Review: id-America Spark Earphones.

So many headphones and so little time. Yes, we do go through quite a fair share of such things at GS HQ, but that’s because we’re audio junkies. So when we found these beauties sitting on our step the other day, we were more than excited to give them a shot.

id-America is more known for their iPhone cases than anything. But the Spark in-ear phones are a new direction for the company, and one we hope that they succeed in.

Hop past the break and see if the id-America Sparks are your next pair of earphones or simply another pretty face…
 

The Specs, Build Construction & Style

Driver: High Performance 8mm Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 16 Ohm +/-15 %
Sensitivity: 96 dB +/-3 dB at 1 kHz
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Rated Power Input: 1 mW
Maximum Input Power: 5 mW
Cord Length : 3.9 ft / 1.2 m
Plug: 3.5 mm Plug
Weight : 0.4 oz / 13 g

Upon opening the box of the Sparks, the customer is given a very nice first impression. The headphones and accompanying accessories are all nicely wrapped and placed within the box. We’ll go as far as saying that the overall first impression and presentation are top notch for a $59.99 product.

The ear phones themselves are constructed out of lightweight, sturdy aluminum similar to several other mid-range earphones on the market. And like those competitors, the Sparks are beautiful to look at. On top of the awesome construction, id-America has given the entire Spark line a healthy assortment of colors.

Seriously, if looks alone were all we were after, we’d say the Sparks won already. Unfortunately, that’s where the good time stops.

Sound Quality

We were really (and we mean really) hoping the Sparks would have the audio qualities to back up their killer appearance. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

Like many earphones (and headphones in general), the Sparks are built to favor the low end. For music such s rap, hip/hop, dub step, electronic, etc, the Sparks were adequate in bass quantity. Quality, however, was lacking. Even on that music any high end frequencies were heavily suppressed. Add to that a narrow sound stage and you’ve got a pretty poor listening experience.

Venturing out to other types of music was even more disappointing. Running through Dave Matthews Band’s “Ku Krux King” as well as a couple of songs by “The Black Ghosts” was lifeless, muffled, and overall just terrible sounding. If we could come up with an easy way to describe it, we’d say it’s similar to going to a concert and putting your hands tightly over your ears. When you do that, you’ll notice that the highs and upper mid-range frequencies suffer the most. That’s what it was like with the Sparks.

We could go on about sound quality based on a per-artist basis, but really there’s no point.

Conclusion


At first we were wowed by the Sparks simply because they were shiny, sleek, and good looking. Unfortunately, the audio properties of the Sparks don’t do them any justice, and in our opinion, don’t justify even the lower-end $59.95 price tag. Are we a bit jaded with several higher-end pairs of earphones sitting around? Perhaps. But again, at the price point the Sparks compete at, they simply don’t compare. If you’re really looking in the ~$60 earphone market, take a look at the Vibrato Remix if you’re on the prowl for a decent ~$60 pair of earphones. If you can manage another $30-$40, check out the Shure SE215 which are pretty awesome for the price.

As they are now, we can’t recommend the Sparks. Their sound quality just isn’t up to our standards given the price.

More: id-America

Gadgetsteria’s Rating (Not an average): 4

  • Style: 8
  • Audio Performance: 3
  • Value: 5
   
  • wow

    wow not a single remark about how comfortable these are…. is this a serious review or what!

    • http://www.gadgetsteria.com The Gadgeteur

      That’s because they’re not that comfortable at all.