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on 27 July 2016
Best headphones I have ever owned. They are lightweight, extremely comfortable for extended listening at my desk, have good passive noise cancellation through the seal created by the rubber tips. It comes with a carry pouch and 3 different sized sets of earbuds so you can find what fits well. The iOS / iPhone controls work well and I have not had any complaints on phone calls that the mic is too quiet. This is the second pair I have owned - the first gave up the ghost after 2 years of virtually daily use commuting and being kept in pockets etc. which is all the life I expect at this price and with my level of rough and regular use. However my second set only lasted 10-11 months which was a bit disappointing (and the reason for 4 not 5 stars). As I then switched to an Android phone I didn't get a third par of these and instead got some Bose SoundSport headphones instead (only because they were 50% off on Prime Day and thus cost £40). However, I have to say these Sony ones are/were as good as the Bose ones which normally cost £80!
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on 11 January 2018
I have bought these headphones on several occasions over the past few years due to their comfort and sound quality. I really do think they are some of the best sounding ear-phones for the money and the fit is nice and snug so as they almost provide 'noise cancelling' properties. The pieces are slightly angled and fit comfortably and come with various size buds so that you can adjust to your needs. Very little sound leaks out of the pieces so they won't be a nuisance to those around you and the built in microphone and volume controls worked well with my Samsung S8.

However, the longest I have owned a pair of these earphones can be no longer than 6 months. Despite the superior sound quality and comfort they offer, the build quality is somewhat lacking. The most recent pair I bought barely lasted a month! On each occasion it has been down to one piece losing sound/ a lose connection so that my music only plays out of one ear piece. I have to make it clear that I do not wrap my headphones around my phone which can cause this and I'm mindful of how and where I leave them. I have since decided to return them and will be using the standard earpieces that came with my phone.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 September 2013
Firstly, I have had these for 2 years and they have had regular use - several times a week and several times a day. They are showing no signs of wear and sound is as good now as when I bought them.

Wouldn't say these are the bees knees when it comes to sound reproduction, but at the current price of 16.50GBP they are pretty good VFM. I have certainly paid a lot more in the past for earphones and ended up with a set no better than these.

If you are not used to this type of earbud it can take a little trial and error to get the right fit with the 3 different sized buds. They should push into your ear canal and make a good seal so that the external sound level drops. Too tight and you will start to feel pressure sores.

Big advantage of these type of buds is that the deadening of external noise means you can lower the volume and protect your ears. It also avoids that annoying tschh tschh tschh sound that can cause frowns on the tube/bus

The inline volume/skip/voice over buttons work well with my button-less iPod shuffle, also worked on my iPhone and newer iPod. The volume worked on an HTC phone I had, but not the skip - so buttons working outside of an apple device will be pot-luck.

Plenty of lead length and comes with a cable winder to take up some of the slack. If using this be mindful that the winder adds a block of weight and is best reeled up next to the mp3 player else the movement can cause tugging on the cable and cause a frequent dislodge of the earbud.

Sound-wise, nearly all of my songs play very clearly. There are a few songs where it starts to warble on the louder sounds (even with volume down) Jay-Z and Linkin Park - Encore and David Guetta/Usher- Without You being two such songs that gargle a little. A bit annoying, but I can live with it

One niggle is that the buttons are a touch high on the earbud cable and as such are unsupported. If I am walking fast or jogging, the button pad tends to jump up and down a bit and cause a thump, thump, thump. I don't always notice it, but when I do it becomes a bit of a distraction.

Bottom line - for the current price of 16.50GBP the sound and build quality represent a fair to good VFM. Unless you are an audio perfectionist you won't go far wrong with these. 2 years on and mine are still going strong.
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on 16 March 2015
First impressions are good. They arrived today (considering I ordered them yesterday afternoon, that's not bad at all). The earphones themselves are a nice design, and quite comfortable (although the bud shape itself is a tad different to, say, Skullcandy or Betron for example).

The audio quality is really good, and is great for 'all-round' listeners, but not-so-great for listeners to very bassy music (unless an EQ is used to increase the bass). The sound is sharp and very clear, and most songs sound far better than they did when I used to have my Betrons. The audio quality alone is almost enough to make me recommend these to everyone I know.

On my Nexus 5 (5.0.1) the pause/play/forward button works (although it refuses to let me go backwards in a play queue, which is a tad annoying), but oddly the volume buttons do not work at all. The mic works fine though, and to be honest the things that I wanted to be compatible were compatible.

The pouch that comes with the earphones is a nice design (if a little lumpy, especially when placed inside of a blazer or jacket), and the extra cable tidy is useful, although it is not large enough to comfortably fit the whole length of wire around. Nonetheless, it is useful.

For £14, I have to say that I'm impressed. No, they're not perfect, and there are things that you could improve, but they're a steal for less than £15-£20. Definitely recommend these, unless they spontaneously break any time soon.
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on 17 February 2014
I've tried lots of different earbuds over the years, and have generally had a disappointing experience with them. Some just haven't been very good, poor sound quality etc. Some have started off well, but gradually failed over a period of time. This is mostly my fault, because I treat them really really badly. I step on them, I fold and fold them, frequently fall asleep whilst listening to them and subsequently wake up 8hrs later on top of them. My cats like to play with them. Typically a connection goes in the cord, so one or the other earbud will eventually die. There, I said it, I'm a slob.

