Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Hisoundaudio PAA-1 Pro Review

Hisoundaudio PAA-1 Pro Review

Thanks to Advanced Headphones www.advancedheadphones.co.uk for the samples (AMP3’s sister site)


First Impressions: Okay these are buds and as a rule I don’t like buds, they look okay and are very light but if I’m honest buds really aren’t my thing. Having a listen two things strike me, first the obvious there is no isolation at all and that’s so weird to me. The next is that they sound not bad, these actually sound pleasant and even. I’m serious they actually have a low end, on a bud! I’m still not liking the fit but I actually like how they sound. Shocker.

Source: HiFiMAN HM-601 predominantly


Lows: Now given what I wrote above let’s not get ahead of ourselves and go thinking this as some rambunctious bass monster as it’s not in the slightest. It’s a bud and as such it cannot go low at all, maybe if you have differently shaped ears to I then you might do better but I can only go by what I hear. The low end is pleasant and present and music sounds full and rich which in not something I’ve seem much in buds. It’s what happens when you are so utterly open. The lower keys on a piano sound great and properly weighty. It’s got enough depth for pop music too which is nice but it’s not really what I’d be wanting if you’re a big Double Bass fan. Its strikes a nice balance between expansion and a bit of punch too, it’s nice.


Mids: Here all that openness and air is a boon and gives them a lovely open airy quality with vocals. It does make them sound a touch distant but given these have a rather balanced and even sound still it’s not a problem in the slightest. They can do a good quick snap on acoustic guitars too. Actually most of what comes through is that they have a really great sense of timing and rhythm. Mids seem to bounce and flow with much jollity. Again I find myself actually liking it despite it being a bud and non comfort inducing.

Highs: Actually really rather good, the distance and openness lets these really go and run high. They do a very nice portrayal of extension and shimmer without over doing any edginess. It’s really also of a pretty impressive detail level given these aren’t very expensive. I know some might more drama up top but it’s really super well balanced and controlled.


Soundstage: Very large. These sound positively huge and it is most impressive. This is what you get when you start getting further away from the eardrum and have all that open space. These sound very big and the stage if a little limited in depth feels extremely broad.

Fit: Their buds and my ears don’t seem to be shaped to quite suit buds but as such they just sort of sit, buds are buds.

Comfort: Well for me not. I don’t like buds and I’m not sure I’ve ever found a pair comfortable. If it helps these are much less uncomfortable than the Live buds were. Still I don’t like them in my ears and as you can see the length of this review reflects this. It’s a shame as I really like how they sound.

Cable: Seems perfectly fine, it’s not especially remarkable. It has a nice feel and seem pretty sturdy, what more do you want.


Microphonics: None.

Amped/Unamped: The usual differences but nothing terribly noteworthy.

Isolation: None.

Accessories: You get a shirt clip and another pair of bud covers. A little case would be nice but if you want one there is ebay.

Value: The best I can find for them at present is US$50. Now I don’t like buds, I find them uncomfortable but I can tell you for the money they sound not half bad at all. I can honestly say I like how they sound but I would suggest IEM’s over them. As buds go to date are the ones I’ve disliked least.


Conclusion: Regular readers will have noticed this review is short. Very short for me and that’s in large port down to the fact I find buds uncomfortable. These hurt and my ears want them out but please don’t think its only these ones, I’ve never gotten along with any buds but where these are different is that I think I like how these sound which is more than could be said for just about every other but I’ve ever heard. I haven’t heard vastly many buds but these are actually pleasant to hear and not totally vacant in the lower range like most. The mids too are really nice with a lovely open sound and they layer well. Still right now all I can think is I want them out. So if you’ll forgive my brevity with them, it’s not really fair to them as they do sound pretty good, and certainly are the nicest balance I’ve ever heard on a bud.

Hisoundaudio Hiphone-1 Review

Hisoundaudio Hiphone-1 Review

Thanks to Advanced Headphones www.advancedheadphones.co.uk for the samples (AMP3’s sister site)


First Impressions: Is it me or is the first bud I’ve seen with a phone mic and button on it? It could well be me as it’s not something I would have ever looked for as I pretty much hate buds and I never use my phone for music. I guess there probably is a market out there for it though and it seems weird I’ve not seen or noticed at least this before. A quick listen and the remind me of the PAA-1 Pro. That’s not really a shocker sine they look almost exactly the same. These aren’t as a good though.

