Atomic Floyd TwistJax headphones
Atomic Floyd make a range of headphones based on broadly similar principles. They are all lovingly machined from "acoustic" steel and are of a hybrid style offering both in-ear and earbud construction, the same as the Philips SHE9800.
Designed in this fashion, the TwistJax offer two methods of sound delivery: straight down your ear canal with the in-ear section, and backed up by the broader sounds from the outer ear section. It's an arrangement that we find delivers great audio quality, but seems to deliver pop and dance music with the greatest aplomb, thanks to heavy bass delivery.
In terms of performance they very closely resemble the performance of the Philips SHE9800 too, a headphone that we like a lot. Unfortunately the TwistJax come in at a full £80 more than the Philips alternatives, so are they really worth the extra price?
There is no doubt that the TwistJax are well made. The metal body looks fantastic and we love the fact that they warm-up as you wear then, originally cold to the touch. All the metal does mean that they are rather heavy, from the headphones themselves, down to the lovingly crafted 3.5mm jack.
The "twist" from the TwistJax name is because you can adjust the position of the in-ear section, with a 90-degree rotation letting you adjust the headphones to the angle of your ear canal in relation to your outer ear. We're not convinced that there is a 90-degree difference between people, but it means you can get the angle just so if fitting is normally a problem.
To help with the size, you are also provided with a choice of rubber tip, so you can get the best seal possible. This helps to ensure comfort and get the best noise isolation from the rest of the world. We do have a slight complaint about the rubbers themselves, which are a little on the sharp side at the opening. We found that after several hours of wearing the TwistJax, they started to get uncomfortable because of this hard edge.
Also in the box you get a case to keep your headphones in, which is a nice touch and always appreciated when you are paying a little more for a set.
There is plenty of volume on offer too and thanks to achieving a decent fit, we didn't have to crank it them up as high as you might with some cheaper sets to get that immersive audio experience. We found that the overall weight of them meant they tended to hang out of the ear slightly (despite a nice tight fit on the inner ear section), which does make them prone to leaking noise to the outside world.
Overall we were impressed with the sound quality, especially on pop and dance music, which makes them a great general headphone. They aren’t quite so adept with vocal or classical tracks because they lean towards a bassy delivery overall.
We can't fault the look of the TwistJax either as they do look sensational, but we can't justify the cost compared to the performance of the similarly-designed Philips SHE9800.
Good, but a little on the expensive side.