raduis atomic bass headphones

Man, do these radius Atomic Bass earphones pack a punch!  I consider myself an armchair audiophile -- I can tell the difference between what sounds good, and what doesn't sound good, but want the audio hardware to do the work without having to fiddle around with settings.  We all know that most smartphones are lacking in the deep bass department, and Android phones are no exception. This can be helped a lot, with the right headphone design.  The radius set has an impedance rating of 32 ohms, versus a standard set of earphones at 16 ohms.  This allows lower power devices (like Android phones) to drive them easier, creating more sound at much less power loss.  Then you factor in the angled design that seals well in any ear -- thanks to the three sets of different sized earcaps, and you simply get better sound.

They're also built pretty well.  The earphone body is solid aluminum, the earcaps are very soft silicone, and the wiring is rubber coated right down to the gold plated plug.  The U-shape wiring design is perfect for keeping your phone in your shirt pocket (remember when you used to do that Evo 4G and Droid X users?) or on your desk.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these to anyone.  You can grab a set of radius Atomic Bass earphones in several colors, for $29.95 in the Android Central store.  Full specs and a set of pictures of the set after the break.

 

Drive Unit: ten mm neodymium magnet
Sensitivity: 103 dB/mW
Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
Maximum Input: 10mW
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Plug: 3.5 mm Stereo Mini plug
Cable Length: 90 cm
Weight (without cable): 8 grams
 

earcaps 3.5 mm Jack

angle shot of earbud earbud rear view

in an Evo 4G inserted in G2

front view in G2 front view in Nexus One

 
There are 28 comments

Tibwolf says:

32 ohms means nothing by itself and doesn't mean that it would be easier to drive than "standard" headphones

icebike says:

I agree. Driving high impedance phones is actually a job for a bigger amp than is found in your phone. They might help with base response but they will use more power. Better to turn on the base boost.

These phones, and several others like them, are better sounding because they form a better seal in the ear canal, which allows them to tightly couple with the ear-drum.
The better ones may have a bigger throw (maximum distance the diaphragm can travel) which is critical for base frequencies.

crxssi says:

"These phones, and several others like them, are better sounding"

Better sounding than WHAT, though? Better than my $90 Shure Pro earphones? Better than the crap that usually comes with the phone? Better than typical earbuds? Typical earphones? Typical headphones?

texasag03 says:

Actually, a lower impedance means a given amplifier will deliver more power to that speaker (headphones, in this case). Therefore, lower is better when you are dealing with low power sources like iPods, iPhones, Android phones, etc... In this case, a 32 ohm headphone is more difficult to drive than a 16 ohm set. This is why companies make headphone amplifiers.

icebike says:

Also why most small devices have base boost.

crxssi says:

It is "bass", not "base".

dacp283 says:

Uhm the higher the ohm the less bass output so though they may appear" louder" the quality of low range bass diminishes. So how these are marketed as atomic bass I dunno. I for one loooove my motorola S9-HD headphones and they definitely produce a nice tight bass note at 8ohm. Granted they are powered but who wants wired earphones anyway? Lol. I love being able to control every thing from song skipping, pause, play, incoming calls etc without having to even pull the phone out.

RevMen says:

"The ohm" is just the impedance of the driver and doesn't have anything to do with "bass output" of speakers. A lower impedance driver will draw more current for a given voltage which is better for the long throws of low frequency motion, but it completely depends on the amplifier being able to deliver that current. Since the amplifier is built into your headphones it can be impedance matched to the drivers, so "the ohm" of your headphones is meaningless when comparing it to other headphones.

dmevis says:

Sorry Jerry, but your not even qualified to be an "armchair audiophile".

Please go back and learn a bit about electricity.

alright, minus all the bashing on Jerry and what not, has anyone actually used these at all? I have some crappy skull candy ones that need to be replaced and for $30 these seem pretty decent. Anyone have some actual opinions on the headphones themselves?

storm14k says:

I'll be damned if I didn't JUST buy some skullcandy's (Titan) only to see this a couple of days later lol. Oh well. It was my first dabble in buying something better than obvious crap and I was not about to pay for Beats By Dre or the Klipsch that I saw. Was a spur of the moment purchase so I had done no homework.

@dmevis
You do understand how resistance, current, and voltage work right? Lower resistance will use more power. The laws of physics and electrical theory are pretty simple to understand. I do have to assume that these same laws govern electricity when it's being used to generate sound, as I branched into robotics and automation, not audio engineering after college.

32 ohms of resistance will draw 0.09375 A, or 0.28125 watts at 3 VDC.
16 ohms of resistance will draw 0.1875 A, or 0.5625 watts at 3 VDC.
This is indisputable. 32 ohms uses half the power that 16 does.

Now feel free to correct me, but please use something more than knee jerk internet tough guy rules to do it. (Look up the page a bit and see how tact and solid information can be used to get your point across, without looking like an ass.) I recommend you look for whitesheets or papers about ohm's law as an equivalent in acoustics. If any of these can be found at the Purdue University Library of Engineering and Technology, I'd be glad to log in and fetch them if you give me the article titles.

