audio

Korea - Earphone Shop

I have just recently travelled to Seoul, Korea. I have found many goodies and wonderful shops. If you are an audiophile or just looking for a shop that sells headphones and in-ear monitors (IEM) in Seoul, this is the place you have to go.

Earphone shop sells not just earphones but headphones too. Note the website is only in korean.

Earphone Shop

Earphone shop is located at 서울시 종로구 동숭동 1-63, Dongsung-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. I don’t think I can provide a print screen of the map I took of Google map but just copy and paste the english or korean address to get directions. Try this Google map link, it might help.

What you see on the left of the same row of shops.

What you see on the right of the same row of shops.

The nearest train station is Hyehwa train station on Line 4. Exit the station using exit 1. There is a nearer exit but it isn’t labelled on google map but I assume it should be exit 2 (use that information at your own risk). Follow the direction on Google map.

Rows of headphones to try

The shop has rows of headphones and IEMs all set up for anyone to just walk in and try them to their hearts’ content. The staff don’t speak much english when I was there (May 2013), but things might have changed since then. Do note any purchase made there is not available for tax rebate.

Review: Bose AE2

I have been looking for a pair of good headphone to replace my Sennheiser HD429. I dug through pages after pages of forum posts and had hands on time with a number of shortlisted headphones at Stereo. I have finally settled on the Bose AE2.

Aethetically, the AE2 is very nice and simple. I got myself the white version. The black version is nice but it looks just like any other pair of headphones. The white ones goes nicely with my MacBook Pro and they really stand out.

The leather-like cushions that nestle over your ears are by the far the most comfortable ones I have ever experienced. The comfort level of these cushions are on par to the Skullcandy Aviator. There is a small pad of cushion at the top of the head band. It is made of fabric like material, probably to help absorb prespiration. Also, the AE2 is light. It isn’t heavy like some Shure headphones that weigh your head down when you put them on. The way the AE2 clamps around your head isn’t too tight. You won’t be getting a headache from heavy usage.

I like the Bose AE2 because they fulfil one very important thing for me. The cable comes out of just one side of the headphones, the left in the case of the AE2. The cable is wrapped with a material that made it slightly stiffer than usual. That way the cable isn’t as prone to tangles.

The AE2 is very portable. It comes with a small pouch. The headphones swivel to be able to lay flat. Once it is flat it doesn’t take up too much space. And being light, the headphones doesn’t add too much weight to your backpack or handbag.

Personally, I can’t comment too much about the sound quality as I am not an audiophile. All I can say is this pair of headphones isn’t very bass heavy. I don’t like too much bass so if I enjoy it, the AE2 probably doesn’t have much bass. It is perfect for my type of rock and pop music.

I got my pair of Bose AE2 from The Headphone Shop in Seoul Korea. It costs me 170,000 KRW. The price in Singapore is SGD$219. The AE2 comes in another version known as the AEi. The AEi has a remote on the cable that allows you to change the tracks and adjust the volume as well as use the headphones as a hands free set and it is comptiable with the iPhone. That feature is going to cost you SGD$269. In my humble opinion, it is probably not worth the price premium.

If you are looking for a comfortable pair of headphones, you can’t go wrong with the Bose AE2.

Bose AE2 White

Head band

Folded flat

Review - Ultimate Ears 400

First thoughts

Recently, my Sennheiser CX–300 has bitten the dust after a year of solid use. Instead of just sending the CX–300 in for repairs, I have decided to get another pair of IEM (In Ear Monitors) and keep the repaired CX–300 as a spare pair.

I started trudging through Hardwarezone Forum, looking through reviews and recommendations. I have finally settled down on House of Marley Smile Jamaica and Ultimate Ears 400 as the final 2 contenders for my money. I went down to the ION branch of Stereo to give both a test. I found the House of Marley’s bass rather exaggerated so I picked the Ultimate Ears 400.

I liked the look of the earphones. The UE 400 has silver chrome like material on the ear buds itself and black rubbery flat cables. It comes with a hard case with rubber interior as well as many different sizes of silicone tips and one pair of foam tips.

One month later

I can truly say that the cables are tangle free. They might get twisted but that’s better than tangled. I have been using the silicone ear buds (XS) and they are comfortable and secure in your ears. It has a decent amount of sound isolating properties but not to the point where it’s dangerous.

Conclusion

I heartily recommend the UE 400 to anyone that is looking to replace their Sennheiser CX300.