When it comes to music quality, there should be no compromise, notwithstanding the compression debate on iTunes etc, and these In Ear Monitors, ear-buds to the rest of us, are the no compromise quality proposition you should consider when you chuck your iPhone ear-buds in your gadget bits drawer.
These IEMs have been a delight from the moment I realised that the packaging had a magnetic clasp that liberated the aluminium bullets from the holster. The buds, one red (right ear?), the other blue, are beautifully finished with distinctive, perfectly symmetrical, screws finishing the design. On opening the first task is to fit the buds in your ears properly by choosing the most comfortable little rubber seal as possible; whilst this is particularly fiddly it is not really a hardship when you’re experimenting on cutting out ambient noise and your wife is watching the X-Factor. After two changes of little rubbery thingies I had the buds snug in my ears whilst I flexed my neck like Ricky Hatton. I’ve found the very comfortable rubber ‘ear holders’ to be the key to keeping the buds in my ears because they take the weight of the cable off the bud and onto the top of the ear itself. With the crocodile clip keeping the cable in place, it is time to talk quality.
I’ve spent the last 2 weeks gardening, walking coolly and going to the gym with these in my ears and I have no complaints at all with their quality of sound or their flexibility in use. Because the buds seal your ears you lose ambient noise about you and you are almost forced to listen to the quality of the music you love and the quality of the recording itself (a weakness of my ripped CD collection). Where I have the highest quality music source these little stars come into their own. Indeed listening to a CD on these IEMs with the 6mm gold jack adaptor provided is an altogether revealing experience, in a very good way…
In respect of flexibility and portability, the buds come with the 6mm jack adapter, a leatherette carry pouch and a plastic carry box containing the seven varieties of rubber sealing buds; but I’ve found I’m using the sleek MF logoed plastic box to carry my buds into the Gym, in my back pocket etc. rather than the pouch provided, but then there has to be something thrown in my gadget drawer when a gadget arrives in the post.
Overall these IEMs, billed by Musical Fidelity as ‘Superior Performance’, are just that, superior in sound quality, feel, flexibility and comfort. And they’re British, a bit like Ricky Hatton. At the retail price they are a stretch but if you haven’t got the sound quality message yet you’ll find the extra and be very satisfied.