Source: HiFiMAN HM-601 predominantly


Lows: These really do put up a valiant effort but I’m not sure if it’s that I can’t help but compare these to the PAA-1 Pro or that it’s just they are buds. Buds can’t go low and these don’t. They aren’t terrible though, they put a good effort for a bud but I think the PAA-1 Pro spoiled me a bit on that front in showing me what could be done. It a bit soft and it rolls off early then goes into freefall but like I said it’s a bud and that’s what they do. Its not great on impact either, not terrible but not great.


Mids: These are not bad, they are somewhat veiled and fuzzy but they come through pretty clearly and standout with ease from the laws and highs. So long as you aren’t expecting the highest levels of detail, every breath and every quiver then you’ll be fine. It’s been a long time since I had an ibud but they were terrible and these aren’t. I’d be lying if said they were “good” though, they are fairly reasonable and they are dirt cheap so I can’t honestly say I’d expect more of them. They are pretty pleasant on the ear and don’t really do anything wrong but they aren’t excelling at anything either.


Highs: Sensibly these are a little rolled of as they just don’t have the clarity to do highs with any abundance and do them well. It’s a wise decision and so long as you’re not looking to be showered with endless shimmering treble then these are pretty fair. There’s enough information and detail retrieval to let you know what’s going on and its always pretty easy on the ear. For an open bud it would be really easy to get carried away with the top end and thankfully Hisoundaudio have gone for a much more restrained and listenable experience.


Soundstage: It’s pretty good, not so much about great positioning but just a grandish sense of scale and distance.

Fit: Either works or it doesn’t.

Comfort: I have never gotten along with buds and this one is no different. Uncomfortable and I want them out of my ears. However I’m sure you know if buds work for you and as buds go these are light and amongst the least unpleasant as they are super light.


Cable: It’s nice, nothing exceptional but nothing wrong with it either.

Microphonics: None.

Amped/Unamped: A slight difference but really not worth the bother. You would lose the mic facility too.

Isolation: None

Accessories: A spare set of bud covers and a shirt clip.

Value: I can’t say I’d buy them but given I’m told these will be circa US$20 that’s pretty damn cheap. Sure they don’t sound amazing but they aren’t bad, pretty pleasant a sound signature for a bud in fact. Plus the killer is that they came with the phone button and mic. If you want that I’m not sure of a cheaper way to get them than these.


Conclusion: I don’t like buds, I don’t find them comfortable. These therefore I can’t say I like on sound alone but I really didn’t hate them. They do a fair job of trying to sound balanced and given their very low cost I think they do a pretty reasonable job of it too. As I mentioned I can’t think of any other bud maker that does a phone button and mic (not that I’ve ever looked) and if you need that then these are cheerful and cheap way to get there. I feel I must note though that the mic constantly kept catching on my collar and that’s very annoying. Buds never sit very secure at the best of time and that is not helping. So with all those caveats in mind these have a role to fulfil and they do a fine job of it at a very low price.

Hisoundaudio Golden Crystals Quick Review

Hisoundaudio Golden Crystals Quick Review

Thanks to Frogbeats for the sample and Thanks to Advanced Headphones www.advancedheadphones.co.uk for the sample (AMP3’s sister site)

(both sent me a pair)

Brief: Think the opposite of neutral or natural

Price: £120

Specification: Impedance 16 Ohm Cable Length 124cm Sensitivity 110dB Frequency Range 15 - 23,000 Hz Driver 5mm dynamic driver

Accessories: 2 Sets of Bi Flanges, 3 Sets of Triple Flanges, 3 Silicone Ear Tips (S/M/L), 5 Sets of Hybrids, Leather Box

Build Quality: Hmm, seem good, good looking cable and the buds look well put together.

Isolation: Very good. As good as the better armature stuff.

Comfort/Fit: Excellent, the things are stupid tiny. I did prefer complys on them as silicon tips gave a me a little venting issues but nothing major.

Aesthetics: Cable is bland bit the buds look impressively shiny. Not that they will be seen as they disappear into your ears.

Sound: A series of contradictions that I can’t decide what to make of. The bass is mostly all push and doesn’t really want to go low and hold a note yet I love its cleanliness and tight control. The mids are vacant and distant yet detailed and open and airy. The highs lack any edge but shimmer with stupid abundance yet decay too fast. On paper they do a ton of things wrong but god damn it they have nailed their colours to the wall and run with it. They are the most unnatural and unneutral things ever but I can’t help liking them and I don’t know why. I shouldn’t. These have really gone with a flavour and the closest I can think of is like a warmer and dynamic version of the TF10 which also does so much wrong but yet sounds amazing. These aren’t on the same level but do so much of the same and if you like the flavour these offer then there is little like them. I find myself really enjoying it but I know it’s not something I could take all day every day, it’s too dramatic and dynamic. Fun though in spades.

