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Old 02-03-2009, 07:51 PM
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shemp457 shemp457 is offline
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Originally Posted by shemp457 View Post
Hi everyone, I ordered the Koss Sound-Squared Eclipse earbuds and they should arrive tomorrow. For those interested, I'll do an A-B comparison of the sound of the Koss and the buds that come with a Fuze.
This is the first time I've written a review of a piece of hi-fi gear.....

The Koss buds finally arrived and for the past couple of hours I been doing an A-B comparison of them to the buds that come with the Fuze. First, let me say that I think the "Fuze buds" are quite good. Considering they come with the player at no extra cost it's surprising they sound as good as they do. I'm sure most people will find that they produce a level of sound quality that is quite acceptable.

Any time you compare the sound hi-fi equipment you need to allow for the differences in "volume" produced by the two items being compared. All else being equal, people will pick the one that is playing the loudest almost every time, as being the best sounding. So, the first thing I did for my test was to determine volume setting for both buds. The Koss are a little less efficient than the Sansa, so each time I changed I would give the Koss a couple more notches of volume.

I didn't know what to expect from the Koss as I had never heard them. I bought them "blind", based solely on reviews I had read. The first impression after switching back and forth a few times was that the difference was subtle, not striking. Both pair sound good. After a couple more switches I noticed that the Sansas seemed to produce more bass. This turned out to be because they simply fit my ears a little better than the Koss. If I hold the Koss a little tighter on my ears I notice the better coupling increases the bass considerably. You really can't fault the Koss for this, as everyone's ears are slightly different and what fits one person will not fit another as well.

I changed buds and tunes back and forth listening to cuts I know well from hearing them on my "real" stereo. My reference system is quite good. I know what these pieces of music should sound like and to cut to the chase the Koss did a better job. Listening to the subtilties of the music, such as the timbre of brushes on cymbals, the little "extra" sounds in the background that most stereos don't even reproduce, the character of instruments and even the air around the musicians, the Koss was the clear winner. It "defines" each instrument or player better than the Sansa and produces a sharper, crisper sound. When playing complex pieces with many different instruments and hard, driving rythms, the Koss is much better at conveying the sence of rythm and pace that the Samsas. I also find they are less fatigueing. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Here's the bottom line. If you want to upgrade your Sansa buds without spending much, then the Koss might be for you. I bought mine for $20 on Amazon and am glad I did. They are now my "default" buds.

Last edited by shemp457; 02-03-2009 at 11:36 PM.
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