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Thursday 25 August 2005

Fontopia EX71SL review [Slim]

While I brought closed cup headphones to AmLan, I quickly realised I was missing out on some quality bleatage from the room, so I plugged my ipod earphones into me lappy instead and blew the fuckers. Doh.

Am I bovvered? Face? Bovvered? They were shit anyway. I still wanted in ear jobbies, so I went a pair of Sony Fontopia isolating jobbies, ex71SL . Instead of sitting in your lugs like regular phones, these things sit in your ear-ole, making an airtight connection. This means that unlike most in ear phones you actually get bass. You get lots of bass in fact, perhaps even a little bit too much if anything, but stuff sounds very nice indeed. Another couple of nice side effects from this in-ear-ole design is that noise is blocked which is ace for walking/biking around heavy traffic and sound leakage is minimal, brill for playing Motorhead in the library.

Couple of downers, first is they're more fragile than regular phones. The in ear stuff is sort of condomish rubber to get a good grip of your ear, and this simply isn't going to be as tough as the hard plastic of regular earphones. Sonys recognised this by shipping em with a hard plastic case plus a soft bag to carry em in, but that's all a bit faffy, I like to wrap me headies around my ipod and pocket it. Second, the sealed ears means you hear quite a bit of your own nose, its like the way your bodies sounds are amplified when you've got blocked up ears, you can hear your feet hitting the ground, stuff like that. Oh they do the sony thing of looping the cable under your chin, which pisses me off too.

Thing is, they sound ace, and I'm prepared to put up with some pain for that, so they get the thumbs up for me.


  1. Now on my third pair in two plus years. As you say, much better for cutting out ambience and recommended to anyone doing a soul-sapping commute.

    I currently have some EX81s actually, it's all I could find in Dixons at the time. They're like EX71s only really fucking annoying so avoid :)


  2. I know someone with these. Apparently they the nads, although rather pricey. The e4cs are even better by all accounts. They come with several sets of spongy inserts to fit troll ears etc.


  3. The collection of amazon vouchers finally burnt a hole in my pocket in the shape of a pair of Etymotic 6isolator Earphones.

    I've been using them for over a week and I'm very pleased with them. They come with two sets of ear adapters. A set like the flanged ones shown on the link and a set of round sponge ones. You roll the sponge between your fingers, stuff the earphone in & the sponge expands to the shape of your ear. I found these more comfortable & a better fit than the flanged pair. (Curiously, my right lug'ole seems larger than my left).

    Performance is good, at least as good as something like the head band foldable Sennheisers I have. (Although my ears aren't the best, I have to say). They do a very effective job of blocking out external noise. I no longer need to have ear buds at almost full volume to block out the "blah blah blah Big Brother blah blah blah Corronation Street blah blah blah Eastenders blah blah blah X-Factor blah blah blah she said blah blah blah he said" spewings of the proletariat on the bus commute.

    I found out post-purchase that they got iLouge's best headphones of 2005 too, result!