Just picked up my Apple In-Ear-Headphones

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Dembo, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Dembo macrumors regular

    Dembo

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK / Frankfurt, Germany
    #1
    Yup - finally here (ordered on the day they became available through the German Apple store), shipped via Ireland, arrived yesterday and I was able to pick them up this morning.

    Just had a couple of minutes to play with them in a less than ideal setting, however, a couple of points:

    • I can compare them to my Shure E2cs which I love but they lack a microphone and I am on my third pair now - the first two died of wire/isolation failure at the point where you wrap them around your ears and a pair of Sony EX71SLW where a decent replacement to the stock headphones but not much more (see below).
    • Remote works as expected on my 3G iPhone (and iPod Classic for that matter), i.e. everything is working except volume controls - I am fine with that. Thankfully the remote is small an light, I would've preferred an even smaller remote without the non-functional volume control though.
    • Microphone quality seems to be excellent - two test calls and people were unable to guess that I was on a headphone mic.
    • Fit is great, although a bit to small with the medium tips and a tiny bit to large with the large tips, sound isolation is less when compared the the Shure's (especially with the medium tips) but not much when used with the large tips - looks are slightly better, the Shures always reminded me of a hearing aid.
    • Cable noise is definitely worse than the Shures, might be due to the style the Shures are worn.
    • Cable quality can by no means be compared to the beefy Shures, however, the Shures kept on breaking on me so I'll see how much mileage I get out of them. I am somewhat worried that the white cable isolation feels slightly "sticky", much like Sony's EX71, which compacted to a gooey rubber ball at one point in time - better not keep those in a hot car for extended time periods.
    • Here it comes: Sound quality - very positively surprised (I listen to classical music, some Dave Matthews and similar sounding bands and a bit of whatever I like - usually no bass heavy stuff). More bass than the Shure's and very, very crisp highs. I don't know whether this is typical but when I hear compression artifacts its usually in the highs and even in less than ideal settings I picked up some that I previously overheard with the Shures (then again, if you know it you'll find it...). While the Shure's felt heavy in the mids the Apple In-Ears don't push the mid range that much - I will have to get used to it, for now (after 15min) everything feels much "cleaner" and better "defined". I used to work as a (classical) musician so I hear stuff but I am obviously not an audiophile, so give me some slack :cool:.
    • Build quality is stellar if you ignore the cables - I love the little metal screw-on metal mesh, much better than Shure's solution (little stickers) or Sony's (not replaceable)

    To sum it all up: Very happy, looking forward to running around, seemingly talking to myself like a weirdo. :)
     
  2. jonnyb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    That's the trouble, you can't tell who the loonies are any more - it looks like *everyone's* talking to themselves. Thanks for the review. Looking forward to receiving mine.
     
  3. Dembo thread starter macrumors regular

    Dembo

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK / Frankfurt, Germany
    #3
    I resorted to holding the mic in my hand - not necessary but at least people don't cross to the other side of the street...
     
  4. slapppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the review. Glad the sound quality if up to par. I think I read from one reviewer that he wasn't happy because it didn't have mega bass. Kinda silly since mega bass ruins the overall balance of the music. Anyway, I didn't get it because the volume controls doesn't work with the iP3g, which is kinda strange... Perhaps a firmware update?
     
  5. FCDP macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    Pretty spot on review. Just picked these up from the Apple store in the Eaton Center. The sound quality is an excellent improvement over the standard buds. Obviously the volume controls don't work with the iPhone, but they do work with the Unibody MBP.
     
  6. Dembo thread starter macrumors regular

    Dembo

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK / Frankfurt, Germany
    #6
    I don't think the volume control will ever work on the current iPhones - I presume that there is simply no contact inside the headphone connector to detect the volume change. Not a big loss I'd say.
     
  7. nanvinnie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    #7
    sweet! thanks for the review. i'm definitely gonna pick some up. probably in korea though. i'm heading there for the winter.
     
  8. dlamin517 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #8
    Sorry to disappoint guys but these earphones have almost no bass.

    highs are decent but ifyou listen to anything with a drum they arent worth it.
     
  9. Xelo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    #9
    I don't get this, one guy says they have no bass, another one says that they have more bass than the E2c (which I own and think have pretty descent bass). Is it about how the earphones fit in your ear that makes this difference, or how come your personal opinions are so different?

    I am not sure if I am going to buy these earphones. As I said, I own a pair of Shure E2c and I don't want to buy headphones with less good sound quality. However, the mids and high are most important to me, I want a sound with a lot of "space" and separation more than heavy bass. I want to feel like I am "there" when the music is playing, a sound that is natural. The Shures makes vi sometimes feel like somebody is shouting in my ear, and after some hour of use, my ears are kind of tired.

    It would be great if you could consider these opinions Dembo, and tell me if you think I would be satisfied with the Apples. A more detailed comparaison between the Apples and the Shures would be much appreciated!
     
  10. japanime macrumors 68000

    japanime

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    Thanks for the review. I'm tempted to pick up a pair!
     
  11. Dembo thread starter macrumors regular

    Dembo

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK / Frankfurt, Germany
    #11
    A lot of things with regards to "sound" is simply what you are used to (IMHO) - I keep running into people talking about "warmness" in analog amplifiers and I am pretty sure HiFi-nuts will kill me for this but I'd say that if you long for the warmness of analog amplifiers then this simply implies their sound is what you are used to.

    The same applies to bass (IMHO): As mentioned above I am not listing to bass heavy music (Hip Hop comes to mind) very often and the way classical composers manage emphasizing frequency range is very different from simply cranking up a knob. I was under the impression that the Shure E2cs are known for having a very balanced bass which might be considered "weak" by bass lovers (see e.g. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/do-shures-really-have-bad-bass-384793/).

    The Apple In-Ears feel a little bit more "bassy" (compared to the Shures) while still giving a very equalized/balanced feeling. As you mentioned - fit is critical, bass definitely "feels" different when switching from medium to the larger tips - I guess this has something to do with the coupling of the air volume inside your ear (between eardrum and headphone that is) and the surrounding air.

    One thing I can say about the Apples after spending some more time with them: The feeling of "frequency space" (not spatial resolution) is enormous compared to the single driver Shure's. I don't know whether that is a real effect (or can be a real effect) or it's simply me knowing that I am listening to two drivers. :).

    Furthermore the Shure's always gave me the feeling of being cramped inside a loudspeaker while listening to music - this is much better with the Apples. I listened through DMB's Live at Folsom Field yesterday and the Apples definitely gave me a better feeling of the place.

    I hope this helps you guys - I am definitely still very happy with the Apples. Less happy with some of my early ripping attempts, stupid compression artifacts...
     
  12. Xelo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    #12
    Thank you so much Dembo! That is exactly what I wanted to hear, and I think you and I have kind of the same thoughts about the E2c. I think I'm gonna go for the Apple, because from what I have read, they seem to offer more of the type of sound I like than the Shures.

    Thanks!
     
  13. iBrody macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #13
    Wonder how long it will be until people mod their Apple IE headphones by soldering the buds on to the normal iphone cable? If enough reviews suggest that there is enough bass on these phones (compared to say the Q-Jays or UE5 Pro's), then I will prob buy a pair and mod them.
     
  14. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502

    pianoplayer1

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    Why would you ever do that????
     
  15. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #15
    Probably to get rid of the non functional volume buttons.
     
  16. TheCheapGeek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #16
    Im excited about the headphones, i wish my local bestbuy would get them, but they are unsure if they are going to stock them at all. I guess ill have to wait till i go to the apple store in a few weeks.
     

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