Pros: Overall sound quality, overall build quality, flat-cable design
Cons: Microphonics, straight 3.5mm jack, no cable cinch, driver flex
Packaging & Accessories: 9.5/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 8/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 8/10
Sound Quality: 8/10
My final Rating: 9/10
Review Date: February 2016
Review Price: £69
First of all I would like to thank Pump Audio for reaching out to send me their latest earphones, the Pump Audio V2 Earphones. They can be found for £69 on AmazonUK and at $99 on AmazonUSA, alternatively you can buy them directly from Pump Audio’s site.
When I first saw these crop up in my inbox, I was extremely sceptical about them, mainly because I hadn’t heard of the brand before and that these earphones looked like yet another earphone that put design over sound, with its bright orange colour scheme (in fairness orange is one of my favourite colours).
I was therefore interested to hear how it would compare to the FIDUE A65 which can be found for around £50, or even against other earphones like the cheaper SoundMAGIC E10s that can now be found for around £30 and even the more expensive DUNU Titan 1 that can be found for £90, all presented an interesting battleground for the Pump Audio V2 Earphones.
Here’s my video review of the earphones:
Let’s get on with this written review!
Packaging & Accessories
First of all within the very nice-looking package you’ll find a nice set of accessories which really complement the earphones, in the package you’ll find the following:
- Hard carrying case
- S, M, L silicone tips
- S, M, L foam tips
The included accessories are almost perfect, where I loved the fact that Pump Audio included foam tips alongside the silicone ones, something you rarely see from other manufacturers at this price range. I also like the Fischer Audio DBA-02 mk II-esk carrying case, which servers a great purpose when wanting to store or even transport the earphones.
Overall the packaging and accessories are well thought out and Pump Audio have done a great job here. Although, I would have liked to have seen a soft carrying pouch and shirt clip included within the packaging.
The earphones’ build quality is really good and this mainly comes down to the nice flat-cable design it comes with.
The earphones are terminated by a straight gold-plated 3.5mm jack, which would have been better if they were terminated by a right-angled 3.5mm jack. Moving up the flat-cable there’s a Y-split which presents us with a one-button remote, which works on both Android and iOS devices for calls and even doubles up as a way to control your music. By tapping you play/pause, double clicking skip and by triple clicking going back.
Moving up to the earphones’ housing, you’ll be able to see a left and right indicator found on the black strain relief. The housing of the earphones is made out of aluminium, which gives them a touch of class and a premium feel. Even though they’re made out of aluminium they are very light and according to Pump Audio only weigh 15g. I can’t test the validity of this, but can say that they’re extremely light earphones, to the point that I had to double check that they were in fact made out of aluminium and not plastic, which is generally a lighter material.
I should also mention, that due to their design, I found the earphones to sometimes make a slight pop sound (also known as driver flex) when inserted into the ear with the silicone tips. This comes from the silicone ear tips hitting against the aluminium housing.
Finally, the cable of the earphones themselves, as due to their flat-cable design do present a little bit of cable noise, however due to the design of the earphones you’ll be able to wear them both over-the-ear too, which eliminates all microphonics. Speaking of cables, the cable management is a breeze with the earphones, due to their flat-cable design, as they untangle very easily. However, it is disappointing not to have a cable cinch included, which would have allow for less tangling to happen.
Overall, I was very impressed with the overall build quality that Pump Audio were able to deliver.
Design, looks, comfort and isolation
The earphones I received are the orange V2 model, but from looking on their site, you can find the V2 in black too, which might be more discrete than the bright orange colour. To me the orange colour looks cool and somewhat sporty and trendy, but others might find the look to be a bit cheap looking.
Due to the aluminium coating around the housing, Y-split and jack, the orange colour has a very bright orange reflection, which to me looks a little cheap. If the earphones had the same matte orange colour found on the wire, or a slightly less shiny orange, I would have preferred its looks. However, I do understand that this is extremely subjective, so I will leave it up to you to decide what you think of the earphones’ looks!
The isolation of the earphones is decent, although due to their design isn’t perfect. With that said, if you wish to improve the isolation by a little bit, I would suggest using the foam tips that come within the package.
I found the earphones to be reasonably comfortable, but due to the design of the wire and its distance to the Y-split, found the earphones to sometimes want to pull down from my ears whilst I was wearing them straight-down. However, as said before, you can wear them over-the-ear, which felt more comfortable for me to use.
The sound quality of the earphones is something that I was intrigued about and most sceptical about given its flashy design, but I am glad that Pump Audio focused on the audio side of things too, as they sounded fantastic given their price tag. Given that the earphones have an aluminium housing, I found the decay of the earphones to be slightly odd, but other than that was impressed on how Pump Audio managed to combine all the frequencies and give a great all-round performance through all the frequencies.
The lows were well presented, especially its mid-bass quantity and quality, which wasn’t overdone, unlike other earphones within its price category. I found the mid-bass to have just the right amount of bass quantity, whilst also having a well refined bass quality. Furthermore, I was impressed to hear the earphones extending into the sub-bass region quite well. They did sound cut-off after a certain low-end frequency, but I wasn’t expecting them to produce earth shattering bass given their price.
The mids and highs were really impressive, where the mids were not that recessed and the highs extended well and provided a nice sparkle. The mids were only slightly affected by the mid-bass slam, but I felt the mids would have been aided if the decay of the earphones was slightly better presented. The highs extended well, but did roll off at the top frequencies, meaning the earphone would sound somewhat soft at times.
Finally, its soundstage was great, even though it had a slightly odd decay. I found the instrument separation to be one of its strongest assets, where music was more refined and less condensed. Finally, the depth and width of the earphones was very well done, but could have been just a touch wider and deeper sounding, which would have given the earphones a slightly better soundstage presentation.
Sound Quality Ratings
Conclusion & Closing Thoughts
Overall, it’s easy to say that I’m pleasantly surprised about the Pump Audio V2 Earphones. I really wasn’t expecting the earphones to do as well as they did, given their price tag and more so their flashy looks. They performed better sonically over the SoundMagic E10s, provided something different and slightly more refined over the FIDUE A65 and gave the DUNU Titan 1 a run for their money. The price tag is so well placed that it really enters the market at a great price. If people are looking to spend a little less they can get the FIDUA and SoundMagic, and similarly if they want to spend a little more can get the DUNUs, however at its £69 price tag, I can’t think of many other earphones that really hold their own weight and provide such a good overall package; well done Pump Audio!
Hope you enjoyed my review!