Spend hundreds on hi-fi earphones, and they had better last. But even pricey pairs get tossed around like keys. Sleek Audio already started a durability trend with detachable cords that can be replaced if broken. Now its SA7 model is the most hard-wearing overall design we've seen.
Machined from a solid hunk of aluminum rather than molded from plastic, the frame is all but crush-proof. The two drivers on a side, each wrapped in shock-absorbent silicone, can withstand 14,000 Gs, let alone routine abuse. In the unlikely event something inside needs fixing, the carbon-fiber cover can be removed by turning a titanium screw.
The build boosts fidelity, too. Aluminum tubes can have thinner walls, leaving more empty space for sound waves and allowing an extra octave of highs. As on other Sleeks, you can swap in new soft tips, treble ports and bass ports to adjust the sound to your taste or even as your hearing changes over time. After all, these will last a while.
Sleek Audio SA7 $350–$400 (est.; available soon); wireless kit $100 (est.) sleek-audio.com
Hey Eric, are these for mobile devices (cellphones, etc.) or for actual music listening?
Also - is there a lot more information in this months issue or not? I'd like to know if there is some information on the actual sound quality and not just hints.
Not digs against you or the mag, but when the manufacturer keeps their lips sealed it pisses me off.
I don't think anyone builds audiophile quality headphones specifically for talking on the phone...besides the author would probably make that distinction, wouldn't you think? Why would you spend so much money on earphones to hear voices through a cellphone that may or may not drop in and out because of bad connection or the wind? Not only that, but I'm very much into hearing a telemarketer's voice crystal clear. That's the last thing I want.
But that being said, if they did include a microphone on it, it would make having a smart phone/mp3 player like the iPhone that much better because now you don't need to unplug your earpiece to talk on it. If they DID do that, I would suggest a separate unit for the microphone that plugs in between the earpiece and the 3.5 mm jack, and not directly on the earpiece or something. That would probably make it heavier and/or diminish sound quality (I'm an audiophile...doctor says I've got hearing better than most humans--almost canine-like).
Also, I think in order to find out the actual specs of the earphone, you'll have to wait for the May issue of PopSci to come out. I checked their website (which has blurred pics) just now and PopSci has the first pictures of these SA7 phones. So, if you want to know, SJak, you'll have to pick up the new issue.
supposed to be "I'm NOT very much into hearing a telemarketer..."
I made the distinction due to the HUB that the headphones are connected to in the rear of the picture. I was just making sure that they weren't what I thought it was. Additionally - I picked up the months issue after work and flipped through it to this article. Exact same text (word for word) and picture, no additional information was added, so until I see some numbers from their manufacturer I am going to be skeptic. I am in the market for new headphones, yes, but I am trying to find a pair of inner-ear with 5.1 built in. That was mainly my reason for asking in the first place.
the SA7's actually have a detachable cable, and they're coming out with a new cable with a built in mic some time this year. They're also wireless hybrids, like Sleek audio's SA6, and custom earphones. So you can attach their wireless application to listen cable-free. Uses Kleer, not bluetooth...so it doesn't degrade the signal.