PUMP Audio Earphones Review

Another new company and another pair of in-ear headphones to review. Today I  have the PUMP audio earphones which has some quite cocky marketing claiming they are the best earphones in the world. So are is this claim true? Let’s find out. From the press literature I received the earphones are: “Designed for premium audio … Read more

Rock Jaw Alfa Genus In-Ear headphone Review

Another relatively new company to the earphone market, Rock Jaw have developed a unique pair of earphones that stand out from the standard sub £50 crowd we are used to reviewing. Most earphones today tend to be quite bass heavy, often trying to replicate the success of Beats Audio. While there is nothing wrong with … Read more

JBL Synchros S700 Headphones with LiveStage Review

Following our trip to Liverpool last week for the press even and launch of the new JBL Synchros S700 headphones, we have had chance to check them out for a few days and see how they sound with music other than live acoustic sets.

In case you missed our previous posts the S700 headphones are the result of over a years worth of scientific research by JBL into what makes a headphone sound good, previously no other company has approached the subject in a  scientific manor and there has been no consensus on what is the best sound for headphones. The result of this research was that people actually preferred a neutral sound rather than with excessive bass.

As part of the research, JBL also wanted to come up with a way to make headphones sound more like you are listening to music as it was designed to be listened to, and that is via stereo in a reference level room taking into account the natural resonance of the surroundings. With headphones the sound is play directly into your ears so it is not being bounced across multiple surfaces giving an immersive effect or a sense of direction.  Therefore with the Synchros S700 music can (optionally) be played through a DSP which alters the sound to mimic being listened to in a natural stereo environment. This technology means that the headphones have to be powered and they are use a lithium ion battery which is charged via the headphone cables.

JBL Synchros S700_ Glacier White

Our initial impression of the headphones was that they are exceptionally well built, they are very sturdy, quite heavy and made up of a cast aluminium with leather ear cushions, we found them really comfortable though extended use they did make our ears a little hot. They come with 2 sets of cables, one for Android and one for iPhone, as well as a nice carry case. Overall these have a very premium feel to them.

During the press even we got to listen to them during a live performance from Jonas and the Massive Attraction. When switching between passive and SoundStage we found the SoundStage to be quite impressive with it actually making the performance sound more like a live performance. During the following days we have had chance to listen to them with a wide range of music from Rock, Electronica, Hip Hop etc, and unfortunately we found the LiveStage to be slightly less impressive, we found that bass seemed to be reduced and it felt slightly unbalanced. In passive mode the headphones do seem to be surprisingly bass heavy considering JBL says they are supposed to be more natural sounding, and it is possible this is why we were less impressed with soundstage the second time round as we are just used to everything being so bass heavy nowadays.

With the headphones in active or passive we found them very capable, they handled everything we through at them without any distortion, even with the heaviest bass tracks we could find the headphones played them comfortably and everything sounded quite powerful, in passive mode bass was really deep in places which we think will appeal to a lot of younger people (contrary to JBLs findings).

Overall, even though we were not 100% sure if we preferred LiveStage or passive these are excellent headphones with a ultra premium feel that you are not going to be disappointed with. You can currently get the Synchros S700 headphones from the JBL store for £299 which is expensive, but if you are looking for some premium headphones that are going to last you several years we don't think you will be disappointed with these. JBL also offer a 30 day return policy so you are free to try them out yourself and decide how much you like them.

They are available now from here

JBL Synchros Headphone Lineup Adopts a Scientific Approach

We have now returned from the JBL press even in Liverpool and it would seem that JBL are taking their headphones very seriously now. While at the event we learned that JBL have taken a very scientific approach to the new headphones employing Dr Sean Olive to head the science behind their headphones.

According to JBL there is very little published research on the perception and measurement of headphone sound quality with no meaningful standard on how headphones should sound. Therefore JBL set a goal of developing scientific methods to accurately and reliably measure the perceived sound quality of headphones.

Over the past year the Dr and his team produced 6 research papers on the topic and found in their tests that listeners of all age groups, genders and cultural background preferred a natural sound over the more common trend of base heavy headphones.

This led the JBL team to look at developing a technology that could mimic the natural spatial impression of stereo records that you would experience in a stage environment or a reference room. The end result was Live Stage, a technology they have introduced into their flagship headphones the S700. With Live Stage enabled the headphones will run the sound through a DSP alters the sound profile to be more like that of a true stereo experience.

Along with the S700 which retails at €349, JBL are launching 6 other headphones which implement varying degrees of the scientific research carried out above. These include:

S100: straight model now available for €79.99

S100: universal model now available for €89.99

S100: MFI model now available for €99.99

S200: now available for €129

S300: now available for €199

S500: now available for €299

S700: now available for €349

JBL also announced another headphone called the S400bt which is due to be released which will be a Bluetooth and NFC enabled wireless headphone, with on ear controls.


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Marshall Branded Headphones : Pictures Galore


Whether your a musician or just a music lover Marshall Amplification is a brand you’ll recognise with it’s iconic logo and black and gold colours. I was chuffed recently to see the re-issue if you will, of the Pure DAB radio branded with the famous amps design and colours. Well now Marshall themselves are hitting the market with two styles of headphone (on-ear and in-ear) and made them in the way only Marshall could.


Click on for more info and images……

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Sony launches Bluetooth DR-BT100CX in-ear headphones and DR-BT101 headphones

The DR-BT100CX in-ear headphones are the perfect partner for your MP3 player or mobile, with eight hours of playback time. USB charging and cord free styling make them easy to use, whilst three sizes of silicon ear bud ensure superior sound quality can be enjoyed in comfort. For a headband headset without the inconvenience of … Read more

Apple confirms authentication chip in iPod Shuffle earphones

We previously blogged about how the new iPod Shuffle may have a special hardware authentication chip which is required to control the shuffle. It has now been confirmed by 3rd parties that the new shuffle earphones do require a authentication chip and Apple will require companies to pay a licence fee to be part of … Read more

Sony X Series Noise Cancelling Technology

The Sony X Series walkman is now available to order on Amazon. The NWZX1060B 32GB version is currently listed at £229.99. The NWZX1050B 16GB version is available for £179.99   In the next few months we should be seeing the release of Sony’s new flagship X series Walkman. From its features it looks like it … Read more

Review: Sony’s flagship headphones MDR-XB700

Last week Sony announced their new line of headphones, the XB series. These new headphones are designed to deliver the lowest ever bass. The range includes and an in ear range consisting of the MDR-XB20EX and MDR-XB40. The other headphones all traditional closed-typ headphones and have a King size ear cushion and wide headband for … Read more