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The Altec Lansing BackBeat Classic 106 earphones are a noticeable step down from the 206 and 306 models, but they provide solid audio quality and reasonable comfort for around $20. We'd say that's a pretty good value.

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That being said, the 'buds seem rather cheaply built, and they don't fit as deeply as the other models. Still, comfort is totally personal, so you may have better luck than us.

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The earphones incorporate a cloth-coated cable that is more durable than those that come wrapped in rubber or plastic. However, you do get some noise when the cord rubs against your clothing.

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The cable is capped off with a 3.5mm gold-plated straight plug that is narrow enough to fit into even recessed headphone jacks. We find L-plugs generally hold up longer, but this is a small complaint.

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The BackBeat Classic 106 earphones don't offer as much low-end boom as the higher-end models in the line, but audio is clear and sounds good for the price.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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