8 ~£100 Earphones – Denon, Monster, Phonak Audéo, Sennheiser, TFTA, Future Sonic

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Hi there guys n girls!

So I thought to create a comparison, as I had in my hands at the same time 3 earphones that all cost around £100-£150. I also decided to add 5 more to the list, seeing as I hadn’t written or compared them yet!

Here are all the earphones:
The initial three I compared A/B’ing:

Monster Turbine’s (MT) = RRP £120

Phonak Audéo PFE 112’s (PFE 112) = RRP £120

TFTA-2100-3V2B, known as the: TFTA 1XB (TFTA) = RRP £100

The additional 5 I added to the review:

Denon AH-C751 RRP = £50-70 – I think these are impossible to find any more!
I am putting these in, mostly as a comparison for older head-fi members who used to have the C700, which are the older versions of the C751’s and also to give a comparison with the C710’s

Denon AH-C710 RRP = £70-90 – Might be hard to find

Sennheiser IE7 (IE7) = RRP £120 – Might be hard to find now

TFTA-2100-2V1S , known as the: TFTA 1V (TFTA) = RRP £100
These will be added to the 1XB’s section, as the only difference they have is the SQ

Future Sonic Atrio M5 with MG7 Driver = RRP £125

 

Now for the price I bought them at:

-The TFTA’s I got from TFTA themselves, free to review
-The PFE 112’s I got from a Facebook competition from Audéo themselves
-The MT’s I got for $50/£35 (via my auntie in the US) refurbished from the Monster US Outlet Store
-The Sennheiser IE7’s I bought for £35 refurbished from play.com
-The Denon’s were bought bought from AdvancedMP3 players (amp3) for their RRP, the 751’s @ £55 and the 710’s @ £90
-The MG7’s for $95 shipped from head-fi – as they were on a $115 deal by atrio.me

Now let’s get down to the comparison – I want to talk about the earphones in the following order:
-Packaging, including accessories
-Build quality
-Overall look, comfort and isolation
-Sound quality (SQ)
(I will be using the MTPG, the Monster Turbine pro Gold as a reference for the MT’s, seeing as they are the step up of the MT’s – I have previously owned a set of MTPG’s however will not be using them, apart from some comparisons/comments in this review)

 

Packaging, accessories, box content, overall first impressions (look wise)

Monster Turbine
I’ll start off by the MT’s – now I chose to go with these first, as I didn’t actually get a box, nor could really comment on the contents of them, however, looking at youtube unboxings and other pictures, it looks like there is nothing much missing from my package, apart from the box itself, and the soft carrying pouch. I got all the tips, leather “harder” pouch, and shirt clip.
Overall, I found the MT’s had a good range of accessories, nothing like the MTPG’s, their bigger brothers with the super tips and all the sleuth of accessories, such as the strain relief. I found the pouch nice, and of good quality, even though it is probably fake leather, the ear tips a range from small to large silicone tips, with some triple flange tips added in too. I however was disappointed to find that the fit with the “olive shaped” tips didn’t fit my ear properly, and often fell out of my ear – I thus resorted in using the simple silicone tips of my TFTA 1XB’s to make them stick in properly.

Monster Turbine contents Monster Turbine case Monster Turbine tips Monster Turbine earphones

TFTA 1XB & 1V
Now I know the TFTA’s will be having an updated packaging and box for the next batch of TFTA’s, but seeing as I have the current pair, I shall be reviewing them as I have them (in order to be fair). The TFTA’s overall presentation in all honesty was a little poor, the box looked like it was printed as such, and there were no extra tips, apart from your regular small, medium and large silicone tips. There was no carrying case or anything else. I felt somewhat disappointed about the TFTA’s presentation. For £100 earphones you would kind of expect more. That said, they will be updated, and their new packaging looks great, and I’ve heard there will be more tips and pouch provided, a good move by TFTA in this aspect.

 

PFE 112
Now, I thought the MTPG’s impressed me with their packaging, and they still in my mind hold the best box contents I have ever seen for a set of earphones, but the PFE 112’s come in second. I love what Audéo have done here, they have provided some strain relief, ear tips, a very classy pouch, but most importantly a very nice box for your audio filters, which in some might seem unnecessary, but to me speaks real professionalism and real class. It also had a pair of some Comply tips, which I found really useful for the SQ.
The box itself speaks of authority and presence, what springs to mind when I see them is: “professional” and I don’t usually get the impression; only with the Westone 2’s did I ever get that sort of impression. So well done to Audéo for the nice box, and great presentation of their earphones!

