Earphones and sunglasses don’t have a great deal in common, but for me they do have one shared trait: They’re both indispensible accessories that I’m generally averse to spending a lot of money on.
This goes against the grain of my general philosophy of buying the best things within my budget for items that I use a lot. But some things are just more prone to getting lost, dropped, forgotten or smashed to smithereens than others. So why waste a lot of money on them, right?
That said, with a good pair of earphones, you do notice a marked improvement in the audio, which is why I do have a decent set of Sol Republic headphones for use exclusively at home. But for anything involving the outdoors, I’ll normally use a 20 bucks set of wrap-arounds or in-ear incarnations that I don’t mind scrunching up in my pocket when the occasion requires it.
But not everyone is the same. Atomic Floyd has built a solid reputation in recent years as a purveyor of fine earphones. The latest from its vaults are the SuperDarts Titanium +Remote, a premium product that will set you back a cool €300/£250. The US launch will be happening soon too.
It’s worth noting here that these earphones have very much been built with iOS in mind, as they’re more than a simple set of earphones. They also let you answer/hang-up calls on your iPhone, while skipping tracks and changing the volume on any app. Over on Android, they will of course still work as ordinary earphones, but the remote’s functionality is very much hit-or-miss depending on the app you’re seeking to control, and the device you’re using.
At any rate, here’s a quick look at how much bang you get for your buck.
Out of the box
Packed into a neat, solid box you’ll find the Atomic Floyd earphones (naturally), 3 different sizes of ear-tips, two adapters for different audio sockets, and a little rubber case.
To look at, the most obvious difference to lower-end earphones is the titanium acoustic chamber and remote control. There is also a gold-plated steel plug, and a Kevlar cable sleeve on the lower portion of the headphone cable.
The latest Atomic Floyds feel like a very solid build, but for €300, the sound is really what you’re concerned about, right? Well we are pleased to say that the audio is pretty darn good, with well-pronounced bass that doesn’t smack you in the face, while it handles treble just as impressively at the other end of the scale too. That said, while they do offer fantastic sound quality, with lower-bitrate tracks you will notice the reduced quality more than you perhaps would with cheaper incarnations.
One issue I experienced was that they constantly fell out my ears. I tried the various sizes of ear-tips, and even the best-fitting ones were still prone to popping out – particularly when played loudly with bassy tracks. If forking out a few hundred bucks for these, you’d maybe want to consider investing in some custom-moulded tips to fit your ears a little more neatly.
The long and short of all this is that the SuperDarts Titanium +Remote look and sound awesome – the titanium build should ensure they last longer than you’re average in-ear contraptions too. But for €300 or your local currency equivalent, these will be for serious audiophiles only.
If that is you, then you can snap up these new puppies from the Atomic Floyd website or Apple Store now.
Published November 26, 2014 — 15:26 UTC