Headphone Review: SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro Headphones Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 3
What's Hot: Very effective noise isolation, comfortable to wear, works with mobile devices and PCs with separate mic and headphone jacks.
What's Not: Sounds tinny when playing most styles of music.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
The SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro headphones are sleek looking earbuds that offer very solid noise isolation and very comfortable wearing form. The headphones come with memory foam tips that can expand in your ears and the audio plugs are interchangeable between a 3.5mm audio plug for working with mobile devices and 3.5mm audio out and mic in plugs for working with laptops. The headphones sound loud but the audio performance is hampered by tinny and thin sound when playing just about any style of music.
The SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro headphones have a unique design. The arms that hold the tips that going into your ears sit at an angle to not only make it easy to operate the earbuds but also gives enough room for the included ear hooks to attach to the headphones. With the ear hooks, the headphones offer extra security for staying on your ears while you're jogging. The SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro comes with several sets of gel ear tips in different sizes and shapes and a pair of memory foam tips that can isolate noise and keep the sound from your headphones in quite well. The memory foam tips are also softer than the gel tips and offer extra long wearing time without cause fatigue to your ears.
The SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro headphones come with a 1.2m flat cable that's tangle free. On the cable, you'll find a control stick that has play/pause button for music and movie playing and for taking or ending calls. There's a built-in mic on the stick as well, and when working with the iPhone 5s, if you press and hold the control button, it'll launch Siri; and on other phones that use call buttons to launch voice commands, this works as well. Near the tip of the cable, there's a detachable connector where you can either plug in the single 3.5mm audio plug to work with mobile devices or the included combo audio and mic plugs to work with PCs that have separate jacks. This feature is great for those who use their headphones with their smartphone, tablet and laptop, so you don't have to carry separate headphones for your laptop. Speaking of carrying, the SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro comes with a nice protective case for the headphones and accessories.
The SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro features armature driver with frequency response of 15 - 22KHz and they sound loud with good stereo separation on some devices. While we were impressed by the design and the comfort of the form, we found the audio quality was subpar. In our extensive tests, music tracks sounded tinny and some tracks sounded like playing through old mono speakerphone. The tremble and vocal channels didn't sound full, cymbals in some tracks sounded harsh and and bass sounded weak. One nice thing though was that the channels sounded balanced, and on certain devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, the stereo separation was pronounced as track engineering intended. But on other devices the stereo separation wasn't as noticeable including on the iPhone 5s.
The mic on the SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro headphones is quite good. The outgoing voice on voice calls with most phones and chats through laptops was clear and loud in our test. If you need noise isolation, be sure to use the memory foam ear tips. They expand in your ears and can block most ambient noise in a busy office or a noisy mall. The audio quality is better with the memory foam tips as they can keep the sound in your ear and interfering background noise out.
The SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro headphones have the right idea of combining mobile headphones and laptop headphones into one set and the sleek design that turns heads. They are comfortable to wear, excellent at noise isolation with the Comply memory foam tips and they produce balance and loud audio. All the great features though can't combat one draw back: the vocal and tremble sound is tinny, not full and bass is lacking. Comparing it with the EarPod headphones that come with the iPhone 5s, you'll notice the difference immediately. We also compared it with the RHA MA450i In-Ear headphones and found the audio quality was much fuller on the RHA also. When working with certain devices, the stereo separation on the SteelSeries Flux Pro sounded nice.