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Altec Lansing Backbeat Titanium review: Altec Lansing Backbeat Titanium

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MSRP: $79.95

The Good The Altec Lansing BackBeat Titanium 326 earphones offer a comfortable fit and excellent sound for the money. The cloth-covered cord seems durable and a carrying case is included.

The Bad When the BackBeat Titanium 326 cord rubs against your clothing, you may be able to hear it if your MP3 player is set to low volumes or if it's during the silence between songs.

The Bottom Line About $40, the Altec Lansing BackBeat Titanium 326 earbuds offer impressive sound for the buck.

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8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8

Altec Lansing is a long-standing competitor in the iPod speaker market, so it makes sense that the company now produces a variety of headphones, as well. It currently makes three sets of BackBeat earphones: the Titanium 326, Plus 206, and Classic 106. About $10 separates each in price, and while the headphones here list for $79.99, they can be found for $40 online. They're well worth the money.

Aside from a reasonable price tag, the 326s have a few other things going for them. With one of the four sets of included silicon tips, you'll find a snug, comfortable fit that helps block out a good amount of noise. We also liked that Altec Lansing went with cloth mesh instead of rubber/plastic to cover the 46-inch long headphone wire. We've found that rubberized covering can end up cracking, particularly if you wear your headphones for prolonged periods outside in freezing temperatures. The one drawback to the mesh covering is that it does make some sound if it rubs against your clothing (you only notice it when you have the volume at a lower level or during the silence between songs). However, that's a minor gripe.

We also liked that the plug is small and will fit in any recessed headphone jack you might encounter (sorry, there's no built-in mic for making calls on your cell phone). At the same time, it's worth noting that the plug is a straight plug; we prefer the elbow variety of plugs, which is likely to hold up better over time and not short out if you accidentally bang it too many times (or drop your audio device). Again, this is a relatively small knock. On the plus side, the Titanium 326 earphones are currently the only model in the BackBeat line that includes a case--a gray neoprene one, to be specific.

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