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Moshi Mythro Stylish Personal Earbuds review: Quality earphones at an affordable price

The well-designed Moshi Mythro earbuds feature quality sound and a comfortable fit for $30.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

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Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.

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Moshi is probably better known for its stylish iPhone and iPad cases, but it also makes several different models of earphones with intriguing designs -- and names.

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Moshi Mythro Stylish Personal Earbuds

The Good

The affordably priced <b>Moshi Mythro</b> in-ear headphones are lightweight and fit comfortably. They sound good for the money and have an integrated microphone and one-button remote for making cell phone calls.

The Bad

No carrying case included; no volume controls on integrated remote.

The Bottom Line

The well-designed Moshi Mythro earbuds feature quality sound at an affordable price.

The in-ear model reviewed here, the Mythro, is named in honor of mithril, the fictional metal found in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. Silvery in appearance, mithril is stronger than steel but considerably lighter. It's not surprising then that Moshi's Mythro Stylish Personal Earbuds are nice and lightweight. They're also comfortable, and feature excellent sound for the money, as well as an integrated microphone, making them a bargain at their price of $30.

Design and features
The Mythro earbuds come in a variety of colors, all of which have a two-tone design highlighted by anodized aluminum casing (aluminum may not be mithril, but at least there's a bit of metal in the case).

The shape and size of the bud portion of the earbuds are just right -- not too big and not too small. That helps with the fit, and the Mythros come with three different sizes of eartips, one of which should fit your ear canal and enable you to get a tight seal.

The Moshi Mythros come in a variety of colors. Sarah Tew/CNET

As I say in all my reviews of in-ear headphones, that tight seal is crucial to the performance of the earphones. If you can't get a tight seal, you lose a lot of bass and the sound will be thin.

I liked how the Mythros fit in my ears and I also appreciate that Moshi color-coded the eartips (one has some red on the inside), which allows you to easily distinguish right from left without having to look for a tiny letter on the bud. All earphone manufacturers should take this color-coded approach.

The cord terminates in a straight plug. L-shaped plugs tend to be sturdier, and I can't say these earbuds appear incredibly rugged, but I used them for a couple of weeks without a problem. However, it is worth noting that they don't come with any sort of protective carrying case. To prolong their life, I'd suggest finding something to stow them in when you're not using them.

The right eartip has a red interior to distinguish it from the left. Sarah Tew/CNET

As noted, there's an integrated microphone with a single-button remote (no volume controls). That button is a call answer/end button when making cell-phone calls; when playing music, you tap it once to pause or play, twice to skip a track forward, and three times to skip a track back. The microphone should work with all phones but the "remote" functionality won't work with every or tablet, though it should work with all Apple iOS products.

Performance
When I reviewed Moshi's Keramo earphones, which feature ceramic housings, I remarked that they were a well-balanced, pretty accurate pair that didn't push the bass too hard. Well, a couple of Moshi's inexpensive earphone models, the Moonrock and this model, definitely deliver a lot of bass -- and it's pretty decent bass.

The one-button in-line remote. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Mythro earbuds may not offer quite as much bass and detail as the V-Moda Remix Remote earphones, nor the same build quality, but they're pretty close and cost around $50 less. I also thought their sound was a little more dynamic and they had bigger bass than the Sennheiser CX 215 headphones, which also sound decent for around $30, though that model doesn't have an integrated microphone. And there's the Klipsch S4i II model at around $90, with a more neutral sound and a flat-cord design. (For a complete list of our top in-ear headphones, go here).

Naturally, the Mythro earbuds' sound profile won't appeal to everyone. It's fairly aggressive, so if you like a more laid-back, smoother headphone, you may find these a little fatiguing over longer listening sessions. But for a lot of today's music -- and today's listeners -- the meaty bass will be an appealing trait. To reiterate, a tight seal is essential to maximizing bass response.

Close-up of the plug. Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion
It's interesting to see how Moshi started out making stylish midrange earphones and has now moved into the entry-level market with a pair of well-designed earphones with quality sound. The Mythro's sound profile may not be for everybody, but it's a lightweight, attractively model with earbuds that fit comfortably and a built-in microphone and one-button remote. There are some other budget earphones out there, such as the $17 Panasonic RP-HJE355, that are more balanced and bit more laid-back. But if you're a fan of big bass -- and small prices -- you should like the Mythros.

Moshi_earbuds_35645522_01.jpg
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Moshi Mythro Stylish Personal Earbuds

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Sound 7Value 9