Floyd Rose invented the tremolo for guitars in the late 70s. The Floyd Rose brand produces bridges, tremolos strings and tuners for guitarists. He's now turning his talents towards Bluetooth headphones and speakers. Rose is also an award winning sound engineer, guitarist, song writer and has toured in several bands.
The company contacted me and asked me to review the Bluetooth FR-36BK headphones. They retail for US$199.99.
Rose describes his headphones as '...delivering world-class sound combined with state-of-the-art high fidelity technology. We married unparalleled sound quality with luxury design. Delivering true balanced highs and lows for superior audiophile sound, the combination delivers flawless sound clarity and comfort for an amazing sound experience in personal audio. Using APTX CSR Audio Technology, these new FR-36BK Bluetooth Wireless/Wired cans boast 14 hours of continuous music on a full charge, meaning you won't have to be tethered to your playback device. A 40mm driver diameter and full 20Hz-20 KHz frequency responses gives a warm and accurate recreation of sound. 1.5 meter aux cable is included in case you would rather be wired-in. Cushioned ear cups with our custom designed headband offers superior comfort by contouring around the shape of your ear, delivering isolation from outside noise without adding bulk.'
The FR-36BKs fold compactly and come with a hard protective carrying case that custom fits the headphones for maximum protection. They are manufactured with all metal construction, are very comfortable to wear for long periods, includes 3.5mm wire for direct input to your music device, and answers phone calls automatically.
Let's see if the marketing matches the sound I heard.
I threw the Floyds into the musical deep end with Dudamel's new Zarathustra on DGG with the Vienna Philharmonic. The headphones handled the very wide dynamic range with ease. The musical presentation was interesting, clinical, but not unmusically so. Like using an expensive driver in the treble combined with a little Beats Generation 1 in the bass. The bass did not have the Beats bloat, but it did seem ramped up a little. It was very impressive at the opening of Zarathustra. It had me smiling as an auditor, not so much as a conductor, where the balance was skewed a little south.
Dudamel adds Till Eulenspiegel to Zarathustra. Probably Richard Strauss' greatest orchestral work, it was a delight to hear the myriad of inner lines courtesy of quality drivers and voicing and Gustavo Dudamel's very slow tempo. Even without a score in front of me, every counterpoint in this incredible musical Rondo was clear.
Vocals, like orchestral instruments, presented very well. I chose Billie Holiday (Lady in Satin) and her particular use of vibrato to test the headphones. 'Im a Fool to Want You' is beautifully heartfelt as a performance and the essence of her vibrato, which can overwhelm some speakers and headphones -- the wide vibrato can lose focus -- sounded wonderful.
Power button and volume controls are reached easily on the right ear cup. Pairing is quick and easy. The Bluetooth connection never dropped and was solid. The headband is padded and is adjustable to fit even my big head. I listened for hours at a time and forgot I had them on.
At this price point, they reach above it in sound quality and fit and finish. Soft furnishings feel very good on the ear and the metal trim is a very elegant touch. Purchase with confidence.
Further information: Floyd Rose