Disclaimer: This post is a part of our Picture Sunday Series. You can check out recent Picture Sunday posts HERE. Flares Gold was sent us by Flare Audio of the UK for an in depth review. It costs around 1350$ USD. You can find out all about it here: FLARES GOLD | Flare Audio Ltd
Flare Audio’s latest, greatest, earphone vindicates the most ardent of praise I heaped upon Flares Pro. While shiner and gaudier, Flares Gold is pure gold. Naturally, it’s heavier, more expensive, and because of its color, attracts greater sardonicism. It’s time to put the latter one to rest.
Flares Pro sounds damn good. Its low sensitivity to hiss, great overall presentation, and an interesting, tip-dependent treble presentation, that can be either edgy or feathered, puts it up there with a lot of the greats below 1000$. Its highs could peak strangely around 10K, but again, the right tips sort that right out.
Flares Gold draws on fundamental Flares Pro sound blueprints meats up the midrange and smooths out up top. Like its forebear, it is tip dependent, but even with stock rubber pieces screwed in, its treble is smoother, more mature, and way easier to listen to from trance to hip hop. It’s not a sleepy-time, comfy-chair listening earphone though: there’s plenty of stereo width and mid and low-range texture detail to keep you looking at your music deeper.
Flares Gold keeps the same split-before-the Y cable, the same bluetooth DAC/amp, the same after-Y replaceable cable. The box is the same, but with gold labels. The tips are the same. The case is the same. And just as before, Flare Audio’s penchant for audiophile punnery probably gets them in trouble with the most prude pendants. But just as before, it’s Flare that get the last laugh. If you’re bothered by the tag: ‘The ultimate golden ears experience’, you’re a simpleton.
Flares Gold’s body is a bit tubbier than the Flares Pro. Honestly, I like the look of the Pro. But where it comes to sound – and let’s remember that Flares Pro could hang with some of the best sub-1000$ earphones out there – Gold has totally won me over.
Obviously we’ll get more into all of that. Flares Gold went with me to CanJam SoCal 2018. Had I not heard it or carried it, likely I would have been more impressed by various and sundry earphones I heard. Had I never heard Flares Pro, it’s likely I’d not be as bothered by wireless hiss. But Flare Audio designed both Flares to obviate wireless hiss. They did this at the expense of necessitating more output volume from your player. And they did it with the full knowledge that even the iPhone has a lot more clean and clear volume to give. And they even made sure you can keep the entire length of your post-y-split cable tidy. Check this out:
That’s good design.