Pros: Bass quality and quantity, isolation, microphonics, lightweight
Cons: Mids, highs, comfort (variable), design elements
Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 8.5/10
Design & Look: 8/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 9/10
Sound Quality: 8.5/10
My final Rating: 8.5/10
Review Date: August 2015
Review Price: £150
First of all I would like to thank Future Sonics for sending me out the Future Sonics Spectrum Series G10 for review. More information about the earphones can be found on Future Sonics’ website.
The G10 can be found on AmazonUK for £150 and on AmazonUSA for $200.
After having reviewed the Future Sonics Atrio M5 with MG7 Driver, I got extremely intrigued with the announcement of the G10. I actually got notified by it by a follower on twitter!
What the MG7s had was a unique sound signature that till this day had earned them the titled of the “Sub-Bass Kings” – one of the best earphones for EDM music, due to their relatively low mid-bass impact and their sensational sub-bass response, which coupled with their decent mids made them an excellent buy, especially at their (reduced) price of £60. The biggest problem the MG7s had was their overall soundstage and somewhat lack of emphasis in the mid-range. I was therefore curious to see how the G10s would compare, almost 3 years on.
Here’s my video review of the G10s:
Let’s get into this written review!
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging and accessories haven’t really changed all that much since the MG7s, in fact there was a lack of additional foam tips included over the MG7s contents, which is a shame. Inside the G10s package you’ll find:
- The G10 earphones
- S, M, L dual flange silicone tips
- S, 2xM, L foam tips
- Cleaning tool
- Hard carrying case
It was disappointing not to find a soft carrying pouch, nor a set of normal silicone tips. In my history of reviewing earphones, I’ve always found the dual/triple flange tips uncomfortable and in this case, it was a shame that Future Sonics didn’t include normal tips. To top it off, the foam tips included are the cheaper variant of foam tips you can find – they aren’t as soft as Comply’s foam tips for example, nor are they actually rounded off, and are instead just cylinder tips – despite this not seeming like much, in terms of comfort the aren’t comfortable as they aren’t shaped properly and therefore don’t give you the most comfortable experience whilst being in-ear.
Overall the package and its contents are average, but a little disappointing considering it’s been near 3 years and nothing has changed – if anything tips have been removed from the G10s packaging.
The build quality of the G10 is good, however is not quite perfect.
First of all, the earphones are terminated by a right-angled gold plated 3.5mm jack.
The cable itself is completely braided from top to bottom, which is a nice touch by Future Sonics. In terms of cable noise (microphonics), the G10s impressed me, by not having a lot of cable noise, which is always good when it comes to portability. The beauty of the G10s, unlike the more one-way MG7s, is that the G10s can be worn both over-the-ear and straight down.
Whilst wearing the earphones over-the-ear, all minimal microphonics are completely eliminated.
Speaking about the cable I’m not always a huge fan of braided cables, simply because over time they start to unwind and often can break easily by being snagged.
Now moving up the cable to the earphones’ housing, it’s nice to see a good looking design being used, which is a brushed aluminium look. Due to the housing of the earphones being made out of plastic, the earphones are lightweight and therefore can be worn for long periods of time without having to worry about them – I can see myself using these in the gym for example.
Speaking of the housing I was a little disappointed with the lack of a real clear left and right indicator. The “L” and “R” markings are quite faint and are the same colour of the strain relief meaning it’s hard to see them in sunlight, let alone in the dark.
Overall the build quality isn’t spectacular, but it’s nice to see an improvement over the MG7s which had a real cause for concern with their cable. It’s also good to see that Future Sonics fixed the short Y-split cable, which would previously mean that the MG7s were uncomfortable to wear over-the-ear, due to the cable being very close to your neck.
Design, looks, comfort and isolation
The looks of the earphones are very nice – they’re not trying to be too over the top with their design, however it’s a huge improvement over the MG7s which looked like cheap plastic toys!
As mentioned above, it would have been better if the G10s had some sort of better left and right indicator – which would have changed the look a little, but for me it would have been a positive improvement.
The isolation, very much like its younger brothers the MG7s, was incredibly well done! Despite their reasonably low-profile design, they mange to block out a lot of sound, be it through their silicone tips or their foam ones.
For a universal fitting earphone that isn’t grossly oversized, it’s pleasantly surprising to have great isolation with the G10s!
Now the comfort was something I mentioned previously, and to me these aren’t earphones I would personally feel comfortable wearing for a long time. Now this hasn’t to do with the cable, nor its weight, which to me are both perfect for long listening periods. It has more to do with the tips that are provided – they simply aren’t comfortable to me. The silicone dual flange tips have and will always feel like they’re carving the inside of my ears, whereas the foam tips felt odd as they weren’t properly rounded off.
My comfort would have greatly increased if there were a greater amount of tips included within the package – sure enough I can get my own tips, like I did when I had the MG7s, but that’s besides the point, as I review what you get in the box, not external, additional purchases you can make.
Therefore the comfort will really depend on your experience with the foam tips and the dual flange tips, however for me, they really weren’t something I enjoyed – I can understand it’s subjective, but I’m sure I won’t be the only one, and at £150, I would expect a set of earphones to come with a greater array of tips that fit a wider demographic.
