I spent some time looking and reading for a likely replacement, and was fortunate in finding a small retailer who had a range of ear-buds on display, and I was able to try various types, including the etymotics, B&W, Klipsch, Sony, Denon, AGC, and some other brands. I require a set of buds that sound good, are comfortable, durable and cut out the roar of a jet engine while flying. Most of the expensive buds I tried sounded good. The etymotics were the best at sound exclusion. However, I was not convinced that they were durable, as the cable was extremely thin, and looked very fragile. The B&W seemed more robust, but were not too good at keeping out the background noise in the shop. The sound of the Klipsch was not too good in my ears.
The Darts were the one brand that I could not try before purchase, but settled on them because the reviews suggested that the sound was good, and the construction was durable. There was a suggestion that they would cut out some of the noise of trains and planes. I ordered them from the manufacturer, as I did not want to risk inadvertently purchasing a "chinese-clone".
They arrived a couple of days ago, and in short I am very pleased with them. The box in which they arrived was well packed, and waterproof. Some of the contents (rubber-buds, jack and plane jack) were stored in a disc-shaped rubber pouch, which is useless due to an open edge from which the contents escape quite easily. I left the buds to run from my itunes over-night, and used them for the daily commute-by-train the following day. There is a choice of size for the thin, rubber-ball ear pieces, and the medium sized ones fitted my ears best.
I was impressed by the sound quality, though I had to make a small adjustment with the in-line volume control (which I found conveniently placed and easy to use). An hour of Sibelius on the way to work, and Marie-Claire Alain playing Bach's organ works, on the way home, was wonderful, and the sound was much better than my old etymotics. My only crticism is that they seemed a little gentle in the presentation, and I think that the attack, or front edge, of each new sound is slightly "rolled" forming a slightly "polite" delivery. But all other dynamics were very enjoyable - bass was deep, and other aspects of the range were really good. There was good separation of instruments, and the various instruments of the orchestra are realistic and recognisable, very musical and very enjoyable. Marie-Claire's organ was really deep and dynamic (sorry, but I couldn't resist that). I soon found myself listening intently, and the ear-buds did not detract from the enjoyment of the music, or get in the way of the music. Physically, they were Ok as the buds stayed in my ears, and only fell out once, when I caught the cable unintentionally.
Other reviews have commented on microphonics and extraneous noise. I did not experience any microphonics, despite having a scarf, winter coat, and the ipod in my jacket's inner pocket. However, I did hear my foot-steps, which was something I did not have with the etymotics. I was also disappointed with the level of background noise, particularly road traffic, as this intruded on the music and was noticebly greater than the old etymotics. My old etymotics had a small clip that held the loose cable in place, which the darts don't have, and I did miss that, but this is a small detail.
My conclusion is that the ear-phones were excellent, but the rubbery ear-seals were the weakness, so I replaced them with some spare 'cones' that I had bought for the etymotics. When fitting them, they had to be forced over the barrel of the ear phone, but once in place allowed a perfect seal in my ear, stopped the "foot-step" echo, and significantly reduced the extraneous background noise from traffic and the train-chatteratti. The quality of the sound from the phones is not affected. Consequently, overall, I feel delighted with the purchase, and I'm looking forward to years of use.
In conclusion, the phones are fantastic, but the ear-seals are a weakness, which is why I gave a 4-star score.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Feb 2013 16:46:39 GMT
Stuart Holden says:
Hi, I was just wondering if you could possibly recommend a type of cone which you used to obtain a better fit- I find myself in a similar pickle to that initially described by you.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2013 18:11:42 GMT
P. A. Evans says:
I bought my cones about 4 years ago, and I can't see the kind advertised. But something like this:
StoreONE Triple Flange (Medium) Silicone Sleeve Ear Tips for Ultimate Ears, Sennheiser, Sony IEM Earphones
This type is very firm, and holds the buds in the ears. (but you do have to push then in) Once in, the "bounce-bang" disappears and they stay in place. The quality of the sounds is excellent. I won't be going back to my old etymotics. Good luck!
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