I could never understand how people could pay thousands of dollars for fancy sub-woofers, amplifiers, turntables and other audio equipment and then skimp on speakers. The first, and most sage bit of advice, I ever received when it came to buying audio equipment was, it doesn't matter what else you buy, but make damn sure your speakers are what you spend your money on. The sound a system creates is only as good as what your speakers can handle. What difference does it make if your amplifier can generate 500 watts per channel if your speakers are only rated for 100 each? You'll either end up with distorted sound or blowing your speakers the first time you turn the volume up.
When they started making portable stereo systems manufacturers tried compensating for inadequate speakers using technological advances. While things like Dolby might boost signals and make the music louder, or give the illusion of rich sound by what basically amounted to turning the bass up higher, it came with a cost. The slight differences in frequencies generated by different instruments were gradually lost and music became more a wash of sound than collection of individual notes coming together in harmony to create magic. However, those comprises are nothing compared to what's happened with the advent of micro personal players and listening to music through headphones rather than speakers.
As a music critic I've struggled over the years to find the best ways possible to listen to the music people send me. It's become even more difficult in recent years with so many record companies only making review copies available as downloads and forcing critics to use digital players. In order to appreciate the music you have to be able to hear it - and that doesn't just mean have your brains turned to mush by mega bass and the other bells and whistles some audio companies seem to think are what's needed to make music sound better. Almost as important has been trying to find headphones that don't distract from listening to the music. There's nothing more annoying than listening to music with something which causes physical discomfort.
So in setting out to gauge the performance of two of the many headphones offered by iFrogz, the Timbre PRO Earbuds with built in Microphone and the CS40s Headphone, I've judged them on both audio fidelity and comfort. For those of you who are interested in the technical specifics of both pieces of equipment you can check their individual web pages at the links above as I've looked at them in terms of personal listening experience only.