Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
Superb sound quality
on 2 August 2006
These are expensive but well worth it in my opinion. They are very well made but some might object to the cables which are thicker and stiffer than the cables on Sony units, for example. However I guess it is to improve the sound quality which is what these are all about.
The ear pieces are slightly larger than the Sony Fontopias I am used to and a bit fiddly to plug into your ears at first but a bit of patience and careful choice of rubber plugs will pay dividends. The cables don't help at first as they are a bit heavy as well as being a bit stiff and tend to pull the units out at first. Like a lot of people I am a bit nervous about sticking strange things in my ears so was a bit cautious and shaky at first as well but once you get used to them they are a great fit and stay in well.
Other minor issues with the cables are that they are coated with sort of clear plastic whereas the ear units are black which looks a tiny bit odd. I really would have preferred black cables. Also they have a slight rubbery smell which I hope goes off with time as I am getting odd "rubber fetishist" comments from work colleagues !
Now to the sound. These things rock !!! Truly mobile high quality sound that never ceases to amaze. I am just loading CDs onto my player that have sat in my collection unplayed for ages just to hear them again.
I have yet to find any music that does not suit them, classical (both "purist" and "New Age - Bond etc."), rock, electronic, dance all sound awesome. Anything modern with complex sonic qualities just sounds so clear and detailed (try Chicane - Far From the Maddening Crowds) and they make older stuff sound fresher and more exciting. Even maximum compressed (128 kbps) MP3s sound good but 320 kbps is the way to go if you have a hard drive player or you refresh the music regularly on your player.
One often heard complaint about the player I use (Sony NW-A3000) is about the alleged EU imposed volume limit. When I first got my player I found about the hack and applied it - but still needed high volume settings (20 and above with a top volume of 30) to get any reasonable sound level with my old Sony Fontopias. But these puppies are pushing out fantastic sound at 10, which is a third of the volume the Sony player is capable of. The handbook that comes with these does mention starting to use them at low volumes and they even include an attenuator. I am guessing that lower player volumes = slightly longer battery life but not 100% sure. It does seem a reasonable assumption though.
I know they are expensive but couple these with a decent player (Sony NW-A3000 in my case), load up your music at 320 kbps and enjoy !!