Hey folks, today I have a special treat for you all to check out and that is some Sleek Audio custom in ear monitor (IEM) headphones. Now this doesn't have much to do with Android per se, but I have been using them daily with my Android phone and occasionally with my tablet and it works wonderfully. These being my first fully 100% custom in ear monitors I was excited to give them a try. These are specially tuned to my ear, and my musical taste all thanks to Sleek Audio.
Since most of our readers may not be extremely familiar with audio, or custom IEM's I'll just briefly go over a few points and show you plenty of photos of these awesome headphones. To start check out my unbox video.
These are custom in ear monitors that use a wired/wireless system to deliver optimal sound. At first I was skeptical to the thought of having high quality 320 kbps or even FLAC audio streamed wirelessly to headphones but after trying the CT7's I have zero doubts on the quality. Using my own high quality 320 bitrate audio files and streaming with Sleek's KLEER Wireless technology you can achieve truly wireless and lossless audio playback.
Since we can't really get into harwdware, software, and screen resolution with this review I'll talk about the actual product. I guess I can call it hardware. The Sleek CT7's are top notch in all aspects regarding build quality. From the packaging and the protective Pelican case right down to the casing on the IEM's. You'll notice right away with the case the level of detail Sleek takes with every single sale. From my own custom nameplate on the case to our very own logo imprint on the foam. This level of perfection comes with every Sleek Audio headphone sold and this same level of perfection can not only be seen, but also heard.
The level of detail on the IEM's is just superb. From the matte black coating and inverted color on the logo, right down to my name on each earpiece too. The entire body is clear but can be any color your heart desires although clear is fun because you can see what's going on inside. Then I chose a black top plate for the logo and to finish things off.
Since these are custom hand made and designed specifically for that persons ear a level of craftsmanship can be seen on each phone. Sleek or any audiologist takes an impression of the wearers inner ear and they are designed around the exact internals of your ear canal. There may be a bubble or two while looking and the casing but that is to be expected.
Clearly shown in the image above and one of the selling points of this specific model is they are wireless. With removable cables you can easily go from a wired and normal listening experience to wireless using the KLEER Wireless kit shown below. The KLEER Wireless kit offers up to 10 hours of continuous playback as well as streaming to up to four receivers at any given time. They are compatibly with any 3.5mm headphone jack and will give you CD quality lossless audio for up to 60 ft.
Being able to leave the receiver plugged into my PC or smartphone/iPod I'm able to walk around my entire house without any wires dangling any further than the short distance around my ears. Whether I was streaming audio from Spotify with the Android app, or listening to my FLAC collection right from my PC the Sleek wireless kit and CT7's offered amazing sound quality without the limitation of wires and cables, not to mention being able to work out without fear of catching the cable and yanking them out of my ear. So far these are just amazing and the level of clarity and treble is stellar.
With micro-usb for charging and a dedicated sync button things are extremely easy. All you need is to connect the headphones and throw em in your ear, plug the receiver up to any device and hit the dedicated sync button on each end of the wireless kit and you are in business. Feel free to check out all of the detailed photos below and head over to Sleek Audio for more information. Now it's time to talk about sound quality.
Now I wont get into things too deep since after all this is an Android site and not something like Head-Fi.org our readers might not fully understand or appreciate the level of sound some headphones will give off. Everyone's ears are different and not everyone hears the same thing. With a custom IEM you get a deeper insertion into your ear canal and the overall balance and quality of sound is unbeatable. I have a few headphones I can compare with but nothing custom so there really is no true comparison for me.
The Sleek CT7's have a few great assets and one of those is choosing what end of the audio spectrum you'd prefer while they build. I chose to have a more crisp and bright sound that will sparkle and amaze the listener rather than going for bass, plus I'm not much of a rap and rip hop fan so a decent amount of bass is all I really need. While the bass is present and has a great level of detail and a firm sound here is how I'd explain the CT7's. The sound is tight, fast, controlled, with great balanced and clarity, treating the entire audible spectrum with clean, high quality sound rather than focusing too much on the midrange or low end. The bass is firm and detailed, the mid-range is filling and sharp and the top end just as I said above peaks with great highs and a sound that really truly sparkles. The more and more I use these CT7's the more I'm noticing not only the level of clarity in my music, but also the level of details. I'm hearing things and aspects of some of my audio I've never noticed before.
I have some Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10's that do sound great but are large, cumbersome and difficult to use and just don't even compare to the level of awesomeness these Sleek CT7's have to offer. While the TF10's have a warmer more deep sound with better lows and bass, the Sleek's were geared for a more natural and musical experience and they completely deliver just that.
I could go on for a long time with sound quality and reproduction, clarity and even sound stage but I might get carried away. Having these custom IEM's deep in your canal they deliver a great sound that really feels inside your head, something those crap white ibuds just can't even compare to (I think I threw mine away). The soundstage is very present and has an upper frontal sound while not too in your face. The level of overall balance, speed, and perfection is really just amazing with these phones.
Smile, yup that is me. With enough cord on the wireless kit to not be limited with range of motion and still stay out of sight and out of mind -- Sleek has truly delivered an exceptional wireless audio solution that I've yet to experience. While the CT7's aren't cheap coming in around $699, they are incredible and mind blowing for those that want exceptional sound and wireless both in a custom package. Many might not splurge for the expensive CT7's but they do offer lower cost solutions while still keeping that signature custom look, feel, and sound that just blows away any universal normal headphone.
That is it for now folks. I'll keep listening to these FLAC files and the occasional NFL game while I'm working outside, mowing the lawn, or even at the gym. Who likes the sound of that? If you'd like to hear anything specific regarding quality of hardware or sound feel free to sound off in the comments below.