Atomic Floyd SuperDarts + Remote
Noisy Motel, www.noisymotel.com
Beautifully made; excellent audio across the range
Heavy; slight cable noise; some might find the silicone tips don’t keep the earpieces in properly
UPDATE: Atomic Floyd, though distributors Noisy Motel, took the SuperDarts back after reading this review and sent us a new pair in the belief that the original pair were defective. They were right – the second pair had no sign of the muddy, ill-defined bass and lack of clarity we complained about in the original review. In fact, the sound is simply excellent across the range, and a delight to listen to. Surprisingly, even the cable noise seemed to be lessened.
Noisy Motel also sent us a set of Comply Foam Tips to try out, and they got rid of the fitting issues we experienced. Given the weight of the earpieces, perhaps Atomic Floyd should include a foam option with the silicone tips it supplies in the SuperDarts + Remote box.
Having revisited this review, we’ve revised the 2.5-mouse rating to 4 mice and changed the Pros and Cons.
THE SuperDarts + Remote from Atomic Floyd are a premium pair of earphones with a high price- tag and excellent build quality – the speaker housings, in-line remote/mic, cable splitter and plug are all made of high-quality stainless steel.
Besides the metal construction, the ‘phones boast dual-driver technology that consists of a balanced armature and a dedicated bass driver in each ear. Sonically, they deliver a beautifully smooth mid-range and clear trebles. However, while those extra drivers do deliver extra bass, it’s actually quite muddy, with a lack of definition.
Overall, there’s a lack of the clarity and resolution you’d expect when paying over $300. We also found the soundstage to be a bit detached, missing coherence between instruments mixed for the left and right channels. Also on the negative side, there’s quite a lot of cable noise. It really is avoidable by earphone manufacturers, particularly at higher price-points, and detracts a lot from your enjoyment of the audio.And, while the bullet-shaped earpieces look great, their shape isn’t designed to be supported by the ear. As they’re also quite heavy, this made for a loose fit in our testing, no matter which of the three pairs of silicone tips we tried.
The weight of the in-line remote on the left cable proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, frequently making the left earpiece fall out, dragging the right with it. Your ears might be better suited to them, but these were possibly the worst-fitting earphones we’ve tried.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
Atomic Floyd is a good brand, with some excellent products – we gave its AirJax Titanium2s five mice in a previous review – but it’s just missed the mark here.
We’ve been highly critical of these earphones because, at this price, they should be a lot better. Makeno mistake, they’re beautifully made and the sound is good, but there’s a lack of the clarity, balance and general musicality you should get for $329. And the cable and weight issues also detract from their appeal.