Flare Audio has made things that we like a lot. First were the R2Pro IEMs which were a revelation for my ears, followed by the ISOLATE ear plugs which Dan rated highly in his review. And now an all new set of earphones have been announced — the FLARES® PRO continue to evolve their state of the art approach to listening, and combine wired and wireless in the same package. You have my attention Flare.
There’s a significant amount of words from Flare:
Three New Technologies Create ‘Game Changer’ Earphones with Launch of FLARES® PRO
Easily switchable from wired to Bluetooth, with unsurpassed clarity
British audio technology company, Flare Audio, has announced the launch of ‘game changing’ earphones FLARES® PRO. Using the science of how we hear and the subsequent development of three completely new technologies, FLARES® address issues with current audio technology and make listening to music clearer and more comfortable for our ears. Not only do they unveil previously undetected detail in tracks, they are also uniquely and easily switchable from wired to Bluetooth.
Aimed at music lovers and professionals working in the music industry, FLARES® PRO retail at £349, with industry experts who have trialled them rating them above earphones costing over £1000.
This is Flare’s second consumer earphone, the first R2 version receiving high praise across the board and thanks to significant investment, extensive R&D and Flare’s scientific breakthrough in sound re-production, FLARES® PRO offers yet another huge step up in audio quality.
“Music is constantly evolving. For over 50 years, the way we record, store and access music has changed, but the industry’s approach to earphone and speaker technology has stagnated,” explains Davies Roberts, Flare’s inventor.
“Current technology poses issues for hearing fatigue, as well as room for significant improvement in clarity. We took up the challenge and have found a new way of developing earphones that is focused on delivering the purest sound with the smallest of interventions. In order to move forward, we have gone back to the very beginning; to understand how sound interacts with our ears on a molecular level.”
“I didn’t think the sound could be improved from my first set of Flares R2 earphones but with the Flares® Pro I have to assume there has been some deal with the devil, for they sound even better. Cleaner, rounder, more transparent and the low end is more defined than before. Nothing I have used comes close.”
Fran Healy, Travis and BNQT
“Hearing music on FLARES® is like being in the studio. It’s a natural, big, live sound that really makes listening to music a whole new experience.”
Nick O’Malley Arctic Monkeys: Bass player
“Flare has managed to improve the already sublime R2s with the incredible FLARES® Pros. Astounding, effortless clarity and superb pin-point imaging. No artificial frequency push or compression just a smooth, natural sound across the spectrum. I don’t want to stop listening.”
Danton Supple, producer (Coldplay, Morrissey, Starsailor)
“These are the best earphones ever. I mix on these. The detail, clarity and low end are ‘pinch me, am I dreaming?’ great.”
Tony Visconti, Grammy award-winning producer (David Bowie, T-Rex, Iggy Pop)
- Uniquely switchable from wired to Bluetooth.
- Delivers superb passive noise isolation, blocking external noise.
- Superior sound with minimum distortion and reduced hearing fatigue, even at high volumes, through the development of three unique new technologies developed by Flare:
- Anti-resonance Technology
Contained within Grade 5 Titanium housing is a single 5.5mm dynamic driver with a Beryllium coated diaphragm for maximum rigidity. The unique driver clamping system and the use of Titanium in the construction of the housing ensures that all erroneous mechanical resonances have been eliminated allowing the driver to become the only source of acoustic energy within the Flares earphone. All you hear is the music.
- Dual Jet Technology
Sound emerging from the front of the audio driver is delivered to the mouth of the earphone via an acoustic coupler (or jet) which has been designed to present a modified acoustic load to the driver. This technology is also applied to the rear earphone chamber to ensure that the driver is pressure balanced, front to rear, which facilitates symmetrical diaphragm movement, the key to Flares exceptional performance.
- Acoustic Lens Technology
FLARES®PRO earphones are supplied with a selection of tips: Audiophile, Universal and Everyday. Of these, both the Everyday (silicone) and Audiophile (memory foam) tips employ Acoustic Lens Technology which extends the exit profile of the acoustic jet through the foam tip and provides optimised coupling directly to the ear canal, even when the tips are compressed.
Packaged in a stunning black multi-layer cube, FLARES PRO includes a wireless Bluetooth module and 3.5mm jack cable, three types of tips, including PRO audiophile tips made of high grade memory foam for even more superior sound (each supplied in three different sizes) and a sturdy FLARES® PRO Carry Case. Cables have been stress tested over 100k times.
Price: £349 including VAT and Worldwide Shipping.
For more information: https://www.flareaudio.com/products/flares
What’s in the Box? (as standard, FLARES® come with):
- Three types of T200 compatible FLARES® EARFOAMS® (3 types of tips in three different sizes)
- Bluetooth® v4.1 with APT-X connectivity
- Balanced MMCX connections
- Grade 5 Titanium earpieces
- Uniquely switchable between wireless and a 3.5mm jack cable, all included
- Reinforced cable stress points
- Jack Connector
Gold plated 3.5mm jack connector
Reinforced and stress tested polyaramid cable
- Balanced Splitter
Balanced MMCX terminals
Oxygen free copper cable
5 | FLARES® PRO Wireless DAC
Bluetooth® wireless technology.
Fully compatible with all Bluetooth® devices.
NOT REALLY FOR DJS BUT…
We like Flare Audio stuff, and it’s nice to look at extremely lush shiny right? As to their suitability for DJs — well my R2s proved to be unhappy with my not even that rough DJ style treatment. They went back once for the cable to be fixed, but failed again not long after. They sit in a drawer unloved, and my ears are worse for it.
But looking at the Flares Pros, while still adopting a minimalist approach, it looks like cabling has been thought about a little more. It looks to be a tad more robust (every bit counts at such a small size), and the connection to the ear piece looks a tad more forgiving too. The modular approach is also going to help too.
Given that DJ headphones are often used as general purpose go anywhere cans, it makes some sense to have some that are both wired and wireless in one package. And there are existing options for wired and wireless DJ headphones too. But we’re not yet in a place where bluetooth headphones can work for DJs (damn you pesky latency), so it’s going to be some time before bluetooth makes an appearance along side headphone ports on mixers and controllers. The PR makes a lot noise about sound quality (as it should), but mentions nothing about latency, which for DJs is a huge issue.
The Flares Pros sit in that aspirational category for most DJs. It’s hard to justify £349 for DJing given the ritual abuse metered out by most of us, and the fact that there cheaper and more suitable options. But if my experiences with pure listening are anything to go by, £349 for an enhanced Flare Audio experience is something I’d save for, especially with the uprated cabling that could offer me the option to DJ with them. And let’s not forget the sheer convenience of wireless listening too.