CNET First Look
Apple In-Ear headphonesIf you own a new iPod, the Apple In-Ear headphones are a great value. Owners of iPhones and older iPods will have to decide whether the mic and remote compatibility issues are worth overlooking for the substantial boost in sound quality.
>> Hey I'm Donald Bell, Senior Editor for Digital Audio and MP3 and today, we're taking a first look at Apple's In-Ear headphones. You can upgrade it from the wimpy Stock Earbuds that came bundled with your iPod. Apple's In-Ear headphones offer a dramatic improvement for around 79 dollars. For casual listeners, 79 dollars may seem like a lot of money to spend on a pair of headphones. These are actually one of the better values out there for the grade of headphone that you're getting. Along with two balanced-armature drivers in each earpiece, these headphones include an include in-line microphone and iPod remote that lets you play, pause, and skip through your music with a clicker and adjust the volume. Now the headphones themselves will play audio from anything with a headphone jock including any generation of iPod or iPhone. The microphone and clicker, however, are only gonna work with the iPhone or recent generation iPods and the volume control doesn't work at all with the iPhone. Basically, if you wanna take advantage of all the features of these headphones, you'll need the latest generation of iPods. Don't let that discourage you too much though because even without the clicker and the microphone features, these are still great pair of headphones with a price. Out-of-the-box, the Apple In-Ear headphones include a plastic carrying case with a cable wind, three pairs of silicone ear tips, small, medium and large, and a set of replacement mesh caps in the event that the little holes here get too gunked up. If you're wondering why there's a microphone built into a pair of iPod headphones, the only new iPods such as the fourth generation Nano, second generation Touch, or a second generation Classic, you can use the mic here to make voice memos. As far as sound quality goes, I really like these. I thought they offer good isolation, although they weren't quite as detailed on the higher frequencies as something like the Etymotic hf2. Senior Associate Editor Jasmine France gave 'em a try and she had the opposite criticism saying that they're a little too bright for her. We both like how these perform in the lower frequencies. The comfort is excellent. They're very light and very stylish and the price is right on. If you've been surviving on the [background music] Stock Apple Earbuds, these things will blow you away. I'm Donald Bell and that was a first look at Apple's In-Ear headphones. [ Music ]