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back to article TDK BA100 earphones

While these boys from TDK may look like a typical pair of in-ear 'phones, they actually take a different approach to most earphones in the way they deliver sound. They used balanced armature technology rather than dynamic drivers. These micro drivers fit a woofer, mid-range driver and a tweeter into each earpiece. The result is …

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jai
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Trouble is, I see TDK and I just think of the old cassettes and VHS tapes that we used to have in our house in the 80s and I have to put some real effort in not to dismiss them out of hand.

But the review does sound very good. Am sorely tempted as the last earphones I bought (Reid and Heath MA-350s following their favourable review by El Reg quite a while ago) have just stopped working in one ear (the nifty braided cord that did not get tangled unfortunately frayed at the connector end eventually and so broken the wires inside).

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I see TDK and I just think of the huge neon sign on top of the Bradbury Building in Bladerunner. And also C90s stuffed full of ZX Spectrum games.

To me, neither of those are negative things.

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Not bad

In terms of specification they seem to have (albeit slightly) better numbers than Shure headphones you can get at this price, except for the noise isolation. If you want that then I find Shure to better better than any others.

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Sorry but no

TDK just can't make good headphones, and filling them with new tech and slapping a whopping price tag on doesn't change things.

If you want some genuinely good headphones get some SoundMagic E10's or Sennheiser CX-300 II - just make sure they are genuine one's not fakes from eBay or dodgy Amazon dealers.

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Re: Sorry but no

You've never had a set of balanced armature headphones have you...

The headphones you list are barely better than what comes in the box with most players. I used a set of CX-300 for about a week before moving on to something which did less mangling of the recording I was listening to.

As another has already commented though, at this price you are close to a pair of Shure or Westone IEMs and the TDK will have to be very good to compete with those. I personally found the Shure 425 to be feeble and thin, great for female vocal but utterly useless for rock or anything with bass. The westone 3, if you can get a seal blows away anything I have ever heard from Sennheiser, Klipsch, Shure etc. etc. Oh, and please don't even mention "farty bass by Dre" those horrors should result in a criminal conviction for grievous harm to audio.

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Re: Sorry but no

I use SoundMagics (PL30s) and they're great earphones for the price.

I'm sure these earphones would be good, but I'm happy taking the view that ignorance is bliss,

as if I got used to a £130 pair of earphones, I'm sure I wouldn't want to go back, but I don't want to spend more on headphones than the iPod I'm playing the music from...

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Leakage?

How was it for people near you - could they hear the music?

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Test results?

Were they subjected to any objective tests?

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Re: Test results?

Of course not, RegHardware doesn't have an artificial head to test this. Besides it would have been the first device they actually tested. (apart from fairly useless benchmarks on laptops, who cares of machine X has 123% more CPU power than machine Y?)

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Personal I'd hope the reviewer had a recent full ear test by a qualified audio technican and a doctor had cleaned their ears out as ear wax distorts the audio spectrum of the listener.

No? So how does the reviewer know if they're hearing is working correctly?

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hearing test doesn't matter...

It's the outcome of the hearing test. Isn't a headphones test / reviews purely subjective anyways?

I mean all the flowery speak about how someone's favorite music sounds, doesn't mean it will sound the same to -you-?

I know I'm almost deaf in one ear (ah the fun times of playing bass in a band - not a worry in the world about wearing earplugs) so will it sound the same in my ears?

I think not.

So take these reviews for what their ;-) worth - not a lot.

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Meh

Closed cup or go home

I understand the usefulness of in ear (small, discrete) but for me there's way too many disadvantages to them as compared to closed cup headphones.

1. They can be painful to wear

2. They have a tendancy to leak audio out and cause annoyance to people around you (tsch tsch tsch on the train)

3. Outside noise can leak in and no amount of noise cancelling technology will get around this.

4. In simple physics terms, to produce the lower range of frequencies requires a larger speaker cone. In ear headphones are limited by the size of your ear canal. If you want bass, you need closed cup.

Unless you a security guard or don't want to mess your hair up, buy a decent pair of closed cup.

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