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Prior to buying these, I had been through 4 pairs of in-ear headphones in as many weeks. Those were the ones you get free on Continental flights (2 people x 2 flights / 1 person who doesn't like them = all 4 pairs for me!) and clearly are only designed to last for the duration of the flight. Once they'd gone, I wanted some more immediately - so much so I didn't want to look online or shop around, and I ended up with these from Radio Shack as they were the only place I could think of in St Annes that would stock them. They cost £5.99 so were the cheapest pair in the store, and since that was early September, and it's now almost November, they've clearly lasted a lot better than the freebies!
I'm surprised there are so many brands of basic headphones since they all pretty much look the same. These have the standard black cord, the standard sized black ear bits and the standard L plug connector to fit iPods, other players, computers and so on. They've not even marked on the product itself, just on the packet, so the only reason I know these were the ones I bought was because I kept the packet for reviewing purposes. It seems a bit silly, as if someone asked me for a recommendation I'd not be able to think of the model of them without that prompt.
I do not listen to loud music with headphones, and in fact normally have podcasts playing which means I do not really notice the quality of the sound unless it's bad. I have had no problems with the sound clarity of these and find the bass good, though sometimes I feel I can hear quite a bit of what's going on around me at the same time. Obviously they're not noise-cancelling but I don't think any I've ever used have been, so I'm comparing like with like when I say that. I also don't think they give a massive amount of power - as I said, I don't listen to LOUD loud music, but I often have to set the volume to almost maximum with some things when using this (though that could also be a mix of the programme in question and the player).
These are old school in-ear headphones with the flat round plastic ends not the funkier soft gummy cylindrical ones, and come in one size only. I am used to this shape and size so have no trouble fitting them in, but find they definitely stay put longer, and give a better sound, when you twist them slightly to 'lock' them in place. If I'm walking normally these don't fall out anyway, but I was gardening recently, bending over and twisting around, and one ear kept falling out until I gave it a good twist, as if I was screwing it into place. The ends have no padding on them which makes them a bit less soft to touch, but also means you're not left with the problem of the little covers coming off and getting lost, in your ears or elsewhere. The earphones are marked left and right, and for once this does matter as each has a little bump on one side and this needs to face towards you head, not away from it, for best fit.
The cord is one of those ones that comes stuck together but that you pull apart to split to suit you. It's about 90cm long which is helpful as it means I don't have to wind any excess round my MP3 player. I put that in my front jeans pocket and the cord reaches to my ears, but I am short and there's not a massive amount of give, so some people might find it not quite long enough. There is no cable tidy of the kind that comes with some more expensive models, but I don't think it's missed here. Ditto any carry case - I always leave mine attached to my player anyway so wouldn't use the fabric pouch you get with some brands.
At a mere 17g they are nice and lightweight, and once they're in my ears I can barely feel them, even with the lack of pads or gummy ends. These are sold on Amazon for £2.40 including delivery which means I did overpay somewhat for the luxury of being able to walk out of the shop with them and use them immediately. If I'd not seen that, I would still be saying these are value for money simply because they've not broken on me and I use them daily (and perhaps roughly). They come with a 90 day warranty which isn't massively long for a normal product, but is ok for headphones as if they've not broken by then, they're probably good to go. They're not a top end product but they're affordable and great for my uses, so two thumbs up.