OK, so maybe 100 bucks or less isn't cheap in the scheme of things, but when you take into consideration that some of the most highly rated, excellent-sounding in-ear headphones can cost more than $400 (or, if they're custom molded, close to a grand), a $75 pair suddenly doesn't seem so pricey. Plus, can you really put a price on great sound quality? Chances are, you're not getting it from the cheapo stock earbuds that most manufacturers include with their MP3 players.
iPhone and iPod users may experience a "small and quick" shock via their earbuds due to a buildup of static electricity, Apple warned Monday.
People listening to one of the devices in extremely dry air are most at risk of receiving a static electricity shock through the ear buds, according to a warning posted on Apple's Web site. The post likened the condition to the discharge that occurs when a person drags his or her feet across a carpet then gets a shock by touching a door knob.
However, Apple asserted that this condition did not necessarily … Read more
Shure has been a well-known brand among audio professionals for decades; heck, the company's SM57-LC microphone has even been used during presidential inaugurations. These days, Shure's consumer-friendly line of sound-isolating earphones get the most attention in mainstream tech press. Models range from the entry-level SE110s for $110 to the audiophile-worthy $500 SE530s. Over the past five years since the introduction of its first consumer line, Shure has remained loyal to a neutral color scheme for its earphones. However, that has changed with the introduction of the SE115, a $120 set that comes in a choice of four colors. … Read more
Ultimate Ears has been a familiar name to musicians and other audio professionals for a decade, but the company has gained quite a following with its consumer line as well. Earphones in its various lines range in affordability and scale nicely, from those geared toward casual but discerning listeners to sets for audiophiles. At the bottom end, you have the MetroFi line, which has recently enjoyed a refresh in the form of the 220 and 170 earphones, the former being the subject of this review.
The MetroFi 220 Noise Isolating Earphones are a step up from the bottom of the … Read more
Ultimate Ears has been a familiar name to musicians and other audio professionals for a decade, but the company has gained quite a following with its consumer line as well. Earphones in its various lines range in affordability and scale nicely, from discerning listeners to audiophiles. At the bottom end, you have the MetroFi line, which has recently enjoyed a refresh in the form of the 220 and 170 earphones, the latter being the subject of this review.
The MetroFi 170 Noise Isolating Earphones are the cheapest set in the Ultimate Ears family and come in two versions: a standard … Read more
I don't know about you, but I find the hard plastic earbuds that come with most MP3 players to be hideously uncomfortable, not to mention lacking in low end response (and just generally tinny sounding). If you're looking to upgrade your listening experience but don't want to spend too much doing it, it's worth considering the Altec Lansing BackBeat Classic 106 earphones. These in-ear 'buds offer a fairly comfortable design, a durable cloth-covered cable, and reasonable sound quality--all for around $20. Your ears will thank you.
The Ultimate Ears 700 Noise-Isolating Earphones are the latest upscale earbuds to hit the market for your listening pleasure. What sets the new headset apart from previous Ultimate Ears models is that each bud includes two separate channels--one for high and midrange frequencies, the other for lows. (By comparison, the almost twice as expensive and considerably larger Shure SE530s cram three drivers into each earbud.) Other niceties included are five extra pairs of ear tips, so you can customize the fit to the size of your ear canal (small, medium, or large), as well as an airline attenuator (to tap … Read more
Speakers made for home audio setups are encased in cabinets constructed of a variety of materials, but many high-end models stick to solid wood enclosures. The argument is that this particular natural material offers superior acoustics. It makes sense, then, that we'd eventually see a pair of earbuds made of wood. Enter the Woodees Inner Ear Stereo Earphones, a reasonably priced set that offers some of the most natural-sounding bass we've ever heard through headphones.
The other day we got an e-mail from Jim, a reader in LA, who wrote:
"My question regards the care and feeding of headphones. From the coconut-halves sets of my youth to the in-ear sets of today, I've never failed to kill a set of 'phones within a few months. Even the two Shure sets I bought in the past year (E2C and SE110) and have tried to treat very carefully, have developed cracks and shorts where they loop over the ear."
Altec Lansing is a long-standing competitor in the iPod speaker market, so it makes sense that the company now produces a variety of headphones, as well.
For $40, the Altec Lansing BackBeat Titanium 326 headphones offer an excellent value and make a great replacement for the stock earbuds that came with your MP3 player. They're more comfortable; feature a durable, cloth-covered cable; and offer impressive sound quality. There's not much more we can ask for from a set of earphones.