My Earpods are doing Movember.
A review. This is new…
Well, I’ve been using the new Earpods Apple introduced earlier this year alongside the new iPhone. Their previous stock headphone models have always had a lot of stick with people complaining about ‘poor sound quality’. Honestly, I never thought they were that bad – good enough for the gym and work. However, you get on the train and you soon see why some take issue with them.
Bottom line (perhaps up until recently) is that you get what you pay for. Recent years have seen a relative boom in the availability of fashion over function headphones, but I’m not getting into that now (Lord knows I could though…).
Onto the Earpods. When they were announced, the big sell was that they would fit much better in your ears. Their shape would definitely indicate this. The elongated end sits inside your ear, and directs sound into it, rather than the side of your head. Bonus.
Now, I usually listen to music with in-ear headphones (Klipsch S4i’s to be exact), but when it comes to the gym or the workplace these suck. Due to the plug they form in your ear, either you can’t hear what your colleagues are saying, or the slightest amount of moisture can cause constant re-adjustments, or eventually fall out altogether.
For work, Earpods really are great. The improved sound quality means you don’t need to need to have your music so loud to appreciate it, and also means you can more often than not, hear when people ask you a question. No more Mr Antisocial. The comfortable fit has also meant I can wear them for a long time without my ears aching – something that is pretty rare for me. So good, so far.
Now to the gym – the reason I’ve kept my Apple earphones in the past is that they’ve always been reliable when running. The Earpods slightly disappointed here though, and I think this is due to the lack of rubber around the outside to increase grip inside the ear. While running, I find I am regularly re-adjusting them as they often feel as though they’re about to fall out. They probably weren’t designed for running, but I’m just making a point.
The sound in-ear headphones can deliver is probably never going to be matched by an earphone that doesn’t plug inside your ear, so don’t expect the Earpods to come close. That said, the difference in sound compared to the old Apple earphones is significant – highs are crisper, bass is, well, audible and generally sound is much more balanced.
FWIW – my song of choice when testing new heapdhones (great for bass):
However, due to the relatively loose fit (again, this could just be down the the shape of my ear), stepping outside almost always signals the need to turn up the volume.
While the Earpods do offer an improvement in sound, for me the fit just isn’t quite there. A rubberised surface to keep the earbuds seated in the ear could solve some of the problems I’ve come across, but overall I find they fit in my ear better than the old ones.
But, for a £25 earphone (or indeed, free if you’ve bought one of the new iPhone or iPod models), they are punching above their weight. People that will appreciate these the most are those that don’t like earphones that plug in the ear, or, like many, sit and listen to music at work. Would I choose to upgrade these? Debatable. I certainly wouldn’t go back to using the old Apple earphones now I have Earpods, that’s for sure. What have other people found? Leave a comment