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Replacement iPhone earphones on test

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wuyanxu 13th February 2009, 11:34 Quote
damn it, ordered 2 Apple original iPhone headphones last night....... thanks for the article non the less
timmythemonkey 13th February 2009, 11:39 Quote
These seem great, but the downside is the cost, you're obviously paying a premium for iPhone compatibility.

Griffin make an iPhone adaptor that adds the same funtionality to any pair of headphones, and its only £13 from Carphone Warehouse.

The downside is carrying an extra length of cable around with you, but if you have a favourite pair of headphones and dont fancy laying out large sums of cash, its an alternative worth looking into.
Tim S 13th February 2009, 11:56 Quote
I've got a Griffin adapter from when I was using the old iPhone - you don't need it any more for the 3G as the headphone socket is no longer recessed.

EDIT: It's different to the one I had, but about the same price and better featured. I should click links before replying :o
kenco_uk 13th February 2009, 12:08 Quote
I was going to say, 'awesome' and 'just at the right time'.

How on earth can a £100 pair of earphones be 9/10 for value? It threw the whole roundup out of the window for me, at that point.
timmythemonkey 13th February 2009, 12:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
I've got a Griffin adapter from when I was using the old iPhone - you don't need it any more for the 3G as the headphone socket is no longer recessed.

EDIT: It's different to the one I had, but about the same price and better featured. I should click links before replying :o

Although technically its not needed any more to listen to music, what is quite annoying is getting a call and having to yank your earphones out of the top of the iPhone to talk to anyone, as it thinks you're using a handsfree kit, but of course theres no microphone!
Tim S 13th February 2009, 12:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
I was going to say, 'awesome' and 'just at the right time'.

How on earth can a £100 pair of earphones be 9/10 for value? It threw the whole roundup out of the window for me, at that point.

Because being a lot of money is different to being expensive for what they are. That, ultimately, is how we quantify value otherwise we may as well just say any product under £10 gets 10/10 for value regardless of how good or bad they are. :)
Sifter3000 13th February 2009, 12:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
I was going to say, 'awesome' and 'just at the right time'.

How on earth can a £100 pair of earphones be 9/10 for value? It threw the whole roundup out of the window for me, at that point.

I think you're a bit confused - the £100 hF2s get 8/10 for value, while the *$*100 V-Modas get 9/10 for value...
Almightyrastus 13th February 2009, 12:25 Quote
Thanks for this, just in time for me as well. I have been using a pair of Bang & Olufsen earphones with my iPods for the last few years and they have been awesome but alas, no mic on them. I am definitely going to be looking at at least a couple of these sets at the end of the month for iPhone use.
perplekks45 13th February 2009, 12:27 Quote
Am I the only one who thinks in-ear headphones are uncomfortable? I recently got an iPod Touch and the headphones included were just plain ones, not in-ear that is, and I have to say I was impressed how much they improved since the last time I used Apple's headphones. The sound is pretty clear, the bass rather impressive for standard headphones and the comfort is amazing because they have a little bit of rubber around the ear piece that keeps them in place.

They are nowhere near bass-wise to my Sony MDR-V150 of course but I really can't justify spending more than 50 quid on headphones. Call me ignorant but the difference between £50 and £100 headphones are included accessories... to me at least.
Jipa 13th February 2009, 12:28 Quote
What else actually makes these iEarphones except that iPhone among other phones uses the 4-pin 3,5 mm plug?

Nice review, good to see proper earphones included... Sure £100 may seem harsh if you have never seen such things before, but indeed they produce incredible sound!

EDIT: Also Youtube tells that the Jay-Z track "isn't available in your country" so maybe show some love to foreign readers and replace the link?
ArtificialHero 13th February 2009, 12:33 Quote
Gah, I just bought the apple in-ear headphones!

Just FYI, while the v-moda headphones are reasonable in terms of sound quality (although with WAY too much bass for my liking), the reliability is awful. I had two pairs just... stop working and from internet research it's not an uncommon thing to see. Keep your receipt!
kenco_uk 13th February 2009, 12:42 Quote
It might sound a bit egotistical, but yeah, I kinda guess that, Tim :)

I don't quite see the correlation for the scoring, is all. Why not just have one rating? Instead of Performance/Value/Overall?

Ultimately, if you value the purest sound and a pair of earphones, no matter the cost, make your library sound 'golden', the 'value' will be very high. You pay for what you get, at the end of the day.

Why give the Bose a value of 4, but rate performance at 6? Particularly when the reviewer mentions the opening to a popular Guns n Roses track sounds like tin foil being crinkled? TBH, a value rating of 4 sounds too kind. What does the performance rating mean? (and I'm asking figuratively, as in 'why is it there?)

I don't think value can be based on 'value-added', e.g. nice leather pouch included or funky cables.. with earphones it's all about how well the audio is received in your ears. I guess this would also take into account that, even if the audio was better than sliced vinyl but the only way the earphones would stay put is with using two huge black strips of bodge tape to each side of your head.
kenco_uk 13th February 2009, 12:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifter3000
I think you're a bit confused - the £100 hF2s get 8/10 for value, while the *$*100 V-Modas get 9/10 for value...

How much are the V-Modas in sterling?

Go to www.xe.com/ucc convert $ into £, add 15% vat.. more or less they'd be £100 to buy today.

Who's confused now? :(
Bbq.of.DooM 13th February 2009, 12:51 Quote
shoulda tested out the Shure SE530. Think you're impressed by the SE210? Just wait...

