Q: Recently I have been considering a new pair of headphones because I am getting quite tired of the standard Apple earphones that the iPods come with. I have three products in mind, and I am having trouble deciding which one is the best choice. They include the Bose QuietComfort 3, the Beats by Dr. Dre, and the Shure SE530. As you can tell, they aren't the cheapest ones out there, but price at this point really isn't an issue. Which one out of the three is the most comfortable, has the best audio quality, and is the … Read more
Extreme sports and music go hand-in-hand, so it's not surprising that companies such as Skullcandy and Nixon take advantage of this relationship to market headphones to teens and young adults with an interest in such activities. Now you can add Roxy to the list.
The female-centric surfwear maker has teamed up with JBL to offer a line of stylish earphones aimed at young women. At the top end of the spectrum are the still-affordable Reference 430 headphones, an on-ear set that lists for $70. They're not particularly comfortable, and the bass may not be thumping enough for many, … Read more
When we reviewed Altec Lansing's line of BackBeat earphones, we were pleasantly surprised that they sounded as good as they did for what they cost. Expounding on the bang-for-the-buck theme, Altec's now introduced the line-topping BackBeat Pro UHP606 for $99.99.
Altec says the earphones include "high-end armature technology, engineered to deliver an in-studio sound experience at a price level far below competing headphones costing several hundreds more."
The press release goes on to discuss how great this technology is and how it helps achieve professional "studio quality." In other words, Altec's setting … Read more
I swear: the next time I see or hear "in this economy" as an intro to an advertisement or buying advice article, I'm going to drop kick the responsible party out of the nearest window. Regardless of gainful employment, who doesn't want to spend a little less to get something cool? I don't know about you, but finding a great deal always puts a little bounce in my step. What I like even more is helping others find what they want without requiring them to drop a massive wad of cash. In that spirit, here'… Read more
Generally, I ignore company promotional e-mails that spout promises of wonderful prize giveaways. There are two reasons for this. Either the "wonderful prizes" are actually not so great (read: cheap), or there is some irritating catch buried within the rules (like you have to sign up for a yearlong subscription to Home & Garden magazine).
But when I woke up this morning to discover that Klipsch is hosting a contest in which one prize is the Editors' Choice award-winning Image S4 earphones, well that is just something I can't ignore. Plus, the action required--writing a caption for … Read more
Although I don't generally pimp out reviews here on MP3 Insider, I couldn't resist pointing all you discerning listeners in the direction of the Klipsch Image S4 earphones. Straight up: these in-ear headphones shocked me with their superb sound quality, especially given the $80 price tag. Sure, they're not precisely "cheap" compared to some models that are available, but they do fall in the sub-$100 range and they offer audio on par with sets that cost three times as much. Truly, if you are looking for a new set of ultraportable headphones, the Image … Read more
OK, so maybe 100 bucks or less isn't cheap in the scheme of things, but when you take into consideration that some of the most highly rated, excellent-sounding in-ear headphones can cost more than $400 (or, if they're custom molded, close to a grand), a $75 pair suddenly doesn't seem so pricey. Plus, can you really put a price on great sound quality? Chances are, you're not getting it from the cheapo stock earbuds that most manufacturers include with their MP3 players.
Shure has been a well-known brand among audio professionals for decades; heck, the company's SM57-LC microphone has even been used during presidential inaugurations. These days, Shure's consumer-friendly line of sound-isolating earphones get the most attention in mainstream tech press. Models range from the entry-level SE110s for $110 to the audiophile-worthy $500 SE530s. Over the past five years since the introduction of its first consumer line, Shure has remained loyal to a neutral color scheme for its earphones. However, that has changed with the introduction of the SE115, a $120 set that comes in a choice of four colors. … Read more
Ultimate Ears has been a familiar name to musicians and other audio professionals for a decade, but the company has gained quite a following with its consumer line as well. Earphones in its various lines range in affordability and scale nicely, from those geared toward casual but discerning listeners to sets for audiophiles. At the bottom end, you have the MetroFi line, which has recently enjoyed a refresh in the form of the 220 and 170 earphones, the former being the subject of this review.
The MetroFi 220 Noise Isolating Earphones are a step up from the bottom of the … Read more