I've been on the lookout for some decent inner-ear headphones for a while. I used to have a great Sony pair and when they gave up I thought I'd do well with Sennheisers after being impressed with their over-ear headphones. Sadly they didn't fit well, and with inner-ear style headphones, ear canal fit is pretty much the most important factor - even great ones can sound very poor if they don't make a good seal.
As you typically can't return used headphones for hygiene reasons, I didn't want to spend a lot, with the risk they wouldn't fit. Then I saw this review on The Wirecutter [...], looked them up on Amazon, and at just over £7 thought I'd give them a punt (The model number is different in the UK for some reason and they don't come with an in-line remote for some reason. You can get the ones from the review, but they're slightly more).
And The Wirecutter review wasn't wrong - they sound great (for the price)! The fit is great (for me at least, but they come with 3 different size adapters), the sound is perfectly decent for normal day-to-day listening, they block out outside sounds well (as you would expect), the bass is tight and controlled, and they don't seem too bright either. The build quality is good for the price, but you can tell that the overall material quality is on the lower side and they probably won't last forever. That said, if I'd spent ~£100 on posher headphones and lost/broke them, I'd be gutted - at least with these they're inexpensive to replace if needed.
Overall, they seem unbelievably good value for money. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
Okay, here's the story.
I bought a new ipod, and got the free ipod headphones with it. They broke within a few months so that the music only came out on headphone. I looked at buying another pair of the same ones, thinking that it was just me doing something wrong with them. That was until I realised they were £20!
So I took at look these headphones, the Panasonic RP HJE201E-K's. They were almost half the price of the ipod ones, and if I'm honest, they looked a bit slicker in the picture too. So I thought, why not, they look good and they're relatively cheap. I mean there were ones for under a fiver, but what can you really expect for a pair of headphones under a fiver. They're clearly going to be awful. So I thought I'd get these.
They set me back a little over a tenner and I immediately tested them out; seeing as I hadn't had my music for just over a week! I had a little blip in the back of my mind that it was my ipod that had broken, not the headphones. But this blip was immeadiately obliterated when the brilliant in-ear surround sound came booming through my body.
The sound is clear with plenty of bass, and overall I'd say a league better than the £20 ipod headphones (it must be for the name I tell you). The volume control halfway up the headphone lead is a nice added touch and pretty convenient for those times when you need to turn your music down to hear something, but you can't be bothered to take out a headphone.
I'd like to say, 'there's nothing wrong with this product' and take the easy way out, but if I had to pick anything out that I would change, it would be the headphone length. It's one of those ones with a short left and along right, so it goes round the back of your head. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, just like I did with my same length Apple ones.
So, all this for just over a tenner. Nothing to be snoozed at; I'd recommend these little gems to anybody... sorry apple.