PFE 112 contents PFE 112 case PFE 112 filters

Denon C751

The packaging of the 751’s was simple and nice – It came with a hard-esk pouch, your standard silicone tips, and an extension wire.
Here my first impressions were regarding the wire length – it was way too short without the extension and about the right size with the extension – with that in mind, the extension made the earphones heavy to wear, more on that later.

Denon AH-C751 case

Denon C710

The package in which the C710’s comes with is quite simple, but nice. It came with an extension cord, silicone tips, a shirt clip, comply T-400’s and a “carrying case”
Now the carrying case I found was a little too bulky to put in your pocket, however put the carrying case in your bag, which I did often, was very good, as it was a hard leather carrying case, which meant that the earphones inside were protected, even if you hit a hammer on them, I doubt they would break.
I found the addition of the extension good, but then again stupid. The cable with the ear buds was too short to be put down to your pockets, and trust me, I don’t have a huge torso, and with the extension cord, it made the wire a bit too long, meaning it was either dangling around – primed to be caught on something, or in your pocket in loops.
The tips were OK; however I found that the SQ of them paired with the earphones didn’t quite suit them, more on that later in the SQ section.

710 contents Denon AH-C710 contents

 

Sennheiser IE7

As I bought these refurbished I can’t comment, compare these, just like the Monster turbines, that said, if I had bought them brand-new I would say that the accessories and box provided is very good – however I found that the carrying case was bulky, and not all together portable – this is in my opinion the worst carrying case that I have had, simply due to its size and build quality, which was below par.
The tips you would be provided with is great, as it allows you to see what is best

Sennheiser IE7 earphones Sennheiser IE7 case Sennheiser IE7 case Sennheiser IE7 case

Future Sonic Atrio MG7

I really like what Future Sonic did here with their new eco packaging. the packaging at first wasn’t familiar to me, as I was reading reviews, and most of them had the M5 logo in green, with no “special edition” written under the Future Sonic logo. more so, the case inside was different from the “normal version” – I later found out this was their new eco-packaging.

It had a recycled tire for the carrying case, and what it seemed like, recycled cardboard.

I love the initiative, and the attention to our planet approach. Good on you, Future Sonic!

I did find the case being a little useless though, it’s very flat and quite large, I find it not very portable, nor very useful for the earphones. Yet they are brilliant for carrying around tips. I bought myself a MTPC pouch, and now use that daily in order to carry around my MG7’s

Now for the contents themselves, they came equipped with quite a few tips.

Here they are individually:
4x Large Cream foamies
4x Medium Cream foamies

4x Large Black foamies
4x Medium Black foamis

2x Small bi-flange
2x Medium bi-flange (which is on by default)
2x Large bi-flange

There is also the cleaning tool, the carrying case and an information booklet

Overall, great job – I think however the inclusion of some normal silicone tips might not have been a bad idea, instead of all the foam tips. that said, I use the foam tips anyway, as they don’t hurt my ears as of the bi-flanges, and provide me with comfort and isolation.
That said, as they aren’t “rounded off” they aren’t smooth, so I would look into Comply tips if you’re not 100% satisfied with them.

And now unto the initial impressions of the look.
I do have to say these look like £5 earphones you would buy from HMV (equivalent of your bestbuy) – they look cheap a little tacky, and not very pleasant. Especially the “coloured” versions, such as the blue versions look like toys. That said, don’t judge a book by its cover – more on the sound quality later.

 

Ratings for box, contents, accessories provided and packaging

-Monster Turbine (if bought brand new, unlike me): 7/10
-TFTA 1XB & 1V: 2/10
-PFE 112: 9/10
-Denon C751: 6/10
-Denon C710: 6/10
-Sennheiser IE7 (if bought brand new, unlike me): 8/10
-Future Sonic Atrio MG7: 8/10

 

Build Quality

That concludes the looks, so to speak – as Jay-Z would say, on to the next one, the build quality:

Monster Turbine
Now the build quality here is a little give and take…I felt that even having them for around a week, that they felt a little weak, especially around the ear bud area, and by the jack. The jack of the MT’s is a straight wire, which doesn’t help its build quality – as I really felt that after 1-2months of not so careful use, these could easily break – so I would watch out about tugging these earphones, that said the wire is of good, but tangle heaven quality. It’s not the best cable, but yet not the worst [insert Denon AH-C710 thin wire here] quality.
Overall satisfied, but slightly worried – I have also read quite a lot that the MTPG/C’s break quite often, can I can see why.