Value: I can’t decide, if you want the best sound for your money then this probably isn’t it but it’s unlike anything else. Also unlike most things it straddles the middle ground between the Dual BA that sit around this price that isolate but don’t have the bass for many and the dynamics that have the bass but don’t isolate enough. This is a weird V shaped slab of drama and excitement that you’ll either love, hate or dither between the two like I am. On paper it’s all wrong but it works.

Pro’s: Great isolation, Dramatic and interesting sound signature.

Con’s: Overly dramatic and peculiar sound signature.

Hisoundaudio Golden Crystals Review

Hisoundaudio Golden Crystals Review

Thanks to Frogbeats for the sample and Thanks to Advanced Headphones www.advancedheadphones.co.uk for the sample (AMP3’s sister site)

(both sent me a pair)


First Impressions: Well the box had an oopsy in transit so let’s ignore that. Looking at the bods they are tiny just like their siblings the Crystals but these look more expensive, erm and they are. Eagerly I stick them in my ears and got some slight venting trouble and since I can’t be arsed waiting I’m just going to stick a pair of complys on them. Right so back in the ears and it just feels like something is wrong, okay I know I just had the Tandems in my ears but these sound so thick and mid range vacant. Interesting bass going on and the treble here is a clear step up from the normal Crystals. Still what happened to the bit in the middle? I know I was using a thick ish source (HM-601) maybe they need something dryer? Hmm okay well clearly they like power but still not loving. Fingers crossed these need a bit of a burn in to come to life.

NB. It turns out the pair I had were not quite right and promptly died so were swapped for new pair. The new pair is what everything that follows shall be based on. While it’s rare that I get anything that’s defective the laws of averages mean I will eventually.


Source 5G iPod Video line out through a Practical Devices XM5 with LM6171 opp amps

Lows: Comparing to their siblings the Crystals there isn’t quite the volume and expansiveness of the low end but when you give it a bit of wellie it makes it self apparent. It never really manages to take centre stage though. It is very clean and pleasant but it never feels as authoritative as its sibling, it is really very tight and controlled but it feels like it’s almost lacking in the lowest lows. Still it’s often the trade of you make, the tighter the bass the less expansion and extension that’s there. It could of course just be that the bass just can’t shine past the treble that’s a going on here. The bass though is of an extremely high quality. Taken on its own merits it’s arguably one of the best at this price, its solid as a rock and so clean and punchy. Sure I might like a touch more extension low down but I’m not really missing it. I think I just expected it since it’s a dynamic and can’t help feel it’s not there because they have the teeniest dynamic drivers ever. In a trade off I’d take clean controlled bass like this over the softer more voluminous bass on the crystals any day. The bass here lets you go nuts with any amount of bass and it stays just where it should and clean as a whistle. Super quick, super clean and the most armature like dynamic low end I’ve heard. I really like it but if you really want more air getting moved you’d be happier with its lesser sibling.


Mids: Quality wise great, quantity wise they are in a bit of a hole. The mids are pretty far off in the distance and if you want to play music where the vocals or upfront and in your face then this probably isn’t your go to. They are odd. They are great sounding but feel very much at arm’s length. I feel very mixed about it, it reminds me a lot of the old UE sound, mids are lovely but recessed and distant. Great openness and air though with a hint of warmth. Distance is the most notable trait and it overshadows everything else. It’s hard to listen out to the vocals since them seem so distant yet you think I’d hate that. I don’t. It’s a weird presentation but the mids really are of a very good quality and you know sometimes it really works. For instance Nora Jones sounds outstanding with her breathy nonchalant vocals. Dry and airy and so very relaxed, it works crazy well. Sure I’d like her to be more prominent but I can’t deny it works terribly well. They don’t jute turn their hand to liquid vocals so well but still are very pleasant to hear.


