Feeds

Ten... in-ear headphones

Aural fixation

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Product round-up It's time for another headphone roundup and considering we've already covered the bulkier over-ear and on-ear models, it was inevitable that in-ears would follow. After all, not everyone likes walking the streets, turning heads with a pair of oversized Mickey Mousers on.

The market is inundated with hundreds of in-ear monitors (IEMs) to choose from ranging from near-giveaway throwaways to audiophile grade headsets at eye-watering prices. We reached out for a broad range and, from what we received, narrowed it down to the following ten.

Unless you have hearing like Superman, the difference between many of these high-end sets is minor – some have more bass oomph, some have a flatter response – however, all significantly improve the listening experience beyond free buds that come with a new MP3 player and if you haven't upgraded from such, what are you waiting for?

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS90

RH Numbers

The ATH-CKS90 have an agreeable fit with no need to fiddle around – in they go and in they stay. This is a credit to the design because even with the smallest of the four silicone tips fitted, the CKS90s remained as snug as a bud in a lug. The tips can also sit at two different places on the end post to accommodate for those with deeper caves.

The drivers feature a dual-resonance chamber that's mimicks the bass-reflex designs on speaker cabinets. The upshot is a deep bass sound, which makes listening to gritty dubstep and raw hiphop an absolute pleasure. As these headphones are all about chambers, I thought a dose of Wu Tang would be fitting and wasn't wrong – the bass reproduction was impressive delivering an all-encompassing presence.

Noise isolation was also good and volumes can be upped deafeningly high if need be. There were no problems with continuous use either no fatigue both in terms of comfort or from listening. The only drawback to the ATH-CKS90s is a fairly frail cable susceptible to knotting and rub-noise. Other than that, I can't fault them much at all and if you're a basshead, the ATH-CKS90s are a worthy consideration. Shop around and you can pick up a pair for less than £70 - bargain!

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS90

Reg Rating 90%
Price £120
More info Audio Technica

Brainwavz B2

RH Numbers

I admit when scanning for headphones to review, Brainwavs was a company I'd never heard of. Its audio products have been gaining respect for a while though and with commendable spec and a fair price, definitely worth a closer look listen.

The B2s have a stand-out personality. As you can see from the picture, they're far from subtle in design with a twisted-pair colour cable giving a flamboyant zebra-skin feel that should appeal to every man's inner pimp. The style of cabling makes it less susceptible to knots too and when it does tangle, it's easy to fix.

While the B2s sit best with the cable wrapped over the ears – audiophile style – they can be rather fiddly to get right. Once in though, they're firmly in place and cause no discomfort with a reasonable level of noise isolation. Featuring dual-balanced armature drivers, design to help separate the frequency range, sound is well balanced and spatial with a prominent mid-range, perfectly suited to vocals. They worked best with rock music in my opinion, or busy sounds with a lot going on, such as orchestral and jazz.

The buds come with three sizes of silicone tips as well as one pair of Comply foam buds, plus a standard carry case and a couple of adaptors. The B2s appear durable and well-priced given their overall quality.

Brainwavz B2

Reg Rating 85%
Price £100
More info Brainwavs

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: HiSound Crystal

More from The Register

next story
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.