By Chris Scott Barr

I spend a great deal of time sitting at my desk, which also means that I’m usually listening to music for a good portion of the day. In fact, unless I’m reading or watching TV, I’ve almost always got some tunes going. When it comes to my iPhone, I’ve still been using those same earbuds that Apple sent along in the box. They’re alright, but certainly not the best things out there. I suppose it’s laziness more than anything that has stopped me from upgrading. Needless to say, I was happy to see the Atrio M8 earphones from Future Sonics show up for review.

These aren’t the crappy earphones that you’re going to find at Walmart. Rather, they are considered “professional” grade audio equipment. The real question is whether or not they live up to the claims, and the $200 price tag. Read on for my full review, and I’ll give you my answer.

The first thing I’ll get out of the way is the technical specs:

  • drivers future sonics proprietary mg5pro™ dynamic
  • frequencies 18 Hz – 20,000 Hz truetimbre™ response
  • impedance 32 ohm
  • sensitivity 112 dB @ 30 Hz / 1 mW
  • rejection 26 dB +/- ambient noise rejection ™ (A.N.R.)
  • cable 1.3 m quietcables™ II with reduced microphonics
  • connector standard 3.5mm (1/8″) stereo mini-plug (gold)

As for accessories, you get a surprising amount of extras with these. There are two different types of earpieces that are included, so you can choose between the rubber sleeves or foam inserts. The rubber ones come in three different sizes, while only two sizes of foams (though you get two pair of each). You also have a cleaning stick and a nice case that holds all of the accessories and the earphones themselves.


It’s really nice that they include so many different options for  the earpieces, as I’ve always had issues with uncomfortable earphones in the past. I tried each of the included ones and settled on the the medium-sized rubber sleeves. In case you were wondering, the foam ones are inserted by squishing them between your fingers, then allowing them to expand inside of your ear.

On to sound quality. Regardless of any other aspect, this is by far the most important feature. I think that the Atrio earphones can be summed up in a single word; awesome. I spent a good deal of time collecting music from various genres just so I could really test the performance with a variety of sound. In the end, everything sounded perfect. The bass was rich and full while the highs were crisp and clean. The only complaint I could have was in the mids, they weren’t quite as impressive as the highs and lows, but it wasn’t anything that really stood out most of the time.


In the end, this is one of those products that you get what you pay for. I would definitely say that you get  $200 worth of quality here, and then some. Sure, there are more expensive earphones out there, but I really don’t think you’re going to do much better than the Atrio.

[ Future Sonics ]