Highs: Hmm they are pretty abundant, too abundant if you ask me but they are well done. They aren’t quite RE-0 good but they are getting pretty damn close. Clarity is very, very good and their lack of a hard edge improves their long term listening ability but there is no doubting the treble has been dialled up a bit. It’s an interesting way of doing it though. Usually the way is make them crispy, hard edged and brittle to make something seem more detailed than it is where as they have gone for almost the opposite. It’s got little edge or any brittleness but they are dialled up nevertheless and it emphasises the treble that normally is heard in the decay where here it’s more centre stage. Its rather unusual but I think I like it. It’s not harsh at all on the ear but it’s still really rather too abundant and I’d rather it was little more delicate in its decay rather than be emphasised then stop dead. I’ve said it before but more than anything it’s just weird. Good weird but rather hard to describe and I fear I’m failing miserably.


Soundstage: They do sound very large and do distance very well but they aren’t so great to the positioning. Still who cares the whole weird distance thing they do sounds great instrument separation too is very good, bass mids and highs all sound very distinct and separate.

Fit: I did get a touch of air pressure issues and since I really couldn’t be bothered I slapped on a pair of complys. That done fit was great and effortless, shove in and done, silicon tips took a min or two to equalise.

Comfort: Great, the things are tiny and I cannot see anyone having issue with them.

Cable: Like that of its sibling, it a bit stiff and has no chin slider. All other aspects are pretty great, it feels really sturdy.


Microphonics: If you want to wear these down you get, up you don’t. It’s as ever your call.

Accessories: You get the usual bunch of tips, rather a lot of them actually. I think I count 13 pairs, yes really. You also get a shirt clip and one of the Hisoundauido little cases which I think are very nice.

Amped/Unamped: These both liked additional power and impedance. Nothing earth shattering going on but they do like it and I’d strongly suggest using amps if you have it. Also I should not they are pretty quiet compared to most IEM’s so you probably want to use something that can pump out a bit of volume. The little 1G shuffle had no trouble even with the 75 ohm Ety adapter added but I did have to turn the volume up further than I would with most things so be warned. If you have a weedy DAP then maybe this isn’t the IEM for you.


Isolation: Great. Its right up there with the usually raft of high isolation stuff, Shures, Westones etc etc. I’d happily use it on the Tube or on a long flight. As usual my warning, if you’re not used to it you’ll swiftly get used to looking for traffic or get run over because you will not hear it coming.

Value: I can see these going for £120 and while I’m not sure it’s what I’d go for I’d certainly consider it. It’s more bouncy and fun than most things around this price; certainly it’s got a more prolific bass response than the raft of dual BA that sit around here. Then what of dynamics like the IE7? Well I like the style of the IE7 better but it can’t isolate for toffee. This is a really fun little bundle, sure it’s not the height of neutrality or outright detail and clarity but it offers a package that nothing else really does. A very fun shaped sound that’s got great detail and is isolated super well.


Conclusion: As I’ve spend more and more time with these they really did grow on me. They do so many things that I’m inclined not to like but it does them all so well. The bass is not what I think it should be but has taken a flavour and run with it. It’s fabulously punchy and quick without going crazy and it feels like dynamic that’s been tuned to be like an armature. It reminds me a lot of the bass style of the UE TF10. All quick punch and not really one that likes to hold a note or go too low. Still it’s an immensely “fun” sound and on more than one occasion I’ve found myself really enjoying it. It isn’t what good bass really ought to be but it takes its chosen style and does it very well. The mids are the same, it feels like they have been listening the TF10 again and emulating it, all distance and air and again it’s not what mids ought to be. Ought to be or not listen long enough and your ears compensate for its recessed nature and you can then appreciate its skill at what it does. The treble too is weirdly flavoured. It’s elevated again like the TF10 but has no edge just detail and abundant shimmer. It’s actually quite forgiving for such abundance. There is so much that this IEM does that I, on paper don’t like but it really manages to pull the package together. It’s so flavoured that you could never call it neutral or natural but it’s in no way what so ever suggesting it could ever be anything of the sort. It’s taken this hugely V shaped sound and played around with distance and style to make southing that is really unique. I at times don’t know what to make of it, then I don’t like it, then I love it.

