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Flare Audio - Flares Jet 3 Earphones
|Headphones Form Factor||In Ear|
About this item
- Advanced Jet sound balancing technology.
- Precision turned from grade 5 titanium. The premium earphone of the Flares JET series.
- Lightweight and comfortable fit. Driver diameter 10mm.
- Microphone and controller capabilities.
- Three different sizes of silicone ear tips are designed to make sure that the majority of ears will be able to find the perfect fit.
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At the top end of Flares JET earphone range resides the JET 3 Machined from high-grade titanium JET 3 provides the most detailed sound quality of the JET line-up Precision tuned from a single block of grade 5 titanium the JET 3 provides a premium listening experience with less resonance and wide frequency extension
Flare Audio Flares JET 3 Titanium Silicone ear tips (S/M/L) Drawstring carry pouch
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I hesitated between giving these 4 or 5 stars. There is something which keeps me from bestowing all the laurels on these earphones. They are comfortable; the silicone tips are adequate; the fit is good. The sound is fairly objective, with great frequency reach. But they are a bit strident in the treble. I wonder if that stridency will fade with time, or with me getting used to it. What I do know is that they are good value for money (more so than the original, kickstartered Flares--which weren't too bad either, really).
I have now listened more extensively to the Jet 3s, and compared them to various similarly priced earphones. The stridency became more blatant, and started to take away from the good qualities--speed, precision, detail. The stridency was brash. Then I changed the regular ear tips to crystalline foam ones. And the transformation was magical: the bass started to bloom (and boom). They are still very bright, but that adds to the uncanny details that these Flares provide. They're not perfect, but they are pretty impressive, and interestingly idiosyncratic.
AFTER A COUPLE OF DAYS
These flares have grown on me. They have many of the great characteristics of the Jays q-Jays: detail, excellent treble, superb mids. But they also ahve quite a bit of deep bass. They're not for the timid: who would be seen in flares these days? But they certainly are distinctive, and harbour a sound quality which is way above their price. These qualities come to the fore with chamber music, particularly with strings. I recommend them strongly, provided that you change the standard tips to memory foam ones.
My more extensive listening included DSD recordings of Gabrielli and of Mahler 9 and Mahler 3 through some high-quality DAPs. I have done AB comparisons with similarly priced earphones such as the Final Heaven IV. The Flares outshine the competition in detail and in airiness, but in the process they distort the music significantly: brass sounds too thin to sound brassy; the children's choir in Mahler 3 sing as if their larynxes are being constricted; the tutti in the finale of that symphony lacks all-togetherness. The Final Heaven IV is more modestly voiced than these Flares are, but, paradoxically, it can handle more ambitious music way more faithfully. These Flares are too inclined to send off flares.
Skipping to the "end" of this experience, these headphones broke after about 3 months of heavy use (left bud died completely). This is obviously quite bad, but I'm always cautious to use my own singular experience as definitive proof of if something is poorly made; some things will break and that's inevitable. Mine broke quite quickly. Make of that what you will.
The sound was obviously pretty good. I say obviously because these are quite expensive headphones and it's not exactly a surprise when you get a certain quality of sound past a certain price. They didn't completely blow me away though. I'd previously been using some similarly-pricey Sennheiser's (lasted about 1.5-2 years) and to my ear I preferred them over these Flare's. The Flare's seemed to be very enthusiastic about bass tones and I found it overpowering at times.
My main issues (apart from the breaking) were with a few ergonomic things that didn't sit with me well:
1. The metal buds look the part, but they're quite heavy and chunky. If you want to lean your head / ear against something like a pillow while having these in, it's very far from comfortable.
2. The ear suction cup things (don't know the proper name) were generally fine but had a tendency to sometimes create a bit of an airtight seal when sitting in my ear. This would mean when I took them out there'd be a briefly unpleasant experience as the pressure dropped and "pulled" on my eardrum a little (until the seal breaks and the air normalises again). This sounds more extreme than it was, it was at worst a minor discomfort but still annoying to deal with on the regular!
3. The wire part looked almost fibre/fabric to my eye in the pics, which is what I was expecting. It's actually a kind of odd plastic/rubber texture that's sort of... spongy and sticky? It will stick to itself which was a little frustrating and tended to make tangled wires a worse problem than it needed to be.
Not a complete disaster but I'm not going to be buying Flares again!