The Atomic Floyd MiniDarts are the latest piece of ear-candy for the avid music listener. These in-ear headphones will look like someone shot a bullet into each of your ears and rightly so, since they will indeed be shooting pure sonic joy into your canals.
The Atomic Floyd MiniDarts consists of my favorite colors, red, black and silver. Even when you look at the packaging you realize you are getting something special. When you open the box, inside you will find the MiniDarts, a stiff oval leather case that holds two additional silicone earbuds, a DJ Jack, and an airplane adapter.
The MiniDarts resemble a small bullet in shape with fine metal grooves and they are extremely lightweight in the palm of your hand. I find the Atomic Floyd MiniDarts to be super comfortable to wear. I was able to select a size of silicone tips that fit comfortably in my ear, and the tips, combined with the weight of the earbuds create just the right amount of pressure in your ear. As a matter of fact, these are amongst the most comfortable pair of in-ear headphones I’ve ever used. Also, the MiniDart’s construction feels solid, however the cable that runs from the headphones to the remote portion of the MiniDarts is plastic and does feel a bit flimsy. Fortunately, the second part of the cabling that runs from the remote to your device is made of fabric and feels much stronger, it just seems odd that they didn’t make all of the cabling fabric.
The remote is quite attractive too as it looks more like a piece of jewelry on the headphones rather than an actual remote. Using the remote, with the a single press you can answer calls or stop or resume music. Press the remote’s button down for more than a few seconds and you’ll access the voice control on an iPhone 4. Press it twice, and it will skip to the next song. Press it three times and it will play the previous song. Unfortunately, the remote can not be used to control the volume the way you can on Monster’s ControlTalk and on many other premium headphones with mics.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect with the Atomic Floyd MiniDarts. This was the first time I had ever tested a pair of headphones from this company. But right off of the bat, for the price I expected the listening experience to blow me away. I tested the headphones on different genres of music as well as several different bit rates. The clarity of the treble was impressive and there was no noise when I turned up the volume. The high-end stayed crisp and clear and not once did the MiniDarts exhibit any static sound. Noise isolation was also pretty solid as I was able to block out most of the noise around me while listening to the headphones.
The MiniDarts excelled at bit rates of 320kbps but didn’t do half bad on the typical 128kbps or 192kbps files you would typically listen to on your iPhone, iPod, etc… Sound is crisp and clear, however the low end isn’t as intense as I expected it to be. Overall, sound reproduction is nice and balanced but the high-end is certainly much more prominent than the low-end. This is the case on songs ranging from Katy Perry to P. Diddy, where treble shined, but bass waned.
Using the MiniDart’s mic, incoming calls were crisp and clear and many callers on the other end couldn’t believe I was using a headset to talk to them. It sounded to others on the other side of the call, like I was talking directly into the handset rather than through a pair of headphones. They also didn’t hear much ambient noise from passing cars or other typical city noises.
Overall, the Atomic Floyd MiniDarts are a well made, comfortable to wear and extremely stylish pair of headphones. These in-ear headphones excel at high-end reproduction but are a bit weak when reproducing the low-end. However, while sound is balanced and rich sounding, the weak bass leaves much to be desired especially for the price. The long line of In-Ear headphones from beats by dr. dre still hold the the crown for intense bass reproduction. But if you aren’t into banging bass in your ear and enjoy the more sublime high-end output then you are in luck because the MiniDarts certainly excel in that department. In this respect, to each their own. While both my co-editor and I love these headphones in terms of comfort and style, they would be the perfect pair for me if they had more bass. On the other hand, my co-editor doesn’t like having too much bass in a pair of in-ear headphones, so for her, the MiniDarts are the perfect pair. So in other words, if you are more of a bass lover, then you may want to look elsewhere. But either way the Atomic Floyd MiniDarts are definitely in a league of their own. The Atomic Floyd MiniDarts are currently available only online at the Apple Store in the UK and retail for £149.95 ($237.00 USD).
The Good: Solid construction. Very stylish and will appeal to both men and women. Comfortable to wear and will stay put in your ears. Excels at high-end output. Mic works excellently on calls. Remote offers music controls plus call answer/end.
The Bad: Bass reproduction is not that impressive. Included case only holds extra silicone tips not headphones. No volume controls. Pricey.