Re: Symphony of complexity
For my tests, I immediately set out to see how it handled low tones and bass lines. I suspected that a device that small with that little amount of juice wouldn't be the best at it, but I also know that consumer-level stuff like this sometimes likes to crank up the bass so stuff like RnB/modern pop artificially sounds better (looking at you, Beats by Dre).
I started with some Fleshgod Apocalypse and Vader which mostly confirmed that suspicion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAyR_wS1kxY & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT5_NrPbRYA
I wanted to see how it handled more of a mix of sounds, so I threw Sons of Winter and Stars by Wintersun at it. The track includes a lot of traditional melodic death metal - screams and growls, power chords and double bass but mixes it in and progresses through several orchestral sections as well as some choir and clean vocals. It handled all but the lows reasonably nicely, but with the bass player of metal band and the kick drum almost constantly going, a decent chunk of the mids and highs are drowned out. You can listen to the track here (it's 17 minutes but I promise it's worth it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG7_fOuM5vE
Lastly, I wanted to hear how it performed with something that isn't centered around low tones. I played Acid Rain by Liquid Tension Experiment - they're a four-man show (3/4 members from Dream Theater with Tony Levin playing a 10-string 'Chapman Stick' bass guitar) playing really awesome and fun instrumental jams. This track showed me that that the mids and highs are actually quite clean, the treble is great but again, the bass leaves something to be desired. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edqH0ofRQrM
I got the impression that this device was designed to play your regular top-40's radio music and netflix videos. I queued some random music videos from YouTube and everything seemed to sound alright, the video media I watched (all speech-based content) came through very well. I confirmed this with some of the more rock-and-roll style Dream Theater tracks (because I know what these sound like under relatively optimal conditions) and I was a bit surprised to hear how well that came out.
As for what I listen to on a regular basis, I like almost anything progressive (regardless of genre, contrary to popular belief - they just don't make prog country or 9 minute rap songs with constantly changing beats to keep my ADD ears interested). Decapitated just released their latest album Blood Mantra and I've been enjoying the hell out of that, Wintersun and Dream Theater are some of my all-time favorites, and I'm headed to Amon Amarth's (VIKINGS!!!) show this Friday with every intent to push my neck to as close to whiplash as humanly possible. Meshuggah and Decapitated are my go-tos for getting shit done, and sometimes when I'm feeling like I want to change things up I'll listen to psy trance or drum and bass (check out The Algorithm if you're into both metal and dnb) or even some jazz (Exivious and Thank You Scientist will blow your mind!)