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Radius Atomic Bass iPhone stereo headset
Editor's rating (1-5):
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What's hot: What’s hot: Inexpensive with great bass, good microphone, stylish design, and good overall sound quality.
What's not: Noise isolation.
Reviewed May, 2009 by Jacob Spindel, Chief iPod Correspondant
Radius Earphones is a relative newcomer to the earbud market – but that doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they’re doing. In fact, in the short time their products have been available, Radius earbuds have made quite an impression on users and critics alike. With their popularity on the rise, it’s no surprise that Radius is now taking on the iPhone marketplace, with their new Atomic Bass for iPhone. The Atomic Bass is likely to continue improving Radius’ reputation in the audio industry, because, although it isn’t a revolutionary improvement over its competitors, it demonstrates impressive performance consistently while remaining less expensive than many of the other options.
“All Your Atomic Bass Are Belongs To Radius”
The Radius Atomic Bass is a wired headset intended primarily for iPhone use, although you can use it to listen to any device with a standard 3.5 mm jack. It consists of two in-ear earbuds, a microphone, and a cable that is approximately 45 inches. Three different sizes of ear tips are included, and thankfully replacements can also be purchased easily from the company’s web site. Available in black, red, silver, and pink, the Atomic Bass features aluminum speakers with neodymium magnets and 10 mm drivers, providing a frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. The microphone also includes a single button, which functions similarly to the buttons on most wired iPhone headsets, controlling call/disconnect and play/pause.
The Atomic Bass are lightweight and very comfortable to wear. Radius says that they are capable of providing noise isolation by fitting snugly in your ears, but in our tests, it wasn’t quite a tight enough fit to do very much in terms of keeping out background noise, and in fact earbuds that do fit tightly enough for that purpose are often uncomfortable to wear. If you’re looking for a product that will help you combat lots of ambient noise while you’re listening, you would probably be better off looking for a device with active noise cancelation rather than relying on noise isolation in any form.
When it comes to sound quality, the Atomic Bass produced pleasant output with a wide variety of musical genres, and we found the overall sound quality to be consistently impressive. Our specific observations for specific aspects of the sound are as follows:
Treble: Treble tones on the Atomic Bass are recreated successfully with all of the voices and instruments fully intact, although they are not quite as forceful as the treble found on some other earphones (such as the recently reviewed Altec-Lansing Backbeat Titanium). 4.0/5.0
Bass: Since bass is mentioned in the name of the product, it comes as no surprise that Radius’ earphones deliver in this category. Bass tones have that “turbo-charged” feeling that will make you remember you are using bass-enhanced earphones anytime a hip-hop song (or any other track with lots of bass) comes on. It isn’t the most supercharged bass we’ve ever heard – but it is pretty close. 4.5/5.0
Volume: As with many earbuds, the Atomic Bass has no difficulty covering the entire volume spectrum, ranging from “barely audible noise suitable for a library” all the way up to “instant brain liquefaction” (although we don’t recommend attempting the latter at home). 5.0/5.0
Clarity: The Atomic Bass earphones don’t have the high-resolution level of clarity that some high-end professional earbuds have, but their clarity is above average and more than good enough to enable you to listen to spoken-word content easily. 4.0/5.0
Microphone: When using the Atomic Bass to make a phone call with the iPhone, the call recipients reported that my voice was just slightly clearer, with less background noise audible, than when I called using the iPhone’s built-in microphone. 4.5/5.0