Gear Review: Crescendo DS-11 Earphones

Pros: excellent sound isolation and hearing protection; balanced, reliable sound; useful in a variety of applications

Cons: More high end than low end; not truly applicable for high fidelity recording

Price: $199

The DS-11 is a set of high fidelity ear canal earphones designed by Crescendo to be used as onstage in-ear monitors, for mixing or for personal listening. Compatible with both custom ear moulds (soft or hard) and universal plugs (included), the DS-11 offers excellent levels of sound isolation while also providing balanced audio reproduction.

The DS-11 has a comfortable, yet secure feel. Users should be able to find the proper fit by selecting one of the two sizes of Crescendo’s three flanged universal tips, along with one of three different sized mushroom tips (also included). The DS-11 is CE certified as hearing protection when used with the supplied universal tips, providing an SNR of 22dB. This allows for the onstage performer to hear a clear sonic representation in the noisiest of environments, without overtaxing the ear.

While the DS-11 is not a substitute for a set of studio monitor headphones, it can be effectively used to mix off a soundboard in a live setting, although it is worth noting that the earphones favor the high and mid frequencies. However, for its small size, the DS-11 does have a noticeably resonant bass sound, which along with the bright highs and punchy mids, make it an attractive alternative to iPod earbuds, especially for those who enjoy listening to music while walking on busy city streets. For the musician who is looking for a solid set of in-ear monitors that can be used in a variety of applications, the DS-11 is a worthy investment.

Kit Includes:
DS-11 high isolation earphones
1.4m cable with 3.5mm stereo plug
2 pairs of 3 flange silicone plugs
3 pairs of mushroom plugs
Travel case

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