Review: Apple In Ear headphones ( yawn)

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Dr. Cabrera, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I just purchased the new in ear headphones for my iPhone 3G... and immediately returned them the same day.

    The first thing you notice when you try these headphones on for the first time... is that they are simply the most comfortable in ear headphones ever ( well at least in my case). I don't know exactly why, but the silicone that apple uses is feather light. The build quality of the headphones is also very very good, especially considering the price. I had these headphones on for about 4 hours, and I have to say that they never felt annoying, and I never felt like there was any painful pressure in my ear.

    Sadly these headphones fall short in terms of audio quality. I don't understand how these can be considered dual driver headphones because I felt that the lows were pretty much absent, and the highs, while clear, were not very loud. I connected these headphones to my amplifier at home, and there was a lot of distortion once the volume was cranked up. I have had cheaper headphones distort at a much lower volume level, so it was a bit annoying. The sound of these headphones is really not a neutral sound as most reviewers have stated... it was more like a upside down V, where the most emphasized sounds are between the mid and highs.

    Here are the pros and cons

    Possibly the most comfortable in ear headphones I have ever tried.
    Very clear highs

    Distortion at high levels
    Lack of Bass
    Price doesn't reflect sound quality

    If you are looking for a good set of headphones that are moderately priced I still haven't found a better deal than the er-6i's

    If you are going for a good set of remote controlled headphones, I would recommend using the stock apple headphones, and modifying them with Skullcandy Ink'd earbuds

    This combination has been my headphones for day to day use for about 3 months, and so far I love the isolation+ bass ( at the sacrifice of clear highs)
  2. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    They aren't "considered" dual driver headphones. They ARE dual driver headphones.

    The problems you cite with the new Apple In-Ear Headphones (AIEH) are typically what people experience when they don't get the proper seal in the ear. This would cause the lack of low end and the need for over driving the headphones to get adequate volume. Foam tips may be better for many people if the Apple silicone tips.

    With proper fit, as far as I am concerned, the new AIEH certainly are not going to provide overpowering bass. But, they provide appropriate levels of bass and mid-range unless you favorite music is Hip Hop.

    I found the sound of the AIEH to be superior to the Etymotic Research ER6i headphones and just about as good as the Shure SCL4 headphones. But I get a really good seal with the large AIEH tips.

    Factor in the built-in mic and button control and the AIEH are a steal at $79.

  3. Dr. Cabrera thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    no they definitely had a good seal, infact they were amazingly good at isolation... but the bass sucks, period.

    while the headphones do a great job at mids and very low mids, they suck.

    If you look at the spec sheet it says the frequency response is 5Hz to 21kHz

    but to be honest, in a lot of music ( that has known 10hz-20hz lows) I can honestly say I didn't hear SQUAT

    I understand that for those who do not listen to hip hop or other bass heavy music this may not be a problem, but it was a huge problem for me, even though my collection of music is pretty broad.

    the bottom line is, this is one users review, and there are a lot of reviews coming in for these earphones. So if you are thinking about buying these earphones, do yourself a favor and read as many negative, and positive reviews as you can before you go out and buy them
  4. ..........? macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2005
    I can bet that the Dr. Cabrera uses a lot of consumer grade headphones. If you are used to using consumer grade headphone then you are used to base/lows level that is skewed. I mean company will produce head phone (most company but not all) will "color" the base to create a sound signature that majority of the consumer are used to.

    If you been to a recording studio or use any sound design/editing grade equipment then the apple new in ear headphone sound signature are similar to that. You are actually listening to what the artist or editor intended. More nature relative to what was intended.

    Also I have to note that your music collection audio quality is also a factor in your overall experience.
  5. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I'll say that I didn't think they were very good as far as that goes as well. I returned my pair. And it certainly was not due to a 'bad seal.'
  6. Dr. Cabrera thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I have owned $10 and $500 headphones

    Out of all of them I still love my Sony MDR-7509's for home use.

    sure they are bassy but I love how loud I can crank them up ( music, video games,etc)

    I also own a pair of Shure SE530's which I use when I travel

    so please don't assume that I have not tried high end headphones ( I refuse to pay anything over $500 for headphones btw)

    I was looking for a well priced canal earphone for under $100... these apple headphones fall way short ( I actually prefer the Skullcandy Ink'd as my day to day headphones... since my er-6i's need repair)
  7. DigMe macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2008
    He said he has a pair of ER-6i's so he knows what accurate IEM's should sound like without exaggerated bass.

