Apple ships mic-less EarPods with new iPod Touch

The earphones that ship with the new iPod Touch aren't the same as the iPhone 5's EarPods -- they're missing the remote/mic.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
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 reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
Tale of two EarPods: The new iPod Touch ships with a mic-less, caseless version of Apple's new in-ear headphones. Sarah Tew/CNET

Whenever Apple brings out a new iPod Touch, the specs never quite measure up to the latest iPhone's, though the Touch is a good deal lighter and thinner. In the case of the new fifth-generation iPod Touch, you get an A5 processor instead of an A6 and the camera isn't as good as the iPhone 5's camera (though it has improved quite a bit).

Alas, iPod Touch buyers should also note that while Apple has included its new EarPods, they're missing a small but important feature: the inline remote with integrated microphone found on the iPhone 5's EarPods.

The same mic-less EarPods also ship with the new iPod Nano. Oh, and these step-down EarPods don't come with a carrying case. In all other respects, including sound quality, the two EarPod versions are the same.

This isn't a departure for Apple. Previously, it didn't include a "headset" with earlier iPods, which shipped with standard Apple earbuds. And while it's not a huge deal -- the iPod Touch does have a built-in microphone for FaceTime, Skype, and other Internet calling (VoIP) apps -- it would have been nice if Apple had thrown in the remote/mic version of the EarPods, especially when you consider the Touch's relatively high price point and how much it's evolved over the years. The first three models didn't have cameras. But now the Touch is more iPhone than iPod.

First look: iPod Touch (fifth generation, 2012)
Watch this: First look: iPod Touch (fifth generation, 2012)