Thoughts on Apple’s New EarPods

09/25/2012

It’s been years since I’ve used Apple’s earbuds with an iPod or iPhone. I’ve long been a fan of good, light headphones, and my go-to cans for when I’m moving around are Sennheiser’s PX 100-II i, a light, foldable headset with an inline mic and iOS device controller. But I got a set of Apple’s EarPods with my iPhone 5 last week, and thought I’d try them out.

First, the shape. It’s odd, but it makes sense. Not only the oblong shape in general, but the position of the sound point, pointing toward the ear canal, rather than just to the side of the ear. They fit fairly well, even if, in my left ear, it feels as though it’s not quite right. All in all, however, this is an earbud that won’t fall out easily, and that’s a good thing.

But then there’s the sound. These earbuds are totally devoid of bass, and even of low midrange sounds. At first, I tried them out when listening to some podcasts. The lack of bass actually makes spoken word a bit easier to understand. But when I put on some music – The Clash’s Train in Vain, from London Calling, for example, with a strong bass riff – the music was hollow and empty.

No, these don’t cut it for listening to music. They’re a bit better than the previous earbuds in terms of sound, and much better at staying in ears, but if you really want to listen to your music, try something else.