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Review: Torque t402v Customizable Headphones

by Paul Strauss
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If there’s one thing that’s frustrating about headphones on the market today, it’s that each pair seems to be designed for a very specific individual’s taste and comfort. This is especially true of large headphones that are worn over or on the ears. Now, a company has come along with what could be the perfect pair of headphones for everyone.

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Torque Audio recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for its customizable headphones, and I managed to get my hands on a pair of the top-end t402v headphones. They’re also selling a similarly customizable in-ear headphones for those of you who prefer something smaller.

For starters, these headphones look spectacular, with durable aluminum construction and cushy rounded-square ear cups. What makes them truly unique is the ability to modify not just the fit, but the amount of bass they produce.

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First, you can choose between over-the-ear or on-ear pads, which magnetically lock in place. The over-the-ears offer the best isolation, though they’re more likely to make you hot after wearing them for a long time. On the other hand, the on-ear pads don’t block out the outside world as much, but are easier to wear for long periods. It’s really a personal preference, but I’ve always liked over-the-ear cups better. But that’s the whole point – the choice is yours.

In addition, you can select the level of bass that’s produced by the Torques. Their secret sauce is a set of color-coded perforations on each ear cup. By increasing the air pressure, the smaller holes produce a boomier bass, and the bigger holes produce a lighter, more natural sound. Again, your choice. Simply align your selection with the top of the driver, and snap it on.

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The difference is pretty impressive between the modes, with the smallest (yellow) perforations producing thunderous low end, and the largest (black) openings pushing out a sound that’s more focused on mids and highs. It’s a deceptively simply, but really clever acoustic trick.

What makes the Torques even more impressive is their ability to sound great no matter what sound profile or size ear cups you select. Their “bio-cell” drivers produce excellent and clean sound across the range, and a wide, open soundstage. Whether at low volumes or high, they performed equally well, with absolutely zero harshness, and not a lick of distortion. These are headphones you could listen to for hours on end. I threw a wide variety of music at them, from jazz to metal to classical to hip-hop, and they sounded great with every genre I have in my collection.

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I highly recommend the Torque t402v headphones. They sound as good as any sub-$600 headphones I’ve heard, and offer something truly special in their ability to adapt to different wearers’ personal audio preferences. They’re currently being offered for $300 (a $100 savings off the retail price) during the company’s Kickstarter campaign, which wraps up on 7/26/15.

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