Now the sound quality was something that was really intriguing to me, as in my head it had to live up and surpass the MG7s capabilities in almost every way – not only because of it’s additional £90 price tag over the MG7s, but also because it has been over 3 years since Future Sonics produced a real universal contender in the market – so the G10s had a lot to live up to.
As with any earphone I gave them a good amount of burn-in, probably near around 100hrs or so. My initial impressions, as I unboxed the earphones were that they were very bass heavy – this really did correlate to my end thoughts too – even after burn-in the G10s were ridiculously heavy in bass, but at least opened up in the mids and highs with the additional burn-in I gave them.
The low-end is definitely up there with one of the best earphones I’ve ever reviewed. There are very few earphones that really come close for both the mid-bass slam and control and the sub-bass extension. The MG7s are up there with some of the best, like the CKS77 and the Sennhesier IE800, which are both excellent in their bass reproduction.
The G10 is probably the best of the best – where the mid-bass has a ridiculously large amount of slam, but yet has absolutely perfect control. There are very few earphones that have a large amount of mid-bass, whilst also having perfect control in the low-end frequencies. For example, even the IE800s don’t have a lot of mid-bass slam, but because of this have absolutely perfect reproduction of the mid-bass frequency.
However, the mid-bass “anyone can do”, which generally speaking when a consumer picks up a set of earphones will listen out to the mid-bass, which gives off the impression an earphone can do bass well, but it’s not until you listen out closely for the sub-bass extension, where you can really judge an earphones’ capability. In this case, the G10 absolutely perfects the sub-bass frequencies – not only does it extend, but it does so at such a perfect pace and length that it really leaves you wanting more. The MG7s to me were the “sub-bass kings”, but it’s safe to say that their older brothers the G10s now take that title, and even the “best basshead earphone” one at it too!
It’s safe to say the lows of the G10s are one of the best, if not the best in the world – especially considering it has only a single 10mm dynamic driver in each ear.
Moving on to the important mids – which to me were disappointing, but to be expected with such a heavy pounding mid-bass. Due to the large amount of mid-bass slam, the mids were greatly affected – despite not being recessed, the earphones were V-shaped, meaning the earphones sounded warm and more so overwhelmed by the amount of bass. It’s a shame really, as I would have much preferred a little less emphasis on the mid-bass and more mid-range cohesion. This would have made it a cheap-mans IE800, where the mids would have been a lot more transparent and upfront, whilst the lows remain perfect.
The highs, were extremely similar, if not a little worse than the MG7s. This came again from the overwhelming nature of the mid-bass, which left out that little bit of sparkle on the high-end frequencies. This was different from the MG7s, as they focused solely on the sub-bass, meaning the mids and highs could shine through a little better. It’s clear it wasn’t as present with the mids, due to the new G10s having a different, more capable driver, however it still remains that the highs were affected in the process. I would have liked to hear a bit more sparkle and less of a roll off in the highs.
The MG7s biggest problem, among some of the build quality issues, was the soundstage – where they just didn’t sound that open, nor felt like an earphones with any width or depth to them. I am happy to report that the soundstage of the G10s has greatly improved – where there is a sense of space in the earphone’s housing. This also meant that the earphones also had better width and depth to them, which all meant that the instrument separation was also improved.
In a nutshell, the soundstage had improved over the MG7s, I still wouldn’t say it’s as open and wide as I would like it to be, but it’s still a huge improvement over the MG7s and is perfectly acceptable given its price tag.
Sound Quality Ratings
Conclusion & Closing Thoughts
Overall, it’s clear to see that Future Sonics have improved the previously popular MG7s and created the G10s, it’s however a little a shame that they decided to go for such a bass heavy earphone – which means in comparison to something like the DUNU Titan 1, or even to the other extreme, the VSonic GR07 MK2, the G10s simply cannot compete at that level, where the two aforementioned earphones provide a much better overall sound quality. If the mid-bass of the G10s was toned down, and the mids shined through a little better, we could have had one of the best earphones under £150. However, due to their emphasis in the mid-bass region, it’s safe to say that these are basshead earphones, which if you are one, shouldn’t even think twice before purchasing them, as they will literally rock your world.
I would definitely recommend these to any basshead out there, and would be cautious about recommending these to anyone that’s looking for an earphones that’s capable of all.
Hope you enjoyed my review!
Nice to finally see a full review!
Kind of disappointed to read that the mids remain the weakest part, like the old Atrio. I used to be a basshead too, that’s why I first bought the Atrio, but as I grew older I’ve become more interested in something flatter with fuller mids and more sparkling highs. So I guess I can probably skip on the G10. Would still love to try it by myself though, if the price is right.
And I absolutely agree about the lack of tips selection. I love those foams, they took a while for me to get used to them, but I think they sound better than Comply tips, although not as comfortable. Those bi-flanges… too big.
Yeah I became the same as you – someone who prefers a more flatter sound – but I can’t quite say I like a completely neutral/flat sound though!