At the end of 2017, I featured the estimable Flares Pro in-ear headphones from a little audio company on the south coast of England, whose products range from cinema sound systems to earplugs. The headphones were one of my favourite products of the past couple of years, and the story of Flare Audio was also one of my favourites – founder Davies Roberts was for 13 years a fireman in Worthing, and after he made his passion for audio his business, the Flares Pro started getting testimonials from big names in the music industry. The Grammy Award-winning music producer Tony Visconti, apparently unsolicited, announced, “These are the best earphones ever. I mix on these.”
Well now there’s a Flares Pro 2, which looks almost exactly like the original, but exceeds its stunning performance by, I’d say, 10 per cent. The ever-tinkering Mr Roberts has increased the thickness of the enclosure structure to reduce stray resonance, and redesigned the exhaust hole at the back of each earpiece to remove traces of sonic interference from the drivers. Like the originals, the Flares Pro 2 come with a neat and effective little Bluetooth unit to allow them to link up with all the smartphones that now have no headphones plug. I loved Flares in 2017. I love them even more now.