My name is Elliot Holmes and I’m the sales supervisor here at Advanced MP3 Players. Primarily I’m here to answer all of your enquiries over email, Live Chat or the phone but also quite often dip my toe in to reviews and whatever else takes my fancy or needs to be done.
I used to split my time between working for AMP3 and touring around the country playing in various bands; although I’ve been enjoying some much needed time off lately after my last band decided to call it a day (there’s only so many empty rooms you can play and being unsigned you’re effectively sleeping rough in a van most of the time).
Best 5 Earphones Above £100
You would be forgiven for thinking that all earphones are pretty much cut from the same cloth as up until recent years there wasn’t necessarily a huge choice of high quality earphones available.
However, with the ever increasing popularity and diversity of MP3 players in today’s market the level of choice for earphones has risen tremendously and can often make it difficult to single out which is going to work best for you.
We’ve been steadily increasing our range of earphones for several years now here at AMP3 and have made a conscious effort to stock something for everyone. All the products listed below are considered to be some of the best money can buy so if you want some earphones with serious punch then these might just be for you.
Shure SE535 Sound Isolating Earphones (£319.00)
Shure is a name many of you might be familiar with as they’re generally considered to make some of the best industry level microphones going. In fact their fantastic earphones are largely descended from ones they used to make for musicians to use on stage as monitors.
The Shure SE535 earphones follow on from highly praised Shure SE530 and like their predecessors they feature three high-definition MicroDrivers and deliver terrific sound. Thanks to the balanced quality of sound most music genres sound great with the SE535s and they come highly recommended.
What makes the Shure SE535 Sound Isolating Earphones great?
• The extremely strong sound quality really helps make the most of your music.
• Due to their in-ear design they will passively block out background noise so you will be able to enjoy your music without being interrupted (up to 37dB of ambient noise).
• The cabling is made from durable Kevlar so should take some fairly rough treatment. Moreover, the cable is user replaceable.
What isn’t so good?
• Due to their high impedance you’re best using them with a powerful source or in conjunction with an amplifier.
• The part of the cable which passes over the top of your ear is reinforced and there have been some customers mentioning that this can sometimes make getting a secure fit slightly tricky.
• While they have a wide soundstage fans of heavy bass might find them a bit too balanced.
Grado GR8 In-Ear Headphones (£269.00)
We began stocking Grado earphones fairly recently as they came very highly recommended by customers – and we can certainly see why. The tonal balance is outstanding and the level of detail really helps make your music shine.
Grado have focused on making the GR8 earphones deliver a high quality sound reproduction and they appear to have succeeded with a rich and vibrant sound and strong passive noise isolation.
What makes the Grade GR8 In-Ear Headphones great?
• The sound quality is superb and really helps make the most of your music. The soundstage is wide and there is plenty of detail.
• They are lightweight so should stay in your ear effectively – meaning you can get on with enjoying your music.
• Background noise will be passively blocked out thanks to their in-ear design so the GR8 earphones are great for commuters.
What isn’t so good?
• While the GR8 earphones should stay in the ear quite happily they could slip out if they are tugged or you move around too much.
• The Grado GR8 earphones only feature a single driver and while they still sound brilliant some other high end earphones have a bit more punch.
• There is a slight lack in what accessories are provided with the earphones. They do include a few sets of various sized tips but other accessories, such as a carry case, would be good.
Westone like a few other brands, such as Shure and Ultimate Ears, made a name for themselves by working with professional musicians. With their years of experience in this field they turned to the commercial market and have been steadily releasing some of the best sounding in-ear earphones going for several years.
The Westone 4 earphones feature four drivers which deliver a balanced, precise and near unparalleled sound. Moreover, they have taken steps to ensure that the earphones are comfortable in the ear at all times – after all you’ll want to enjoy your music in comfort.
Overall the sound quality is clear and thanks to the wide soundstage you’ll be treated to crisp highs, smoother mids and a powerful bass thump.
What makes the Westone 4 Flasgship Quad-Driver In-Ear Earphones great?
• The wonderfully detailed sound reproduction really drives music to new heights with all the frequencies receiving loving treatment from the earphones.
• Thanks to the Quad Balanced Drivers the level of detail is astonishing with music sounding detailed and realistic.
• Due to their ergonomic design the earphones hug your ear to give a secure fit. The cable is also braided to increase robustness and reduce cable noise being transferred to your ears.
What isn’t so good?
• The impedance is fairly high so you’re best using them with a source with a high output or running through an amplifier.
• The cost can be prohibitive but if you can afford them then you shouldn’t have any regrets whatsoever.
• While their sound quality is near unrivalled other high end earphones will do nearly as good a job.
Sennheiser should be a name which you are familiar with as they’ve been around for over 60 years and are normally found in most high street electrical stores. The Sennheiser IE8 earphones are their flagship model and have been optimised for use with MP3 players and iPods.
The Sennheiser IE8 earphones have a very strong bass sound so are ideal if you listen to a lot of drum & bass or hip-hop where big bass is a massive plus. Users can also tweak the bass sound using a button on the earphones. However, as they are bass heavy anyway they might not be to everyone’s tastes.
They feature a lightweight design so you hardly know they’re in your ear at all and even have user-replaceable cables should the worst happen and you don’t want to wait for them to be replaced under warranty.
What makes the Sennheiser IE8 High-Fidelity Noise-Isolating Earphones great?
• They have lashings of bass so are fantastic for urban music tastes. Moreover, as they’re optimised for MP3 players you don’t need a huge amount of output power to drive them.
• Thanks to the sleek, ergonomic design the Sennheiser IE8 earphones are comfortable to wear for hours on end.
• Users can tweak the bass response through the use of a built-in button on the earphones themselves.
What isn’t so Good?
• Due to their bass heavy sound those of you with more gentle music tastes might want to consider a different set.
• While they are very light in the ear there have been some reports of the earphones falling out a bit too easily.
• The sound quality, while being strong, may not be quite good enough for more high-end audio users.
These earphones are designed with comfort in mind with an ergonomic shape and over ear silicon guides to keep the earphones securely in place. However, as well as being comfortable these earphones also sound very good and will passively block out around 90% of ambient noise.
The interesting thing about these earphones which sets them apart from other models is that users can customise the sound quality through the use of bundled filters. As standard the Phonak Audéo Perfect Fit Earphones 111/112 are fitted with ‘grey filters’ to emphasize the mid-range frequencies but these can be replaced with ‘black filters’ to amplify the bass and high frequencies instead.
What makes the Phonak Audéo Perfect Fit Earphones 111/112 great?
• These earphones are lightweight and ergonomically shaped to make the comfortable during use and the addition of silicon guides near the earpiece will make them easy to get in and out of your ear.
• Users have the ability to somewhat tailor the sound from the earphones to their individual preferences with different filters amplifying certain frequencies.
• There is a version of the Phonak Audéo Perfect Fit Earphones 111/112 which feature a microphone for use with mobile phones.
What isn’t so good?
• While they sound very decent they might not be quite strong sounding enough for high-end audio enthusiasts.
• The inclusions of the filters for a near-tailored sound is an impressive idea but if you have a more eclectic taste in music changing the filters as you move from genre to genre may be problematic.
• Since they only feature a single balanced armature driver unit the soundstage isn’t quite as wide as dual-driver sets of a similar price range.