Saturday, September 18, 2021

Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic Review

February 15, 2009 by · 9 Comments 

in-ear_headphonesThese headphones are a disappointment.

I must be a sucker for Apple marketing material, but I just don’t understand how the following features as stated on the Apple website yield such a different result:

Two drivers in each earpiece:

Each earpiece contains two separate high-performance drivers — a woofer and a tweeter — resulting in rich, detailed, and accurate sound reproduction and amazing bass response for all types of music.

Impressive sound isolation:

Choose from three sizes of soft, silicone ear tips for a comfortable, stable fit. When inserted in your ear, they create a seal that blocks outside noise so you can get the most from your music.

First of all, the ‘amazing bass response’ is totally lacking, and secondly the sound isolation pales in comparison to many equivalent and cheaper headphones in the market.

However, let me take a step back and approach these headphones from a different angle.

I listen to my iPhone’s music library and Audiobooks on a daily basis. Thus, a set of good quality headphones is very important to me. Also, because I’m listening to music on an iPhone, I now exclusively prefer headphones with built-in control buttons and a microphone. So far, I’ve tried the V-Modas (broke) the Ultimate Ears 200s and they also broke. I’ve also tried many other traditional headphones, but I usually don’t stray above 100 Pounds / 140 Dollars, for no matter how well I treat them or store them in their case, it seems these things are designed to fail every 6 months or so.

I’ve therefore isolated the following features that are important to me and the type of music I listen to (mostly House/Techno/Live Acoustic).

1) Good sound isolation– On public transport, you don’t want to be cranking your headphones to compensate for outside noise, nor do you want to be a nuisance to everyone around you.

2) Full bass– I want to feel it in my bones. This may make you think that I like boomy bass over clean bass, but no. I want good clean bass that sounds the way it was intended to sound, not like an equalizer setting gone negative.

3) Teflon cord– My ideal headphones would be teflon coated. I disklike having the really rubbery cords that Sennheiser outfits their headphones with, for example, because they get caught on everything.. and there is nothing worse than having your headphones ripped out of your ears.

That’s my top 3 quick and dirty criteria for headphone selection.

How do the new Apple in-ear headphones stack up against these?

Well, as I mentioned, on points one and two, I’m not impressed. The isolation is below average (although comfort is ok), and bass is about the same as my Bang & Olufsen A8’s, which was weak to begin with. On the last point, I’m sad to say that the cord is stickier than that of the stock Iphone headphones. Bummer.

So, on all accounts, the new headphones don’t impress me. Yes, I’ll keep them because of the features such as the mic and the button to skip songs and stop (the volume buttons don’t work on the iPhone 3G), but I can’t say I’d feel comfortable recommending them. On the plus side, they come with great packaging, different size buds, as well as replacement shields for the drivers (nice touch).

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