Well, after purchasing not long ago, the Sony Bluetooth MP3 player, those who have read the review I wrote will know the biggest disappointment were the earphones. Hence me looking for new earphones and finding a par that fit the bill.
I have to admit to buying these at a fraction of the price, I paid just £22 on ebay, they are genuine- I took them to the store to confirm, and they were brand new in the box. Normally these retail anywhere from £50 to £70 depending on where you buy them and what offers are on. They are a very popular earphone apparently so are available in many high street electrical stores nearer the £70 mark and internet stores nearer the £50 mark.
On opening these, inside the box is a base to charge the earphones (as they are bluetooth they do have their own battery in them to make them work) they have a plug and cord to attach to the charger/base, there are two different sized silicon ear covers in case the current 'medium' sized silicon covers do not work for you, and there are the earphones!
I would have liked a little dust bag but Sony don't do these any more it would seem, this was also the case with my MP3 player and it's earphones. (Back in the day when Sony's walkman was a CD diskman they always had dust bags!) I think this is an over site as it would really make looking after them far easier. Seinneiser and Bose both do bags with their earphones and trust me, they are needed and well used! There is a little plastic box to put the actual ear buds into, but it wont stop the cables getting tangled.
The actual earphones are wired from one ear to the other and then down to a bulky clip which has the volume on and a button in case your using your phone and want to hang up on someone. Its not 100% wire free, but the use of the wires is sort of understandable- if anything, they stop the ear pieces falling into your ear!! The actual clip which fastens to your clothes is too small in my opinion, compared to the top heavy volume button microphone piece. It doesn't really look very streamlined.
I should explain what Bluetooth is here- don't worry if you don't already know (skip the paragraph if you do) I didn't know what it was until about a month ago.
A bluetooth device is one that does not need wires to transmit information/sound/etc. from one device to another. In this case, from my music player to the earphones. It may seem a little OTT, especially if you like the white apple cable some people seem to see as a status symbol. But bear in mind those of us who are sick of the earphone faery tying up the earphone wires into a mess which can not be caused by man, leaving you stood silently for a good 10 minutes untangling them. Added to this there are times wires get in the way- yoga, gym workouts, weights, basically most gym work. How about when your carrying 20 shopping bags for grocery shopping- wires and bags do not mix!
Bluetooth can only be used if both devices are bluetooth enabled, so you will need a player which is bluetooth enabled before you can use these earphones- although they do work with most mobile phones as most are bluetooth enabled.
I had to charge the earphones before use. I was advised in the little booklet to do so for 3 hours, but 2 hours in I needed to get to the gym and really wanted to test out these new earphones asap- particularly as the earphones that I had been using with my bluetooth player were on ear, and not in ear! The earphones actually lasted quite a while- I used them for 10 hours before they stopped which considering I only charged them for 2 hours instead of 3 is good. They are supposed to give 11 hours of playback per charge.
The sound is OK, these earphones are not noise cancelling, nor do they claim to be, but they do a good enough job of blocking outside noise even if its not completely. They are silicon ear covers which I have experienced before from my mobile phone, they do tend to ping off and disappear to never be found, frustrating as you end up spending a further £5 (even on ebay) to replace them. (unless your prepared to go for the fake/cheaper ebay variety- take it from me, not worth it!)
I found the pairing easy to follow, the booklet gives step by step instructions and once the device is paired, its no longer required to pair them again unless the earphones are pair with more then 8 other devices or when your player has more then 8 devices. It works flawlessly with the player- slight connection pauses with trees again, but nothing any more then the previous earphones I had, in fact I'd go as far to say these are ever so slightly better in terms of connection. I think from what I have read, all bluetooth devices do loose connection for a second or so while in use, its very common.
Also, as with all bluetooth players, I can vouch for the fact that these earphones do not like mobile phones with bluetooth being used too closely to it, microwaves and in my experience, trees. -I have worked out though, its not just any trees, its only old oak trees. (??!!)
But the earphones don't get affected by gym equipment, mobile phones on stand-by or being underground.
I do have some hangups about these though, I dislike the fact I cannot change track- I cant fast forward, reverse or stop with these earphones like I could with the set that came with the actual bluetooth player I had. This is a pain as I like to put my player into my bag and forget about it. I cant do that now as I constantly want to skip tracks or replay stuff. Sort of defies the point in a way.
I can still use these earphones at the gym, they stay put when I run as they are in ear types, they don't seem to make my inner ears sweaty like the sennheiser cx500 I also have but don't sound as good. The base is strong and to the untrained ear, they are great, but to perfectionists like me, its slightly muffled, not as clear. But then its the same with all Sony earphones that I have used (many), these are just the same.
I dislike the weight and bulk of the microphone on the clip- why not just make it into an MP3? Its not as if it would need much more space! Its also hard to get it to stay put on loose clothes as its that bulky. If your clothes are skin tight- e.g. a gym kit, your probably OK, but if not, the clip is so small it will just fall off.
The wires run behind your head, meaning if you do have to take the earphones out, you can just drape them over your shoulder, but I don't think they feel that secure- they could fall back behind you back and then the clip could come undone... you could loose the earphones this way, so take them off and put them somewhere safe.
Not totally wire free so they are likely to get tangled up. But at least it wont be as bad as with a normal set!
Buy these if you want to dance, trampoline or do yoga to music! The lack of MP3 player will mean you can move much more freely.
Don't buy these if your particular about the tone and sound of the earphones, they are OK, they are not bad, but they are not really perfect. Also don't buy these to look streamlined- stick to the on ear types for that! There are wires involved in this item.