With their idiosyncratic earpiece design, the Muzx Ultra mZx606 in-ears look like tiny black pistols firing music directly into your brain.

We found the fit a little unreliable, but four sizes are included so there's bound to be one that suits. The 'dual flange' removable cover (shaped like two nested cones) was most effective, sitting snugly in the canal. This achieved a deep position and noticeably better sound, and was less likely to drop out.

There's a smart-looking remote high up on the right-hand lead (it fits with a pleasing overall black-and-gold theme). The cable seemed weaker than that provided with most other headphones, and we were concerned by the fixed loop that sits behind the earpiece barrel, which looks snag prone. This design should reduce the strain on the connection with the earpiece, though.

Overall sound quality was excellent and entirely justified the relatively high price tag. Beginning with some prog rock, we found the Muzx phones surprisingly loud, so beware. The sound was rich and warm, with good breadth across the spectrum; the bass felt punchy without overshadowing any of the upper notes. To be picky, there was a slightly artificial feel‚ the word we kept thinking of was 'metallic' - to some of the guitar sections.

The phones really came into their own on our disco sample, mustering a bass kick with plenty of impact.

Female vocals were clear, with good clarity on the singer's enunciation, and there was a pleasing rendering of some fire effects. Classical piano was also a triumph, allowing the ear to separate out the different dubs of the piano and producing a realistic sound.

OUR VERDICT

Female vocals were clear, with good clarity on the singer's enunciation, and there was a pleasing rendering of some fire effects. Classical piano was also a triumph, allowing the ear to separate out the different dubs of the piano and producing a realistic sound.

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