I’ve had reasonable luck with iPhone headphones. For the most part they last a fair while and sound okay, not really giving me much reason to look for alternatives. Until recently that is, where another cable catching on a door handle proved just too much damage, leaving me with audio in only one ear.
Finding headphones is one thing, finding a set with volume controls and an inline microphone at a fair price point is another. So when I spotted the MediaDevil Artisanphonics EB-01 luxury wood earphones with built-in microphone from a British company, out came the credit card and the rest is history.
Bluedio M2 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Sports Running Headphones Black
Price: $15.89 (US), £12.95 (UK)
It would be easy to dismiss a set of headphones costing less than $20 as basic, even if those headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluedio Melody M2 Bluetooth headphones set aside that notion, providing great functionality at a great price in the form of a competent set of headphones that equal those white buds from the fruity based company.
PUMP HD Sportbuds Waterproof/Bluetooth Headphones
Price: $129.95 MSRP
I have been running and working out for many years now and since the advent of portable electronic devices, the one pet peeve that I’ve had is that I have never really found a set of headphones that will work properly once I’ve started to sweat during the workout. Apple’s earbuds or any major brand in-ear headphones always seem to have the same issue; sooner or later my sweat will cause one side or the other of the in-ear headphone to stop working properly until I’ve dried it out. So when BlueAnt said that they had a waterproof bluetooth headphone, I knew that I had to give them a try.
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iHome Wireless Bluetooth headphones
In 2001, Earbuds were introduced with the iPod. They were not particularly good at the gym or when walking. Recently Apple developed improved EarPods, but even with a better fit, they disappoint when you are physically active. The biggest problem is the dangly cord that gets caught on clothing, and its weight can pull the Earbuds or EarPods out of your ears.
Nakamichi BT Headphones
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First, if you read my review of the Nakamichi Shockwave Bluetooth Speaker, you will know that Nakamichi is a manufacturer of high-end audio equipment that I loved from the 80’s and 90’s but had left the U.S. market a decade ago. The trio of products they have recently launched back in the U.S. are all budget priced in a very competitive and busy market. The first product I reviewed was the Bluetooth Speaker and while I liked the build quality and features, the actual audio was sub-par and left me wanting more. I feared that the second product I was to review, these Nakamichi BT Headphones, would suffer a similar fate.
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iFrogz Coda Forte Bluetooth Headphones with Mic
Price: $99.99 USD
With the dramatic increases in technology and the portability of the devices that we have come to depend upon in our daily lives, logic dictates that the capability to listen to music or to have a telephone conversation would also have to improve. Bluetooth headphones have quickly become a necessity for users as they don’t wish to be “tied” physically to their devices.
Angle & Curve MKII Classic Headphones
NOW—Live from London’s Old Covent Garden! Here are Angle & Curve’s MKII Classic Headphones! Headphones (Check!), Inexpensive (Check!), Hip and Cool (Check!)—Great sound? (Oh, yes indeed. Check!)
Angle & Curve’s MKII Classic Headphones are stylishly retro in design while producing a stylishly contemporary sound. They are from a firm based in the Old Covent Garden section of London and are engineered there by a group of designers, audio specialists, and DJs. These headphones deliver impressive sound at a remarkable price.
RHA MA-350 Earphones
I love a bargain. And, as a Brit, I love British engineering. So when I get an opportunity to review a product that combines both I am always very intrigued. The product that piqued my interest is the MA-350 in-ear headphones from RHA, a specialist audio product manufacturer based in Glasgow, Scotland.
Aviator Edit custom over-ear headphones
$200 U. S.
User Report Review
Original $150 black Aviator headphones are reviewed here on Pocket Sized Podcast #20 starting at 36:53 into the show.
How much extra is it worth to you to have custom colored headphones? If the answer is in the $50 range you are in luck. Skullcandy’s new Edit model of Aviator over ear headphones can be customized almost infinitely: headbands, frames, caps, and cord.
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Mix Master Premium Over-Ear DJ Headphones
Skullcandy is now in the upper bracket niche market with these high profile multi-purpose headphones. Mix Master Mike, a top-tier DJ, worked with the company to develop this colorful product lineup.
Reviews on the company’s web site and from independent reviewers are mostly positive. Read them in addition to this user report before you decide to purchase. If possible, buy from a store that has a generous return policy if the fit and sound are not to your liking.
