White Wires

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Date: Monday, February 14th, 2005, 14:48
Category: Consumer Electronics

Apple is not the only source of white wires that identify the PodPeople roaming the streets. Several manufactures offer iPod specific earphones in white, and I will be looking at three that are of the in-ear variety. Opus phones are bargain priced and the perfect compliment to the iPod shuffle. They are white, inexpensive and do not benefit from equalization while the shuffle is white, inexpensive and does not offer equalization. Perfect match! Sony has long made white earphones that have been a favorite among iPodders but they NEED equalization to be enjoyed and therefore are not so good for the shuffle. They are comfortable, beautifully designed and sound fine if your iPod is set to Treble Boost. Etymotic Research pioneered this genre of earphones and have now come out with the ER 6i model which are tailor made for the iPod. They are more efficient than the plain ER 6 and are white. They sound stunning right out of the box and they can go a touch louder and have more bass emphasis than their black counterpart at Etymotic Research.


Apple is not the only source of white wires that identify the PodPeople roaming the streets. Several manufactures offer iPod specific earphones in white, and I will be looking at three that are of the in-ear variety. Opus phones are bargain priced and the perfect compliment to the iPod shuffle. They are white, inexpensive and do not benefit from equalization while the shuffle is white, inexpensive and does not offer equalization. Perfect match! Sony has long made white earphones that have been a favorite among iPodders but they NEED equalization to be enjoyed and therefore are not so good for the shuffle. They are comfortable, beautifully designed and sound fine if your iPod is set to Treble Boost. Etymotic Research pioneered this genre of earphones and have now come out with the ER 6i model which are tailor made for the iPod. They are more efficient than the plain ER 6 and are white. They sound stunning right out of the box and they can go a touch louder and have more bass emphasis than their black counterpart at Etymotic Research.
The differences are significant. The Opus headphones are not as compact as the others, and don?t offer multiple size silicone inserts like the Sonys or triple flanged insert like Etymotics. It can be difficult to get a good seal in your ear. They sound a bit tubby. They lack bass content and seem to have a somewhat boosted mid bass. The treble and mid range sounded fine. The price is really fine at $30 USD. They are priced below Apple?s in-ear solution and the Apple phones have garnered their share of complaints about fit, even with three different sized inserts included.

Sony has been coy about iPod specific phones. In fact the white versions have typically started as Asia only models with the black versions available in the states. The MDR-EX71SL phones are nicely finished and compact. They come with three sizes of silicone seals for a perfect fit in most ears. You will either love or hate the asymmetric cord which allows you to run one wire behind your neck. I like it, but O?Grady finds it pulls out of his ear and is awkward. These headphones have a deeper and smoother bass output than the Opus phones. The treble, however, is lacking and for me requires equalization. They are better finished than the Opus phones and pricier as well at $55 USD. There is also a white lanyard model and it would seem that Sony could easily adapt it to fit shuffle.

The sound of in-ear headphones is very much dependent on the seal they make with your ear canal. I have heard such mixed reviews about the Apple in-ear phones, that some reviewers must never have attained a good seal. So, your results may vary.

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