1 PercentersCNET 100: The 1 percenters
In the market for high-end luxury tech? These products spare no expense.
These Swiss-made earphones from Phonak and the engineers behind the company's highly regarded hearing aids offer incredibly rich, detailed sound with deep bass and a comfortable fit--for a mere $599.
The Audeo PFE 232 earphones feature a two-driver system (dual-balanced armature) that splits the high and low frequencies. Along with the usual assortment of foam and silicon ear tips in various sizes, the earphones come with a set of three tiny acoustic filters for tweaking the sound to your personal preference. The black filter is for enhanced perception of bass and treble, the gray for stronger midrange, and the green for extra bass. The filters also keep dirt out of the sound tube.
A carrying case and tools for changing the filters are included along with a set of hooked cable guides for securing the earphones during sporting activities (not sure you'd really want to use $600 earphones at the gym, but that won't stop some people).
Another nice feature is that the cords detach from the earphones and Audeo throws in an extra microphone-free cable for those who don't want to use the included cord, which features an inline remote for recent iPhone and iPod models and built-in microphone for making calls. The microphone works with Android and other smartphones but not all the remote's features do.
Last but not least, it's also worth mentioning that at the time of this writing Audeo is bundling the PFE 232s with a pair of its entry-level $119 PFE 022 earphones.