One thing is guaranteed: Mix Master headphones are different. How will these differences appeal to you? Read our evaluation below.
NE-600X Sound Isolating Earphones
The NE-600X earbuds provide good value for the price. Bass response is acceptable when listening to classical music, though not particularly noteworthy. On the other hand, I gave them to a 19-year-old who listened to hip-hop with them and thought the bass was terrific.
One of the greatest assets to any iOS device is the ability to listen to your favorite music, audiobooks, or your favorite apps. There is nothing more annoying than trying to do so with earphones that simply ruin the experience with their shoddy qualities. Most of us aren’t in the market for expensive earphones that can cost over $200, so what’s out there for those of us who want to find a balance between sound quality and cost? V-Moda and Arctic each have earphones in their lineups that try to reach such a balance. How do they compare?
BlueAnt Embrace Stereo Headphones
Price: $199.99 MSRP
There are headphones and then there are just headphones. BlueAnt has set out to show how headphones should be done, and as far as I’m concerned, they have really succeeded with the Embrace Stereo headphones. Designed specifically for the iPod, iPhone and iPad, the Embrace Stereo headphones also do a fantastic job when plugged into your Mac or PC.
Company: Wicked Audio
MSR Price: $30.00 USD
With iPods, iPhones and iPads everywhere, and they being the way that most people listen to their music, the use of headphones has skyrocketed; be they earbuds, in the ear, on the ear or over the ear models. Since I really enjoy the pleasure of listening to my music without infringing upon others, I am always on the lookout for new things to try out. When the chance came along to try out something new, I went for it and tried out Wicked Audio’s Reverb Headphones that promise music like you’ve never heard before.
Sennheiser CX 680i Adidas Sport In-Ear Stereo Headphones
Price: $79.95-$99.95 USD — depending upon vendor
Ever since my first iPad, I’ve been using Apple’s traditional white earbuds. When I got the opportunity to take a look at Sennheiser’s CX 680i Adidas Sport In-Ear Stereo Headphones, I suddenly realized what I’ve been missing all these years. Priced at around $100, these headphones aren’t Sennheiser’s highest-end headphones, but anything I take a look at is going to sound great compared to the white earbuds I’m accustomed to.
Mogul DJ Ear Pollution Headphones
$40 to $70 online
Guest review by Devon Gilbert
The first things you notice about the new Mogul Earpollution DJ Style headphones from iFrogz are the sleek, stylish design and color scheme. These headphones are clearly meant not only to deliver great sound quality, but also to turn heads of people around you. They are portable and fold in half for easy storage.
If you are annoyed with how some headphones have twenty foot cables, you will appreciate the Mogul’s 5-footer. The large, flat, padded style of the headphones fully covers your ear and slightly conforms to the shape of your ear to deliver better sound quality and comfort. One downside to the design is that on higher volume levels, anyone within 20 or 30 feet can hear your music. Although this doesn’t matter if you are out at a loud club as a DJ, many consumers want to keep their music to themselves.
Company: Olens Technology
$60 to $80 online
If you are an iPhone or iPod touch snob, stop reading now and get back to your favorite time-wasting toy. If you want to learn about a promising new audio recording device, keep reading.
MiCorder does only two things, and does them well. It records ambient sound, live music, and voice easily and efficiently with a built-in microphone in non-audiophile MP3 compression. And it records from any line audio source with an included cable, also as a 128mbps MP3. Stop yawning. The latter is MiCorder’s greatest asset.
Price: $60 online
Price: $80 to $100 online
Company: Jays of Sweden
Devon Gilbert assisted with this review
The most visible difference between these two new affordable in-ear headphones from Jays of Sweden is the cables. One is flat and wide, and the other is skinny and round. Closer inspection reveals speaker driver housing design variations. One is small and round, and the other is squared-off and chunky. Both models ship with identical accessories and superb packaging, to be described several paragraphs below. Here is a photo, after the cases have been opened.
By guest reviewer Devon Gilbert and John “Nemo” Nemerovski
Devon and Nemo spent hours listening, evaluating, and comparing these three innovative, affordable headphones with microphones, or headsets, if you prefer the term. We will first describe them one at a time before we rate or rank them.