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Revolt Headphones Recover Detail Lost in Modern Music

LAS VEGAS - When you listen to MP3s or streaming music, audio is compressed to make the file small and easy to transfer. The problem is, compression causes audio information to be lost, so music doesn't sound as good as it should. But now, you can get that data back with a pair of innovative Revolt headphones from Wicked, which are due in March for $200.

The Wicked Revolt headphones feature one-of-kind Digital Power Station software, which re-masters your music on the fly and adds back the detail lost in your compressed music files. To get the audio just right, Wicked worked with legendary producer Tony Bongiovi to bring his decades of recording experience with bands such as Aerosmith and The Ramones to Revolt’s audio profile.

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The Revolt's industrial design features padded leather cups and metal, shield-like covers, for a look that’s reminiscent of the V-MODA Crossfade series. Overall, the Revolts have a premium feel, even if the look isn't very original.

When I visited Wicked’s booth at CES 2015 and found a line of attendees spilling over into adjacent exhibits waiting to try the Revolts, I knew I was in for an audible treat. I started off with Van Halen’s “Jump,” in which I heard the tension in David Lee Roth’s power-packed vocals. I then moved on to a few Led Zeppelin tracks, during which I could really appreciate Jimmy Page’s exquisite guitar mastery.

The only issue occured when I turned active sound mastering off. Audio became very faint, even at full volume, and lacked in overall detail and quality. After listening to the Revolts fully-powered, it’s incredibly difficult to go back.

Highs and mids shone through, but bass notes were very neutral, bordering on being a bit weak. Wicked says this is intentional, and a product of the specific mastering choices make by Tony Bongiovi. The Revolts are intended for the rock aficionado who can’t get enough of the classics, whether it’s The Beatles' early works, some Journey or even a little Pearl Jam.

Wicked claims that the headphones will last about 13 hours on a single charge — enough to survive most international flights. The headphones will still work passively if you run out of juice, although audio quality will suffer.

If you're looking to restore your music to its original beauty, you can pick up the Wicked Revolts in March for $200.

Sam Rutherford is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide. Follow him @SamRutherford on Twitter, and Tom’s Guide on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.