Earphones, as in headphones that are just buds for your ears, have never been the best for listening to music. They have never been designed to be. Their purpose is to be portable, mobile, and very light. They do that really well, at the sacrifice of audio quality.
Personally, I’ve always thought the earbuds that come included with the iPhone (Apple’s earbuds) had great quality sound, but not a good enough range. The audio is very clear, and the volume is also decent (this stuff depends on the quality of the track too, especially when you’re talking about compressed MP3 tracks), but it lacks the range to really be given a serious position in regards to listening to music. More or less, it’s just a restriction of the size of the product. Other “over the head” headphones have larger speakers, and more room for them to move. Makes total sense.
What Apple has done here with 3-years of research, development, and design is pretty cool, but a bit redundant. The headphones are said to sound better, slightly louder, and are a little more comfortable. That’s about all it is though, and I don’t see how that is worth all that time and effort.
EarPods, as they’ve decided to name them, have a unique design that focuses on a commonality in the sizes of our ears, in an attempt to get closer to a “one size fits all” earbud. Apple admits that this is pretty much impossible, but they’re hoping this new product will at least make them the supplier of the highest-quality product, in the lowest-quality subcategory of that product.
Thankfully, the microphone is also better, and the remote on the cord is bigger as well. They come included with the iPhone, so I’ll have a pair next week for a full review.
What do you think of the effort Apple has put into this? Is there a justification for it? They are definitely better, judging by recent reviews around the web, but only a little bit.
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