In my quest for the ultimate headphones for my portable media player, I recently had a chance to put these gorgeous new AirJax Titanium2 in-ear headphones from UK startup Atomic Floyd through their paces.
The AirJax are part of Atomic Floyd’s line of luxury listening products, which claim to offer not just great industrial design, but equally impressive sounds. And with with a team of designers and engineers with credentials ranging from Nike to Adidas to Philips, my expectations were high.
The minute you open the package, you know you’re in for a substantive product. Each pair of Floyds comes packaged in an nicely designed modern box, and includes not just the earphones themselves, but an array of accessories including a 1.5mm to 3.5mm headphone converter, an airplane jack adapter and a pocket-size leather pouch. There’s also a tiny hex wrench you can keep on your keychain that lets you adjust the titanium ear hooks. The included cord does a great job resisting tangles and is the perfect length for placing your media player in your jacket or pants’ pocket. Atomic Floyd also includes a matching extender cable in case you want to put your player in your purse or briefcase.
It took me a couple of seconds to figure out the right way to hang the adjustable flexible titanium loops over my ears, but once I did, I found them to be incredibly comfortable to wear, and impossible to lose out of your ears like typical earbuds (which makes them great for active wear). Heck, you can probably hang upside-down without them falling off your head.
With all the good looks and smart design on the surface, the real question most of you guys are probably asking is “how do they sound?” Well, the good news is that they sound nearly as good as they look. The minute I put on the pair, I immediately noticed that they produce a much more open stage than most cheaper earbud type headphones I’ve tried. Highs and mids shine, and sound natural, not tinny. Vocals were also clearer than I’m used to on my regular iPhone earbuds, which I’m used to wearing every day. The only thing that’s lacking is a punchy low end. I’ll chock that up to the AirJax’ unique earpiece design, which mean that the buds float inside your ear canal, rather than making direct contact with your ear (an intentional choice that favors comfort over sound isolation). If you’d rather tune out of the entire world around you, you might want to wait for Atomic Floyd’s upcoming HiDef Jax and HiDefDrums which up the bass thanks to a tighter fit with your ear canal.
At a retail price of £120 (appx. $176 USD) a pair, AirJax Titanium2 ‘phones definitely aren’t for cheapskates, but they are definitely worth a listen if you’re not particularly price conscious. While they’re not shipping until later this month, you can get your name on the waiting list over on the Atomic Floyd website.