Thursday, November 13, 2014

Amazon's Premium Headphones Offer Great Sound for the Money

Between listening to podcasts and music, as well as editing a few hours of audio per week, I spend a lot of time with earbuds stuck in my ears.

I wouldn't characterize myself as an audiophile, as I listen to a lot of radio quality audio and streaming '80s metal. But, I do appreciate a good listening experience, and I am quite picky when it comes to the form factor of my headphones/earbuds. I cannot stand the current style of earbuds that you basically plug into your ear canal. Even when they come with multiple sizes for the covers, I can never find a good fit, and the earbuds are constantly falling out. Not to mention, I find them terribly uncomfortable overall.

I like the kind of earbuds that just sit in your ear, and the ones I found most comfortable for the past few years are now discontinued. When my last pair started to fail, I wan on the lookout for a decent pair of earbuds, but didn't want to spend a lot of money on a set I had no experience with. I wanted something similar to Apple's current EarPods, which sit in your ear the way I prefer. At $30, I was considering just buying a pair of those, as I've read good things about them.

As luck would have it though, Amazon ran a deal on their premium headphones that were designed to go with the new Fire phone. Normally $25, they were on sale for $10 back in September, so I ordered a pair. After about two months of usage, I can say that overall, I'm pretty darn impressed by these headphones, and would even recommend them at the $25 price tag.

The headphones are very similar to the Apple EarPods, although they are slightly larger and the tips of them flare out a little, to provide a more snug fit. I like the way they sit in my ear.

The cord of the Amazon headphones is longer than most I've had, but more importantly--it's flat. They are designed to be tangle-free, and while I'm not sure that is 100% accurate, I can tell you I have not had any major tangles with them at all. As you can see from the pic above, the other cool thing about the design is the magnetic backing of each earbud. When they're anywhere close to one another, they snap together, which also helps prevent tangles.

All of that stuff wouldn't mean anything if the sound quality was terrible, and I'm happy to report that the Amazon headphones sound quite good, especially for the price. I get a very full sound out of them, with good highs, mids and lows. I like a lot of bass in my music, and these headphones can give the sound a nice bottom without drowning everything else out. I have used them for editing podcast audio as well as listening to higher quality audio, and was very happy with how they sounded.

My only real gripe about the earbuds is that they aren't great for calls. I think the mic itself works fine, but it's positioned too low on the cord, so I often have to hold the mic closer to my mouth or it sounds like I'm across the room to the person I'm talking to. It's not the end of the world, and I don't make a ton of calls with my earbuds in anyway. But if that's a sticking point for you, you may want to consider something else.

All in all, the Amazon headphones are a solid deal at $25, and if you see them for cheaper, you should grab them. And you can, right here.

One note of warning--the longer cord has a habit of getting caught on things if you leave it dangling. Take it from someone who had almost torn their ears off on numerous occasions.

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