Hey folks, Valkor here. During CES 2010, I met with a small company called Ankit who quite literally slammed a Val-Cave challenge at me touting their earphones were the shit. And after thorough testing, they were right; their earphones were pretty bad ass. And they've held the top spot all this time… that is until Lift Audio stepped into the ring. They didn't state their earphones were the best… but I will. Because after I put their Icon Series through all that the Val-Cave has to offer, I can state without a doubt "these are the best damn earphones that have ever graced my aural receptacles!"
The Icon Series look small, tiny even. However they pack some serious technology on the inside. And since I'm not the technical sort, so I'll resort to the website to give you the most accurate description of what's going on, on the inside of these earphones:
"A lightweight precious metal composition presents a luxurious appearance, and encases a small yet extremely powerful 6mm magnesium enriched dynamic driver that sets a new standard in driver technology and audio performance. Featuring the most efficient driver technology available, the all metal craftsmanship is precision molded to accentuate the unparalleled sound quality generated from the mini-driver, which also utilizes a powerful strontium rare earth magnet to deliver deep yet precise bass levels."
Did you get all that? Good! Moving on!
The Icon Series Earphones come attach with a cloth style cord (less tangles), additional plugs of different sizes (because all ears aren't the same) and a small carrying case.
Vs. Ankit's Earphones – I found the sound quality and bass levels to be much better than that of Ankit's. Both offer "noise isolation", in that once you plug em in your ears, the outside sounds are drowned out. However the Icon Series offer more sound clarity and a richer bass, while the bass in the Ankit's is just a bit too heavy by comparison. And while Ankit has that metallic decoration on the outside, the Icon Series are a bit more discreet. In that sense, it all comes down to personal choice.
But after putting the Icon Series through all the Val-Cave's hoops and obstacles, how did the pair fair?
They faired very well. Actually much better than I had anticipated. You get super clear, crisp audio and that bass… that's what drives it home! It's as if their maker shouted "STOP!! That's the sweet spot, right there! Don't go any further". It's madness! But Beautiful madness!! I'm still reeling as I listen to "Outside Castle" by H.O.T.; these earphones are picking up soundbits I've never heard before. Plus that opening thunderstorm that's normally subtle in most headphones is very prominent with the Icon Series. Watching "Polar Express", the Hot Chocolate song never sounded so good, dare I say? Yes, they even sounded better than the Zalman 5.1 but only just as good as the AblePlanet NC200. Earphones that match the sound, if not surpass that of full-fledge headphones? Unheard of! But it's true! And not to keep harping on the bass, but that's what really drives it all home – it's nice to have noise isolation, but if the bass sucks, then you can forget the whole package. And it definitely doesn't suck with the Icon Series; it thumps just right. Multi-directional sound is a go, hittin up all the channels without being an actual multi-channel device. So for that it's thumbs up.
You get amazing sound in such a tiny package for around 30 bucks!! That's crazy… but I like it!
This Christmas let Lift Audio to send your ears into the stratosphere with their Icon Series earphones – it's an immersive experience you won't soon forget. And for 30 bucks (actually less at Amazon.com w/ free shipping), you seriously cannot go wrong. Out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving the Icon Series a perfect 5 and they've been Valkor tested and TOV Approved!