‘Rival high-end headphones’ said
Apple. Really? These don't cost much more...
Apple has finally replaced its dreadful old
earphones. Those who don't like shoving things into their ear canals will
appreciate that the EarPods sit just outside. There's no isolation, though, so
sound leaks both ways, and while they sound good for free, those who don't get
them with a new Apple portable can do better for similar money.
As Amazon's most popular earphones at the
time of writing, we figured these JVCs would be well worth a listen and we were
right. The fact they're only US$20 online helps, but these are genuinely
capable in ears that boast real oomph, control and clarity. They're comfy as
well, despite their slightly cheap, bulky build. Great value.
Sennheiser CX 275s
With the Sennheiser name and price-tag, we
expected much of the CX 275s earbuds. They're certainly comfortable, nestling
into the ear and staying put almost unnoticeably and the sound is good, too. They
lack the punch and directness of the SoundMagic E10s (right), but they still
make for a satisfying, balanced listen.
Mix-Style didn't go for subtlety with
colours for their creatively named earphones. Pink or green? We can't decide.
But the sound is a tad brash: a bit heavy handed with the bass and lispy on
vocals. No in-line controls either, but it's worth saying that they're often
under US$25 and that their punch and clarity is pretty impressive.
The awesome E10s have been upgraded. As
well as a more durable, twisted cable, the new ones add an extra dose of bass
to the already winning formula of detail and punch, making them even better
value. Chatty types, who want a mic and iThing remote, need the E10M - a
princely US$20 extra.
Hailing from the not all that sunny climes
of Glasgow, RHA has hit upon a winning formula here. Nice build, comfortable
fit, an iPhone-friendly three-button remote and a very full bodied delivery and
all for just US$65. The bass can get just a smidge overbearing when pushed, but
the RHAs still have the overall quality to push the E10s right to the wire.