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Atomic Floyd SuperDarts review

Andrew Williams

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Reviewed:

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Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts
  • Atomic Floyd SuperDarts

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Superb low-bass slam and weight
  • Ultra-high clarity

Cons

  • Aggressive treble is tiring
  • Lack mid-range warmth
  • Not super-comfortable
  • Non-removable cable

Key Features

  • 3-button iPhone remote
  • Metal construction
  • Part braided, part rubber cable
  • Dual-driver - one armature, one dynamic
  • Inbuilt microphone
  • Manufacturer: Atomic Floyd
  • Review Price: £199.99

Atomic Floyd is the kind of name a group of geeky pre-teens might give to one of their friends. It's not the kind of name you'd expect from a serious business. But in a world where Fanny Wang headphones exist, we've come to accept Floyd as one of the gang. Its latest headphones are the £200 Atomic Floyd SuperDarts + Remote. At this price, we expect no less than amazing sound quality.

Design

Before the Atomic Floyd SuperDarts Remote have a chance to wow us with their dual-driver sound, the design had us rapt. They are unusual in more than one sense.

Like all of Atomic Floyd's earphones, the SuperDarts are made primarily out of metal. The ear of each earpiece is finished in embossed diamonds, giving them the feel of - you guessed it - a dart's grip. If you don't mind your earphones looking a little "out there", they're pretty attractive earphones. The mix of silver, red and black is loud, but not to the point of embarrassment, and they feel as well-built as earphones come.

Atomic Floyd SuperDarts 5

There are a couple of design decisions here that we find quite baffling, though. The Atomic Floyd SuperDarts' cable doesn't point downwards, but rather straight out of the back of each earphone. In order to coax the cable into heading groundwards, there's a chunky little nugget of metal at the cable join, but this whole arrangement doesn't really work for several reasons.

Atomic Floyd SuperDarts 4

Comfort

First, it looks rather ridiculous as the cables still point out of your lug 'oles further than normal - and it's not like we need any help looking uncool as it is - unless you ram them far enough into your ears to risk irritation/infection. Second, adding superfluous weight is never a good idea in earphones. While it's not quite as bad as lugging around a dead albatross about your neck (the SuperDarts don't smell of rotting carcass, for one), it is a noticeable weight.

You will undoubtedly get used to it, but these are not the most comfortable earphones around. And while some people complain about the size of the Shure SE535 and the odd fit of the Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10, we'd take wearing them over the SuperDarts any day of the week. And it's all so unnecessary - for the sake of aesthetics and not a great deal else as far as we can tell.

However, the design isn't all bad by any means. The cable switches from rubberised plastic up top near the buds to a fabric-braided finish further below, and it's some of the best braiding we've seen recently in an earphone cable. There's not a sign of it unravelling, no odd kinks, and it does seem to have a slight tangle-reducing effect. The 3.5mm jack plug is also impressively hardy, featuring the same sort of dart grip-like texture to help you pull the thing out.

SuperDarts

At £200, the use of a non-removable cable takes the shine off the otherwise excellent build, though. Similarly-priced alternatives like the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 and Shure SE 425 make sure to offer removable cables, knowing the all-too-real possibility of destroying the jack cable is too horrible to contemplate.

Accessories

Like the earphones, the three-button iPhone remote control is covered with metal. Again, it doesn't help the SuperDart Remote's weight problem, but it feels strong and tough. The buttons themselves sit on a single piece of contoured rubberised plastic, and perform the usual actions. Atomic Floyd SuperDarts 6

The outer ones handle volume, and the middle one pause/next track/previous, depending on how many presses you make. Music playback functions won't work with an Android device. However, you should be able to take calls with most smartphones.

Also in the box are a 6.3mm jack adapter, an airplane adapter, a rubber carry case and three pairs of rubber isolating tips. The accessories package as a whole is good, but three tips is pretty stingy at £200, and they're rather bizarre sizes.

Atomic Floyd SuperDarts 3

Roughly equating to the usual small, the usual large and what can only be described as XXL, some may not be satisfied by the tips on offer. And thanks to the weight of these buds, you need to attain a good seal to avoid them creeping towards the light, and out of your ears.

Vectorious

August 7, 2012, 11:02 pm

I have to say I disagree markedly with this review - they are by some distance my favourite in ear phones - and I have Shure 530s, Senheiser IE8s, Ultimate Ears 5 pros among others. (I know, far too much money spent on 'phones). They have the most rounded sound of all of those - the 530s and UE5s are great in quiet rooms, but the bass vanishes on the tube or even out on the street and the signature becomes far too bright. The IE8s are better outside perfect conditions, but I find it difficult to get the right position to get the best effect. These on the other hand go in easily, are the most comfortable, always give good sound insulation and sound good outside a quiet room! I find the sound almost as good as the B&W P5s.

djkprojects

December 9, 2012, 3:24 am

I completely agree with you - I bought a pair and have no issues with the comfort at all - quite opposite - they feel so comfy that I forget they're there !!! Also, the pictures above the cable from the splitter to the jack looks like rubber. This in fact is Kevlar coating which and looks a bit like round laces in formal shoes - very strong

Eiren

January 11, 2014, 8:03 pm

Just noticed this review and had to comment - these are quite simply the best in-ear headphones I've ever used; completely wipe out Shure, Etymotic, and Ultimate Ears I've owned previously.

Not only are they comfortable but the sound is simply unbelievable and they are FAR more durable than any other brand I've used - in fact, that's why I bought these as I'd had yet another pair of headphones (Shure) break and was fed up with it.

On the go these are my weapon of choice for the tube and train as they're sleek, unobtrusive, brilliant sounding, and block out noise wonderfully. They've also got fantastic customer service too, sending me a free set of extra buds when one of them got caught and torn at no charge.

They really show up lossy audio so ditch your mp3's and go for apple lossless or FLAC

Bought these just after Christmas 2011 and they're the only pair of in-ear headphones to date that have lasted beyond a year without getting damaged, so the removable cord aspect doesn't seem to be very relevant either...

andy

January 7, 2016, 3:46 pm

Do not buy Atomic Floyd!! I am waiting for my 3rd yes third pair of
super darts on warranty. I have now been waiting 62 days to have them
replaced under warranty.

Their Support is absolute rubbish & keep replying 'we have a back log WTF!!!!'
But I can buy a pair from their website & have them delivered in 48hrs

Skip

April 10, 2016, 2:41 pm

DO NOT BUY ATOMIC FLOYD!! Had my darts for a couple of years, then the connector jack went bad on me, despite them stating on the box they were earphones were built for life!! Tried getting post sales support, and no response to my emails or telephone calls. This is not good enough when spending so much on a product that clearly is designed to fail. Will never buy from these guys ever again!!

Christoph

July 19, 2016, 11:36 pm

Unuseable on Samsung Galaxy S7 - Volume Control doesn't work, triple tap for back doesn't work...?!

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