Monster Turbine earphones Monster Turbine jack Monster Turbine splitter

TFTA 1XB & 1V
Having owned these for several months now, I can say the overall build quality is good, the wire is almost identically thick as the MT’s, and the jack is again a little on the worrying side, just as the Monster’s were, however I find that the ear buds seem to be well reinforced, even though when you hold them in your hands it feels like they can fall off. One thing to note though, the actual housing of these buds, after some wear and tear starts to come off, thus scratches stay, and knocks etc are very easily seen. Almost like how the new Xbox 360 magically attracts scratches, if you’re not an Xbox slim owner, you won’t understand this, but imagine it like a very glossy car, and not having several layers of paint applied. Under the housing, the colour is black, and is very much reflected on the silver-esk colour of the TFTA 1XB’s & 1V’s

 

PFE 112
Yet again, Audéo have impressed me. Build quality is brilliant, and wow, these wires are sublime. Absolutely fell in love with them, I think it would be a real challenge to actually TRY TO TANGLE them. They untangle with EASE, and the wire quality is much thicker and much better than the previous two. The ear buds themselves are VERY light, possibly half the weight of the other two, then again these case Balanced Armature (BA) drivers and not Dynamic Drivers (DD) – which would explain the weight.
Overall, really impressed, doesn’t feel like they will break any time soon, and seem to be very well built.

PFE 112 wire PFE 112 jack

Wires compared

Denon C751

This is what stood out for me. The build quality, especially of that of the wire was amazing.
They weren’t too thick, they weren’t too thin, they wouldn’t tangle, and even if they would, they would magically un-tangle.
I found the build quality of these earphones great, even though the denon logo on the earphones started to fade away pretty fast with normal use.
The wire used was one of the best wires I have ever used, better than the ones of the Westone 2’s even, as even they had braiding issues and tangling issues.

Denon AH-C751 jack

 

Denon C710

The build quality of the ear buds was good; however I must say that the actual wire was a little tangle prone and very thin.
Meaning more often than not I was there un-tangling the darn earphones. That said, the overall build quality was nice, and with the L shaped jack on the extension cable, it made it ideal for putting it, in your pocket

Denon AH-C710 contents Denon AH-C710 jack

Sennheiser IE7

The build quality is what I have always found to be the best with sennheiser products. The cable was of great quality, and felt very nice in my hands. I really enjoyed the wire, no microphonics of any sorts, and very good quality wire. With that in mind, due to their almost transparent cabling, I wouldn’t be surprised that with time they might corrode, and show a sign of green colour inside.
With the subject of corroding, I have no idea in the life of me, why the hell sennheiser doesn’t gold plate their earphones, this always pisses me off – with the IE8’s I had problems with my phone, and now with the IE7’s, I could hear some distortions sometimes as I moved about, and the jack was being disrupted. Why the hell make expensive earphones and neglect almost the most important thing in the earphone’s design? Sennheiser, wake up.
Don’t get me wrong, gold doesn’t transfer quality better or anything like that, it’s that the nickel corrodes easily and isn’t a protected so to speak jack – meaning problems in the future, such as with the IE8’s and IE7’s I had occurred.

Sennheiser IE7 jack Sennheiser IE7 splitter Sennheiser IE7 earphones

Future Sonic Atrio MG7

The build quality of the M5’s isn’t bad, but not great either.
The earphones themselves however, feel like they will survive a quite a beating. I don’t know exactly what material it is, but its obviously plastic. This is great for the weight of the earphones, as they are very light, and thus can be worn for hours on end.
I like that the earphones are attached to the cable via a soft bendable, if you will, material. which means they can be flexed to a certain degree.

The wire itself, is of decent, but not great quality. The main, good thing about them, is the fact that they don’t tangle. The MG7’s are terminated by a L shaped 3.5mm gold plated jack – which is good, especially if you want to put them in your pocket.

