Provides: In-ear audio
Developer: Sleek Audio
Middle class audio lovers rejoice;, the earphones you’ve lusted after have finally arrived at a price you can afford. Sleek Audio’s new SA1s are the earphones you’ve been waiting for, you just may not have known that you’ve been waiting for them.
I think it’s safe to assume that if you own an iPod or iPhone, you realize the included headphones are not what you’d call “optimal.” Do many of us use them every day? Yes, and for various reasons. Reasons such as they came with the iDevice, they aren’t terribly expensive to replace, they have buttons to control the audio playback of said device, they don’t block out all outside noise, etc. Sure, those are all valid reasons, but not one of them is because they sound amazing. And if you’ve explored the idea of buying higher quality earphones, you’ve likely found out that significantly better ones aren’t always in your price range. Thankfully, that’s changed.
The SA1s are encased in a rosewood body that gives them a pricey appearance. There are a handful of tips to fit every size ear. These tips seal off most outside noises, so you don’t need to listen to your music quite as loudly. They also enhance the bass response a bit, which most users are happy about. Just like all other Sleek Audio earphones, the cable disconnects from the earphones and can be replaced very easily (they intend to have a cable with a microphone and iPhone controls available soon). You could also replace the standard cable with a Sleek wireless unit, which makes your audio wireless without reducing its quality. And trust me, it actually does work as advertised.
The SA1 earphones can be summed up in one word, value. If you’re looking to get the most for your money, this is it. These headphones have features you’d normally expect to pay twice as much for, and features that aren’t even available from other manufacturers.
Take, for instance, VQ tuning. This is Sleek Audio’s way of changing the EQ response of the headphones. It’s a bit different on these than with the higher-end SA6s (see the Appletell review); it only affects treble response. It’s made possible by a tiny attachment that screws in front of the driver on the tip of either earphone. You can see them easily in the image above. Sleek likes to show this feature off, and why not? They screw in and out very easily, but you’ll likely make up your mind once and for all quite quickly and not need to change them any longer. There’s a silver and a black attachment. I prefer the black ones, but everyone is different; thus, the choices.
The SA1s really are what I’ve always wanted to see available to consumers; a quality set of earphones at a reasonable price. Sleek Audio really is ahead of the game with their interchangeable headphone cables. Could you imagine breaking the cable on your $100+ headphones? Painful. But there’s none of that here. To me, this is the best feature of the headphones, but you can’t argue with amazing audio, now, can you? Plus, if you want iPhone controls in the future, you can have that. Or, if you want to be wireless, that’s a possibility as well.
I really can’t say enough good things about these earphones. If you’re looking for a set of headphones that’s priced better than its features would suggest, this is it.
Buy the Sleek Audio SA1 earphones