Sleek-Audio SA6 Earphones 6

Sleek-Audio SA6 Earphones Review

Performance & Durability »

Closer Examination

This is the SA6 in all its glory. The sleek looking body of the earphones and the cable mounting system gives them a very special look. It is evident that Sleek-Audio has gone for a stylish or maybe even gem kind of look with the chromed coverings. The rather odd shape of the housing reminds me a bit of an old style electrical drill. Even though the cable termination looks quite bulky compared to the earphone it is actually quite small and tough. When you have them in your ears you will not notice the cable connector or the swivel system.

The earphones only look that odd when you have them in your hand or on the desk. Once they are in you can barely notice the chrome housing cover. The SA6 logo is completely invisible even with the earphones inserted half-way in. Fully inserted, much of the body disappears behind the ear flap.

With the bass port removed you can actually catch a few views of the back of the balanced armature.

The soft dual flange tips provided with the SA6s are really a small engineering masterpiece. They are easy to insert and do not feel as awkward wearing like some of the silicone tips on competing products. I was able to get a really good seal right from the start because the flanges are thinner and therefore they tend to fill out your ear canal more easily. The Sleek-Audio dual flange ear pieces are supplied in three different sizes, right from something I would call large to really tiny. A problem I have is that the ideal size for me would be something in between the medium sized one and the small. Even though it is not perfect, the seal is still impeccable.

Above you can see a SA6 completely dismantled. The bass port is quite easy to pull out and put on again, however, removing the treble tube is not that hassle free. Each of the treble tubes has two extruded grooves that sort of snap into place once you have pushed them on. This means that you have to pull them away from the earphone quite forcefully until this lock-like mechanism gives way.

The mini jack connector on the SA6s is of the right angled type and is gold plated. The jack is rock solid and has a little chrome back plate for show off. It is clear that Sleek-Audio has done everything in their power to make it more durable. The way the cable exits the housing is through a massive rubber sleeve that also acts as a tension relief.

The cable has a Y-split which means that both cables running to the earphones have the exact same length. The length of the split can be adjusted by moving a little slider up and down the cable.

Since the cables are detachable and can be turned around for over-the-ear-wearing the plug on the headphone end is quite unique and like the rest of the earphone really small. The fact that the cable can be turned around 360 degrees means that you can both have the cable running over your ear or just plain down like ordinary earbuds. Depending on what style you like, you can manipulate the angle in which the cable sticks out relative to the body of the earphones. I find this feature quite neat to have because it enables me to wear the cable over the ears with it pointing a bit forward, clearing the ear without rubbing against the lower part of my front ear flap.

Above you can see a small compilation of in-ear tips. The three near the bottom are the ones supplied with the SA6s. Above from the left you can see the three different single flange tips from Ultimate Ears and then their dual flange and a foam one. The two rightmost tips are two different lengths of the same Comply foam tip which are used on Westone earphones. The tips are really easy to exchange and seem to be made of a really though and soft kind of silicone. The great thing about having comfortable silicone tips is that they can be used for a very long time without having to be swapped out. Silicone tips are easy to clean with soapy water and therefore you can keep them in mint condition. If you should be so unfortunate as to ruin the pair that fits you, replacement ones can be ordered off Sleek-Audio's website for $9.99 which is not too bad considering you get a new pack with three different sizes in.

Even in comparison to other in-ear-monitors the Sleek-Audio SA6s are small. This is in part due to the fact that it only has to house one driver and that there is little wasted volume within the body of the earphone. Because it is so small it does not stick out of your ear like the Ultimate Ears 3 Studios. It is just about impossible to spot that a person is wearing them from a distance because they are so small.
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