My first impressions of it really did it no favours and I know it has been commented on by others too. Still when you spend some more time they do grow on you and you can see their abilities but they aren’t instantly apparent. It has a strange combination of attributes but its honestly quite a lot of fun. I don’t believe it’s something I’d want to hear day in day out but should you be in the mood for some power and liveliness then these have it in abundance. It’s as though I like these but just don’t want to admit it because I know I really shouldn’t and they do everything I’d actually never claim to want but yet it all works. I don’t know why but it just does.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Fischer Audio Falcon Quick Review

Fischer Audio Falcon Quick Review

Thanks to Frogbeats for the sample

Brief: Fisher Audio makes a cheapie monitor

Price: £35

Specification: Impedance 18 Ohm Cable Length 1.2m Sensitivity 105dB Frequency Range 5 - 20,000 Hz Driver 10mm dynamic

Accessories: 1 Set of Bi Flanges, 3 Silicone Ear Tips (S/M/L), Storage Case, Warranty Card

Build Quality: Good, they feel nice and solid, the cables pretty nice too.

Isolation: Excellent, one of the very best and a real challenger for Etymotics.

Comfort/Fit: Well I had no real trouble but I did swiftly move to foamie tips. Their wanting to sit deep yet since they are rather large this may not work out great for everyone. Still once you get them sitting right then I had no bother with them. Mind you I didn’t like them having to be worn down as there was always a little movement to remind me they were there.

Aesthetics: Erm okay. They look fine, neither pretty nor ugly.

Sound: Boring. I can’t help but think someone at Fisher Audio has some Etymotic mc3/5’s and said let’s make these but with a lot more bass. That’s what these are. They have a monitor like flat style with no spikes anywhere other than the rather boosted low end. The bass it’s boring and never as punchy or snappy as it should be yet never far away. The mids are life and airless yet pretty detailed and never get lost or sibilant. The highs are so polite and well behaved yet still pretty detailed. I honestly find these super boring but they do nothing at all wrong. They really would make for great super cheap little monitors. I really can fault anything other than that they are dull. They isolate fantastically though and with their sound sig I think they would make the most perfect library IEM, they will prevent the world from bothering you and the music wont distract you either.

Value: If you want great isolation and a very even monitor like sound then awesome, if you want to have a good time then not so much.

Pro’s: Isolation, monitor like, would make the most perfect library IEM’s.

Con’s: Not exciting or interesting, bit too big in the bass.

Fischer Audio Falcon Review

Fischer Audio Falcon Review

Thanks to Frogbeats for the sample


First Impressions: Well they look nice, the packaging is very grown up. I’m not sure I like the shape of them as its going to mean they have to be worn down. Actually it reminds me of the Klipsch x10 and x5 in shape. Cable is nice too with its braided cloth covering. Me thinks they really are taking inspiration from Klipsch on this one. A shame it has no case just some baggie thing. Oh well. A little listen to them and it seems like FA is up to their old tricks, I really wish they wouldn’t seal their dynamics as it gives me nothing but venting / air pressure issues and driver flex. Since I have some foamies to hand (the ones off the Brainwawz Beta v2’s) I’m shoving them on. I just cannot be arsed dealing with venting issues when it’s an entirely solvable issue. If you are going to use a dynamic driver then accept it shouldn’t isolate like a BA IEM! It’s very annoying and frustrating. Yes it’s less of an issue if you are sticking in your ears and leaving there for several hours at a time but especially when reviewing that’s pretty much the opposite of what I’m doing. Grrrr.

First listen with the foamies on and I can’t say I’m loving, of course it doesn’t help I’m in a bad mood but they are just meh, meh in spades. I see them described as mellow and I think that a rather polite way of putting it. Actually it reminds me of the Ety mc3 a bit, I can’t say I dislike them but they make me feel nothing but indifference and boredom. Maybe a 100 hours burn in will change things?


Source 1G iPod Shuffle with and without a 75 ohm adapter added

Lows: Well they are pretty abundant compared to the rest of the spectrum but they still feel polite and restrained yet somehow it still feels too much. They are a bit on the woolly side if I’m honest, the edges have all been sanded down to make sure no offence is caused but they have gone a bit too far. These are really rather boring. They, in pure technical terms are not bad though, they do tick the boxes in terms of being able to do whatever you ask of them and they stay well behaved. My heads telling me I should like these more than I am but they don’t excite me. Yeah sure the bass can sort of keep pace if you throw fast punchy stuff at it but it’s always that step behind. It never punches quite as it should it just always feels as though it’s holding back. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just unexciting and given its rather bass heavy you can’t really help but notice it.


Mids: See above. These don’t actually do anything wrong but I’m just bored. Bored bored bored. They have no life at all to them and sound a touch woolly and closed in. They are of course super well behaved with no spikes, sibilance or ever getting shouty. They are on paper faultless but much like the mc3 they are just boring and lifeless. Actually I could see these making some pretty reasonable dirt cheap monitors. The mids are somewhat behind the bass but they are readily apparent and never get lost. They won’t capture your heart but they do a very competent job of rendering vocals if they have rather sucked the life and air out of them.


