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Razer Pro Tone m250 review: Razer Pro|Tone m250

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The Good An alternative for those who can't stand bud headphones. Stylish. Unlikely to come off when jogging.

The Bad Very short cable. Someone sitting next to you will be able to hear everything you do. Tonally a bit too sharp.

The Bottom Line The Pro|Tone m250s are a decent set of headphones for joggers or those on the move, and a good substitute for those who can't wear buds.

7.8 Overall

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Razer is a name mostly known amongst the gamer community for producing quality mouses, mouse pads and the like, so it's nice to see an expansion into the heady world of audio.

Design
The Razer Pro|Tone m250s are built for those on the go. Whether you have your MP3 player strapped to your hip while jogging, or don't like using supplied headphones on long air flights they should please most people.

There's a reason why we mention those two examples. Firstly because the audio cable is incredibly short -- it really is only suitable for devices positioned around the hip -- and secondly a two pronged "jetset-enabled" adaptor is included to plug it easily into those planes that feature dual sockets. We're not sure how wide spread the dual connections are, and recall at least one triple socketed flight, so your mileage may vary on the usefulness of this adaptor.

The ear pieces have brushed aluminium backs and a white and grey styling that should placate even the most hardened Apple fanatic. Initially the direct ear-clipping mechanism for holding them on feels a bit silly, but a quick check in the mirror reveals them to look just fine.

Features
The Pro|Tones are easy enough to fit in any pocket, and a small neoprene carry pouch is included should you want to keep things even neater. The earpieces are separate, clipping directly to the ear as previously mentioned, and miraculously stay reasonably comfortable even for those with large ears. The inner headphones are well cushioned and nicely comfortable. The 32 Ohm impedance means that even the weediest of players should be able to drive decent sound through them, and it features Razer's "Pro|Bass" technology, to deliver greater clarity to the low end of the sound spectrum.

Performance
Listening to Birds of Tokyo's Wayside, the sound stage was slightly restrictive, although the bass had high clarity with distinct notes, a nice change from the overly bassy, muddy products that flood the market these days. The mid range was full and the high well placed -- at least, all of this is true with the phones pressed against the ears. When left to hang as they naturally would, extra distance was created between the phones and the ear, resulting in a great drop of midrange and the highs becoming far too sharp. This is a bit of a rock and a hard place -- redesigning the mechanism so the earpiece would sit flush against the ear would likely mean a reduction in comfort, so the current compromise was probably the best of a bad situation.

There's quite a bit of leakage when the volume is turned up to a respectable level, meaning anyone within a couple of metres is likely to be able to hear what you do. These are not headphones for privacy.

Overall the Pro|Tone m250s are good, especially for the price, but a longer cable and a better ear clamping mechanism would make them even better. If you can't stand bud headphones but don't like the idea of traipsing around with huge muffs, these are a good compromise.

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