329 GBP.
badders 13th February 2009, 12:56 Quote
£329? for Headphones?

I'll stick to my Homemade "Drivers in Ear Defenders" headphones, and "2.5-inch hard drive in a big box" MP3 player.

I can probably guarantee that I won't be able to tell the difference ;)
perplekks45 13th February 2009, 13:04 Quote
The only pair of headphones I'd like to try are Beats by Dr. Dre. Shiny! ;)
kosch 13th February 2009, 13:11 Quote
Bought a pair of Shure SE210 off ebay for £49.50 brand new and have been very impressed so far. Great for work as I cant hear everyone talking!
Gremlin 13th February 2009, 13:41 Quote
Quote:
It’s the Jack Bauer of bass

:) single best line in a bit-tech review EVER!
Sifter3000 13th February 2009, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
How much are the V-Modas in sterling?

Go to www.xe.com/ucc convert $ into £, add 15% vat.. more or less they'd be £100 to buy today.

(so I should clear up, I'm the reviewer. Hi all!)

Still waiting on V-Moda to tell me about UK availability - the Vibe Is are about £60, I think the Vibe IIs will be about £70 or so.

As for the reason for separating out the scores. Well, partly, that's just Bit's style, but also, it does give you more flexibility when delivering a verdict. The Bose's are an interesting one - overall, the sound isn't terrible (they do fare badly with Welcome to the Jungle, but they're actually not bad for orchestral soundtrack stuff), and if they cost £50 - £75, I'd have looked on them more kindly. Separating out the value score allows you to show this - and it means if you find a cheap pair (on sale, on ebay etc), you can still make an informed judgement.

The Sennheiser's are the reverse. Their sound quality isn't fantastic, but for £35 you can't complain - what you get for your money is a lot more than you'd expect...
Htr-Labs 13th February 2009, 14:02 Quote
For what it's worth, if we are purely talking sound quality here, the Etymotic's are the clear winners in this category, regardless of price. However the major limiting factor is not the output (i.e. the headphones), but rather the source itself. The iPhone 3G uses the Wolfson WM6180C audio codec, hardly the best candidate for the job. Although it is a solid performer for mainstream applications, it carries somewhat of a overstated position in it's own right. Personally, I would not spend more than $250 for headphones for an iPhone. Although there are better headphones out there, i.e. Ultimate Ears, Jays, Denon, Etymotic. Of course that all depends on how much you want to pay for a pair of headphones. The Ultimate Ears would serve many purposes not just use for the iPhone, however at roguhly $1000 for a pair plus your ear impression costs, shipping costs, and fees, you're looking at about $1400 for a pair of headphones. Clearly this is more than most sane people want to pay for any pair of headphones for any application. With that said, the best pair of headphones reviewed here are the Etymotics, however I would choose the ER-4P's just for listening. The advantage of the hf2's over the ER-4p's is the addition of the inline MIC; useful yet terrible in implementation. Also at the extra $100 premium for the ER-4P's, it may not seem worth it for most. Good review, I did enjoy reading this one.

Peace
Jipa 13th February 2009, 14:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
It might sound a bit egotistical, but yeah, I kinda guess that, Tim :)

I don't quite see the correlation for the scoring, is all. Why not just have one rating? Instead of Performance/Value/Overall?

Why give the Bose a value of 4, but rate performance at 6? Particularly when the reviewer mentions the opening to a popular Guns n Roses track sounds like tin foil being crinkled? TBH, a value rating of 4 sounds too kind. What does the performance rating mean? (and I'm asking figuratively, as in 'why is it there?)

As far as I know "performance" is the sound quality as an absolute number. "Could it be any better?"

The value is the "is the performance what you'd expect for the money"-gauge.

I can't really tell how bad the Bose sounds, but maybe it just really failed on that particular song and otherwise was still above average. On the other hand "above average" is hardly what you'd expect at that price range. And atleast to me the overall touch of the earphones, headphones, just about anything, is important. Bad cables, cheap connectors... EWWWWWW. Make using both annoying and in some cases unreliable.
Cupboard 13th February 2009, 15:48 Quote
If they fail miserably at just that one song, they will fail miserably at more songs in wider listening and so will fail at life.
barrkel 13th February 2009, 15:57 Quote
I don't know why you're all so obsessed about in-ear headphones. I find them incredibly uncomfortable, and only use noise-cancelling ones when I'm on a jet plane across the Atlantic. The iPod headphones that sit just outside the ear canal are far, far more comfortable than either on-ear headphones (they tend to compress the ears painfully after many hours) and certainly more than in-ear headphones.
Sifter3000 13th February 2009, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
I can't really tell how bad the Bose sounds, but maybe it just really failed on that particular song and otherwise was still above average. On the other hand "above average" is hardly what you'd expect at that price range. And atleast to me the overall touch of the earphones, headphones, just about anything, is important. Bad cables, cheap connectors... EWWWWWW. Make using both annoying and in some cases unreliable.

Yup, in one. They weren't particularly awful (apart from the odd song such as Welcome to the Jungle), but there's no way they're worth £150 - that's 50% more than the hF2s, and as Htr-Labs says, they are a cut above in terms of audio quality.
Meanmotion 13th February 2009, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
I was going to say, 'awesome' and 'just at the right time'.

How on earth can a £100 pair of earphones be 9/10 for value? It threw the whole roundup out of the window for me, at that point.

I know a few other people have already addressed the issue in a roundabout sort of way but I just wanted to clarify, £100 is not a lot to spend on headphones. It's the entry level for a properly decent pair. I'd not considering anything that costs less. And yes, I'm still lamenting the loss of my Shure SE530s.
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