If you're not absurdly picky about audio quality, we can understand not wanting to spend $100 or more on a new pair for your MP3 player. That's where options such as the Creative EP-630 come in. These sound-isolating earphones offer a comfortable fit and improved audio for just $39.99.
Unlike stock earbuds, the Creative EP-630 earphones also offer a modicum of style. You can select from five earpiece colors--black, blue, green, pink, or white--all of which offer a slightly metallic sheen. However, they are constructed out of plastic rather than metal, which could be good or bad, depending on your preference.
The EP-630's cable, which is white except in the case of the black version, raises some concern for durability as well. It's quite thin and there's no slider at the Y junction to help prevent tangles. The cord measures 4 feet long and terminates in a gold-plated straight plug.
Thanks to this and the small size of the earpieces, we found the EP-630s to be quite comfortable after more than an hour of wear, though this will no doubt vary per user. They also offer a good amount of passive sound isolation.
In general, audio doesn't suffer from any noticeable issues. Music comes through very clearly, with a reasonable (though not amazing) amount of high-end detail. Mids are quite forward and have a nice warmth and richness, but are not as buttery as what you can expect from high-end earbuds. Low-end response is the one thing lacking to our ears.