Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: Maxell Peanuts

with one comment

Maxell Peanutz, quite possibly the worst and best buy of 2008

Maxell Peanutz, quite possibly the worst and best buy of 2008

Quite possibly, the worst and best buy of 2008.

Why is this the worst buy?  Well, it sounds like your average $2.99 earbuds.  Muddy and terrible, overbearing bass, 1930s radio quality vocals, and quite possibly nonexistant sounds over… 13 or 14kHz range.  Let’s be generous and say 14 kHz range.  WIthout serious EQ action on your source, you will think to yourself, why oh why did I waste $14.99 (or less than $10.00 if you find them on sale) on this peanut of a headphone?  After all, you can get some seriously good peanuts and a lot of it for the same price (about a year’s worth if you shop around a bit).

But wait a minute…  Are those equipped with double tipped flanges?  And are they compatible with my MDR-EX Style earbuds?

What has been very interesting the last 4 to 5 years is that the eartips on many of these semi-canal earbuds uses the same cushions/flanges/tips as the Sony EXs.  Now, the tips on these guys are slightly (ever so) smaller than the tips on the EX style (and other EX tip using) earbuds.  However, not so much smaller than it makes fitting the double and triple flange tips from the Peanutz impossible, mind you.  Just a little elbow grease goes a long away.

And the new double and triple flanged tips gives you additional isolation and fitting to the EX series.  The double (think small and medium tips glued together for a quick visual) brings extra bass to the party, the visceral, deep, meaningful bass.  There’s a bit of clarity in the mids and the trebles as well, but not as much as you’d suspect.  That’s actually enhanced a bit (not much though) by the triple flanges, which we will get to in a moment.  The enhanced isolation, ever so slight, however, is what most people will be looking for with the users of the EX series and the double flanges.  These Peanutz bring increased isolation and bass to a series of earbuds (mainly the EX-82/5 and 90) which could use a bit of bass boost here and there where its sorely needed.

The triple flanges (think some of those triple flanges pressure relieving earplugs) gives better treble and mid-range performance, though not as much as you think.  The bass, however, sees very little benefit from these tips, though isolation increases ever more so for the triple flanges.  Pair these with the noise cancelling EX style buds and you’ve got yourself a serious contender for a cost effective noist reduction earbuds (see Philips).

And with a small investment of $10 ~ $16, you’ve just given yourself a very nice upgrade.  How nice?  Well, how about entry level In-Ear Monitor level of isolation type upgrade?  Mind you, the EX and EXstyle buds are nowhere near the IEMs in terms of actual monitoring.  But for increasing your enjoyment?  Well, every little bit helps.

Too bad the actual Peanutz are beyond help.  Had the Peanutz sounded actually decent, it would’ve been gravy.


Written by Damage

11/9/08 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Soapbox

One Response

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  1. Cheap headphones overall. Not durable at all the cable connection to the 3.5mm jack tends to break after a months use or so. Comfortable fit and 1/2 decent audio quality.


    10/15/09 at 8:14 am

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