So, I’ll get this off my chest right off. I’m very very impressed with the Flares Pro. This is the only Bluetooth headphone that I’ve ever heard that is distortion and noise free. I don’t know how they do it. I know what the claims are: incredibly simple balanced amplification and distortion cancelling earbud design with an even impedance load. But when I listen out of Bluetooth it feels like they’ve used some crazy clever voodoo DSP to eliminate the normal noise that you get out of every damn Bluetooth headphone.
So, we’ll do some initial impressions, and some pics, but I’ll tell you, I’m holding back so that I’ll have something to say when I piece together the review. I’m going to do some crazy stuff in the review, some of which will happen over the next couple days.
- Very clear engaging sound
- Fit dependent sound. I find that the audiophile tips give me the best seal with the most bass, but the everyday silicone tips roll back the bass a bit. Both are excellent sounds, but a bit different flavour.
- The specially designed tips are very comfortable. They have a shorter length than standard tips, which reduces the surface area in contact with your inner ear and eliminates pressure on the bend in your ear. These are more comfy than standard foams.
- The best way to wear these is to jam ’em into your ear as far as you can go. I do this by doing a circular wiggling.
- The soundstage is above average with very natural instrument placement
- Instruments sound full and lovely
- Bluetooth range is incredible. I tried this with my phone (Asus Zenfone 3) in my office building and it took two walls and about 15 meters to cause signal problems.
- Isolation when worn deep is exceptional. I had a co-worker put something on my desk right by me and I wouldn’t have know it happened if not for feeling the vibration of the desk.
- I have had no ear fatigue whilst wearing these. Flare claims that the design of the Flares Pro reduces pressure on the eardrum (much like ADEL) products.
- These do not distort, no matter how much power you throw at them. I’ve played them out of Questyle CMA800R Golden monoblocks to about 82dB (peak 90dB or so). The shell warms up, but they don’t distort. The tone of the headphones was changed by the amp, though, so not a good pairing. Better on the CMA600i.
- They took a short while to burn in (like 6 hours). I tested covering the jets on the back, and early on this dramatically affected the sound, but didn’t later. Just do some normal listening. No need to stick them in a drawer.
“I tested covering the jets on the back, and early on this dramatically affected the sound, but didn’t later.”
This is plain wrong. Try to put on tape on one earpiece’s jet and not the other and jam them in your ears.
Care to elabourate? This was my observation. I did hear it this way. Are you seriously suggesting that I didn’t hear differences? Also, for your information, I covered one and both jets with a finger. Why would tape have more effect than a finger? Just plain wrong is a pretty strong phrasing for someone who doesn’t really have a clue what I did and didn’t try from my intentionally limited first impressions. Don’t presume to know what I hear, or what I did or didn’t do.
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I’m really interested in these pair of earphones but I’m worried about the bass – too many hi-end IEMs lack bass. Could you possibly describe you experience with the bass in more detail?
I’m keeping an eye out for the full review!
The Flares Pro are not basshead headphones, so if that is you, you’ll probably want to use EQ. Here’s the rub though, most headphones respond really well to EQing bass, so I’d suggest giving a shot. These have good levels of bass, but they aren’t elevated. The bass has some nice warmth that just about everyone will find pleasing, but these aren’t going to rattle your skull.