Fit, Feel, and Function:
For testing purposes, I will be using my android based smartphone, as this will allow me to evaluate the inline controls for mic and voice calls. Connecting the headphones to my smartphone was as easy as plugging it into the 3.5mm jack. I began fitting the headphones to my head, which I would say is slightly larger than normal. I was able to find an adjustment that fit me just fine and the lack of oscillation with the ear pucks didn’t pose as much of a detriment as I originally suspected. The tension in the headband seemed to be spot on, not too loose…not too tight. This translated well for the pressure ultimately applied to the ears of the “on the ear” design. After properly adjusted for my head, I have to say the T.N.T headphones really are remarkably comfortable (and I am not a big fan of on the ear headphones). If they didn’t ride on the ear, I would almost believe you could forget your wearing them, which is a goal all headphones shoot for and rarely achieve. Kudos to Subjekt for getting almost there.
The soft leather material used on the ear pucks is surprisingly forgiving and comfortable. Is also does a great job of sealing against “outside” noise, which is something that often plagues on the ear headphones. Unfortunately, this type of material isn’t conducive to airflow, and so individuals, such as myself, may experience a bit of “hot ear” after prolonged use. This is unfortunately one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations, where it’s difficult to seal against outside noise and allow for airflow at the same time. What saves these headphones in this case is the on the ear design, at least your whole ear isn’t sealed in.
When it comes to “function”, I was surprised to see these headphones include a mic for integration with voice calls on your smartphone. Unfortunately, I was also surprised to find there was zero documentation on how the single button inline control is used to control the play, pause, take call, and make call functions. After some time with trial and error, I was able to figured it out, but it would have been nice if Subjekt included “some” help here, to ensure that users new to this concept can jump right in. Moving onto Microphone quality, it’s pretty impressive. With the mic inline, I was having 90’s flashbacks of having to hold the mic next to my mouth, but I didn’t have to resort to this during a single call.
Lastly, we come to the sound quality delivered by the single 40mm driver in each ear puck. In short, these headphones exceeded my expectations for sure. The T.N.T low profile headphone bucks the trend that bigger is better, and really does deliver on the marketing promise of “Deceptively Small….Sonically Explosive”. The bass response with these small on the ear headphones is very impressive…and it’s here I may have actually said “wow” out loud. You’re probably thinking, so the bass response is good…the highs have to be muddy then, well they’re not (how’s that for definitive???). The balance between highs and lows is impressively tight. Subjekt really has managed to squeeze a rich sound experience out of headphones that have a pretty small footprint.