Now the main problems/concerns I have, are:
-The wire going into the earbuds causes microphonics when worn straight down, and feel a little flimsy going in – as in there is no glue holding them in place
-The splitter is far too short. Seeing as these have to be worn over-the-ear to prevent microphonics, the splitter ends up 2-3cm away from your chin. it would have been better, if there was more splitter length. The actual wire length however is perfect. Not too long, not too short. Its around 1.2m long.

 

Ratings for build quality

-Monster Turbine: 5/10
-TFTA 1XB & 1V: 7/10
-PFE 112: 9/10
-Denon C751: 7/10
-Denon C710: 7/10
-Sennheiser IE7: 9/10
-Future Sonic Atrio MG7: 7/10

 

Now the overall look, comfort and isolation

Monster Turbine
The MT’s really were heavy, like their brothers the MTPG’s, not as heavy, but close to it – thus meaning after a while I felt the need to put them over my ear, or have some sort of strain relief to not weigh down my ears. They weren’t too comfortable with the tips provided, however paired with other tips, they became much more comfortable – now this depends on your ear size etc, but overall I felt that I could definitely not go running around with these, nor felt too comfortable wearing them for several hours of use. The isolation is great with the tips provided (hopefully they fit your ear shape, unlike for me); nothing like the SE535’s but still, great overall isolation. Their looks is not over the top, and not too boring either – average look for these earphones, and I do like the attention to the name/detail – they literally do look like turbines in a jet engine, now that’s cool right? I think so!

Monster Turbine earphones Monster Turbine earphones Monster Turbine nozzle

TFTA 1XB & 1V
The TFTA’s were for me very comfortable, sat in my ears, although they look like earphones that will stick out like the TF10’s, and in fact they do to some extent, they are very light and comfortable to wear – I could, and have worn them all day long, and not had a time that I thought to get them off due to discomfort. The isolation is great, just like the MT’s, however, due to their design, and the hole at the back of the ear buds, they don’t isolate very well – that said that air vent, greatly increases the SQ, more on that later.
So I like the isolation, the comfort of the TFTA’s, but more so the look – They look like some spaceships that are set for Mars – I guess this is personal preference, almost how like the MTPG’s are not for everyone, but to me the TFTA’s did well here.

 

PFE 112
Sounds like nothing but praise for these angels, the PFE 112’s yet again don’t disappoint, their comfort is brilliant, you hardly feel them on your ears (even though they go around your ears, quite literally), the look is very professional, and see some business men/women wearing them, and the isolation is great – they don’t leak, when you have them on, especially paired with some Comply’s you can’t hear any outside noise (well little to nothing) – great job by Phonak, again!

PFE 112 earphones

Denon C751

The look of these is very nice, I found them to look like the TFTA’s, or should I say the TFTA’s to look like these. Like a space shuttle, a jet or an engine, whatever you want to picture it as, they looked nice.
The comfort however was something else…due to their extension cable, it made these earphones almost want to fall out of your ears. I had to either use the shirt clip to reduce the weight that was being implied by the extension or put them over-ear so that they would be comfortable. That said comfort was without a doubt not there. These were the main earphones I have had that I have had comfort issue with. By comfort I mean, not the actual feel in your ears, but the overall comfort, be it in your ears to carrying around.
In my ears that said, once they finally stuck in, they were comfortable to wear, but due to their weight of the actual ear bud, again they felt like falling out – with comply tips I greatly improved my comfort and isolation.
On the topic of isolation, the earphone were decent, not great but not bad either, mediocre, and satisfactory!

751 ear buds

 

Denon AH-C751 earphones

 

Denon C710

The look of the earphones is quite nice. I find it not too revealing, but yet elegant at the same time. The comfort is great, and I never had fitting issues with these.
With their angled ear bud style, the earphones were easy to put on and off. You wouldn’t want to sleep on them that said, but still, comfortable to wear.
The isolation of these wasn’t that great, but above average. These were much better in isolating, unlike the EX500, 700’s and with the addition of some Comply foam tips, I found isolation very good – I was using these daily on the bike, so you can imagine, how they did. Of course I could hear cars passing by at times, but usually I was in musical bliss with them on.

