Hands-on: Ferrari by Logic3 P200 review
Mention Formula 1 to anybody and one of the first names that springs to mind is Ferrari. The Italian car firm has been involved with the motorsport organisation since its inception in 1950 and in Grand Prix since 1929 (initially under the Alfa Romeo name). It is also the most successful team, with 15 drivers' and 16 constructors' championships.
So where better to have an initial listen to and play with the new Ferrari by Logic3 premium headphones than at Silverstone, on the eve of the British Grand Prix 2012? And in Ferrari's own F1 motorhome, where the team and the drivers work and relax, no less.
The Ferrari by Logic3 P200 headset is designed very much with motorsport in mind. It comes from the Scuderia Ferrari collection - which covers the sports aspect of the car company, rather than its GT roadcars - and the P200 headphones are aesthically as close to the much-loved race cars as can be.
The design of the P200 cans is also clearly influenced by the headsets worn by the pit crew on race days, so are steeped in the heritage of the sport in more than one way. And we like. We like a lot.
Although robust, the chassis is actually lighter in the hand than you might think - which is good news if you want to wear them for a prolonged period.
The earpieces themselves are sort-of a floating design, as they don't directly hook up to the headband. Instead, they are supported by struts either side and connected to the main headphone through one fabric-covered wire.
These are passive headphones. There's no noise cancellation to be found and, therefore, they don't require power. Nor do they fold. There are other headsets in Logic3's Ferrari range that do (and others coming with ANC), but the P200s are specifically meant to be ostentatious and bold. In looks and sound.
In that, each earpiece contains a 50mm driver with an open back design and vented enclosure. This allows for a slight emphasis on bass, and they have been tuned as such. That's not to say, from our listen, the P200 headset is the equivalent to Beats Studio HD by Dr Dre, for example.
In street headphone terms, the P200s are more-than suitable for hip-hop and R&B, but with enough control over higher frequencies to avoid ruining non-bass-heavy tracks.
We tried them out with some choice lossless clips from The Who (1960s stuff mainly) and Seattle band The Head and The Heart (who are great for listening tests, thanks to excellent vocal harmony work), and both were delivered excellently from our initial test - with meat and muscle, but retaining clarity. On the former tracks, it was great to hear John Entwistle's superbly detailed bass notes punching through without being drowned by Keith Moon's insanely brilliant drumming exploits.
You can also reach uncomfortable volumes without distortion. Although, it must be said that, because of the open back design, many of your fellow Tube passengers may also be taken along for the ride if you're not responsible with your controls. Several Ferrari employees were amused by our song choices, we'll leave it at that.
As well as plastics, the Ferrari by Logic3 P200 headphones are crafted in soft and comfotable "breathable materials" with carbon fibre flourishes. The arms are machine-crafted metal and the carry case they come in also features the same carbon fibre design.
Three cables are included: one with an iPhone-specific in-line microphone, one with a one-button mic for just about every other smartphone, and one without the in-line controls. There are also adapters for Airline and 6.3mm hi-fi sockets. The cables are woven fabric to avoid tangling.
The headphones are available in two colours, traditional Ferrari red and black, and will cost £199 when they hit shops soon. We'll bring you more news on availability when we get it.
Logic3 has been working with the Ferrari team for the past couple of years on its premium range of headsets and earbuds and you can tell why. The P200 cans drip with Scuderia Ferrari DNA and we expect that, out of the entire line-up, these will be the most popular - certainly amongst motorsports enthusiasts.
And that includes the team's drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. They were most keen to try them out at Silverstone too.
What do you think of Logic3's Ferrari tie-in? Are these the sort of headphones you'd use? Let us know in the comments below...