Rivet Stereo headset with click controls

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by javaGuru, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. javaGuru macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2007
    Has anyone tried this new stereo headset by Rivet? It apparently has the click controls like the standard apple headset. It's available on Amazon for $19.99 plus tax and shipping. That's not a bad price at all. But, I want to know if anyone has tried these yet. I don't want to spend $19.99 plus to only have to eventually have to spend $100 for a better headset.

    Amazon link:

    Rivet link:
  2. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    I ordered a pair. Should be here in a few days. Will report back. Not expecting much in the sound department for $20, but who knows. If they sound equal to or better than the Apple in-ear buds, which is what I've been using because I refuse to use a wonky adapter, then they'll tide me over til Sennheiser gets in the mic/button game.
  3. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I just ordered a set and will report back when I get them.
  4. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Ok here's my review. This covers aesthetics, build, and music sound quality...I haven't made any calls with them yet, other than calling myself to test the answer button, which worked as expected.

    To settle any and all button questions, the button DOES work like the stock iPhone buds...play/pause/skip, and as mentioned, answer/end call. Also, the mic seems to pick up a bit of your voice, so you don't get that weird cotton-in-your-ears feeling while talking.

    Out of the box, the first thing that struck me is how butt ugly these buds are. Rivet tried to jump on the "clear smoke" bandwagon by encasing the buds in what looks like a layer of dried root beer. The finish on the casings is uneven, a little sharp in spots and overall cheap looking. The backs of the buds have cheesy chrome plastic triangular caps, pretty much just like the Sony EX71s.

    The clear silicone tips are interchangeable with the Sony EX71s and Sennheiser CX300s. The cords are cloth covered, and actually feel pretty solid and nice for $20. The mic section is bigger than I'd hoped, but not outrageously so. The mic is lightweight, but unfortunately the chrome button on the mic rattles like no one's business, at least on my pair.*

    The buds themselves are on the larger side, compared to the Sennheiser CX300s. They're similar in size to the Sonys. If the body of the bud were a bit smaller, it might allow for a more snug fit, a better seal and thus better bass...more on the bass below. I also think the larger size might give me some ear fatigue. As I sit here wearing them, I just took the right bud out and felt a bit of relief.

    One of the biggest problems with these buds is you can barely tell right from left. The R and L are in raised lettering on the chrome back covers. The debossing is crappy and the letters are uneven and minutely raised. It took me a couple of minutes to even see them at first. Also, in all the illustrations and photos of the buds on rivetnow.com show the mic hanging on the right side, like the Apple buds. However, my pair, when the cords are aligned properly, have the mic on the left side. It would be easy enough to twist the buds around on the back of the neck to get the mic on the right, but that would be annoying, to me anyway. It makes me wonder if my left and right buds are mismarked.

    The sound is ok, but nothing to write home about. If you're a basshead, you might want to skip 'em. The bass is there, but lacks any real punch. It's tight, but has no bottom. Adding Bass Booster in the EQ yields bad distortion. The mids are surprisingly rich but the highs are a bit harsh and tinny. Time will tell if these issues will benefit from burn-in. As fair as they sound, they still sound better than the stock buds, to me, and the fit is infinitely better. Compared to the Apple in-ear buds, the Rivets are more efficient. Switching back and forth to test sound, I had to turn the Apples up to get the same volume.

    One thing to note if you plan on buying the Rivets is how to wear them properly. The illustration on the box makes it look like they should fit like asymmetrical buds (Sony EX71, Sennheiser CX300). But they really don't. With Sonys and Senns, you don't put your head through a "noose". With the Rivets, you do. This rivetnow page shows how to put them on...making a "hole" with the sliding yoke, through which you put your coconut, resting the yoke on the back of your neck. It's not as bad as it sounds. If you don't want to wear them like this, you can wear them like a traditional Y cord, but the cord becomes considerably longer and the mic hangs a lot lower, meaning you'd have to manually hold it by your cake hole for a conversation.

    The current state of iPhone compatible mic/button headsets affairs is pretty sad really. A month into it and only 2 headset choices, and 1 mic/button adapter (Shure). If the Rivets were normal buds with no mic/button, they really wouldn't even warrant much of a review at all IMO, let alone an entire page. They're not the greatest buds in the world, but for $20, you could do a lot worse. Actually, given that the Rivets are 1 of only 2 iPhone compatible headsets with a mic/button combo so far, (notice I said mic/button combo, so the V-Moda Duos don't count!) you couldn't do any worse or any better. If you're determined to have in-ear type buds with a mic/button, this is the only game in town for now, unless you want to get out the soldering iron. I will definitely remain on the lookout for better options from other companies, but in the mean time, the Rivets aren't too shabby.

