Moving onto the phones themselves, they’re not earth-shatteringly good-looking with their light weight and plasticky construction. But they’re still more attractive than most bundled efforts, with their spherical driver housings and curved tails, and you can get them in eight different colours if the understated Bling Bling Black version reviewed here isn’t to your taste.
That light weight does have its advantages, though. The Bass Fréqs are very comfortable in the ear and, despite the insubstantial feel, they’re built well enough to take a bit of abuse. They’re also clearly targeted at the workout and exercise market with a much shorter cable (around 110cm) than with most after market headphones. This means there’s less to get tangled up as you pound out the miles on the treadmill and there’s also less to untangle after they’ve been stuffed into a pocket.
In terms of sound quality, these headphones have a clearly defined target audience – bass fiends (in case you hadn’t guessed from the name). And they certainly come up with the goods on this front, providing deep throbbing, overbearing, thumping low notes that make you think you’re in a nightclub rather than sitting at your desk at work or on the tube. The bass is something you can really feel in your head rather than simply hear, which is not normally the case with ear canal phones.
Firing up Biffy Clyro’s ”Puzzle” really got the Bass Fréq’s motoring: bass guitars and grungy notes really hit the eardrums hard, with pressure and impact, and moving on to Nitin Sawhney’s ”Broken Skin”, which has some truly gut-rumbling stuff, sees the performance repeated. A short session with a touch of psychedelic electronica from Aphex Twin’s double album ”Drukqs” really shows off the capabilities of the Fréqs, delivering bucketloads of high-pressure, well-defined bass.