Rich, balanced sound - great controls for Samsung phones. Incredible value.

A Review On: OEM HS330 Stereo Handsfree Headset in-ear Earphones Flat Wired Dual Earbuds w Microphone for MetroPCS / Boost / T-Mobile / Sprint / Verizon / AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 S4 S5 Mini, GALAXY S5 S4 S3 S2, S5 Sport, ATIV S SE Neo, Galaxy Note 3 2 1,

OEM HS330 Stereo Handsfree Headset in-ear Earphones Flat Wired Dual Earbuds w Microphone for MetroPCS / Boost / T-Mobile / Sprint / Verizon / AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 S4 S5 Mini, GALAXY S5 S4 S3 S2, S5 Sport, ATIV S SE Neo, Galaxy Note 3 2 1,

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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Microphone Quality
Value
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Price paid: $18.00
julian67
Posted · 274 Views · 0 Comments

Pros: Natural tone from heavy bass through clear highs. Great for vocals. Nice balance. Inline controls.

Cons: ? Not for Apple products (incompatible controls). Beware fakes.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 (original Note) and most aftermarket earphones have iPhone controls or none. So after reading about different compatible products I decided to try Samsung's dual driver IEMs as much for the best possible inline smartphone controls as for the audio quality. It goes without saying that the inline controls are well designed, easy to use and the mic is of good quality (and Samsung phones also have very good noise cancelling to minimise wind noise via the mic). I have been surprised and delighted at the sound quality for music playback.

I mostly listen to classical and choral music but also some rock and occasionally some electronic. A realistic and natural tone really matters. My main complaint with budget IEMs is that they usually have overly big but ill defined bass, either splashy or overly smooth highs and a midrange that varies from mildly recessed to really indistinct - this kind of kills natural voices and acoustic instruments as comprehensively as possible. My second biggest complaint with IEMs is that if you want isolation (I do) it usually comes at the expense of a rather closed sound. Ported IEMs can sound really nice and airy but I can also hear the traffic and the blowhards blowing hard into their smartphones. No thank you.

Of the better IEMs I've owned I had some UE600 (single balanced armature) that were OK but rather thin in lower frequencies and Shure SE215 (single dynamic driver) which are a bit bass heavy with rather rolled off highs but do render voices and unamplified instruments well. I think these Samsungs are superior to both. The bass is really weighty and natural but without dominating the midrange, so voices are not recessed or swamped. The higher frequencies sound really good as well. I am now convinced that Samsung's design of dual drivers with one inverted driver and slits and ports for airiness actually does produce an earphone with a very natural sound, decent isolation, and which does not sound closed or in-your-head, like most IEMs but still manages decent isolation. It does that magic and very non-budget thing of maintaining the mids and highs without ever getting harsh or bright.

As for the physical aspects of the design I don't care one way or the other about colour or flat vs round cables and all that stuff. These have flat cables and it seems they do resist tangling and never get knotted up. I like that there is a slider so I can minimise flapping cable and cable noise. The inline controls are below the right earphone so if you have poor eyesight or it's dark there is no problem differentiating left and right.

People get extremely excited about little factories in Southern China, small high end shops in the US or Europe, or emerging global players such as Xiaomi. My suggestion is to also pay some attention to a certain Korean heavy weight industrial power because when it comes to innovative design and economical manufacture on a vast scale they might not have fashionable status or snob value but they do make a seriously good earphone, good enough to put some famous audiophile products to shame despite vast price differences. If Samsung ever stop being incompetent/negligent at marketing these kinds of accessories then companies like Shure and Logitech and Sennheiser may experience a very uncomfortable wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee moment.

I was impressed enough at the sound quality of these and the great value that I bought a second pair just in case I break or lose these.

Buying: if you buy from ebay or amazon marketplace for $3 then please don't expect anything except a piece of fake plastic crap. Buy the real thing from a reputable retailer. A genuine pair only cost me £11 in UK direct from Amazon UK and they are even cheaper in US. If they don't sound superb you got a fake.

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