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You make it sound as though this product will destroy me and all my family and friends in some kind of pleasure-based nuclear blast.
Fantastic review, I've been looking to buy some high-end 'monitors' for sometime now, I think these have just topped my list! But before I do that...This is going to sound silly and I'm sure everyone will laugh but, is there anyway you could right an article about audio ripping and the best way to do it? I've been meaning to sort out my bitrates for sometime now, but I don't really know where to start!
For those who can't afford custom monitors, it's worth pointing out that ACS also produces custom sleaves (i.e., earphone tips) for a range of popular earphone models.They cost ~£90 and I've heard they make a massive difference. I have some on order for my UE SF5 pros right now...
Sound fantastic.....I know what I shall be using my student loan on next month
@Lee MoorhouseIf I were to write such a guide it'd be this: 1:Download LAME. 2:Using LAME rip your music at 320kbps. 3:Profit! I actually can't reliably tell 320kbps from 256kbps when listening, but hey, why risk it.
I'm sold - very interested in these.Can the reviewer (or anybody lucky enough to have a pair) comment on their serviceability or robustness, particularly with regard to the cable as these look to be fixed. Would hate to drop £500 on these only to have a problem with the cable 18 months down the road.
How durable are these monitors? I couldn't tell but it looks like the cable isn't user replaceable?dB PowerAmp is quite good for ripping music btw. http://www.dbpoweramp.com/
No comment on the cords? In my experience it's the cabling that is the weak link in these high end ear monitors â€" hence the welcome move to detachable ones by many manufacturers. Also, they get more rigid and prone to damage in the cold winter months, typically rupturing as they bend around the ear, or at the 'Y' junction. I ended up pony-tailing my old Shure SE-420s when faced with the faff and expense of replacement cables (after about 18 months use) and am now very happy with my UE Triple.Fi 10s (whose warm, ballsy sound suits me much better than the transparent, but cold SEs it turns out). The UEs are already on their second set of cords, but at least replacing them wasn't a problem.Inevitably, I'm very drawn to the ACS ear monitors by your rave review and the promise of portable audio excellence, but the prospect of spending £500+ on bespoke IEMs with tethered cords leaves me cold.
What happens if the cables get damaged? Are they removable? I'd guess not from the photos; for 'phones costing this much I feel that replaceable cables are essential.
@MilkyJoe7 - pretty much spot on. I should have used that metaphor. They're custom though so remember it will be just for you, not family and friends. @Lee Moorhouse two good suggestions in the comments. LAME and dB PowerAmp work well. The detail in these monitors means you will hear the benefit of 320Kbps and lossless encoding. @99tollap - ACS does indeed and custom moulds do make a huge difference. As mentioned in the review they are an earbud tip replacement though, so you don't get the full canal mould which is another level again. @Stewart @Hans Gruber @Tomsterix @Carl Abudephane - similar points so I'm contacting ACS for an official comment. Through my personal experience I've found the T2's to be extremely durable. The silicon, while flexible, is tough and protects the speakers. As for the cable it is reinforced with Kevlar and feels nothing like the cheap rubber cables you get on most earphones - you would expect nothing less. I'll see if I can get a response before the weekend is out.
Oh boy I wish I had £500 for earphones
Interesting product and a nice review, however I do have to spoil the party with two mayor drawbacks these type of products tend to have and these ones reviewed are no exception. First one was mentioned before and is regarding cable not being user replaceable. I'd have thought a high-end product would employ some high-end connectivity, say a magnetic audio connector on ear pieces. With it being such tight fit, I wouldn't want to imagine how it feels like when something/someone pulls on your kevlar reinforced cable with any force. Second drawback - at least how I see it - is one even more problematic, and that is a pressure build-up inside your ear due to this product not having any inner ear pressure equalizing hole drilled into it. I hope the sound is really as jaw-dropping as the article might suggest, as I can't see it being comfortable (or healthy to your ears) listening to them for longer periods of time without equalizing the pressure build-up through the Eustachian tube every few minutes. Sorry for what might sound like a rant, I was really hoping for an almost perfect product here, especially considering how much they cost. I'd even be happy to pay a few hundred pounds more to get them, if it addressed those two drawbacks.
@miha - I have yet to try and rip the monitors out my ear (!), but obviously any form of tight seal makes this an inherent problem. I'd suggest being careful. Otherwise decide what is more important to you. I understand this wouldn't be a problem with Apple earphones ;)Your second point is interesting since it sounds logical, but I had no issues whatsoever wearing the T2s for many hours. In fact you'd think this would be an issue with any form of tight seal earplug as well. Many professions where these all day, such as construction workers and military personnel. Obviously all have managed to overcome it somehow, but I'm not scientifically qualified to say how. I simply didn't have any problems. More to the point they were so comfortable I forgot I was wearing them and twice walked off when still plugged into a laptop. A plus point for durability!Again I'll check with ACS for an answer.