Denon AH-C710 earphones

Denon AH-C710 earphones 710 Nozzle Denon AH-C710 Nice Design

Sennheiser IE7

The look of these, personally I hate – they try to speak to me a modern looking earphone, with the hint of a professional touch. But personally, I don’t find them attractive at all to wear or look at – their shape and form is all together quite disappointing
Their comfort goes two ways here, if you have ears that are very shallow, and then you won’t have a problem at all with these, as they sit on your ears, rather than properly go in. That said, if you’re like me and have, what I consider normal ears, or possibly deeper ears, they fit might be an issue.
You see, as they sit on your ears, to get any sort of bass (and I’m saying ANY bass) you will have to push them well into your ears, to the point that comfort becomes an issue. To solve this you have to stick some dual or triple flange tips in your ears. Those tips I can’t stand and literally feel like they are ripping my ears, so it’s really a matter of opinion here, I found them uncomfortable to get any SQ out of them and didn’t find them attractive to look at.
The isolation isn’t bad, but again due to their design, and bear in mind they have to worn over-ear too, the isolation isn’t great – yes if pushed right into your ear they isolate, but due to their open-esk design, isolation isn’t great, and external noise is heard.

Sennheiser IE7 earphones Sennheiser IE7 case Sennheiser IE7 nozzle Sennheiser IE7 nozzle

Future Sonic Atrio MG7

The look of these, as described before is like a £5 set. They do however grow on you, from your initial impressions, however it goes without saying that they don’t look like the “real deal” at first sight.

The comfort is very good, however its mostly tip dependant. Due to their long-ish nozzle, they do go in quite a bit, and thus when you eat or open your jaw, they tend to move a little out of your ear, as they are reasonably (deeply) inserted.

The isolation, is a great in my opinions for these earphones, especially for universals. To the point I think, how well would customs do. They do a very good job in isolating, and this is also due to the fact, that they have no air port, unlike other earphones I’ve heard.

 

Ratings for overall look, comfort and isolation

-Monster Turbine: 6/10
-TFTA 1XB & 1V: 8/10
-PFE 112: 9/10
-Denon C751: 6/10
-Denon C710: 8/10
-Sennheiser IE7: 5-8/10 (depending on your ear canal)
-Future Sonic Atrio MG7: 8/10

 

Sound Quality

Now ladies and gents the most important section, the sound quality (SQ)
I want to add here, that I listen mostly to R’n’b, but also dance and trance – I am a basshead if anything, however appreciate SQ when I hear it, and understand that not everyone loves or wants bass. Remember this section is rather subjective, but I hope it gives you an idea.
All earphones were burned-in – and yes I believe in burn-in, it’s a must for DD’s in my book, but not as much, if anything for BA’s though!

 

Monster Turbine

Monster Turbine earphones

Now these at first wow’ed me, and of course they would have for the price I paid, £35 – however after listening to them for a while, and often having to crank them up a little more than I usually do with my TFTA 1XB’s, I found after direct comparisons with the PFE 112’s and TFTA’s that the bass was rolled off, the mids were a little muddy, highs were there.

Lows:
The bass at first hits you in the face, but then after you start to compare, well against, what I like to call the king of bass, the TFTA 1XB’s, these sound rolled off, and uncontrolled at times. They aren’t great at times, but definitely do “slap da bass” – I really enjoyed listening to these don’t get me wrong, it’s just that being analytical, and “precise” I found they were rolled off, and not extended in their bass response – My old Denon C751/C710’s did much better than these, you can really hear the difference between the MTPG’s and the MT’s it’s a real contrast, whereas the MTPG’s were better with their lows than my old C710’s, then MT’s are worse than my C710’s

Mids/highs:
The mids were quite washed out in my opinion, and sounded at times they weren’t there at all, this is me being anal, but after you hear a direct comparison, or have some knowledge of other earphones, you will start to think: “where is some of the music gone?”
The highs, however were nice, they weren’t ear piercing, and neither were they too forward. I found them quite pleasant to listen to, and actually found that after listening to them for a while, taking the bass out of consideration, they sounded like a very flat set of earphones, no mids/highs hitting you in the face –that said, put the bass back into the equation, and they sound like bass heavy earphones – I suggest Eq’ing down the Bass if I were you, and had these, and enjoy their fuller sound.

