Reveel Headphone Amp Review
Reveel Headphone Amp Review – Introduction
Vinyl enthusiasts like to point out that an acoustic recording is a physical document of an actual event; the grooves in a record represent the movements in the air during a live recording session, while MP3’s and digital files only capture the sounds that the software engineers chose to record in order to make the files smaller. Tiny headphones degrade the sound even further, but portable digital entertainment gizmos aren’t going away, and users are looking for ways to get modern gadgets to present their music in the best possible form. Fancier headphones are one method, but a new accessory called Reveel claims to increase the quality of audio for most mobile devices.
What is it?
The Reveel was unveiled at the Engadget Expand event last month, and it is a pocket-sized device about the size of a Chips Ahoy! cookie. It has a cable that plugs into the headphone jack of a media player, and then the user plugs their headphones into the Reveel. There’s a single off-on setting. The designers say it “Reveels” the intended audio quality of a recording, making it sound more like a live performance. Explosion tested it with a few audio devices, and on some portable gaming hardware too.
The first thing that users will notice is the boost to volume. Regardless of any other qualities, the Reveel increases the volume coming out of the device and can be used as a basic headphones amp even by users who don’t care about the other features.
When playing music there is a distinct difference in the sound quality. It’s subjective, but the tones are more even and have a richer sound. This effect could be heard in pop, rock & roll, and classical music on MP3 players. It also enhanced the ambient music in video games tested, especially orchestral scores like the mobile Dragon Age game which uses music composed for the console Dragon Age games.
The results are subtle and subjective but the Reveel works as promised. Songs sung acapella or with very little instrumentation have an even more pronounced effect. They come in clearer and the fuzz that accompanies spoken word on some music files is also less evident with the Reveel. This is handy for listen to audio books or folk music.
Gamers who want to use the Reveel while playing will find that it does make the soundtracks more pleasing, but this only applies to games with epic scores. The typical beeping and thumping music of many mobile games doesn’t benefit from Reveel, so it works best with games that have elaborate soundtracks. Another effect of the Reveel on games is that it balances out the sound effects, dialog and music.
It isn’t intended as a gaming or movie accessory, so players who are going through the more elaborate mobile games with dialog, music and gunfire playing simultaneously will need to increase the dialog volume if their game permits.
Reveel Headphone Amp Review – Conclusion
It’s easy to be skeptical of a product like the Reveel, but it delivers on its claims, even if it doesn’t have a Wow factor. It does come with a hefty price tag of $119.95, however audiophiles who are particular enough to appreciate these refined distinctions might find it a relatively cheap and portable alternative to bulky high-priced headphones.
- Improves sound quality for many forms of music
- Very portable
- Relatively cheap when compared to high-end headphones
- Effects are subtle and subjective
- Requires fiddling with sound settings for many games
- Pricey compared to basic headphone amps