We take Tonino Lamborghini’s best earphones for a test drive and see if they live up to the name and reputation.
Avid Recombu readers will remember our hands-on with Tonino Lamborghini’s latest luxury Android smartphone, the Antares, back in May. It was our first look at the lifestyle brand’s wares up close and a chance to handle the sorts of products the other half typically want to purchase.
Now we’re taking a look at the Tonino Lamborghini Quantum HL-01 earphones – the top tier buds in the company’s Quantum lineup.
Quantum HL-01 design: Premium look, not so sure about the feel
The Lamborghini name no doubt immediately painted pictures of fast cars zipping through exotic locations in your head and whilst TL doesn’t have a direct hand in the automotive side of things, the same DNA is very much apparent in the HL-01s.
On the outside, each bud is a sculpted mesh of flat faces at extreme angles. They look precise, aggressive and strike a nice contrast between the predominantly gunmetal grey bodywork and the accents of red.
The famous raging bull insignia sits on the outside of each bud and serves as a secondary contrast, finished in gloss black against the matt grey elsewhere. The arms, which lead off to the wires look a little spindly and fragile, but help push the distinctive aesthetic.
The wires themselves aren’t incapable of tangling, but the woven nylon cladding certainly helps minimise the problem. The wire of the right earbud also features a three button remote, finished in the same grey plastic with the Lamborghini shield silhouette detailed on the main function button.
For the asking price of the Quantum HL-01s, we would have liked some hand-polished aluminium in place of plastic, but on the flipside, despite their size, they are still fairly lightweight. The 3.5mm jack is also gold plated, naturally.
Quantum HL-01 functionality: Standard issue
There’s nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the capabilities of the HL-01s. The 1.2m cable is perfectly suited to reach a phone or music player in your trouser pocket, the triangular cross-section of the controller on the right hand side is easy to find eyes-free without fumbling around and as you’d expect, offers all the basic features you’d need.
The top and bottom buttons handle volume no matter what you’re doing, whilst the centre button can pause or play music, skip tracks, fast forward and rewind, take and end calls, and even wake up Siri. If you’re not iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) inclined however, instead favouring and Android way of life, the remote only lets you pause or play tracks (no skipping, fast forward or rewinding) and call upon Google Now, but volume controls don’t respond, so bear that in mind before you lay down any cash.
Quantum HL-01 performance: Comfort, clarity and control
Looking at the Quantum family as a whole, what sets the HL-01s apart from an audio standpoint is their dual-driver design; the 7mm and 15mm drivers in each earbud cover the highs and lows respectively and do so to great effect.
With a frequency response beyond what the average human ear can pick up, you’ll get clear highs, impressive bass and rich mids no matter what music you’re into. We were impressed by the level of clarity and detail, even being able to pick out background instruments with ease. Call quality is also respectable, with those on receiving end unable to tell whether we were using earphones and an inline microphone.
When you purchase the Quantum HL-01s, they come with a range of changeable silicone earbuds to swap out different sizes and in truth do offer an exceptionally comfortable fit, no matter what your ear size. Tonino Lamborghini states, that the HL-01’s earbuds “perfectly isolate your ears from external noise”, which would be true if noise-cancellation was part of the feature set on offer, in practice they do a good job of blocking out external sounds, but they’re not perfect.
Quantum HL-01 verdict: Something for the fans
Based on our experiences, the Tonino Lamborghini Quantum HL-01 earphones come highly recommended. They’re some of the clearest, most comfortable earphones we’ve ever tested, but there are a couple of important caveats before you lay down some cash.
iPhone users will feel the benefits more than Android users as a result of the remote’s compatibility and the price will put some buyers off looking for a set of solid buds to enjoy their music through.
The Quantum HL-01s look and feel great, but are really for those who already love the Tonino Lamborghini brand or have a preference for the finer things in life. Not to mention, the £125 price tag may be a deal-breaker. If you’re unsure, then it might make more sense to look for something with the same great audio experience but for a lower price from perhaps a lesser-known brand.