Disclaimer: The star in this weeks’ picture Sunday is the Whizzer A15. This post is a part of our Picture Sunday series.
It’s ridiculous that a 70$ earphone can totally blow the market wide open. 70$. 70$. 70$.
Of course, 70$ is probably a bit beyond the range most normies are willing to dish out on a bare hunch. And it’s from a company that not enough of us audiophiles are aware of, making it something of a punt for both groups.
But after getting enough DMs about the Whizzer Tec A15, I realised that there’s a good number of interested parties in the latter group. For my part, I’m entrenched enough in the first group to heartily discuss the merits of a an 70$ earphone- certainly least as it stacks up in the departments of: fit, build, accessories, and most of all, marketing.
My ears don’t get on with the A15, and that’s because of its cable. Its memory wire is too much and too thick. It flips up the ends of my glasses and loops strangely and uncomfortably around my head. Yet, this is the sort of quality cable you don’t see often in the A15’s price range. In fact, everything from the ear flanges to the carrying case, and the earphones themselves are built to a level or two beyond the A15’s asking price. In its targets are everyone from Grado to HiFiman to RHA and more. In fact the Whizzer A15 is, by way of comparison-per-dollar, far and away is better built and finished than at least one +1000$ earphone I’ve tried.
Which leaves me wondering the same things. Is the A15 designed for a normie wishing to punt a bit further up market than usual? Or, is it designed for an audiophile whose wreckless tendencies have turned downmarket? I have a hunch that at 100$, it would say more to both groups: to the normies that it is a luxury item; to the audiophiles, that it is a serious entry in an otherwise cheap chi-fi niche. It has the build and case, ear pieces, tools, and fit and finish that stymie earphones way up market from it. Why not ask for more?
It’s dry and thickish midrange is perfect for The Cure, Depeche Mode, and lots of great 80s music. Vocals aren’t quite bitey enough to stick up through clear and powerful lower and percussion. But the balance between lows and highs is good, if clearly v-shaped, and ready for pop music, but maybe a bit hot for trance and industrial electronic.
No matter which way you look at the Whizzer A15, it’s worth 70$- and (embarrassingly enough to many other earphones) then some. We’ll get into more detail at some point. For now, it’s enough to show you how well designed a 70$ earphone can be- for both normies and audiophiles, without perfectly targeting either.