Product Type: Thomson headphones
Newest Review: ... grubby and I could never get them looking as clean as they were again. The Thomson earphones don't stop either sound leaking from my m... more
An Audio Abomination
Member Name: SmoothCriminal
Advantages: Good for instrumentals, I guess.
Disadvantages: Terrible sound quality that ruins the mixing of tracks, and drowns out vocals on a song
I listen to music all day, every day. At times, I worry that if I don't put down my iPod at some point, it will eventually become fused to the palm of my hand. So naturally, I always experience somewhat of a crisis when my headphones cease to function. The last such incident took place travelling home via train, and standing in WH Smith, I had to choose my latest incarnation of headphones. Usually unwilling to spend too much on headphones, I decided to venture more towards the mid-range headphones. For £12.99, the Thomson HED142 headphones seemed to imply reasonable quality through their price tag. I got my pair in a light blue hue, although there are white, pink and black counterparts available.
The headphones feature the in-ear design, which I know can be polarising as many people find them invasive and uncomfortable. However, for me, I prefer the feel of these types of headphone as they make for a more secure fit - never falling out during exercise and successfully blocking out background noise so you hear more of your music. These headphones come with three changeable heads, supposedly to fit different sized ears - however, the largest size seems unfathomably large - I can only assume elephants have since discovered the MP3 player and now require headphones. As this review shall explore, the smallest size is by necessity, the only bud that you can use, given that the larger sizes contribute considerably the distortion of already poor quality headphones.
I was severely disappointed by the headphones on experiencing the audio quality. Ultimately, a snug fit, a respectable brand and appealing aesthetics mean nothing if your headphones produce sub-par sound. I began listening and instrumentals seemed fairly crisp and clear, particularly anything with a heavy bass - often a problem for cheap headphones which rattle or become crackly with basslines. Then came the vocals. For some reason, every track on my iPod now sounds as if the singer is performing underwater with these headphones. The music seems to drown out the voice, and has severely compromised my enjoyment of my music. The problem was marginally better when I switched the earbuds to the smallest option, but still the problem with vocals persisted - to the point where I no longer use the headphones, as instrumentals and beats drown out any singing on the track. What is embarrassing is that I have done side-by-side tests with other iPods playing the same song, and the difference in quality can be seen when £5 headphones surpass the quality of these.
I wish I had never bought the product, as while they sound marginally better when used with a laptop as opposed to an MP3 device or iPod, I really have no use for them if they ruin the mixing of a track. They definitely have added credence to my scepticism that an elevated price can guarantee an increase in quality of a product. My advice for fellow consumers - avoid this product like the plague. If you are investing in new headphones, do your research first. If you, like me, are caught short while travelling - then go for the cheaper headphones, for me, these were a gamble that I well and truly lost.
Summary: Terrible headphones, definitely not worth the price.
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