Just when I thought that I’d seen almost everything with regard to high-end headphones, along come the Torque t402v Premium Customizable On-Ear and Over-Ear Headphones to show me that I know nothing, Jon Snow.
The idea is pretty simple — Torque headphones have ear cups that can be swapped out to make them either on-ear or over-ear. That’s cool in and of itself, but like the late night infomercials say, wait there’s more!
Out of the box, the t402v’s have a distinctive style with a black padded headband and adjustable length aluminum ends.
The square-shaped earcups have swiveling and rotating brushed aluminum backs; the swiveling is really noticeable when no ear pads are on at all, but whether the on-ear or over-ear pads are used, the swiveling feature allows the cups to properly hug your head or ear.
• new 40mm proprietary bio-cell membrane diaphragm transducers
• patent pending modi:fi technology allows 4 adjustable low-frequency setting
• includes on-ear and over-ear ear-pads
• professional grade SoftRide memory foam for comfort
• 4 way stretch lux vinyl enhanced seal
• 3 way articulation for ergonomic fit
• spring steel reinforced headband for durability
• polyurethane internal damper plate for resonance reduction
• oxygen free copper conductor for improved signal conductivity
• detachable 1.4m extra long reinforced mylar shielded cable
• right angle 3.5mm stereo input
• in-line iOS compatible remote to control your music
• microphone for phone and voice commands
• 2 year warranty (when purchased from authorized dealer)
That flash of orange gasket is really only visible when the ear cups are removed.
These are the four included ear cups; two for on-ear, and two for over-ear.
Note that there are four magnets on each ear piece — they connect to the removable and rotatable on-ear or over-ear cups.
Each ear cup is color code on its inside. While your first instinct might be to install the cup so that the seam is facing toward the bottom, but by doing so you’d be missing the trick that makes the Torque t402v truly unique. You see, whichever way you spin the ear cup before attaching it defines the sound that you will get from the headphones.
• Turn the ear cup so that yellow is at the top of the ear, and you will get the most bass.
• Turn the ear cup so that black at the top, and you will get the least amount of bass.
• Turning the ear cups so that blue or red are at the top will give you settings in-between the yellow and black extremes.
The idea is so simple and so brilliant.
With the 2.5″ wide by 1″ thick on-ear cups installed, the Torque t402v headphones sit, as the name implies, comfortably on ear. The Torque t402v are not overly heavy headphones, although they do have a nice weight. The padded headband allows them to rest very comfortably on the top of your head, and the cups don’t squeeze too tightly. Although these aren’t billed as travel headphones, when in on-ear mode they are somewhat portable, and they are comfortable enough to wear on long flights.
The 3.75″ wide by 1.25″ thick over-ear cups are incredibly comfortable — which they should be at this size. While the Torque t402v are not noise cancelling headphones, the larger cups definitely add some sound isolation. I can’t see myself using them out of the house, because the cups are so big, but at home while working and listening to music they are perfect for me.
The 1.4m reinforced mylar shielded cable has a built-in iOS remote, which allows you to answer calls and hang up, toggle volume up and down, and pause, play, forward or reverse through songs.
The sound produced by the Torque t402v headphones without any ear cup tweaking is excellent; it’s crisp, pure, and comparable to the more high-end headphones I’ve tried. Whether it’s rap, alternative, classical, or pop, music played through the Torques sounds fantastic. Even so, I have to admit that part of the fun of wearing them is that I can twist the ear cups to change the bass depending upon my mood and the type of music I’m listening to. If I want to crank up the bass on Miiike Snow’s Genghis Khan, I can. If I need to tone it back on a more bass-heavy song like The Presets’s Kicking and Screaming, I can. This is a level of customization I’ve never enjoyed without teaking an equalizer, and I like it! I’ve got to where I am proficient in twisting the ear cups around without removing the headphones from my head; file that under “useless party tricks”, but still. 😉
At almost $400, the Torque t402v headphones are definitely inching into the “true audiophile” price range, but if you have the cash to spare, and you want a pair of headphones that not only sound fantastic they can be totally customized for whatever music or listening situation you want to throw at them, these are the pair!
The Torque t402v Premium Customizable On-Ear and Over-Ear Headphones retail for $399.95, and they are available directly from the manufacturer and from Amazon [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Comfortable headphones that can be either on-ear or over-ear with the switch of the ear cups; Sound produced is exceptional; Bass can be tweaked by rotating the ear cups until you get the sound that you want; Solid design with aluminum touches
What Needs Improvement: Nothing