Radiopaq Jazz Review First Impressions: ooh, no driver flex issue like on the pop’s well that’s good no super fussy about the fit issue I had with them. Ooooh i like how these sound, I was expecting something so much more bland and less bass, shame they aren’t as tiny as the pops though. Still have the no filter thing, that just looks weird but the whole thing is metal which is nice, feels very solid. Hmm it still has the minimalist box and packaging, you know for £60 (though Amazon did just do one its random price changes down to £30 for a couple of days then to £45 so who can say what they might be today) I really would have liked a little case for them but it’s not really a big deal. Source is 5Gipod via icon mobile or the icon mobile as a dac Lows: The lows sound strange, they seem to be somehow disconnected from the mids and highs, they each sound so clear and distinct from each other. The lows feel a little artificial in their volume and definition but it’s nothing bad, in fact the bass is pretty bloody damn good. There is still a little too much of it for me but it’s great fun. Its got good depth and impact and the bass never strays or dominates or muddies anything some other products can. The bass behaves so well too, when it’s not wanted it goes away and hides and when demanded it steps up and can pound out a bass line with any trouble at all and it can really thump it out. Really really well, if you like bass then I’ve not heard anything yet for this money that can behave so well. Many big bass IEM’s are too present all the time, the pops suffered from that and so rather does everything by Sennheiser, bass in abundance whether you want it or not or at the other end things will have good quality but much less even when you really want a great big shed load of it they just never really rise up to the occasion. This is how bass should be done, depth, punch and power when you want it but knows when to take a break Just had it play a song and oh my dear lord the bass goes deep, more feeling than hearing and it dear god that’s mightily impressive (Chiara – What If We) towards the end the bass just wow, really I mean shivers down the spine impressive. Really if you have some money sitting about and fancy some fun you can certainly have a lot with the bass on these. The bass on these spanks the bass on the CX95, EX500 or the Pop’s. It’s clean controlled and how bass on a bassy IEM should be. Mids: These are pretty good too, yeah id like them a bit more forward but they are smooth liquid and have none of the peakyness of the pops. You know they aren’t just pretty good they are really good, i just wish there was a little more of them but they are always there. Unlike so many the mids sound so clear and separated from the bass and highs they always sound so clear and distinct. Oh yes the big lady from Malta can belt it out she can (see above song) i can see why these are called the Jazz’s, I put on that Krall woman, fly me to the moon and she sounded good. Julie London of course sound vastly better, the instrument separation on these is really impressive jazz does come alive with them but then so does everything else. They also do Mr Buble really really well, his rendition of fever sounds wonderful. Vocals are a pleasure to listen to but if I’m honest id still rather they were more forward but then I’m a fan of forward mids so I can’t view this as a failing, the mids are very much balanced, id just rather they were out in front. Highs: These are rather good too, not too abundant, not recessed, just about the right amount. You know these are really quite a balanced IEM, yes a bit heavier towards the low end but really quite balanced. The treble is not the most detailed that ever there was but it’s very nicely done and is realistic sounding in a way balanced armature IEM’s find near impossible to get quite right (given a similar price range.) Cymbals nicely have the hardness of the initial impact slightly smoothed and then they decay very nicely. This works really, really well for more rocky music, you get all the shimmer without the hard edge on your ears, seeing as I’m a bit treble sensitive this is just great. None of the ear ravaging the CX95 gave me in treble abundant songs these are much smoother but still retaining lots of detail. The instrument separation is very good here the highs always sound so distinct from vocals and such, nothing ever sounds squished together like can do on some things. I think these really give nice detail for the cost. Soundstage: Well it’s really quite good, dynamic driver IEM’s usually aren’t bad at sounding big so that’s not unexpected however the instrument separation is really very good, far better than id expect for this price range. These will give you a nice big well separated sound but it does feel very 2 dimensional, don’t expect to feel enveloped but with the great separation you won’t mind. Comfort: Well its fine, not as good the miniscule pops but nothing to complain about I’m sure most wouldn’t wear them as deep as I do anyway but I do find with the shape of them they sit on my ear a bit. However it’s nothing major and if I wore them less deep it wouldn’t be an issue. Fit: Thankfully these have nothing in common with the pops in this department. No driver flex or sensitivity, just shove them in my ears and boom music comes out and it comes out beautifully. Cable: Hmm, so so, it really should have a little cable slider thingy but it doesn’t. Is it a big deal? No. The cables are nothing special, good or bad. But it can be a bit annoying at times, it doesn’t always like staying wrapped up and over my ear Unamped: I have to admit these do like to be amped, they still sound good, really good for the price but with the icon they really do light up and come to life. Really these are definitely something for a FiiO E5, without the bass boost. They do go much better with the icon though. These really do love getting amped. Value: Well given they have done a recent price jiggle I’m not sure if that was somehow indicative of a longer term price change so I do this 3 times. £30, omg stonking good value, buy them right this second and buy another few pairs in case you break or lose them. £45, grumble about how not such an incredible bargain but still buy them anyway. £60 grumble about them not having a case with them and decide you want something dynamic rather than armature then buy them. Even at £60 if you want a big yet controlled sound that can kick it in the bass department in ways armature based things just don’t go near then it’s absolutely got to be on your radar. (Looked this morning 26/7/09 and they still at £45 on amazon) Isolation: They isolate really well for a dynamic, okay so not a Shure or Etymotic but easily enough for normal day to day stuff and I dare say would be fine for use on the tube and aircraft too. Conclusion: I really like these. Is it what I’m naturally inclined to? No, it’s not but I like them anyway. I really enjoy their bass and how it behaves and it behaves oh so well. I like its mids and I like its highs. I like how they go together. I like how clean and clear they each sound. I like how they don’t bleed into each other. I like its smooth balanced (ish) sound signature. What I don’t like why they called them the Jazz, if I was a buyer randomly looking at these in the shop id think well pop I listen to so that must be the one for me and it’s just not. The pop is fine but these are so much better at everything and I mean everything. I’ve also heard the Rock ones briefly and frankly the less said about them the better. I’ve never heard the classical yet but so far the Jazz is easily the best of them. This does everything well and it’s really a lot of fun but not the almost abusive wall of sound the pops give you, these are much more controlled and smooth. No spikes floating about to catch you unaware in a song, these let you relax or if you want to or crack the volume a bit and have some fun. These rather remind me of the Sennheiser IE7’s a similar sound and feel to them but way more isolating and even at £60 that’s half the price of the cheapest I’ve seen the IE7’s. Just remember these really want an amp to shine and even with that amp they aren’t going to best the 7 but they will get you a chunk of the way there. Think of these as being the 7’s cheaper little brothers with a little bit more bounce in them and a thump load more in the bottom end. If you are thinking about buying a senn cx550 or under don’t, go and buy these instead.