Highs: Adequate. The highs feel much like the rest of the spectrum, muted and a touch woolly. It feels like the Falcon has aimed at being as inoffensive as possible and the highs therefore are very much non stand out. They are reasonable and they are pretty credible too, actually if you catch them on the right song they are pushing towards being impressive. However if you feed them fast edgy treble and they don’t like it so much, they will get a little confused and blur a little. Still they remain paragons of inoffensiveness which I can’t deny is no mean feat. I can see these really beginning to grow on me. A bit boring they may be but they get nothing wrong.


Soundstage: These are much more about presenting a uniform sound field rather than presenting any sort of stage before you. Its narrow and is pretty much a line from left to right.

Fit: I think you’ll either love it or hate it. I personally love deeper sitting IEM’s and the Falcons do seem to want to sit that way. I can’t say I loved the silicon tips but on shoving some foamies that happened to be near me (came off the Brainwavz Beta v2’s) and fit greatly improved. Still they are pretty big so you may have to experiment with tips to get the right balance of depth and comfort.

Comfort: Well with the foamie tips they were comfortable but that they must be worn down does mean they will pull and tug slightly from time to time, their large size too meant these never melted away. That said they were never uncomfortable and I’d have no trouble wearing these for hours.


Cable: Nice. It’s got a woven cloth covering and its very flexible. I rather like it.

Microphonics: There is no way to sugar coat it, it sucks balls. Yes it has a chin slider to help and it does help but you have to wear these down. So that right there is asking for a lot of noise and then there is that cable. Now it’s a nice cable but its woven cloth covering rubs on my collar and all that noise goes straight up into my ear. Okay if you never wear collars then it may not be such an issue for you but I always do and it really annoyed me.

Accessories: A bunch of tips and a little baggie. A little case would have been nice though.


Amped/Unamped: These really liked power, really, really liked it and they loved getting more impedance added. Given their cost they aren’t likely to ever encounter much in the way of amping but if you have a 75 ohm adapter laying around then add it. It doesn’t transform them but gives a nice little clarity boost. A shame it doesn’t do anything to put that bass in its place.

Isolation: Excellent, absolutely fantastic. These in more ways than one remind me of the Etymotic mc3/5. They have the same basic shape, same lifelessness and pretty much the same levels of isolation. These isolate great and I think these would be just outstanding Library IEM’s. They won’t bother anyone around you and you won’t hear anything from around you. Would also make good cheap flight IEM’s, not so much for the Tube as the microphonincs would be an issue. However anywhere you’re sat down and not moving about these would be great.


Value: Well at £35 it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want the best sound for your money then it’s unfortunately not these. They aren’t terrible but you can do better. However if you want shed loads of isolation or are looking for a cheap monitor then these rocket to the top. As I mentioned if you are looking for an IEM to use in the library (I know when I’m there I need all other distraction blocked out) then these are perfect. They isolate great and their inoffensive sound is perfect for that.


Conclusion: I don’t love these, I don’t hate them either. Actually I find it hard to really care about as they make no emotional reaction but then there are times when that’s probably what you want. I think these would make the mast perfect library IEM’s as the combination of their unexciting sound and the isolation means you could stick these in and never find them fatiguing. Sure they aren’t going to rock your world and I can’t imagine listening to these you’ll ever find yourself dancing round your living room but that’s not what you want when you’re sat in the library trying to get 5000 words on Gustavus Adolphus and his trip to Germany out. You don’t want to be distracted with this that or the other. You want mellow and inoffensive and the Falcons are just perfect for that, made for it if you ask me. Their relatively low cost means I think anyone in need of such an IEM should seriously think about getting a pair just for that purpose. The other thing I thing they do well at is as dirt cheap monitors. Granted they aren’t ruler flat, that bass is really quite elevated but they have no spikes anywhere. You could listen to these all day and never find them tiring on the ear. Excitement and dynamics aren’t always what’s called for and if you should find yourself in need of such then these are great. Like I said though don’t expect to find yourself dancing round the room to the Falcons, they just aren’t that sort of IEM.

You know what though, as I’ve spent more and more time with these with I can’t say I’ve grown to love them any I have come to realise that I could live with these. I may never love them but you know what, I’d never hate them either and that’s quite an achievement for something at this price.