Big Audio Dynamite

by Daniel L., 16 August 2012

For the best listening experience, a great set of headphones is a must. We check out three premium sets for audiophiles.

Music is all around us, from the little jingle we hear as we walk into a convenience store to an entire stadium reverberating to a live band like Linkin Park rocking up the volume.

But if you’re thinking of listening to the newest Nora Jones album Little Broken Hearts from the comfort of your own home, then a pair of premium headphones may be just what your looking for to get every little nuance from Nora’s charming, silky smooth tones, especially if you’ve gotten either the Super Audio CD (SACD) or downloaded the Lossless (FLAC) versions

Here’s a selection of three excellent headphones from audio specialist Jaben, who in the space of just six years have grown from a tiny store at Singapore’s Adelpi Mall, known throughout the music aficionado community in Singapore for the personal service and sage advise of its founder, “Uncle Wilson” Yong, to a regional audio powerhouse with 21 stores in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, South Africa and China.

Future Sonics M5 Professional earphones

comfort

The Future Sonics brand has been around for more than 20 years, producing its own line of in-ear dynamic drivers.  The Atrio M5’s has a small profile with an organically designed housing that is both lightweight and strong, lightweight being an important comfort ergonomic that people overlook.

With an eco-like friendly packaging, it comes with a hardcase and multiple fit options - 8 pairs of foam tips and 3 pairs of silicone tips.  To reduce microphonics with the factory installed tips, we suggest that users change to the bundled foam tips.

   

performance

The Atrio m5 has been updated to include the MG7 10mm dynamic driver.  This update improves the delivery of lower frequencies and deepens bass performance, even at low volume.  It is balanced and does not overwhelm the mids and highs although detailing could be better. It provides a fairly good soundstage, and removes the dogged stuck-in-ear experience in other similarly priced models.

The Atrio m5 is a well-rounded bass-closet delight.


Alessandro by Grado Music Series One

comfort

The hand-assembled Alessandro by Grado Music Series One is a lightweight headset that seems effortlessly vintage in design.  But while looks like it stepped out of the 70’s, these hard-to-imitate phones are made in Grado’s state-of-the art facilities in Brooklyn New York. 

Its classic looks may polarize the masses, but its audio performance, however, is the definitive entry gateway that will transform your old tracks into something better.

 

   

performance

These headphones feature vented diaphragms with a non-resonant air chamber to provide deeper and cleaner bass than other similar styled headphones.  Audio is forward, direct and transients are fast and precise, making your classic rock and dubstep tracks sonically fast and time-accurate. The Music Series One is one of the clearest sounding headphones with enough detail to put most headphones with a higher price tag to shame, and should be your step-up into a proper set of phones.


Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Professional Headphone

comfort

Beyerdynamic is the other popular German headphone brand.  Solidly built, a quality found lacking in most modern headphones, it comes with matte black arms and turtle-like closed cups.  The DT 770 Pro is surprisingly lightweight and are very comfortable phones, which are enhanced further with plush pillow-like velour pads that sit comfortably over your ears.  With a closed back design, it won’t disturb the person next to you.

   

performance

Tonally, the sound is warm and smooth, with a faithfully out-of-head large sound stage reproduction; they are perfect for those looking to lounge after a hard-days work or looking to enjoy music over long-extended durations of time with very little listening fatigue.

Known as the “bassmeister”, its important to note that the bass response is clean and leans towards “resonance” you-feel-the-bass enjoyment.  For tighter and deeper responses, pair it with a good amp and it delivers smooth mids and smooth highs.  Get on-stage with Coltrane and Dave Brubeck, as these sits favourably with enthusiasts for blues, jazz and classical pieces, providing detailed instrument imaging across these genres.  


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