CES 2014 showcased quite the number of booths dedicated to personal audio, such as headphones and speakers. Most booths were content to simply let me wander in and out. But not Wicked. Not until you put a pair on and stopped for a listen.
I spoke with the team there for a bit, but quickly cut to the chase. “What’s new?” And show me they did, as I was led to the Wicked Revolt headphones.
The style was an interesting take on retro meets nature, with the way it combined metal, leather, and wood. The team was quick to inform me that the Revolt was a working prototype and not a production model. There must have been a “look” on my face as I was handling the headphones. Either that, or one of them peeked in on my mind trying to decide between “spare robot parts” and “scavenged kitchen utensils.”
So I put the Revolt on and listened to the attached music play. My initial impression was that the sound was not too bad. Of course, CES makes for a terrible listening environment due to all the noise and chatter fighting for airspace. But it still seemed pretty decent.
Then one of them hits the DSP switch, and lo and behold we have some serious character. If the music was like a party playing from the penthouse to the basement, that DSP switch opened up two more secret basement levels and had all the peeps flocking down there. There was such a boost to the energy and output of the lows.
They let me hook up my Galaxy Note 2 so I could test-play one of my favorite tracks, “Electric Pow Wow Drum”, by A Tribe Called Red. The Wicked Revolt handled the extreme lows and complexity far better than many other headphones I’ve listened to. I was informed that the “guts” of the DSP technology would be in the production-model headsets.
It’ll be interesting to hear how the Wicked Revolt stand up against the competition. And by competition, I mean the audio products that (likely) cater more to those who like to listen to their music very heavy in the lows: rock, hip hop, drum&bass, etc. We won’t have to wait too long, since it’s expected to hit the market this March.