Sound stage:
The sound stage was on the other hand; great – sound was coming from different places around my ear, and was very well separated. Although the mids didn’t help the overall presentation, they didn’t underperform

Overall, the sound quality of the MT’s was disappointing; yes no doubt they were worth £35-45, but surely not worth the RRP of £120. Don’t want to say it really, but it’s just another Monster product, over-priced, looks good, and seems good, but when it comes down to it, it under-performs.
I like the overall package, and personally if it were for me to put a price on these, I would price them at £40, reason being, is due to the fact that I’ve owned in the past the Sony EX500, which in my opinion, extend lower, and provide a better mid/high presentation – that said the EX500’s aren’t built well, and leak quite a bit.

 

TFTA 1XB

Don’t judge a book by its front cover, that’s the old saying, and applies here. First impressions you get are…hmm are these going to sound good, as the packaging doesn’t look too great. Obviously after burn-in, god DAMN, they are brilliant.

Lows:
As said before, these are the kings, I cannot think of any earphone, let alone headphone (even the Sony XB700 or XB500 headphones, can’t compete with this CRAZY bass) – these can be eq’ed for a lower “smack across the face with a fish”, but if you are a basshead like myself, you’ll want to keep them just the way they are. These extend so low, and never lose pace, quantity or quality of lows. Yes granted sometimes they sound too bassy, especially if you have been around BA drivers your whole life, but if you want bass, you have found it, I can’t stress it enough, on how low these go, and HOW HARD these hit, no really there is no competition for the lows here, in the under £300 category (from all I’ve heard), even my new Denon AH-D2000’s amped to +10dB on my headphone amp, can’t hit as hard as these, it’s insane. Now remember that hole I talked about? Yes that’s right, if you put a finger over it, the bass impact reduces 10 fold, you can see where these bass demons get their bass from, they suck them in and blow them in your ear – biggie smalls style.

Mids/highs:
I originally felt that these don’t deliver well in the mids, but after comparing them to the C710/C751/MT/MTPG/PFE 112, they really do, but are not up front, due to the fact that these are more concentrated on bass if anything. Thus they won’t be like the SE535’s, nor the PFE 112’s, but they will be there, unlike with the MT’s where they almost don’t exist. Mids sound good to my ear, and I guess I could say that these are slightly dark earphones, by that I mean they have a V sounding SQ – the highs remind me a lot of the C751’s, they aren’t too sharp, unlike the C710’s, neither too forward like the SE535’s, but just right – little like the MT’s, but better overall

Sound stage:
The sound stage here is almost identical if not a little worse than the MT’s – I enjoy listening to these, and music separation is very good.

Overall, these earphones, are definitely not for the bass scared – if you don’t like bass, look elsewhere, such as look into their brother the TFTA 1V’s, which almost sound like the 1XB’s but don’t have that huge bass in your face.

 

TFTA 1V

Lows: the Lows on the TFTA 1V’s reminded me greatly of the Denon earphones, however whereas the denon earphones might sound rolled off after a while, these extend. That said they aren’t as dominant as the 1XB’s their bassier brothers, but
they are still in my opinion bassy earphones. I really like how the lows extend on the 1V’s and 1XB’s, at the end of the day it’s how much quantity you want from them.

Mids/highs: Now the mids and highs on the 1V’s are very similar to the 1XB’s but after a while of switching between the two, it feels like there is a much greater emphasis on the mids especially of the 1V’s compared to the 1XB’s, as the 1V’s to me feel like they have a lowered bass, this allows the mids to push through a little.

Soundstage: The soundstage is identical to the 1XB’s

Overall, they are great earphones, but I prefer their bassier brothers, the 1XB’s – I found the 1V’s to be the tamed 1XB’s, put it that way!

 

PFE 112

PFE 112 earphones

These have the best look, comfortable etc earphones, however their sound didn’t really impress me – I found that these were cheap for BA drivers, however, if I really wanted 2x BA I would buy the Westone 2’s – but seeing as they are more expensive, I can’t really take them into consideration/comparison – don’t get me wrong these are good, but weren’t for me

Lows:
Let me be blunt here, they exist, but really, my EX500’s did better, yet again, BA drivers for bass aren’t it – they don’t hit hard enough, nor have any real presence – again, this is my preference, and they do sound great overall, but for anything with bass in it, forget it, you’ll be asking yourself, “where is it?!” – Snoop Dogg’s drop it like it’s hot, never sounded flatter, let me put it that way.