The manufacturers make the claim that this produces better sound. I'm not an audio engineer (I just might be an ee though ;) ), but I can plug in a set of headphones and see that they are correct. If they say that a by-product of using more electrically efficient components directly relates to improved sound quality, I'll trust that they ARE Audio Engineers and aren't full of it. Bottom line -- these headphones sound great, and they're only 30 bucks.

icebike says:

But Jerry, you can't do the same work with the same voltage and half the amps.
There is no free lunch. If you could, we would all run 50 or 100 ohm earbuds.

As the coil pushes the diaphragm it needs power to do so.

By the way, Impedance is not the same thing as resistance. Its a funny thing. It doesn't exist at all till current starts flowing thru the coil. It has its own rules.

There is a reason all these phones are speced with 16 ohm earbuds.

pyroja says:

You're both about half right.

To claim that a 32ohmm set of drivers 'uses less power' is misleading.

Similarly, to claim that a 32ohm set of drivers will produce lower SPL is just as misleading.

The only number that will give you any clue was to the SPL these things are capable of is their sensitivity.

A 32ohm driver will draw half the power as a 16ohm driver. This does not make it any more or less efficient. If that 32ohm driver has a sensitivity of 99db, and the 16ohm driver's is 96db, then (all other things being equal) for any given voltage, the SPL output will be identical, but the 32ohm driver will be seeing half the power. Specifically, it will be seeing half the amperage.

What's better for a smartphone? I'm not sure. I don't know the details of the amps they put in those things. If you're limited more on amperage than on volatage, then a higher impedance is preferable. Flip it around and the reverse is true.

Example: Several sets of headphones exist in two different ohm ratings. Sennheiser does this for some of their products. They sell 600ohm versions of phones that are meant for high-end broadcasting gear, which have no issue producing the high voltage required to drive them. The significantly less resistive models are more popular in the DJ and Production world, where the gear has no problem delivering amperage.

All other things being equal, you'll be doubling your volts to get the same sound from a 32ohm driver over a 16ohm driver. You won't be using any more or less power, but you will need more volts.

Sensitivity, power, and impedance are all different numbers that mean very different things, and so far, no one in this thread seems to understand that.

RevMen says:

I would say most of the people contributing to this thread understand the differences between sensitivity, power and impedance pretty well.

pyroja says:

Double Post?

pyroja says:

Which is an odd statement, because I've seen maybe one other person in the thread get it right.

EricR#AC says:

Even if these were awesome, why wouldn't you want one with a mic so you can answer calls while driving without having to screw around much? They do make 'em with mics right?

JkdJedi says:

Yes! They make these with mics. To answer on the quality/sound of these earphones I have to say the best "bang for your buck" out there. I found these listed for 20 bucks, shipping included on the web. These ear pieces rock! Whatever comes with your mp3 players and Ipods can't even compare to the great sound of these earphones.
http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/radius-atomic-bass-earphones/4505-787...

TBolt says:

If only AdBlock Plus would block articles, like this one. As if AC would say anything bad about items in their own Web store. sigh.

zrx12mike says:

Lighten up Francis! It's just a heads up, get a life. If I were looking for wired I'd look for info, this could be useful for someone.

elaitchbe3 says:

As a graduate of ITT Technical Institute with an Associate of Science degree in Electronics, I don't remember any of this shite! So I will just say this, GO DOLPHINS!!

Corey says:

Ummm, I still put my Droid X in my shirt pocket at work. It fits in there perfectly and lets me listen to my music and XM stations while my soul is crushed by the corporate machine.

AJFSTORM says:

I tried a couple of brands of high end earbuds and was not impressed at all. These are at least reasonably priced, but if you want something that sounds great and is very inexpensive, try JVC Gumy headphones. The sell them just about everywhere for under $10 and cheap enough that I keep extra sets around at home, work and in the car in case I lose or forget a pair. And I'm absolutely amazed at the sound.

darrylb1 says:

not sure how earphones work with a phone because i don't own them. will my telephone calls be heard through the earphones? if not anyone know of a bluetooth with high quality sound?

It is a new thing for me. I'll buy these...
Stimelex

jnnyr says:

As an audio engineer, Ice is the only chap who has a clear take on ALL the variables at play. Line matching is a 3 part process and looking solely at the ohm rating means nothing unto itself.

WarER4X says:

The current headphones I use with my Droid are my own homemade set that is a combination of some Skull Candy ear buds and the mic/button pigtail of a set of crappy headphones I got with my last Blackberry. The only reason I did this was because it's hard to find wired stereo headsets in a storefront anymore that have a mic attached. Funny thing is, I mostly use the mic button simply to quickly pause/unpause whatever I'm listening to and rarely use it to actually talk on the phone. ;)

At any rate, the pair of headphones I had before that were a nice fancy set of Shure earbuds. They sounded fantastic, but the wire insulation broke down near the earbuds after 2 years of use being wrapped behind my ears and they eventually couldn't be repaired anymore. I think contact with skin oils behind my ears are to blame, but that's they way they were designed to be used. I can't ever see myself paying that much for another set of earbuds that can't last longer than two year. Maybe these ones Jerry is writing about are just the right combination of price/performance for me. The fact that there is a mic-ed version is even better!

-SR-