  8. Dr. Cabrera thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    yeah but sometimes people only pay attention to what they want to read.. sorry to say it but just because the product has a :apple: logo on it doesn't make it great
  9. tinfai macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2008

    I like your modded skull buds. I had been reading about the procedure on other sites and had originally been looking to do this, but haven't yet gotten around to it. I have a set of the iphone FMJ and generally like the sound. To my ears, they're quite good for people who prefer the sound skewed to emphasize the bass, and almost as good as other similarly-priced buds (e.g., Metro-Fi 200vi by UE or even the Radius Atomic-Bass). I prefer a bit more bass myself and also found the AIE phones lacking a bit in that dept. If you've listened to the FJM, how to the skullycandy buds compare to the FMJ in terms of sound quality?
  10. tomashi macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2008
    Unfortunately my results are the same as the OP. Picked up the headphones despite the overwhelming amount of reviews online talking about how they have pretty much no lows/bass because I really wanted to like them.

    I get a good seal, they are super comfortable and built quality is terrific. If only one of their drivers actually gave some warmth to the songs.

    Yeah, Apple didn't hit a home run with these. I'd say unless you are only listening to Jazz and vocals to stay away. I'm just gonna stick with the stock earbuds for now.
  11. OSXmaniac macrumors newbie


    Jul 8, 2008
    I bought these couple days ago and even I am not an expert on this I gotta say I really like them. At first they did not sound overwhelming great, but still very good. After using them for a couple hours the sound got even better. Mids and highs are just perfect now and the bass is not lacking at all.

    just my 2 cents
  12. groovdudeyo macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2008
    The lack of base could be because they are not situated in your ear correctly. for example with the headphones that come with an ipod you have to push them far into your ear to hear the bassy noises. If they are barely in your ear they do seem louder but you dont get any bass.
  13. Dr. Cabrera thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    trust me I tested these for several hours, and tested them with all three different silicone tips

    It's not the seal, its the fact that these headphones have weak low end noise. Apple compromised and made they middle notes the highest due to how the drivers crossover

    one of the drivers is responsible for mid and highs, while the other driver is for mid and lows

    what apple should have done is had a designated for just the lows, and then a designated driver for just the mids and highs
  14. tomashi macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2008
    for reals, i'm getting a fine seal so that's not the problem. bottom line is these things just lack good lows.
  15. KapitanIksrog macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2007
    I absolutely love these headphones. I was using a pair of Shure E2c's and I think the bass is significantly better using the AIE's. It did take a while to get a good fit/seal and I ended up settling on the large adapter in one ear and the medium in another.
  16. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    I tested the ApplePhones against the Etymotic Hf2. I actually liked the ApplePhones more. The Hf2 sounded thin. However, I did fit the ApplePhones with the Etymotic foam eartips for the best fit. They provide up to 40db of noise isolation.

    Attached Files:

  17. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    Forgot to mention that the Etymotic 3-flanged eartips fits too.

    Attached Files:

  18. SimD macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    Frequency responses that most companies state are bogus and are only put up so consumers can feel all warm and fuzzy.

    No offense meant of course, but unless there is a range of error following the numbers, the FR is not going to tell you much.

    In regards to audio quality, I wouldn't expect much from $80 phones. It's mostly features vs quality, and chances are, if you're buying these phones, you want the features.
  19. vinay427 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2008
    I think you mean higher, not lower. :cool:
  20. anirudh macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2008
    a little off topic here guys (well, not that much I guess)... I am out in the market searching for some GOOD quality earphones (not headphones). my budget is 200 bucks. Which earphone would be the best among the lot?
  21. Dr. Cabrera thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Oops you are right

    It really depends.. how strict are you on that budget ?

    what kind of music do you listen to

    do you want in ear, earphones, over the ear, etc etc
  22. anirudh macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2008
    well, my budget is now 150 :) I dont want to spend anything more.. I guess I am a fan of bass... Have the bose triport HEADPHONES but they are too bulky to be carried around, so searching for earphones.... Which one should fit my bill?

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