Review: Future Sonics G10 – Bassy Done Right

Disclaimer: Future Sonics sent me the Future Sonics G10 free of charge. It goes for 219$ USD. You can find all about it here: Spectrum Series G10.

In 2007 I hit up Scandinavia for the last time as a bachelor. I went with my mum, my dad, and a pair of Future Sonics Atrio, the latter which were weighed down by a Cowon D2, the former which were weighed down by me. It was a great trip. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are incomparably beautiful in the summer. I, on the other hand, am not. And not much has since changed. I still love trance. I still am prematurely greying (though once just the temples has grown all the way into my chest). Likewise, in intervening 8 years, Future Sonics have kept things remarkably on the down low.

On paper, their new G10 looks like this:

Spec

NEW G10™ 10mm Proprietary Dynamic Drivers
18 Hz – 20,000 Hz Frequency Response
32ohm Impedance
Sensitivity 113db @ 30 Hz/1mW
Up to -29db Ambient Noise Rejection (A.N.R™)
50″ / 1.27m Reduced Microphonics Cabling
Standard 1/8″ (3.5mm) Gold Stereo Mini-Plug Connector
1 Year Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty
Ultra-Wide Spectrum Audio
Reinforced Tubular Strain Relief
Intuitive Thumb Placement Design (LT & RT)
Micro-Profile & Ultra-Lightweight Design
100% Armature & Crossover Free Technology
Multiple Fit Options

Build

The biggest change is skin deep: Atrios came in either black or blue; thus far, the G10 is grey. The Atrios had a long, rubbery, and crack-prone neck, the G10 makes do with hard rubber lead that’s made for the long haul. The twisted cable is new, and, at first glance, is strong. With a bit of centrifugal force, you can stretch it between your fists. Will it survive multiple Japanese summers? Is it stronger than the also stretchy Who knows, it may be as tough as other cables. If it isn’t, what do I do? I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Apart from the cable, I’m pretty happy. Like Atrios, the G10 isn’t pretty, but at least this time, its grey body doesn’t quickly scuff up. As I said above, its stress reliefs are better. Its neck cinch is as sturdy as are most industrial y-splits. Its thin profile plug should work with most smartphone cases.

the G10 airs out its 10mm driver with single ports per channel between the stress relief and the flanged driver cap. Its seams are noticeable. Greasy finger prints are hard to rub away. It appears sturdy, but in no way does it compare to the indestructible and finely tooled Echobox X1 Finder. But it is on par with many other plastic earphones.

What isn’t on par is the quality of its finish. The G10 bristles with plastic spurs, wavy lines, and other small imperfections. When I think of plastic, I think of mass market. And today, that mass market is largely wrapped up by high-quality finish. In 2015, we should expect better finish from a +200$ earphone.

That said, the G10 completely and utterly embarrasses Kennerton Audio anything, many of which run up much higher prices at the till. 

Fit

The G10’s low profile design has a few benefits: it goes in flat and keeps a low profile inside the ear. Assuming you find the right angle, it fits securely and comfortably. It won’t fit flat enough for comfortable side-sleeping, but by and large, it disappears. Of course, flush fit depends on you using low-profile ear tips. Either the black or yellow foamies, for instance do the trick. The dual flanged tips are another matter entirely.

One fly in the ointment is the G10’s wide diameter driver cap, which may not fit ears whose canals are narrow. Not that its rounded edges hurt, but they can run obliquely against your skin, precluding firm fit. I have no problem with them. Naturally, your mileage will vary.

The G10 can be worn both up and down. Either way is secure. Partly because the cable isn’t prone to overt microphonics, partly because the neck cinch alleviates a large portion of residual noise, the G10 adequate for the active commute. But it will make a few noises.

A nice touch are the divots that fall perfectly under the thumb, making it difficult to mix up left and right channels, even in the dark.

The G10 comes with a large, and lumpy carrying case, a wax cleaner, a bunch of grey foamies, a single set of yellow foamies, and some dual flanges in S, M, and L sizes. It’s a pretty well-rounded set. The yellow foamies are gems. In fact, they transform the Ultrasone IQ from something exotic into something generally palatable, if not perfect for trance.

Future Sonics suggest that the G10 attenuates up to 29dB of ambient noise. I’m not sure about that. You’d have to have the tiniest ear canals that squish the sound tubes just right, and compress the ear tips enough to cause pain. The G10 attenuates well enough, but not as well as an Ultrasone IQ, which, in these ears, doesn’t come close to attenuating 29dB.

Sound impressions follow on the next page or after the click HERE:

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

7 Comments

  • Reply November 26, 2015

    Ant

    Nice review! How does the sound quality compare to the echobox x1?

    • Reply November 27, 2015

      ohm image

      That’s too broad a question. And comparing the actual quality (ability of each to stand against industry-accepted metrics) of each isn’t something any normal reviewer I know is set up for. That’s a job requiring many tens of thousands of dollars of microphones, damping, silent boxes, custom computers and of course, audio analysers.

      As to subjective opinion, it’s pretty obvious from the reviews: the X1 is contrasty, the G10 is bassy but clear.

  • Reply December 22, 2015

    Aladdin Tarakji

    how do these compare with the rha t20, and the sennheiser ie80. Disregarding price, which one of the 3 has the best sound? thanks!

    • Reply January 18, 2016

      ohm image

      Sorry, I don’t have either Sennheiser IE80 or the RHAT20.

      That said, it is probably really important to stress what it is that you are looking for in your music. Bass? treble? mids? And do you like sharp or smooth? Space? I’m sure people can help you but without some help from you, I think we can’t help you find an earphone that meets your criteria.

      • Reply January 19, 2016

        Aladdin Tarakji

        I’m looking for an energetic IEM, mainly for EDM, pop, and dance (not classical or jazz basically). Something along the lines of neutral, with good bass presence and soundstage. Main thing is the energy though. My only requirement is that I don’t want over the ear cable design (shure, westone etc). Like I tried the rha t20 and loved the sound (that’s what i’m looking for i think), but the over-ear design and bulky cable didn’t work for me. So comfort is a huge priority. Using Bang & Olufsen H3’s right now and while they’re amazing, I’m looking for an upgrade, with a similar sound signature I think. Trinity deltas sounded perfect, but too large of a housing lol smh. something under $400, with energy, comfort, and not the over the ear cable design.

        Thanks a bunch!

        • Reply January 21, 2016

          ohm image

          My internet was down for two days. I’m sorry I am again late (it’s getting better though).

          The G10 isn’t energetic if you mean treble energy, but it is well resolved up top. And, the G10, while wearable down, is best up. Why? Its shape precludes it from really going into the ear unless worn up. I suppose some ears will fit well with it down, but very probably most will not. The G10 is much less bulky and heavy feeling than the T20.

          I’m not sure how else to help you. I hope you find what you’re looking for.

  • Reply August 8, 2016

    Mike

    I just returned the RHA, first the 750’s & then the T20’s purchasing the Future Sonics G10. I’m in Love with these, I play drums so I need & desire that Bass low end Punch & natural clean Highs, plus these are super light & Comfy.
    The RHA (although definitely much prettier In Ears than the G10’s) the Highs where just too much for me (Hurt, piercing, fake sounding) & the Lows lacking plus they are bulky/heavy.
    Future Sonics (G10) sound Amazing, Natural highs, & Serious low/mid end Clean Punch.
    Perfect fit & most importantly sound for what I Like. Plus NOBODY paid me to write this, I paid full price 🙂

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