Torque is the Quick Change Artist of In-Ear Headphones: Review

Torque is an innovative new pair of in-ear headphones that looks to cater to all discriminating audio tastes. While so many companies continue to pump out headphones and earphones ad nauseam, you have to give props to this new company for thinking outside the box – instead of offering more of the same thing to an already over saturated market, Torque are in-ear headphones that give consumers the option to swap between TorqueValves. These different valves are specifically tuned to reproduce different types of sound. Deep valve is tuned for a bass heavy experience, while the Clear valve is tuned to be more attune to crisp highs, and the Reference valve is designed to reproduce true to life sound. The TorqueValves are simply earbuds that unscrew from the body of the Torque headphones. Unscrew one TorqueValve for another and you get an entirely new listening experience.

Does customizing your pair of headphones above and beyond just changing its color or design, sound enticing? It should, because it actually works. We swapped out the bass heavy valves for the more balanced ones, and we could instantly hear a difference. The TorqueValves are tiny though and will require you to do your swapping on a table, just in case one goes running away. They also have to be screwed in pretty tight or the valve will get loose and will fall out of your ear. That did happen to us, so the next pair was screwed in much tighter. The TorqueValves are also pretty long and wide for smaller ear canals and may not be comfortable for everyone. And despite using the smallest included silicone ear tip, we found that the Torques could only be used for a max of 2 hours straight before it became painful.

The ability to swap little drivers around seems like a novel idea and is certainly very cool, but we weren’t all that blown away from the actual audio experience from any of the buds. The discerning ear could tell right away the difference in the sonics, and the overall listening experience is good, but average at this price-point. That said, the company is working on producing additional Valves, including one geared towards audiophiles.

Verdict

The Torque t103z In-Ear Headphones are a great idea and you are essentially getting 3 pairs of earphones for the price of one. Depending on your mood or music selection, you can heighten that listening experience perfectly. We haven’t been this intrigued with a pair of earphones in a long time, and once Torque gets those comfort issues worked out – they might have a chance of breaking the mold of what is becoming a very familiar industry. The Torque Premium In-Ear Headphones currently retails for $180 and includes 3 TorqueValves to get you started.

The Good: Original and fresh new concept. The ability to swap out different Valves gives consumers greater control over their listening experience. Quality materials. You are basically getting three pairs of headphones for the price of one.

The Bad: While the drivers are tuned to a specific sonic, the overall music experience will probably not satisfy audiophiles.

Easteregg: One of the founders of Torque was originally an Engineer at Monster Products.