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The first thing you're likely to do upon obtaining a new MP3 player is load it up with all your favorite music. Once that's done, the next best step is to replace the shoddy earbuds that came packaged with it. Of course, not everyone wants to drop a wad of cash on a new pair of headphones, which is where sets like the JVC Gumy come in. The colorful earphones have an MSRP of just $14.95, but they can often be found for much less online. These standard plastic 'buds aren't as comfortable as their step-up sibling, the JVC Marshmallow, nor do they offer the same impressive audio quality, but the Gumy does provide a stylish step-up from stock. If you only have $10 or less to spare, these are a decent option.
The JVC Gumy 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. It's a one-size-fits-all design that will not actually fit all. While the Gumy earphones stayed pretty secure in our ears, the material and shape of the earbuds put some uncomfortable pressure on the cartilage of our ears after about an hour of wear.
For MP3 player owners who are interested in earphones with a hint of style, the JVC Gumys should be a good fit. They come in nine colors ranging from the muted (black, white, etc.) to the fruity (kiwi green, grape purple, etc.), which means you should be able to find a set to complement your device, no matter what its shade. The color coat extends from the earbuds, which have a shiny accent, all the way down the 40-inch cord, which terminates in a gold-plated straight-plug. Although the cable is quite thin at the Y, it includes a slider for preventing tangled cables, and the bottom section seems fairly durable.
Unlike the JVC Marshmallow earphones, which flat-out shocked us with their impressive sound quality, the JVC Gumy headphones offer audio that is more in line with their price point. Certain songs sound better than others, although we couldn't narrow it down to a specific genre: some pop or rock songs, such as Tears for Fears' "Suffer the Children," had a noticeably hollow quality, while others (Guns N' Roses' "Mr. Brownstone") sounded pretty clear and passable on the whole. Same goes for hip-hop, though if you like a lot of bass, you will be disappointed. These earphones offer no seal with the ear, so the low-end is fairly nonexistent. In the final analysis, the Gumys offer a slight improvement over stock, but not much.