Mids/highs:
Now these are the PFE 112’s forte – they sound amazing on mids and highs – really pronounced, up front and strong – don’t get me wrong they don’t hurt your ears, like the C710’s, these sound perfect. When I put on some classical music, the violin sent shivers down my back – absolutely sublime. I never got this with the W2’s, that said the W2’s I guess can be considered as more bassy BA driver earphones to some extent, these don’t try to be a wanna-be bass earphone, as a £50 earphone could do 2x better than them – these excel where they need to, and do an absolute BRILLIANT job – a real pleasure to listen to them

Sound stage:
The BA drivers, really shine again here, they come from all directions, and felt to me that I was listening to music from different directions, not a huge difference over the other 2 in this review, but a little better.

Overall, if you want earphones that aren’t stupidly expensive, want a nice bundled box of contents, and not really looking for bassy earphones, these are them – good job Audéo, you have impressed me quite a lot, these are not for me, but I see how people can like your earphones, and really admire what you have done with them, especially with the audio filters, which slightly alter the SQ to your preference – very professional if you ask me.

 

Denon C751

 

The SQ is like the Denon 710’s and is a love hate relationship. They pack a great punch in their lows, but have much to be desired in the mids and highs.
With that in mind, if you’re into something a bit darker, then these do the job just great.

Lows: A real kick here, you could feel it and hear it brilliantly, they always got my head banging – they do extend low, but often tend to bleed into the mids, over-powering them and making it seem like very bass heavy earphones

Mids/highs: The mids are drowned out, as said above by the lows, and aren’t very precise nor accurate – in this respect I much preferred the Sony EX500’s, which are around the same price as these. That said their highs are excellent, not too bright, and I never felt that they hurt my ears one bit

Soundstage: The soundstage of these is narrow, I felt that the sound was coming mostly from one place – this is also due to the fact that the lows were the dominant sound that was coming from these

Overall, great earphones for the price, not your mid/high earphones, but for bass they do deliver the goods

 

Denon C710

Now here is where the love/hate relationship of these start.
First of all, I found these earphones absolutely brilliant; they were a step-up to the C751’s in almost all departments. I loved their design, and didn’t have the weight problems of the C751’s, however one thing struck me was the stock tips and the SQ they produced.

With the openness of the stock tips, it meant that these earphones were VERY bright, even at times unbearable, meaning I had to stock listening to the song or change it. They were also, which added to the problem, very sibilant, picking up all minor imperfections in your songs. That, alongside with the brightness of the phones made it sometimes very annoying to listen to.
The way I went around it was to add some comply foam tips, which reduced the brightness of the phones, reduced the forwardness of the mids and highs and made the lows more dominant and pounding. In addition to this, I added a 75ohms resistor adapter which removed the sibilance quite a bit.
With these two “add-ons” the earphones became really enjoyable and very good. I was surprised not to find much on them on head-fi, and felt that they were unappreciated from the community.

(Pictured is the adapter)

Lows: These hit hard, and were very much punchy, the emphasis was on the lows, but it was never over-whelmingly annoying or strong

Mids/highs: They were very bright earphones without any additional things put on them, such as the comply’s and thus their mids and highs were good, but not top-notch. I found that their highs sparkled but their mids were sometimes not always there. That said, if you could bear them “as stock” then they would be the perfect earphones. I had to tone down the mids and highs to make them bearable to my ears

Soundstage: the soundstage was actually very good, I hear things coming from different angles. They weren’t too centred or too wide, I found them perfect, and the soundstage was pleasantly brilliant

So overall, the sound was more on the highs and mids, but with a heavy emphasis on the lows. The lows were there and pounding, however without any “add-ons” the main focus of these earphones were in my opinion their mids and highs, which was the case, weren’t all that bad – I wouldn’t buy the earphones for that reason though.

 

Sennheiser IE7

Sennheiser IE7 earphones

Lows: The lows, if pushed right into your ears are there, they are nice and extended, not what I would call punchy, but present. Enjoyable and not over powering, all together a nice experience, fit dependant.

