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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Unfortunately, the $15 Ear Pollution Plugz lives up to its name, offering audio quality about on par with the stock 'buds included with most MP3 players. On the plus side, the earphones offer a hint of style, an ultracompact design, and a comfortable fit, so they could work in a pinch for those on a budget, but the similarly-priced Griffin TuneBuds are a better option for those who like bass.
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On the plus side, the Ear Pollution Plugz earphones are a step-up from stock earbuds in the fit and comfort department; anyone who finds the hard plastic of standard 'buds uncomfortable will consider the Plugz an improvement. Also, the earpieces are very small and canal-style, which offers some passive sound isolation--always a plus, as it lets you listen to music at low volumes.
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Plus, the Plugz come in seven color combos--red and black; silver and black; gold and black; pink and black; blue and black; blue and brown; and pink and white--all of which feature a stylish little radiation logo on the earbuds.
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On the downside, the Ear Pollution Plugz definitely feel cheap, which isn't terribly surprising given the price point. We'd consider this set "throwaway" tech; that is, you're probably only going to get a couple months out of the earphones.
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Sound quality also proved to be rather unimpressive in testing. The Ear Pollution Plugz earphones' main offense is harsh-sounding audio. On more than one occasion, we had to turn down the music because it came through jarring and overly bright. Also, the Plugz offer very little low-end, and the high-end sounds brittle at times.
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