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AirJax Titanium 2 from Atomic Floyd
A number of manufacturers have recognised the opportunity to improve on the audio performance of the standard headphones shipped with most media players. Atomic Floyd have taken this a stage further and recognised that good audio is a necessary requirement, but in these fashion conscious days is not sufficient in and of itself.
Portable media players are all about that - being portable, listening on the move and for many people 'on the move' can include moderate exercise. It doesn't really matter how good the audio if the headphones continually fall from your ears.
Likewise, many media players grab your attention through their styling, a trend started of course by Apple. The iPod did not shoot to the number one market leading position simply by being an MP3 player - there were plenty of those already on the market. The design of the iPod - the whole package are what got peoples attention and took the MP3 player from niche to must have consumer product.
In practice though the player itself is stashed away in a pocket - what you see, if anything, are the things plugged into your ears. Despite the average quality of the headphones - everyone knew you had an iPod because of those white earphones.
"Wow - can I have those"
Recognising this, Atomic Floyd have put considerable effort into the styling of their AirJax product. It's not a coincidence that when my 14 year old daughter saw these in my ears her reaction was "WOW - can I have those!". While this of course is no reflection on the sound quality, it is a good indication that Atomic Floyd have managed to tune into the current design trends.
The picture on this page should give you a reasonable idea of that styling. All of the components give an air of quality. Plastic is notable by it's absence from the design. The connecting cable is not the standard PVC either, instead providing a traditional cotton flex material. The connectors are all gold-plated and give a robust appearance.
The headphones themselves are metal - subtly marked with the Atomic Floyd name. Holding them in place are metalic ear loops that have been cleverly designed to adjust to just about any ear size, adjustable in length and angle. A small allen key provided with the package allows the loop to be fixed in the right place for your ears. Supplied are some rubber sleaves that will push over the polished metal if you find that more comfortable. For myself I did not find these necessary (and with them in place the design is less dsistinctive!)
The sound quality and volume are both superb. While the Titanium 2 are not the fully 'in ear' phones and do not claim to be noise cancelling (there are others in the range if that's your preference) in as much the moulded rubber sleeve provides a good fit removing enough background noise to allow these to be used in typical noisy environments such as traffic while not completely isolating you from your surroundings.
Fashion and sound quality being great that leaves one final aspect. How are they in use? I'm firmly of the opinion that headphones are primarily used 'on the move'. In my case most often while running which is probably one of the hardest tests. With the Titanium2 I had my concerns. Although the angel-loops held the headphones in place - all that metal could have made these uncomfortable after long distances. I needn't have worried. Over the last few weeks I've probably covered well over 20 hours running with these headpones without the slightest discomfort even on my longest 90 minute run. Although a less strenuous environment I also used this product while sweeping leaves and doing some house work - all without problem.
Attention to detail are the hall mark of the Atomic Flex Titanium2. The sound quality is excellent and they've achieved this without compromising on the aesthetics or the wearability. If you want to enjoy your music and stand out from the crowd then the Titanium2 are an excellent choice.
All this quality doesn't come cheap of course. The Titanium2 are priced at £120 which puts them well and truly at the top of the range for this kind of product. If you want good quality sound and a distinctive design that won't be worn by everyone else on the train then these are definitely worth a look.
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