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Audio-Technica ATH M50 - headphonesstars
These futuristic little earbuds are the Atomic Floyd MiniDarts -- in-ear headphones with a microphone for answering calls if you're using them with an . A clicker button controls music playback. They're yours for £150, exclusively from the Apple Store, so let's ram them into our lugs and see how they handle...
These tiny buds remind us of tiny bullets. Metal construction with grooves etched around the ends of each headphone make for an attractive look, and the metal certainly feels sturdy, so we don't think the body section of these headphones is about to fall apart spontaneously. That said, the cabling moves around a fair bit at the end of each bud, so you might see some damage there longer term.
That cabling between the ears and the remote is worryingly thin, although it's thicker from the 3.5mm jack to the in-line remote is thicker. That part is covered in woven fabric, so should prove more sturdy in the long run. The remote is nicely styled -- a small, metal medallion with a microphone on the top and an attractively etched button in the centre, which is used for various things which we'll come to in a bit.
Generally, the design on show here is great, and these are some classy looking headphones, even if we do worry about that slender cabling. But they're going to be jammed in your ears most of the time, so you'd be justified in caring more about how comfortable they are than with how cool they look.
They're not the most comfortable things we've ever jammed inside our own heads. The metal construction makes these tiny terrors quite heavy, and because there's nary an earloop in sight, you'll just have to jam them straight into your ears and hope for the best. That does mean that they're reasonably easy to actually pop in and out though, which is handy if your coworkers just won't stop poking you and asking you questions when you're trying to rock out in peace.
The cable isn't particularly long, so while it'll serve you fine if it's just trailing from your ears to your pockets, it's probably not long enough for -- for instance -- reaching around the back of an under-desk PC tower to plug in for work-based listening.