The battle of the budget earphones

My creative Zen Vision:M player came with decent earphones, but I’ve always beent he type to want to get something a little better.  When foam cover of my zen got lost I figured it was a sign for me to finally get new ones, as my earholes are so big that with the foam the earphones have a tendency to just fall off.  I’d always wanted to get in ear headphones, so my first choice of budget earphones were the cheapest in ear headphones on the market, Genius HP-02 live earphones, which promise “Superior bass and crystal clear treble”, like most off the shelf earphones will.

Genius HP-02 live earphones

In ear headphones can take a little getting used to when making the switch from regular earphones.  When you put them on, it sort of feels like you’re in a vaccum, or like you’re walking around with your hands over your ears.  When the music starts playing, it’s as if it’s playing right in your brain, which can be a good or bad thing for you.

Genius is better known for it’s mice than its earphones, and it becomes very apparent with this accessory.  Some songs will sound crystal clear and much better than with regular earphones, but others will sound awful.  It’s very disconcerting for me, as i’d rather have a balanced ser of earphones, especially when I’m walking around in shuffle mode.

What ultimately made me give up on the phones however, was that I was getting a little dizzy after listening to music or playing on my DS for a while.  At first I thought it was just the weather or something, but I tried it again and again and the resutls were the same. My theory is that my inner ears are a bit sensitive, and that the balance controlling part is getting affected by the vibrations of the music.

My advice is to find a shop that allows you to return an item a day or two after using it despite there being no damage, or at least allows you to exchange it for something else.  I’m not sure if the store I bought it from allows for that, but there really wasn’t anything else I wanted int he store, and it’s been almost a week since I got them.

Having decided that I couldn’t live with earphones that made me dizzy, I made my way to the power mac store in GB3 to see what they had on hand…

Sennheiser MX350

Sennheiser has jumped in popularity in the local market recently, as an alternative to the overly priced Sony or average quality Philipps earphones.  The MX 350 sits just above Sennheisers’s lowest end earphones, the MX250, but at an additional cost of only 100 pesos (MX250 = P550, MX350 = P650), it’s almost ludicrous for you to buy the 250s.  The 350s supposedly add a little more bass thrugh a certain “air vent” at the top of the earphones, and since earphons are traditionally weak in that aspect I figured, why the hell not?

At 650 pesos, The MX350 earphones are THE budget earphones you should get.  Solid, balanced sound all around, I daresay these are the best earphones you can get at that low pricepoint, and they’re just that much better than your generic earphones to make them worth the purchase.  I fell in love with my earphones so much I used them almost all weekend while playing on my PS2, turning down the TV volume so I cold enjoy my new headphones.

My only complaint with the MX350 is that the cable is oddly made, with the left cable almost half the length of the right after  they get divided somewhere in the middle of the cable.  I don’t quite understand the point of this, since it just makes getting the wires tangled up so much more frustrating than it normally is.  I’m told by a friend that it’s done with other earphones well, but I still fail to see the point of doing that.  Then again, maye I’m just a stickler for these sorts of things.  I’d still highly recommend these senns for the budget minded consumer.

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10 Responses to “The battle of the budget earphones”

  1. I go through a pair of headphones every 3-4 months. They get mangles, twisted, I find something that looks shinier and better. It’s not a good situation to be in – especially when they’re always promising new and better sounds. Sigh.

    ggw

  2. hehe, i hear you. I’m trying to keep myself from doing that. I have enough money where buying these budget priced earphones isn’t so hard on the pocket, but going up to the mide and high range will make me broke in a matter of minutes. I figure if I’m not a pr musician there’s no point getting the high end stuff anyway. 😀

  3. I did a major investment buying a pair of Etymotic ER6 with molded earbuds about half a year ago. Cost me almost as much as my MP3 player. They reduce ambient noise with up to 25dB, and fit extremely well (as you would expect). Extremely dangerous to use when walking in traffic though, so I only use them while I’m sitting down in the office or on a plane (or bus or train…).

    I find passive noise reduction to be much better than active, as active noise reduction really is a matter of adding white noise, which makes all music a bit less colourful.

  4. Never did get to thank you for your cast-off Creative earphones. It’s really a joy to hear music without static, or without having to fix the wires to actually HEAR anything. Glad you found just the right replacement 😛

  5. I know how that feels lol first time I decided to splash out on a high end pair of sensheinser headphones and they broke in a year which I wasn’t very happy about. Now I’m just using some really cheap no name headphones and I’m very happy with them.. guess I’m just not an audiophile.

  6. Hehe I once tried out a pair of crazy expensive shure earphones and i was totally like wtf? this is it?

  7. “My only complaint with the MX350 is that the cable is oddly made, with the left cable almost half the length of the right after they get divided somewhere in the middle of the cable. I don’t quite understand the point of this, since it just makes getting the wires tangled up so much more frustrating than it normally is. I’m told by a friend that it’s done with other earphones well, but I still fail to see the point of doing that.”

    you imbecile! u wrap the longer of the 2 around the back of ur neck to ur other ear so that do dont have 2 cords hainging from ur ears instead of 1. how could you not know this? retard!

  8. Rubbish. Sorry, maybe my ears are different to yours, but the Genius in-ears are the best value for money purchase any skint music lover can make. Phenominal sound, comparable with my flatmate’s £120 cans.

    • I think they would be if they didn’t make me dizzy. This is common to all in ear headphones though, so it has nothing to do with genius really, just my physiology.

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