New Apple In-Ear Headphones are weak sauce at best

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jmpage2, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #1
    I got a set of these today finally and have been auditioning them over the past several hours. I have been using in-ear headphones for over 12 years when I bought my first set of Sony in-ear headphones for use with a Mini-Disc player.

    I have probably owned over a dozen sets in that time. My "low end" set is a pair of modified JVC Marshmallows and my "high end" set is a pair of Shure SE530s (these go for about $300 or so and are reference quality). My music is all very high bitrate LAME encoded MP3.

    I bought the Apple in-ear headphones for the convenience of having the microphone and track skip controls built in. I was under the belief that I would be willing to handle audio compromises to gain the controls and microphone that the new Apple headphones offer. I also don't like beating my Shure SE530s to death doing yard work and other chores around the home.

    On the whole I would say that the Apple IEM are "okay". There are many $50-$80 headphones that sound better, but don't come with the integrated microphone and line controls. One of the problems with the Apple headphones is that they can be hard to get a good fit with. If the fit is off even a little bit then *poof* there goes the bass. When sealed properly they have okay bass but it's pretty laid back compared to a lot of other headsets.

    I got these for 10% off and am still debating on keeping them. They are just good enough that I can stand listening to them but it's a bit disappointing that Apple couldn't do better with them.
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    You lose some, you win some.

    Then try changing the earpiece. They're probably about worth what they are.
     
  3. jmpage2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #3
    Wow, I hadn't thought of that! :rolleyes:

    Of course I've tried all three different size ear pieces. Realize that many other headphone manufacturers like Shure realize how important it is to get a completely solid fit with headphones and produce a larger assortment of tips including expanding foam ones.

    Apple on the other hand decided to spend more money on the little travel case for the extra tips than to just provide a wider assortment of tip sizes and shapes.

    Again, the headphones aren't "bad" but are "weak sauce".
     
  4. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    the island
    #4
    Sorry you don't like them, but IMO, they are anything but weak sauce. In fact, I think they are by far the best In-ear buds I have ever used.
     
  5. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    #5
    May be if you compare them to the abomination that is the original earbuds.
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
  7. jmpage2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #7
    I don't believe I have stated that I'm an audiophile, although I certainly do have certain expectations out of audio gear based on its price.

    But hey, don't let that stand in the way of those who chuck rocks at anyone with even the slightest criticism of a product with the Apple name on it!

    As I said, these earphones aren't bad, and if they fit a specific niche for you then they aren't a bad buy.

    However, I was disappointed with how they sound for the $80 price tag.
     
  8. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #8
    Haha just having a go at you dude :). Easy solution is if you're not happy take them back. One set of headphones aren't going to suit everybody.
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    I'm not the one spending money on headphones I don't like. ;)
     
  10. Auzburner macrumors 65816

    Auzburner

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    #10
    When I bought my new In-Ears the Apple salesman clearly told me twice that I have 14 days to return for any reason. I may be taking advantage of these 14 days because I don't feel they are quite worth $79. The problem is my ear I guess. I get them seated all correctly and good to go. They sound fine, better than the stock iPhone buds, but they begin to physically hurt. After about 70 minutes on average I feel as if the buds are expanding and putting forth outward pressure on my ear canal. I'm no audiophile and am not used to In-Ear's, so I may be doing something wrong. In the end I'm going to wait until probably the 13th day using them as much as I can because I'm rooting for these and want them to work and then I will return them if they don't meet up to their price tag IMO...
     
  11. fishmoose macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #11
    I currently have a pair of Senheiser in-ear headphones, don't remember the modell right now.

    Most of my music on my iPhone is encoded in 256 Kbps AAC, I'm pretty picky when it comes to music for example I always stay away from MP3 encoded albums allmy music on my iPhone and iPod was originally Apple lossless.

    Anyway do you guys and girls think theese headphones will be good enough for me? Or would they sound to bad for people like me?

    I don't lissen to any hiphop or bass intensive music mostly pop and 60's music and sometimes alternative rock.
     
  12. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    the island
    #12
    well, compared to the original ear buds these things are like heaven sent. they definitely aren't the best cans on the market, but for the cheap $80 ticket, they are great.

    i hate most IEM's, but love the new Apple ones.

    i try to not get below 256 kbps if i can avoid it and always rip with Apple Lossless and these phones sound great. Anything below 256 and you really can hear how "lossy" the encoding is, which can lead one to think the phones are bad. They've even done fairly well in reviews on Head-Fi.org, unlike many "popular" IEM's. And if you've spent much time on that forum, that definitely says something.

    the things is, though, when all is said and done, there really is no point in listening to reviews of headphones. they are extremely subjective. for me, $80 is a bargain for these. i get a perfect fit, a mic and remote, terrific soundstage, and great highs, lows, and mids. but, that doesn't mean the next guy is going to like them, there are many variables.

    the best advice is to not listen to people on forums, get to an Apple Store, and take advantage of the no-questions-asked return policy, and see for yourself.

    and also, the number one reason why in-ear phones get bad reviews is usually because of a bad fit, a low bitrate, or a combination of the 2.
     
  13. jmpage2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #13
    Are you still trying to put them in your ears without the silicone sleeves on them? If so you are inserting them incorrectly.
     
  14. Poat84 macrumors 6502

    Poat84

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    #14
    I want the headphone where I am able to talk with them instead of holding the phone.
     
  15. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    #15
    How did you get 10% off?

    Don't know why some people think they're great while others are blah. Guess i'll have to check them out myself.

    I'm surprised they'd let you return them for full credit after sticking them in your ears.
     
  16. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    the island
    #16
    That would be these.

    And the ones that came with your iPhone.
     
  17. Applepi macrumors 6502a

    Applepi

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #17
    I just purchased a pair of these today based on some reviews that say they are about worth what you pay for them. After spending some time listening to a variety of different artists and genres, I have to agree.

    I find that they fit better than any other in-ear I've tried before, and they work great for the kind of music I listen to. The vocals are crisp, and the lows are just where they need to be for my taste. I'd reccomend these to anyone who wants decent sound without spending too much.
     
  18. jmpage2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #18
    I get an EPP discount through the corporation I work at. They also honor this at local Apple stores.
     
  19. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #19
    IEMs always have their share of troubles. This is mostly due to the fact that everyone's ear is shaped differently, and it's really, really, _really_ hard to design some IEMs that fit with a good seal for every user.

    I've tried them on, and since I'm one of the ones they fit well for, I think they're worth $79 (from a quality perspective). I wouldn't get them (I've got some Skullcandy FMJs for casual use and some Etymotic ER4s reference monitors for serious stuff), but I think they're a pretty decent pair of headphones.
     

Share This Page