The Worlds’ Best Headphones?
From: Adam Blair
Founder, PUMP Audio
Dear Friend of PUMP,
I agree… Labelling PUMP Zeus as The “The Worlds’ Best Headphones” warrants some serious justification, so here goes…
First of all, everyone at PUMP Audio knows that “best” is subjective, and not everyone will agree!
Secondly, we’re not claiming that PUMP Zeus are the best in every area, but that as a whole, they’re better than anything else on the market.
Here’s Why We Think
PUMP Zeus are The Worlds’
The areas we decided were the most important early on in development were (in order of importance):
2) Wireless functionality (*without perceptible loss* of sound quality)
Sound is the most important element in any set of PUMP headphones.
It comes before all else.
If you’ve already got a set of PUMP In-Ear then I suspect you’ll need no convincing about how incredible they sound in comparison to the competition.
PUMP Zeus sound incredible too with the warm, rich, and well defined PUMP Sound Signature.
We had the sound pretty nailed down for the first version of PUMP Zeus (a year ago), but one blessing in disguise created by the Bluetooth issue we discovered was that we had another year to tinker even further, and make the sound even more immersive.
I’ll be clear: In our opinion, these are the best sounding headphones in the World, bar none.
2) Wireless functionality:
This is what took us an estimated 520 man hours(!) to perfect, even after we thought we were there a whole year ago!
It’s easy to make a set of headphones wireless, if you’re not obsessive about recreating the sound signature and quality perfectly.
With the initial version of PUMP Zeus from a year back, we had an issue where sub-bass (frequencies under 60Hz) was distorting slightly.
A lot of music doesn’t even have sub-bass in it, and a lot of people — including Customers who bought a set! — tried to persuade us that the sound quality was amazing and that there wasn’t actually a problem.
However, I couldn’t bring myself to accept anything less than perfection, and so we set about in pursuit of it.
I’m now confident to challenge anyone to tell the difference between when their PUMP Zeus is plugged in with an audio cable, and when they are listening via Bluetooth.
We made PUMP Zeus really comfortable – both when worn on your head, or around your neck.
That said, if comfort is much more important to you than sound then there are probably some slightly more comfortable headphones on the market. One of my good friends says he thinks BOSE Quiet Comfort are a tiny bit more comfortable to wear on his head (but not around his neck).
I don’t happen to agree with that myself. I still think my old Audio Technicas are the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn on my head, but they are horrible when worn around my neck, because the ear cups dig in to my neck, and touch the bottom of my chin. They are impossible to wear around your neck for more than a minute or two without getting really irritated.
PUMP Zeus Takes Comfort Seriously!
We’ve tested a LOT of over ears during the long development process from all major brands and it’s shocking how some of them seem to have totally disregarded comfort.
Beats do a good job with their Studio model in my opinion, but I really can’t imagine what SMS Audio and AKG were thinking when they considered comfort!
The important thing about comfort, is that we’ve made PUMP Zeus very comfortable for anyone. Everyone who has tried them during the late development process agrees that they are really comfortable both on your head and around your neck.
We’ve achieved this level of comfort without compromising sound quality.
It would have been possible to build some slightly more comfortable headphones, but it would have been at the expense of sound quality and wireless functionality.
For example, we could have made them a little bit lighter by using a smaller battery. But this would have shortened the battery life to a level we weren’t happy with.
Or we could have used even softer ear cup foam, or changed the tension of the cans against the head, but this would have meant that the drivers weren’t at a controlled distance from the ear, meaning hit and miss sound quality.
We’ve made PUMP Zeus really comfortable. Probably not the most comfortable headphones in the World, but one of the most – both on your head and around your neck.
Functionality is really important in my opinion, particularly if you are going to use your PUMP Zeus to make and receive calls.
We worked hard to make the controls intuitive after a very short time, so that you instinctively know how to answer a call, decline a call, hang up a call, jump forward a track, jump back a track, turn the volume up or down and so on…
Your PUMP Zeus will come with a straightforward set of instructions about how to use them. No long and wordy manual for the sake of having one.
Within 10 minutes of playing with your new set of PUMP Zeus, you’ll know exactly how they work.
For our non-techy Friends who just want to plug and play, you can do that by using the cable, or by switching your PUMP Zeus on and connecting to the Bluetooth on your phone or music player.
Two things that we were adamant about from the start were that:
a) PUMP Zeus should have a built in battery (unlike many competing products, which need AA or AAA batteries to work!);
b) If the battery runs out, you should just be able to plug an audio cable in and continue listening with no degradation in sound quality, even though they are no longer “powered”.
We were amazed that some competing brands stop working ALTOGETHER when the batteries run out! Imagine you’re 4 hours in to an 11 hour flight and that happens…
With PUMP Zeus, when the battery eventually runs out (after about 8 hours of constant use), just plug the audio cable in and carry on listening with exactly the same audio quality and volume.
They… Stand Up!
We thought it would be a really unique idea to make PUMP Zeus stand up by themselves. The original idea came from not having an alternative option to wearing around your neck on an aeroplane (with PUMP Zeus you can just stand them up on the table in front of you).
Other benefits are that if you want to store them outside of the carry case — who can be bothered to put them away every time you use them? — they store neatly on a book case or desk.
We wanted a look that didn’t follow the crowd.
Form has definitely followed function with PUMP Zeus, and we happen to think they look pretty nice!
For the PUMP Zeus Launch, we will be offering them in Black with Orange flashes.
I know that some of our Friends really like the idea of having a bright Orange set, and these will no doubt follow in the near future.
We decided to go with Black for the first production because from feedback, we thought it had the most mass appeal.
Get on the Earlybird!
We have 500 PUMP Zeus available with the Launch Promotion Discount.
If you’d like to be one of the first to get your hands on a set – as well as the £30 / €35 / $50 Launch Discount – we strongly advise you to get on the Earlybird list!
Everyone on the Earlybird list will be emailed one hour before launch with a special link to reserve their PUMP Zeus.
Just enter your email below and you’ll be on the list!