Packaging – (9/10)
The packaging is beautiful.
The solid wood display box has a lovely grain and a stained black finish, and it comes with the Chord & Major logo embossed on top. The display box is also engraved on the side with the words “Exist Only For Music”—which is a lovely touch and adds some romance to the product. The paper band that seals the box has the IEM's specification, and you can open it up to find another nice little touch – a small written piece about Jimi Hendrix. Everything inside the box is compartmentalized well and beautifully presents the earphones.
Looks and Build Quality – (9/10)
The headphones are simply stunning pieces and ooze class. Wood is such an under utilized item in small IEM’s, because in general its usually done very poorly by other manufacturers. However, Chord & Major headphones have beautiful grains matched with beautiful complimentary colors on the metallic sections. The gloss black wood is matched with a black finish on the metal parts of the housing, which is simply stunning—and we all know rock stars favor black. The inclusion of the same wood finish on the jack and metal on the Y-splitter is another beautiful, stylistic touch.
Sound Quality (9/10) for rock
Chord & Major certainly knows how to get their tunings right—and yet again they have nailed it. The 8’13 has a powerful and balanced sound, which is perfect for a lot of genres, but these really shine if you are a classic rock fan.
The highs are very nice and sit in-line with the mids. They offer good energy from high hats and the upper registers of guitar strings. There is also a good amount of detail for a dynamic driver.
Mids are energetic and vocals are presented powerfully, especially male vocals that too often come off sounding harsh or poorly reproduced. The Chords, however, just eat them up and reproduce them beautifully. Guitars come across with a good pace and produce a great resonance and timbre on solos. Bass also registered very well in both quantity and quality.
As previously mentioned, the 8'13 goes very well with classic rock, but it should also be noted that they are top performers for live tracks and anthem rock. The soundstage is reasonably large for an IEM, placing you a few rows back from centre stage and displaying an equal amount of width and depth. They perform well with other genres like indie and electronic and I could say that they are maybe the most versatile of the Chord range.
Chord headphones are just brilliant, and I really can’t praise them enough right now. I have had all 3 (Jazz, Rock, Classical) for the past month now and they have been my go to even when I’m not reviewing. Wherever I go, I find myself carrying the 3 Chord models and switching them for whichever genre I am listening to on a given occasion.The 8’13’s definitely stand out in a crowded market, as well as sounding great. I’ll be happily rocking out with the 8'13 over the holidays.