The most stylish earphones in history don't sound bad either. They're the HiDefJax 'phones from Atomic Floyd, and for £80 we've decided this is the best model in the range.
Oh hello, you've caught us testing the best Atomic Floyds we've heard to date. How fortunate for you.
By now, we've heard a few Atomic Floyds. This HiDefJax model is gorgeous-looking, crafted from aluminium and lathered in questionable hyperbole. For us, they're pick of the Floyd range.
Ignore the "Escape. Take off. Tune out. Leave the world as you know it" nonsense on the packaging, because these aren't the be-all and end-all of sound quality, and no £80 headphones will ever be (try Sennheiser's £1,000 HD 800s if you really want to leave the world as you know it). But for £80, the HiDefJax phones do a stunning job at delivering audio for a sub-£100 asking price.
The Jaxes deliver a sweet, if a little cold, sound with oodles of detail, a rich, airy high-end and a solid bass. In many ways their voice is reminiscent of Denon's AH-C751s, suited particularly to electronic, dance, rock and pop.
On came Bohemian Rhapsody, and the Jaxes shone. Beautiful vocal delivery, sound as close to crystal clear as any earphones can be at this price, and an impressively open sound stage -- you can pick out where every instrument and voice is in the studio. Oh, and here comes the Les Mis soundtrack, and it sounds live. No mean feat, that.
As sound-isolating earphones, they come with various sizes of comfortable silicone tips that passively block out noise around you, so you needn't ram the volume up to apocalyptic level just to hear your music. Mind you, that's a bonus for people around you as well -- unfortunately the Atomic Floyds are a swine for leaking sound.
So are we impressed?
Yup, fo' shizzle. We doubleplus un-love the would-be poetry all over their packaging, but the underlying message is accurate enough: if you want to step into the world of decent audio and leave behind those crappy white iPod earbuds, the HiDefJax earphones will suit you nicely. But don't be fooled: even better sound does exist if you're prepared to spend more cash.
They're available now from AtomicFloyd.com, and there are more photos over the page.