MM Gear EDS-200F Extreme Dual Stereo headphone
We can forgive the Seoul-based MM Gear for erroneously advertising its EDS-200F Extreme Dual Stereo headphone as "the first two-way headphone in the world," meaning each earpiece has two drivers--one woofer and one tweeter. Ultimate Ears has been offering $900 custom-molded two-way earphones for a while now, but perhaps the folks at MM Gear were so busy figuring out a way to make quality two-way headphones for less than $35 that they simply missed the news bulletin. Regardless of the claims, the result is a pleasing headphone pair for the budget-minded listener with a discerning ear.
The EDS-200F is part of the rare breed of open headphones, which sit on the ear rather than enclosing it. Though they're lightweight and mostly comfortable (the headband isn't shaped right for every head), they rest loosely on the ear, and some listeners will find it annoying to feel them shift slightly when they turn their heads; in some cases, a quick head turn can even make them fall off. Still others may fear that the lack of enclosure means everyone can hear what they're listening to; however, the EDS-200F's sound leakage is surprisingly minimal considering its open design. The earpieces do swivel on the head strap, which can make them a bit annoying to take on and off, but this is a minor flaw. Visually, MM Gear has hit a home run with the minimal white-plastic design (also available in black), which folds down compactly.
The main--actually, the only--feature here is the two-way speaker design. Each earpiece contains a woofer and a tweeter. Just like with stereo speakers, designating different drivers for different frequencies provides more clarity than having one driver take care of the entire range. Though distortion is less likely with this 20Hz-to-20KHz pair, turning the volume too high will not sound pretty.
It's rare to see a company design lower-end headphones with sound accuracy in mind. Usually, manufacturers boost the bass to hide a headphone's deficiencies. MM Gear has made a clean, crisp (or "crispy," if you prefer the obviously translated manual's description) headphone pair offering real-sounding bass, not the boomy messes that most headsets in this price range offer. On the Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)," the kick and tom drums had a natural, generous resonance and thud, while the guitars and vocals were suitably bright and clear. Movie watching and gaming were another story--the low-end rumble was missing, and gamers probably wouldn't want an open-ear design anyway. Overall, though, the EDS-200F is a fine musical headphone pair for the price.