I know similar observations have been posted already but given that I just got my set with the new phone - I've got to say that I'm blown away by the new earpods. I would categorize myself as a moderate audiophile - Prob in the 1-2% group to use currently popular segmentation (is won't ever spend $500 for iem but have been known to spend >$200). Not going to debate the definition of an audiophile here. I'd say the best way to describe the night and day difference between these and the previous apple earbuds is that they have an open and very clear soundstage. The bass response - which was non-exist with the earbuds, is really good - particularly for non in-ear monitors. The old version's sound could best be described as thin, shallow and slightly blurred. These have a much more open soundstage and and are remarkably clear. Highs are better and lows are much better. I've probably got 6 sets of Klipsch s4i's and x10's that I use for everything from casual listening to mowing the grass and running. To be clear, I will not be switching away from these as they are still superior. However, I will be occasionally using these - especially where I'm worried about breakage and/or want to be more aware of my surroundings. At $29 they are cheap enough to replace when required. I expect that the vast majority of casual music lovers will be more than happy and never consider the need for alternatives.