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Pimp my earbuds

CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell describes his experience with the Sleek Audio SA6 earphones.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell
Close-up of SA6 earphones.
Sleek Audio's SA6 earphones feature swappable cables, bass ports, high-frequency filters, and silicone ear fittings. Donald Bell/CNET Networks

It's hard to figure out which pair of earphones will best match your taste in music. Even after carefully considering all the hundreds of options, trolling audiophile forums, and finding the best price, the fact of the matter is that everybody's ears are different. What's right for the metalhead may not be right for the jazz fan.

Photo of Sleek Audio SA6 bass ports and treble tips.
Included with the Sleek Audio SA6 earphones are a set of filters and ports to let you tweak the sonic character of the earphones to your liking. Out of the box, the SA6 include a neutral set of ports and filters preinstalled. Donald Bell/CNET Networks

A startup company named Sleek Audio is making a bold attempt to address listeners' fickle listening preferences by allowing them to customize bass and treble performance with an interchangeable set of high-frequency filters and bass ports. Sound complicated? Well, it is. It's also a little messy, with ports and tips rolling all over the place while you try to find the best combination for listening to German breakcore, or classical chamber music. Still, it's a neat concept for control freaks and audio purists.

Customization doesn't come cheap, however, considering that a pair of Sleek Audio SA6 earphones will set you back $250. If that's not a deal-breaker, however, read my full review for a more detailed analysis.