Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Luxurious quality at a cheap price—earphones by FEELS
FEELS Pro900... Another name to be noticed in earphone industry this year, is originated from where our beloved Hippo earphones from, Korea, and the Koreans did it again, with such superb quality and cheap price, you can't get them anywhere. It is done by keeping in mind by the manufacturer that they wanted to keep their product as economical as possible without sacrificing high quality and design. They had spent one year for developing such product with some patented technologies integrated, which will be talked later.
Let's get right into review before I start talking more craps.
From the boxes, it looks quite normal, comparing to many luxuriously designed boxes, it is... JUST NORMAL. But wait, when I look carefully, there is some wordings among the Korean words: Balanced Armature. Is it true that such a price you can fetch BA driver IEM? I am thrilled. It also has specifications of frequency range of 17-22,000 Hz, sensitivity of 110 dB, and resistance of 32 ohms, making them competitive with other high-end earphones. If you need more explanation on what balance armature driver is: take a look at this website: http://www.earphonesolutions.com/balanced-armature-drivers.html ://http://www.earphonesolutions.com/ba...e-drivers.html ://http://www.earphonesolutions.com/ba...e-drivers.html
When I unboxed it, the internal design looks cool to me, with some accessories, such as 3 different size ear cushions, shirt clip and an extra pair of 3D flexible cap in case you lost them. To me the accessories given are a bit on the lacking; no double flanges, no protective pouches, no airplane jack; but we shall live with it.
When I pull out the earphone, it will look like this, with a red and blue 3D flexible cap for easy indicating left and right earpiece, and a spikey shell protruding from behind (I don't why they need to be spikey, perhaps make you more fashion). Cable is 1.2 meter long, adjustable with the cable slider, and what is good is they are using FLAT CABLE. Flat cable is known of free from entangling, increase durability.
By taking of the ear sleeves, it will look like this, the cap is freely rotate, and below is what their patented technology that they boost of. Here is what they say: "The earphones have a symmetrical configuration, and the ear buds can rotate 360 degrees, reducing any possible discomfort. They are designed to fit most consumers, and its sound retention is one of its strong points. FEELS Electronics received a patent for the part of the earphones responsible for sound retention, and says that users will be satisfied with the use of the earphones."
Let's get straight into sound quality of the music. Tested on various sources and music players, I still prefer my original gModed iPod and a simple go-vibe PPK amp. I tried a few setups, it seems like adding an amp is quite the necessary for this IEM to shine. Sorry I don't really burn in much on this, it is at most 10 hours of burn in.
I used 4 songs to describe how it sounds:
Eagle - New York Minute (live): From this song you can find how it performs in real life performance. Easily you can find how it has the soundstage, and very expansive type of soundstage. The soundstage will form a 3D like of experience, forming the depth of soundstage. Drum hits in this music has good kicks, and appropriate, not too hard, not too light, just enough. Cymbals sound crisp without sibilance, guitar and vocals are presented faithfully. By comparing to similar level BA driver IEM (I compared to UM1, but the price is not similar), UM1 sounded too flat, in soundstage; while having slight edge in its details produced. Bass wise UM1 is too tiny to my likings, making it sounded thin in body.
Susan Wong - Love will keep us alive: The starting piano plays steady and affectionately. From the distance you can feel the guitar is playing on her left, while piano is on right, separated perfectly. If there is a headphone/earphone that is able to reproduce piano true-fully, I would say it is a good pair, it is very hard to find those who can plays them correctly. The only complain that I would complain is that the vocal is not as intimate as I expect... Maybe it is the aftermath of listening to too much ACS T1. Then I switch back to UM1, again the soundstage is significantly smaller, soundstage not as huge, but I enjoyed the intimate vocals by Susan Wong.
Coldplay - Viva la Diva: This is the song that Pro900 win hands down by comparing to UM1. Better transparency, better staging is what this songs required. Instrument plays so well while vocals is not so focus in this music. UM1 will sounds dull, uninspiring while the details are pretty close in this song. In another words, IMO the mids of UM1 will be smoother, thus their vocals are one of the stronger point, but loses in their soundstaging.
Inception soundtrack - Mombasa: As introduced by Choon Beng, this is one of my favourite song to test head/earphones. First you need a good separation to prevent a lot instrument by jumbled up and become a mess. Feels Pro900 handles it well. Secondly, you can test how deep the bass hits, I am quite surprised how this BA driver could hits so deep with its bass, it sounded "thummp", not "boooom". You can feel the "tense" of this music. Every music writes a story, and you should Feel it.
If there is one word that I would generalized how this IEM sounds: "Balance" is the word to go. The overall sound description would be: detailed, deep hitting bass, smooth mids, slightly bright signature, 3D soundstaging. It perform well with instrumental songs, for vocals will be: mediocre to good level, maybe is due to my very picky ears. Be careful with bad sources, they will pick them up and delivered to your ears. The fitting is quite tricky, when you get it wrong, you will feel like how come it sounded so unappealing; a bit of twist and turn to get the perfect fit it will perform as intended. It is very easy, turn to one of the bassy song and plays it, if it sounded too thin, that means you did not get a perfect fit. Readjust or push deeper.
With RM170 (USD50+-) for a Balance Armature Tranducer driver earphone, it is really a steal. You can't get BA driver with such attractive price.