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Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic - Review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic - Review


A review of Apple's in-ear solution


A lot of people like listening to music on iPods, but only a few of them considers (or considering) upgrading to a higher level from the stock iBuds. This review is mainly for these people, to raise their attention to this nice pair. I won't compare these to professional in-ears and IEMs, only giving the opinion how is it works with iPods.




The box is white and sleek, as expected from Apple. Inside, you'll find the buds packed in a nice and stylish carrying case, a pill-looking capsule containing the two others sized sleeves, a pair of replacement mesh caps, and the manual. The carrying case is a very handy accessory, the headphones fits nicely in it. And is useful for the regular problem at iBuds: the cable won't get dirty, if you'll use the case. The capsule is not a bad idea, however, no one will carry it on the way, because when you selected the right size, won't need it anymore. The manual is just the regular: use safely and don't listen to music too loudly.




If people would have to describe Apple products in one word, it would be design. And me too: I can't say a wrong word for the look, it's simply and sleek enough to be an another Apple product. If you examine the pair for a while, you can see that it's looking almost the same as the stock buds, only the speakers are different, the main features remained: a remote control resting on the right cable, and I found it very useful, you don't have to bring out the iPod from the pocket just to skip track or add volume. And on the other side of it, there's a mic, for iPhone and voice memos. What to know about the mesh caps: under the sleeves, you'll see a tiny aluminium cap, which can be replaced if lost or became too dirty, but if cleaned regularly, won't need to replace them. 



The most important aspect. It sounds great, compared to many other pairs in the category, including the stock iBuds. The mids are well-placed, the highs are clear, and the lows are surprisingly deep and powerful. But everything depends on the correct fitting: you have to place it in your ears very accurately, leaving no holes or free areas. You'll know when the fit isn't right: it'll hurt like hell when in wrong position. Let me refer to the manual: "When the fit is right, most outside noises are blocked and music has a rich bass". Really, outside noises are greatly blocked, you'll barely hear anything else than the music, but as mentioned earlier, only blocks if you place it correctly.



The verdict

Apple's in-ear headphones proved that iPods doesn't have to mean stylish design but cheap sound. The price is 79$, I think it's correct for the features and sound you get. If you have an iPod and bored of the basic quality (which I can understand), give it a try, it'll worth it.


Package: 7/10

Design: 9/10

Sound: 7.5/10


Pros: a nicely designed and detailed sounding pair for a not-so-typical Apple price

Cons: the quality improvement can't be heard at every track, and can't order additional sleeves or mesh caps



post #2 of 5

I think the bass is rather lean and vague, the mids too far back and highs a bit thin. At the same time, they're nicely detailed and still musical. Not peaky. They're actually not a bad value and those descriptions are relative to top tier products.

post #3 of 5

I owned one of this for about one day, I return it to the store, my opinion is very simple: expensive piece of s**t! Sorry....

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yeah, it depends on musical taste and adeption to other phones...

post #5 of 5

I would like to add is that given about 60-hours of burn-in the Apple In-Ear Headphones (two balance driver setup) is very impressive.


I personally use Comply Ear Foams label T140 medium as a comfortable and better fit replacement over the silicon single flange sleeves that come standard with the IEM.  The placement and fit into the ear canal is very important in achieving good if not great sound.  With the Comply Ear Foam replacements, the sound-stage presentation is impressively expansive while retaining many dynamic features normally not presented with the stock silicon sleeves.  I also use the C&C F1 micro amp to drive the Apple In-Ear Headphones due to higher fidelity achieved when using them this way. 


I have also noticed a significant improvement in bass, mid-range transition, and treble response when using the F1 amp with the iPod Touch 2nd Generation, the Macbook Pro Unibody 17-inch, and other sound sources using the 3.5-millimeter stereo mini-jack.  Yes I know that I have lost the remote and microphone function, however when I am listening music with these, I really don't care for the other functions.  It is a convenient feature, however it is not necessary most of the time and if I ever need to use these functions, then I know it will be available whenever I need it. 


For the money, I highly recommend the Apple In-Ear headphones (provided if purchased with the Comply Ear Foams) for sound, features, and overall design.  It is a very smooth sounding IEM as long as they have been burned-in for at least 60-hours and amplified. 


One last note, I have tried these with the Fiio E3 amp and the Apple IEM sound very dynamic and expansive still with the most affordable headphone amp to date.


Hope this helps,


Have a good weekend and week.

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