Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wooden Cans: Unknown Chinese Wooden Earphones.

Saturday morning strolls though the hi-fi shops in nearby Shenzhen, one will be particularly lost if you are in one of the speciality shops that sell headphones, earbuds, portable amps. etc. It's just like being a kid in a candy store. There are just so many headphones and earbuds that your mind just cannot come to terms with. Inevitably these stores will separate the legit, the look alikes with known branding and less then legit and lastly the no branding or Chinese branding headphones and earbuds.

Well many Saturdays ago, I was in just one of these shops looking around the Chinese made earbuds and was looking at a pair that had the outer shell made of wood (the sign said that it was Teak?). Then this shop assistant comes up to me and begins to tout them saying "Very good, Chinese JBL Pro Standard", of course I thought this was typical hype.

He continued - "Try, try, you like", so I guessed what the heck and asked him to plug them in. I listened to them through a Little Dot Mk 1 which was connected to a Sony CD player and placed a Scott Hamilton saxophone CD which I had in my bag and pressed play. Immediately I was so drawn into the pace of the music produced by these wooden cans, it was unbelievable, the highs were so crisp and clear, so much detail could be heard. The sound stage was so well defined and not too large or small and seemed just right. My only feeling was the bass extension was slightly less then norm but quite frankly more then adequate.

The shop assistant then proceeded to produce a real pair of JBL earbuds and also a pair of Shure earbuds and let me compare the three pairs. I just could not believe it, the wooden buds beat them all and it was basically no contest. So I asked him, how much for these wooden so called Chinese JBL Pro earbuds. He told me the price and it blew me away, take a guess? No idea, they were $5.00. Who could argue, so I took away two pairs. These are some of the best stock earbuds in my collection which consistently blow the $150 plus cans out of the water. In fact they look a little like the JVC HP-FX500, except the JVC use a different type of wood which is much darker and retail for about US$130.00. All I can say is amazing, and worthwhile spending the $10.00.

We shall be seeing more and more high quality Chinese earphones and headphones emerging in the near future. I don't really care if there is any branding or not, it's the quality the leaves you bewildered. Not much on specs, very brief:

Specs wise:

104 dB/1mW
from 8Hz to 28kHz
drivers are 9mm
weight 7.5 grams

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