Mids/highs: The mids and highs is what for me the Sennheiser IE7’s excels in. They produce a flat sounding, but very accurate sound, which to some ears is very nice. I enjoyed listening to them, although I felt EQ’ing them made them sound a little more alive, as to my ears they sounded almost dead, thus how I describe their flat EQ

Soundstage: Let’s not forget this one, the soundstage is sublime, I struggle to find earphones with as much soundstage as these, especially for dynamic drivers – absolutely amazing

Overall, I can’t really recommend these earphones, yes they have a great soundstage and possibly are quite nice for classical music, but if anything I would prefer the PFE 112’s over the IE7’s

 

Future Sonic Atrio MG7 

Lows:
The lows here are really broken down in 2 parts.
-The mid-bass, which is the actual impact the bass has on you
-The sub-bass, the rumble, and the “extended bass” you hear

For me these have the best sub-bass I have ever heard. They go deep, they go hard, they really hit that low-end frequency like a baseball player hitting a baseball. They also go very low, they don’t lose any depth or strength in their sub-bass at any given point – meaning with an amp, or EQ they can go even lower, and handle it.
Now for the mid-bass – they do have impact, and I suppose for the general audio-nut, they are brilliant, however for a true basshead, you will find that the mid-bass is actually lacking. Not in quality, but in quantity. Again this can be EQ’ed or amped – and thus I use the digiZoid ZO2 to give these babies that extra nutch in mid-bass.

Mids/highs:
The masterpiece of the balance the MG7’s have, is simply outstanding. They produce such a nice soft mid range response and accurate highs.
The main concern I have with the MG7’s is their soundstage, and i feel due to their closed soundstage, the mids take a little hit – by that I mean, they don’t sound as good as they potentially could – almost like feeling restraint to some extent. So the mids aren’t perfect, but are good.

Soundstage:
For me, the biggest let down in the MG7’s – but its to be sort of expected with such a small nozzle, and no vent port. The earphones, don’t give you a sense of space, and it feels rather enclosed. This however is the compromise for having good isolation.
So, if you are looking for earphones with good soundstage, these aren’t it – but then find me one with the same sub-bass, isolation, and price.

Sound quality ratings
PLEASE remember these are MY RATINGS, and might vary from person to person

Monster Turbine
Lows: 6/10
Mids: 4/10
Highs: 5/10
Soundstage: 8/10

TFTA 1XB
Lows: 10/10
Mids: 6/10
Highs: 8/10
Soundstage: 8.5/10

TFTA 1V
Lows: 8.5/10
Mids: 7/10
Highs: 8/10
Soundstage: 8.5/10

PFE 112
Lows: 4-5/10
Mids: 8-7/10
Highs: 9-8/10
Soundstage: 8/10

Denon C751
Lows: 9/10
Mids: 6.5/10
Highs: 8/10
Soundstage: 8/10

Denon C710
Lows: 8.5/10
Mids: 7/10
Highs: 8/10
Soundstage: 8/10

Sennheiser IE7
Lows: 7.5/10
Mids: 7/10
Highs: 8/10
Soundstage: 10/10

Future Sonic Atrio MG7
Lows: 9/10
Mids: 7/10
Highs: 9/10
Soundstage: 7/10

Pics of the original 3 earphones compared + my Denon D2000, XB700’s & my beloved Samsung Galaxy S (SGS)

The initial 3 compared

Overall price I would pay for each:

MT: £35 = RRP £120
TFTA 1XB/1V: £80 = RRP £100
PFE 112: £80 = RRP £120
Denon C751: £60 = RRP £50-70
Denon C710: £70 = RRP £70-90
Sennheiser IE7: £35 = RRP £120
Future Sonic Atrio MG7: £100 = RRP £125

 

MY OVERALL RATING (all included):
Monster Turbine (new): 6/10
TFTA 1XB: 8/10
TFTA 1V: 8/10
Phonak Audéo PFE 112: 8.5/10
Denon AH-C751: 7/10
Denon AH-C710: 8/10
Sennheiser IE7: 5/10
Future Sonic Atrio MG7: 9/10

I hope you have enjoyed this lengthy 6,700 word review!

Enjoy!
TotallydubbedHD

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4 thoughts on “8 ~£100 Earphones – Denon, Monster, Phonak Audéo, Sennheiser, TFTA, Future Sonic

  1. Mike B

    In your opinion, do you think the TFTA-1XB have more bass than the Audio Technica ATH-CKS70/77, Sennheiser IE8( with bass setting on max), Nuforce Ne-700x, tdk eb900, and radius atomic bass?

    Reply

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