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Kicker EB51 Stereo Earbuds--photos

The Kicker EB51 earbuds are easy on the wallet and offer several color options, but we're not convinced they're enough of a step up from stock earbuds.

Jasmine France

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1 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET
The colorful Kicker EB51 earphones have an MSRP of just $19.95, but they can be found for even a bit less online. These standard plastic 'buds aren't as comfortable as most in-ear models are, nor do they offer anything in the way of passive sound isolation, but they do provide a slight step up from most stock 'buds in terms of style and security.
2 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET
The Kicker EB51 headphones are designed in a fashion that is typical for earbuds. The relatively small, round plastic earpieces are hard and smooth and meant to rest just inside the outer ear. There is a rubberized ring around each earpiece that provides some traction for keeping them in the ears.
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3 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET
It's a one-size-fits-all design that will not actually fit all. For our part, the EB51 earphones stayed fairly secure in our ears, and the shape of the earbuds proved to be comfortable for about an hour or so of wear. If you wear them much longer than that, the pressure could make your cartilage a bit sore.
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4 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET
Frankly, when it comes to earphones in this price range, we've learned not to expect much in terms of durability, and the Kicker EB510 Stereo Earbuds are no exception. The thin, plastic cable measures 47 inches in all and terminates in a nickel-plated 3.5mm straight plug.
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5 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET
The ultrathin cable gets even thinner at the Y split, and it is not reinforced at the connection points to the earpieces. However, we do appreciate the incorporated slider for reducing tangle incidents and that the plug housing has a bit of extra rubber around it.
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6 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET
As for sound quality, it's nothing to write home about; again, we didn't expect much different from a set that runs for around $20. That being said, the Kicker EB51 earphones do not sound atrocious and are perhaps a slight step up from most stock 'buds, though the difference is not as noticeable as with many in-ear sets we've tested.

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