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Recently Radiopaq have brought out a new range of headphones which are each tuned to a specific style of music and are intended to enhance this type of sound. The range includes Classical, Jazz, Rock and Pop. This review is for the Pop earphones, which are attuned to a variety of music types which fall under the same sort of genre, including Dance, Disco, Hip Hop, Techno, Reggae, House, Hardcore, Rap, Urban, Bollywood and Country. As soon as I received these earphones I was struck by the cool packaging - the earphones look as though they are suspended in mid air right in the centre of the plastic box. Unfortunately, the packaging also became my first problem with the product, as I found that I was forced to struggle to get the earphones out for nearly half an hour. At the end of the process I had broken nails and, I imagine, increased blood pressure! Anyway once I got them out of the box, I proceeded to try the earphones with different types of music, including pop, country and rock, and with different appliances, including a laptop and a portable mp3 player. I found that the sound was very full and deep, and the bass particularly was very resonant. However I felt that the instruments and the bass especially tended to overwhelm the lyrics or vocals. Vocals seemed forced to take a back seat and I find this isn't the best thing for pop or country. Even though my regular cheap earphones have a more tinny quality and a less full sound than the Radiopaq ones, I think I would nevertheless prefer to use the cheap ones when listening to pop as I like to hear the vocals and harmonies, and not just the thumping bass-line. On a more positive note, the earphones are quite comfortable, although if you don't like the sensation of wearing foam earplugs in your ears then you probably won't like these either. There are three different sized heads for the earphones which is good thinking. The noise cancellation is also really impressive, and when I tested it against the earphones that came with my iPod, the difference was huge. When you've got the earphones in it is difficult to hear anything that's going on around you, whereas with standard earphones you can hear most things even with your own music up loud. (For this reason I would highly recommend not using the Radiopaq earphones whilst cycling, skateboarding or driving). These will probably be a great product for some people but they are not for me. Maybe I just have cheap tastes! These earphones have an RRP of £59.99 but you can currently purchase them for £43.82 on Amazon.co.uk. (updated from my review on Amazon.co.uk)
I've been using the Sennheiser CX-300 earphones for a while now but was keen to try these new earphones, designed specifically for music. They're securely and attractively packaged, and although some other users have had trouble getting the earphones out of the packaging, I found it relatively simple and fun. The jack plug which connects the earphones to whatever device you want to use it with is a lot smaller and daintier than most, and the earphones are even lighter than the CX-300s. The sound quality is really good and they're better at excluding external sounds than the CX-300s, although as another reviewer has already said, I wouldn't recommend them for use outside the house as they're rather too good at their job!! I listened to a wide variety of music with these earphones which provided excellent clarity and quality of sound, and although music containing a heavy use of drums can be a little uncomfortable to listen to through this set, nothing sounded bad. I even forgot to change them for the CX-300s when I turned on a documentary, and spoken audio is also crystal clear. They're definitely worth a listen, in fact a "sound" investment.