An Amazon prime day purchase means these earbuds were not paid for at full price. I got the orange cord because it’s easier to find an orange cord over generic black cords. Since earbuds are a mobile solution I plugged them into my laptop and played some music from different artists on youtube with a variety of encoding levels and quality.
Why am I reviewing a set of earbuds that have been reviewed to death on amazon? It was either this or a takedown of a bad research paper on the BPS replacement of BPA in plastic products. You can see the buds I got here, along with over seventeen hundred reviews: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016C6Z1KY?psc=1
So I listened to: “Crazy Train” by Black Sabbath, “Heavy Horses” by Jethro Tull, “Penny Lane” by The Beatles, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, 6th “Pastoral Symphony” by Beethoven, “Stardust” by Ben Webster, “Tank” (Cowboy Bebop main theme) by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts, “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus, “This is War” by Thirty Seconds to Mars, “Rändajad” by Urban Symphony (Estonian), “Shut up and dance with me” by Pop Goes Metal (ft Hannah Maddox).
As the music got newer in age, it sounded better in these earbuds, which is a pretty clear indication of the target demographic and what the expected use is going to be. This is probably not the set of earbuds to listen to direct transcribed records with, but any song that was originally digital, or digitally remastered, should sound very nice.
My initial impressions is that the midrange is a slightly muddled compared to more basic buds, especially for male tenor and upper baritone ranges, and the bass is obviously boosted. The sound quality isn’t bad, it is very “cinema-phonic” so to speak as the feeling of being in a theater is pretty distinct. I haven’t tried to equalize any of the sound levels in software, but I suspect this set of buds could be easily tuned to your preference and clarity without too much fuss if you care about it.
So, bottom line, are they worth the price? It depends. These are an obvious quality build, no obviously cheap components, the color is good, the length is almost too long (but very convenient if you are a tall person). If you are looking for a set of ear buds that will give you a comfortable ear feel and can enjoy the sound of Beats by Dre, odds are these are will sound really good to you and are priced much lower. If you are a movie buff, these are aren’t much more expensive than other noise isolating earbuds and will help you ignore the outside world while watching movies on a laptop or tablet.
I think that for the Amazon prime day price, these are going to prove their worth, and I wouldn’t have bought them at retail and don’t recommend you do either. I won’t take them with me to the field though (the field eats gear like nobodies business), so they’ll see a relatively easy indoor life. I’m cheap, and you might have a different set of priorities, but five to ten dollar ear buds are good enough for me in the field where they’ll get thrown in a backpack or ruck sack and crushed, and I don’t have the motivation to add a hard case just for ear buds (ounces make pounds).
UPDATE: After three months of pretty solid use, the right ear bud came unglued and split apart. A small dab of super glue and everything is fine without any impact to sound quality. I still feel like kind of a poser using “wood” earbuds, but the sound quality is good and other than a glue failure I’ve had no complaints.