If I didn’t think they were exactly the kind of impulse-buy product I’d expect to find sitting in an electronics store, probably at an airport, I’d be more critical of the presentation-over-practicality packaging of the Custom Tuned Earphones. I kid you not to say that it took me a good 15 minutes to figure out how on earth I was supposed to separate the Rock ‘phones from their plastic surround – a challenge not helped by my refusal to simply smash the lot on the floor and hope for the best.
Inside, there’s less to be frustrated about. Radipaq bests both Klipsch and Shure by giving the main body of its earphones metal, rather than plastic, casings and although size varies slightly with the different genres of ‘phones, all four types are still pleasantly small and light. Conversely, all Radiopaq offers aside from the earphones is a trio of silicone tips – small, medium and large – which is a little stingy considering Klipsch and Shure also provide carrying cases to protect their products when not in use.
Each pair of earphones has its genre written on it – well, apart from the Classic set which is just embossed with “Clas” – so if you did pick up two different genre earphones there isn’t any risk of confusing the two.
Trying out the Pop earphones with The Saturdays’ Set Me Off their claim of offering improved mid-range and vocal response versus rival earphones didn’t exactly jump out. While the audio produced is pleasantly clear, it doesn’t seem more so than rival earphones. Outkast’s Ms Jackson fared similarly, being perfectly listenable but hardly jumping out as notably improved by Radiopaq’s tuning.
Crossing genres there’s less success. Pendulum’s Propane Nightmares, while not bad as such, sounded notably better on the S4s and SE102s and the Pop tuning definitely didn’t do any favours to Tchaikovsky’s symphony No. 4 in F minor.