    *UPDATE* Talked to my GF via the Rivets for a few minutes. She sounded fine and said I sounded ok, no different really than the Apple buds. One annoyance however is that if your mic button is loose like mine and you move the mic while talking, the rattle of the button is amplified in the earphones. This wasn't a problem when sitting still, and doesn't seem to happen while walking.

    Despite what I said earlier, I couldn't really hear my own voice thru the buds when talking. It's weird because I can hear it if I tap the mic with my finger.

    *UPDATE 2* I popped open the mic housing (ridiculously easy to do...too easy, as in cheese-easy) and tucked a little piece of rubber cut from an old pair of headphones under the button and no more wiggle. It lacks as positive a click now, but works fine and silently.

    *UPDATE 3* Having spent the day with them, they are growing on me. The bass seems to have flexed out a bit. Made some more calls throughout the day and I feel that the incoming voice sound is a bit distorted and not as warm as the in-ear Apple buds I was using previously.

    Two not so great things I've noticed; the buds exhibit some definite whistling while walking outside, and the cloth cables have some serious microphonics from rubbing on my neck. I'm sure this is due to the way they're draped over the head.
  5. shemp9999 macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2003
    How loud are they and/or do they offer any noise reduction? I ride a train to work and I can't really hear anything from apple earbuds - especially if I'm listening to a Podcast. I got the Shure E4c headphones a while back and I can hear spoken word through them even while zipping under the bay (the loudest part of the ride), but if course, there's no mic on them, so they're less useful in general with the iPhone.

    Does anyone make high-end, phone compatible earbuds?
  6. applehero macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    29º 25' 26"N, 95º 29' 36"W
    V-moda has the best for sound, noise reduction, and fit IMO, but no answer button.
  7. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    They're much louder than the Apple buds, similar to what you experienced with the Shures. V-Modas are absolute bass monsters, if that's your thing. I found them to be like sitting inside a subwoofer.
  8. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    Sounds to me like a rushed product, and that probably explains the lack of products on the market right now -- the good companies are taking their time to get it right while companies like Rivet are rushing to market.

    The default apple headphones will do until a really good company puts out a set that I will keep forever.
  9. Jocko macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2007
    Ok I feel compelled to post my impressions because I honestly can't believe what I see people saying about the sound quality.

    So, first off, almost everything exceeded my expectations. Especially when you consider they were $20. Build quality seems nice enough. The cloth on the wires is not bad. The lanyard thing is a bit funky, but I'm giving myself some time to adjust to it. It seems to have some advantages related to isolating head and body movement so the buds don't get tugged on in your ears. Kind of hard to explain. I have not yet used them for calls, but the mic piece hangs in just the right place, its not too big, and the button works as expected.

    The bugs are light enough and as comfortable and any of the units that use the standard round gel thingys. The sound isolation is actually quite excellent. Even better than my ex71s. But this turns out to be a double edged sword. The plus is that, unlike stock iPhone bugs, you can actually hear your music if there is any noise around you. But this also makes the only serious flaw very apparent:

    The sound quality. And I'm not approaching this as some self professed audiophile. Comparable to ex71s or Shures?!? NOT! You know you when you play with your EQ and you turn down the lows and highs and crank up the mids so it sounds like an old radio? Well there you go. Seriously. The sound is absolutely pathetic. And no you can't just turn on Rock EQ to make up for it. That causes distortion at even the slightest reasonable volume.

    Whoever was in charge of this project at Rivet should be fired. All they had to do was put in a decent pair of drivers. If they had charged $40 or $50 for these with reasonably good sound, they would have had a huge sleeper hit on their hands. Don't waste your money unless you're really desperate. Rivet missed the boat with these big time!
  10. MyJelleo macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1C25 Safari/419.3)

    I haven't seen any high end ones yet, but I'm sure companies will be making super expensive ones soon enough. I'm pretty happy with the stock ones; they were made for individuals with perfectly formed ears. I feel proud to be one of the elite.
  11. b257177 macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2007
    Have ya'll seen the thread mentioning UltimateBuds? They seem like he best solution on the market right now, integrating quality headphones w/the actual headphone cable that comes with an Apple iPhone.

    Apple put so much thought into the cable and button - form the length of the cable to the functionality of the mic/button, that it's really an optimal solution. At least until the major manufacturers catch-up with demand.

    I am expecting my pair early next week. Review and opinions to follow shortly thereafter.

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