Turns out these little beauties are slob proof. They've suffered all the ignominies that have caused buds by other manufacturers (the usual suspects) to fail after only a few months. Yet here I am, reviewing the Sony pair exactly one year after buying them, and they're still going strong. Battered, bruised, abused, but still gamely hanging on in there.
The fact that they sound so good is a very welcome bonus, and the remote control works perfectly with 4th, 5th Gen iPod Touches and an assortment of iPads.
Only downer is that high winds tend to dislodge them, but that's a minor faff. All in all, highly recommended if you like your earbuds hard wearing and great sounding.
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on 28 March 2012
I was really pleased to find these, as I didn't know you could get third-party earphones with Apple-compatible volume/track skip controls, and I won't pay Apple's daft prices for decent in-ear phones. The remote control works perfectly with my iPod Touch (3rd Generation), and as a bonus the track skip (though not volume) control work with my Android phone too (I use the PowerAmp Android music player app, and you have to set remote control on in the app's settings). It's not very obvious from the blurb, but the unit includes a microphone, and again this works with my iPod and Android phone.

They sound great too - good solid bass, and plenty of definition in the higher frequencies. As with all in-ear phones you have to push them right into the ear, like earplugs, otherwise you get no bass at all. It's easy to insert them wrongly, at a slanted angle, but if you push them in at a right-angle to your head they're fine. They aren't noise-cancelling, so you can still hear things around you, but as I use them mainly while cycling that's a good thing.

For the price these phones are brilliant. I never expect in-ear phones to last all that long (ear wax gets into the speaker units and they stop working or dull right down - perhaps I just need to clean my ears out more often!), but if I get even a half-decent time from these then I'll be back for more.
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on 2 July 2013
This is my second pair of these headphones. My previous pair lasted three years before I lost sound in the right ear. This is a fairly common fault with any headphones, probably aggravated by my previous bad habit (now kicked) of winding the cord quite tightly, so I don't feel I should be too hard on the Sonys because of it. I decided on balance to buy another pair of the same because the sound quality is good for the price, and I know the pause and volume controls on the cord work with my iPhone 4S. They also, for the record, work with an iPhone 4 (neither of these models is listed as supported on the box).

They strike a good balance, I think, between cutting out a decent amount of external noise whilst not deafening you completely to the outside world, so are a good choice for wearing out on the road or at the gym. I almost exclusively listen to podcasts and other spoken word media, so clarity is essential for me - if you're listening to music your brain can fill in a couple of missed notes, but language quickly loses meaning and stops making sense. I find the sound from these is crisp and clear, and they're definitely my preferred headphones (the default iPhone ones are sitting in a drawer somewhere). These also come with a carrying pouch (which helps with kicking the winding habit) and three different-sized ear buds. Personally I stuck with the default medium ones, and I find they're very secure in my ears and don't fall out, but I'd imagine that there should be something here to suit most ears shapes. For the price, these are good headphones.
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on 11 March 2014
I bought these earphones to replace my old apple earphones. As you know, the Apple ones are pretty crap but I loved having the inline remote on them so I opted for these earphones. I actually got them for my Nexus 4 android phone. The volume buttons don't work on android but it can pause the track I'm on or skip to the next one. Plus it has a microphone which is useful for calls. The sound quality is great with plenty of bass. It's also the first time I've gone for in-ear earphones as I've usually avoided them, preferring the normal versions. Surprisingly, they're pretty good and they do block out a lot of the background noise. It took a little while to get used to them after using apple's for a long time but now I love them.

Update December 2014: The volume/headset control stopped working properly and I hadn't even had them a year. Had to buy some more earphones.
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VINE VOICEon 25 March 2011
I bought these headphones when my Apple in-Ear iPhone headphones finally died after 2 years of abuse. I had gone through two pair of Apple ones and I was not prepared to buy a third because of a design fault which makes the rubbery 'bud' come detached from the headphone EVERY time one removes it from one's ear (and would either fall on the pavement in the middle of a busy road or stay inside your ear!).

So in this respect, the Sony MDREX381PB haven't disappointed me, as the rubber bud doesn't come off unless you actually remove it (to clean it, for example). Price wise, when I bought them they were considerably cheaper than Apple's. However, sound-wise, these headphones are pretty average. As another reviewer mentioned here, the volume seems incredibly low for a start, although I have a sneaky suspicion that it's not as bad if using an iPhone or iPod Touch. It seems lower on my old iPod Nano; I don't know if this is to do with the fact that these are iPhone/iPodTouch headphones and therefore designed to work better with those devices, or if it's just my imagination.

In any case, I have to walk around with the volume whacked up on full because I mainly listen to music on my iPod Nano when I'm walking to work (but wanted headphones that would also give me the microphone function on the Touch, hence the choice for this type of model).

The cord is very thick and sturdy and so far there is no sign of wear and tear, even if I'm arguably one of the most ruthless users of headphones (I fish out the iPod from my handbag by the headphones' cord etc).

The earbuds themselves are not very comfortable, they are angled in weird way and never seem to completely block your ear canal, thus allowing for outside noise to filter in, despite the 'noise reduction' type of model.

All in all, I would say by all means by these headphones if you are on a budget - I bought them because it was the run up to Christmas and couldn't justify the cost of a pair of Sennheisers - or for the kids, or for going to the gym, or if you are like me and chuck them in and out of your handbag several times a day and yank them by their cord. However, if you want very good sound reproduction you will need to invest in something better.
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on 18 January 2013
By coincidence, on the first day I took these headphones to work, my boss in the adjacent office decided to borrow a tuba and learn how to play it. The noise isolation of these is pretty good - the strange sound of a tuba, ten feet away, played by someone who has ten minute's experience of tuba playing, ceased to bother me as I worked. Not bad!

They are to replace a pair of Klipsch ProMedia In-Ear Headphones - Metallic Red / Black and the isolation and bass response isn't as good as the Klipsch, but they are much cheaper. The earbuds are smaller, and don't make quite as good a seal, but there is a selection of them in the box. The click switch functions better and is sturdier, but the cable looks a little more fragile. Time will tell how the longevity compares...

Ideal for anyone who works in a similarly eccentric office environment.
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