Review – Yamaha EPH-30B, Arctic Cooling E361-WM, and iFrogz Ozone EarPollution budget earbuds

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EPH-30WH In-ear Headphones
Company: Yamaha

Price: $50

Our first reviewer, Joanne, enjoys the Yamaha’s audio experience. Fit, comfort, and sound are "just right," she says. Joanne doesn’t fully understand why one speaker cable is shorter than the other, but she accepts this design decision without complaint.

She walks her dogs for six miles each day using the white Yamaha buds, with complete satisfaction. Ambient noise isolation is "perfect." Awareness of vehicles and people doesn’t diminish her ability to listen to her iPod. For $50 she would like some sort of carrying case, in addition to three choices of flexible white silicone ear tips. Joanne prefers the smallest included tips.

Black EPH-30BL are also available, at the same price: $50 MSRP or $40 from online merchants, such as Amazon.

MyMac Review Rating: 8 out of 10

Here is a URL for features, specifications, and product photos.

E361-WM Angled Ear Canal Headphones
Company: Arctic Cooling

Price: $61

Joanne’s daughter, Donna, is extremely pleased with Arctic’s $61 E361-WM iPhone buds. The angled speaker drivers are very comfortable, and "fit great" with medium size tips. Sound quality for both music and phone conversations is "terrific." People at the other end of an iPhone conversation report top quality delivery from Donna’s spoken voice. Sound is best when the mic is left hanging in its ordinary position. Noise isolation is good for listening, "but not so you’ll get hit by a bus," says Donna.

Arctic includes two useful accessories: a sturdy round carrying case and a Y-cable. Model numbers in the 361 range reflect black or white color, and with or without a microphone. The latter are about ten dollars less expensive.

MyMac Review Rating: 9 out of 10

EarPollution Ozone Earbuds
Company: iFrogz
Price: $18

The following is from Joanne directly:

It is increasingly irritating to find an excellent pair of earbuds (construction, sound, comfort, user-friendliness), that after approximately 100 hours of use, cease to work. This continually happens to me, though I am a careful consumer, handling them delicately, and using them only in an iPod.

The problem begins with one earbud having the sound go in and out, then dying completely. Then the other earbud ceases to function. There must be planned obsolescence in these products. It is utterly annoying.

My evaluation Ozone headphones came with blue cord, and the buds were encased in bright red plastic, for quite a nice look. There was no right/left indication. The silicon tips were also blue, and very comfortable. Their wires never tangled. This is rare, and a great quality. The fit was superb, and superior to most that I have tried. They never fell out if I jogged while wearing them.

The sound was excellent for popular, jazz, and classical music (the genres I tried). Audio was clear and pleasant, though not as sparkling as others I have used. The ambient noise was reasonably well kept out, but not totally. This is actually an advantage, for those of us who use headphones while walking near traffic.

I suppose, because these earbuds are economical, a user is expected to replace them every 100 hours of use. I would prefer a pair that lasted longer.

MyMac Review Rating: 7 out of 10

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