Flare Audio Flares Jet 1 and Jet 2 Earphone Review
Flare Audio is a British firm which was founded a few years ago by inventor and all-round clever chap Davies Roberts; they’ve been busy developing new patented technology in order to more precisely reproduce the music (see below)..
- Great sound for both with great detail
- Good construction
- Light and comfortable
- Grills not present so syringe those ears
Design and Appearance
Both models are very light compared to other in-ear designs; the Jet 1 capsules being constructed of a polymer material and the Jet 2 capsules aluminium. The nozzles or soundports themselves form an attractive shape as they narrow from the capsule to the eartip end, giving them a very unique look. They sport Flare’s patented design called ‘Jet technology’ which apparently both equalises pressure on both sides of the driver, and maximises efficiency.
Durability and Build Quality
Both models sport a light but tough-looking cable which is pliable; the coating is a little bit grippy which can be annoying should the cable become tangled, so no putting into your pocket between uses (a rule which is worth following with any earphone). Strain reliefs are quite adequate, and these are black and red where the cable meets the capsules, for left and right respectively.
There’s also a single button control and mic on each model so the Jets are suitable for phone calls.
One point of concern is the lack of grills on both models; knowing how some earphones can end up after prolonged use, earwax can get in and interfere with the sound, or stop it altogether. The long and narrow design of the nozzles on both the Jet 1 & Jet 2 does lend itself well to a deep-insertion wearing style which could exacerbate the issue, so a shallow fit is recommended unless you’re wax free.
The capsule design and placement of the mic/control on the cable suggests that the Flares Jet 1 & 2 are meant to be worn with the cable hanging down from the ear, as opposed to the ‘over the ear’ wearing style. Given how light both models are (Jet 1 is just under 12 grams and Jet 2 is 14 grams), they draw little attention to themselves other than by the sound they provide, although microphonics (vibrations travelling up the cable through movement) can be an issue.
The Jet 1 and Jet 2 are slightly different beasts; the former has a little more emphasis on bass (or rather, a slightly reduced midrange) and the Jet 2 has a more neutral sound to it.
Bass is well controlled on both models; sub bass has good extension and the control factor has it feeling really tangible. Mid and upper bass has good impact and good speed too. These earphones are giving up details down low which seem quite new to me on some tracks, so if you’re a fan of tight and textured bass then these Jets are certainly worth a punt.
This is where the two models diverge in terms of what they offer; the Jet 1 has midrange which is a little more reserved than the Jet 2, so if you’re more a dance music and r&b listener then the Jet 1 may be more your thing. Also if you’re a little bit sensitive to midrange presence as this reviewer is, then the Jet 1 is the one to go for.
The Jet 2 is the more grown up-sounding of the pair, but both are more than capable of rendering strings and rhythm guitars with aplomb. Both models have a very strait-laced midrange sound which is neither too dry nor too luxuriant, though it is slightly on the dry side if we were forced too choose. This is not a criticism, think of dry sherry vs. sweet sherry!
Both Jets are not warm-sounding earphones (in terms of a lack of treble presence) but there is a certain restrained quality about the treble here. It’s not there in any quantity which draws attention to itself, and carries on the midrange’s good work without overshadowing it.
Soundstage and Separation
Soundstage is rather good for both of these models; if an instrument is panned hard left or right in the mix, it seems to stand a good few inches clear of the ear. Imaging and separation is similarly good; with subtle harmonics not lost on the listener.
Music genres good for and why
The Flare Jet 1 and Jet 2 are not fussy regarding the music they handle. However we’d say that the Jet 1 is more for commercial recordings such as pop and similar, whilst the Jet 2 is the more grown-up sibling which may be more appropriate for live recordings and classical genres.