Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
What a steal!
on 12 September 2013
I think this is my first ever review on Amazon, and it was motivated by what is a genuine bargain for a great set of headphones. As a current owner of a pair of Bowers and Wilkins P5's for most of my 'mobile' listening, I only really use in-ear for a) the gym or b) when I want to be a bit more discreet, for example travelling on the tube late at night.
My previous in ear headphones were Shure, and whilst the sound was great, the usual problem of the cable disintegrating reared its head recently and forced me to buy a new pair.
A quick read of the What HiFi 2013 feature online pointed me towards a few options, not least these Sony units, however you could have knocked me down with a feather when I found these on Amazon for £85. So much so that I spent about 10 minutes looking at all of the small print etc. to see if they were seconds, returns or similar. I then proceeded to throw my money at them as fast as technology would allow, and through the joys of Amazon Prime delivery, I had them in my hands not long after breakfast this morning.
A couple of immediate comments, firstly the attention to detail on the design, as well as the build quality, is fantastic. Very confident inspiring and the cable is flat enough not to tangle but not so flat as to be awkward and annoying to wear or store. I was also very surprised to find six different pairs of earbuds - three in each size, half of which are standard silicone rubber and half of which are noise isolation buds with foam between the layers of silicon. As someone who usually falls somewhere between the medium and large bud size supplied with headphones, I was delighted to find that the foam makes the medium a perfect fit. Runners will also be pleased to know that you can effectively wear them upside down and over the top of the ear, which gives them a little more security when moving fast. Sony also supplies a lovely magnetic-close carry case, a clothes clip, and a cable tidy. However, the latter is just too heavy and causes the buds to come out of your ears.
Anyway, on to sound. Having only just received them I haven't had time to burn them in yet, however have spent a couple of hours now flicking between some different music styles using 320kb on an iPhone 5 and I have to say they absolutely trash the Shure's. I've always been reticent to spend big bucks (£150+) on in-ear headphones because they are compromised by their very nature, however I'm now wondering if I've missed a trick because the balance and clarity offered here is amazing. No one frequency dominates, and it means you can pick out nuances of individual instruments rather than just an overall noise. Initially I also felt they were a little weak on the bass, until I played Purity Ring's album, at which point I realised that the headphones are simply faithfully recreating the recording, rather than trying to add their own 'enhancements'. Play bass-heavy music, and you will certainly get bass!
I'm now in the process of swapping all my downsampled music on my iPhone for lossless files from my computer, which will only enhance things further!
Anyway, well done Sony, well done Appods and well done Amazon. One very happy customer (and one more on the way...my wife also just ordered a pair).
PS: for those of you not requiring the in-line controls, you can get this great sound even cheaper via the standard XBA2's!)