Thanks Gordon for your quick reply. Please, check with ACS if you can, I'd be hugely interested in their reply and/or if they plan on evolving this product any further. I should probably put my previous comment into perspective - what I'd use such product for is as "monitors" in its original sense (at least how I learned it). I play various musical instruments in a rock/jazz band and having ability to hear yourself playing with others "banging along" is essential. I would consider wireless connection for such products, but the signal lag using such solutions makes it a definite no-go. Thanks in advance!
I'm fairly sure that ACS charge £40 to change the cable...
Hi all. Here's the official statement from ACS:"Every ACS product comes with a one-year warranty that covers against repairs that arenâ€™t a result of misuse by the user. The monitors are to be removed by gripping the moulds and removing from the ear as opposed to pulling the cable, this is made clear in the instruction leaflet. If used properly there should be no issues with the cable. ACS will be launching a removable cable solution before the end of the year but more news on this will follow. It is important to state though that the development on a removable cable is not because there is problems with the existing cable solution but because it forms part of a new groundbreaking monitor that will be announced shortly."In short, you've got a year just like other earphones and monitors. I99tollap is right, ACS does offer a cable repair service, but cost is related to the extent of the damage. News of a T2 with removable cables and a new "groundbreaking monitor" has also peaked our interest! We'll be keeping our eyes peeled for developments and will keep you up to date. @Miha - I have learnt ACS is working on an ambient product of which there should be news shortly. The company seems very excited about it.
I've had ear moulds taken previosuly, can I use these moulds and save a few quid?
They look like something out of eXistenZ, almost biological. Not sure I'd want them in my ear, in case they come alive and wriggle and bore their way into my brain
@Adam 4 - no, the moulds on the T2 are part of its construction. They are not removable. That said the moulds are of such a quality that you wouldn't want to use third party alternatives. @SRS - I must admit as they quickly warm to body temperature they do almost feel organic! Particular in that finish. The effect is less pronounced in other colours.
Very interesting. I come from the same stable as miha's comments in terms of the health issue. With such a tight custom fit I can see how this funder-mentally improves the experience....but I am a tinnitus sufferer, and I can tell you that I naively brought this condition upon my self just from ONE night of loud music (mates birthday, peer pressure and all that) with a cold, and so these very Eustachian tubes, being blocked provided no release valve as it were!! Ear drums are pretty much getting the full brunt with this method. However you say you say this has not been a problem for you. Fair enough. You mention roots from ACS in hearing protection... and construction workers wearing them etc. I often wondered about getting a custom mould done, as in my job operating certain equipment like "Tree Chippers" etc, normal ear defenders just don't cut it! I would be very interested in the T2's from this point of view as well as enjoying them as the high quality monitors they so obviously are. What do you think? Is this an expensive way of doing it?
Great review. Completely out of my price range, but i enjoyed reading it :)Quick note though; it's Ozzy Osbourne, not Ozzie.
And on the pedantic side, it's piqued, not peaked.I have the UE18 customs and the Klipsch X10s. The latter go right inside the ear canal and completely seal it. This is especially so as I have a pair of Comply ear tips on them. There is no problem about a build-up of pressure at all in my experience. I cannot explain the science of it but there really is no problem at all in my experience.
I'm surprised at the relatively small price difference between the T1s and T2s. If I wanted the best in ear monitor (and let's face it paying £500+ I should expect that!), I'd rather stump the extra £150 and get the triple driver version, they will be better without doubt! Therefore I'm confused at whom these T2s are aimed at...Honestly, until your last sentence I was really interested in buying these because they are well priced compared to the UE moulds. I guess I'll await your review on the T1s now !
@Kezman - ACS sell a range of protective ear plugs called the ER Series that seem more suitable to your needs.http://www.acscustom.com/uk/in...ER9 - Recommended for light noise exposure and accoustic musicians providing and average of 9dB protection.ER15 - Recommended for most musicians playing amplified music providing 15dB protection.ER25 - Recommended for highly amplified performances and drummers providing 25dB protection.They provide a good fit with a custom ear mould and cost £164.50.@Gordon - 'Piqued' not peaked, though of course in this case it could be both! :)
@Lee Moorhouse, @Tim Sutton, @ Hans Gruber, @Gordon.A free (for non-commercial purposes) alternative to 'dB PowerAmp' is 'Exact Audio Copy'.http://www.exactaudiocopy.org/I cannot say how it compares with dB PowerAmp facility by facility, probably not as many, except that it is built around the same core AccurateRip technology.http://www.accuraterip.com/
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