Listening to music is big business. And judging by the amount of advertising I see, you need the proper listening devices, with the right amount of flash and style to be able to get the best out of your listening experience. At least that’s what the high-end headphone market want you to believe. Enter the MAZE headphones from I-MEGO, headphones that want to take on the competition without all the hype.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
Although I-MEGO does try to put some flair and style into their products they also want to provide good listening experience. With that in mind the MAZE design is said to be a tribute to the good old days. Let’s hope that the sound quality lives up to the modern days.
The MAZE comes with the following accessories:
- Detachable 4ft audio cable with mic controller
- Audio adaptor (for Samsung, Nokia and Sony-Ericsson smartphones)
- 1/4″ (6.3mm) Hi-Fi adaptor
- Soft travel pouch
- Instruction booklet
The I-MEGO website shows the above frequency response chart for the MAZE and list the following technical specifications:
- Driver Diameter: 40mm x 2
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000Hz
- Sensitivity: 121 +/- 3dB
- Impedance: 32ohms
- Cable: Detachable 1.2m cable
- Connector: 3.5mm gold-plated stereo plug
- Controller: In-line microphone
The I-MEGO website also has the following “Product Highlights” listed for the MAZE
- Semi-transparent “vinyl record” like deco plate with a metal slider that simulate the tone arm
- High performance neodymium 40mm drivers, designed at 30% thinning than a normal speaker to maximizing the air cabinet volume, and resulted in better low-end response
- Provides a very special “Live!” sound that allows the audience a unique on-stage concert audio
- Includes a detachable audio cable with microphone that allows the listener to take calls or control the music
- Sunglass style folding mechanism
The left side of the MAZE has the input jack for the removable, included cable.
The right side of the MAZE has no inputs but as you can see from the picture it shows the retro design that is supposed to remind you of a vinyl record with the swing arm over it, I can kind of see that.
The head bar of the MAZE has a leather like (I am not sure what the material is) material covering it with the MAZE name on it. The top is padded both on the bottom and the top.
The ear cups for the MAZE are well padded and covered with the same leather or leather like material as the head bar. They are plenty soft and comfortable when worn.
The included cable for the MAZE has a built-in microphone for use when connected to your smart device. The mic has one button that is used for answering calls, ending calls, pausing and starting your music and scanning and skipping music tracks. The button works, but for your music features (other than pausing and skipping to the next track) it can be tricky. I did test the MAZE while using my iPhone, while I could hear the other caller loud and clear, I had to adjust the mic on the cable (basically hold it towards my mouth) for them to hear me clearly. Seeing as this is an added feature it is not a deal breaker or problem for me..
The MAZE headphones are considered “on ear” headphones, meaning they sit on your ears not over them. The fit and adjustability are very good. They were initially comfortable to wear, but I did find that when I wore them for more than 3 hours they started to irritate my ears. This is not to say this is an issue with the headphone as much as an issue with my ears. The inner padding for the head bar was more than adequate and help provide a comfortable fit. The Maze are mainly constructed of plastic and metal, they feel solid for the weight, which is not too heavy in my opinion. When adjusting the ear cups the slider clicks into place and providea a secure hold.
I tested the MAZE two ways, the first was the normal connected to my iPhone 5. The sound quality was great, the depth was good and unlike my main Bluetooth headphones I seemed to get a richer fuller sound (in my experience there is some signal degradation when using Bluetooth). If you have seen some of my other headphone reviews you will know that I am not a big fan of mega bass boosted headphones. Don’t get me wrong, I like bass when it’s appropriate but it is not always appreciated when I am listening to the classics. The MAZE headphones have a nice balance in my opinion, so thumbs up to I-MEGO for that. On the MAZE web page they mention “Live1” sound for a unique experience, I don’t know if my hearing is sophisticated enough to pick that feature out, but as I said previously I do like the sound. The second way I tested/used the MAZE was with my gaming system. This is where I had long-term (2-3 hours plus) use of the headphones. Again I must say the sound quality was good. I will note that I did not use them for in-game chat so I cannot speak the gaming chat quality, but let’s be real, the MAZE are not designed for gaming. That being said, phones and tablets are being used more and more for gaming and multi-media type functions and it is nice to see the MAZE can hold their own in this arena.
A trend in today’s headphone market is portability and the MAZE deliver on that as well. Similar to other headphones on the market today the MAZE fold using what their web page describes as a “sunglass style folding mechanism”, basically they fold into themselves. When folded they fit into the nice, provided neoprene carrying case. The case and folding ability are great for traveling and the case adds some protection from scratches and minor dings.
So, what’s my bottom line here? The MAZE headphones are not some over priced, over bass headphones. The sound quality is good and the price is nice. To me they are a mid level type of headphone with a price to match. Sound wise they can’t compete with a lot of high-end headphones, but I would not expect them to. The only issue I had with the MAZE was their ability to handle high volumes. With some of my metal type music, I could tell they were reaching their limits when the music was starting to distort at higher volumes. At $139.99 from the I-MEGO web site I don’t think your average user could go wrong with the MAZE headphones. I guess what I am trying to say without showing my age is, if you were to give these headphones to a teenager they would probably give them a pass because they are not big name and mega bass boosted. On the other hand if you give these headphones to someone a little older who appreciates decent sound quality, they would be more than happy with them.
Source: The sample for this review as provided by I-MEGO. Please visit their site for more info.