Wednesday, August 10, 2011

i-Mego Walker JR Headphones Review

As anyone who shares a house will know, not everyone goes to sleep at the same time. Which leaves one person awake who has to creep around the house trying not to wake everyone up. In my case this is me trying to play the Xbox without making too much noise.

In the past week of testing the Walker JR headphones from i-Mego I haven’t made a single sound. Better sleep for my wife, and more Xbox for me.

To ensure I got the most of the headphones I put them through four different scenarios:

iPhone: I’ve always felt a bit odd about using large headphones with such a small device as it seems to defeat the point. However the added bonus is that you can hear the music a lot louder in public without annoying everyone else. The headphones do a great job of cancelling out external noise, so you can have a relatively low volume, which to you sounds really loud. The headphones flip round so can be half the size, and a carry case is included to make carrying them around easier.

I tried a few layered songs such as R&B and acapella and as the different layers were added to the track I could clearly hear them working together. I found the iPhone only needed to be on 25% volume in order to deliver a good level of sound, which allows plenty of room for higher volumes for those who feel they can hack it.

TV: The headphones were tested on a Samsung HDTV and plugged in the basic headphone jack using Sky HD. Again they were fantastic for picking up layers of audio that you may have missed, and although my normal speakers can make it hard to separate voices from background noise, the headphones had no problem at all. The extra sounds can be a little distracting on a drama (with CSI a restaurant scene was annoying due to background clanging and chatter – although the voices were still very clear over the top) but in action it’s great to hear every explosion and every word.

I also tried a couple of concerts from the MTV HD channel with 5.1 compressed in to the speakers and the different audio still worked well mapped down to two channels; Individual instruments could be identified and the overall sound quality was crisp.

Computer: The headphones felt a little too good just to be used on YouTube videos, but were excellent for iTunes, offering the same level of quality as found through the iPhone. I used a Dell PC, with the headphones plugged in to a standard 3.5mm jack although there’s a 6.3mm plug included for those who want to hook up more advanced audio equipment.

As I write this I’ve been sat on the computer for hours with the headphones on and I haven’t received one complaint about my music choice. At times it can feel a little like you’re lost in a different world. Once you put the headphones on they’re comfortable, but wrap around your ears in a way that shuts out even the background air. It’s a bit like jumping in to a swimming pool initially. Slightly odd, but you quickly acclimatise, and now I find the lack of background noise peaceful.

Games Console: I chose Far Cry 2 on the Xbox 360 for my test. The game throws you into a jungle and asks you to fend for yourself, so I was curious how they would fare. I ran the headphones through my TV, but you could use your console with an adapter, or a surround set setup if available. Using a game in a jungle setting meant I could hear every blade of grass as I crept over them. Jungle creatures made ghostly sounds in the background – something I’d missed when playing the game with TV speakers – and gunshots felt unique across the weapons rather than a blur of shots.

Most astounding of all is that I played better with the headphones than ever before. Although it was no easier to tell sounds behind me, I had a great awareness of left and right gunfire, helping me pick off targets far easier. I could also ascertain the distance by the volume of the shot. This credit goes to the developers for packing in good audio, and the headphones for helping me pick out what was already there. It also helped I was sat right in front of the TV, as the default headphone cable isn’t long enough for sofa gaming, so I’d recommend an extension if that’s your plan.

Conclusion: The Walker JR headphones survived all my tests and each time gave me a greater awareness of the sound quality available through each channel. The noise cancelling is fantastic and although your noise won’t be completely blocked from the outside world, it is significantly reduced, letting you get more from a lower volume. A comfortable and versatile pair of headphones.

Provided by: i-Mego

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).