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Posts Tagged ‘earbuds’

ClarityOne Earbuds

December 6th, 2011 master No comments

ClarityOne Earbuds are the company’s first product. Technically, though, the name is a misnomer. the Earbuds are actually earphones that seal off your ear canal, not earbuds, which are flat and don’t enter the canal. We’ll let it slide because the $129.99 (direct) Earbuds offer crisp highs and a solid low frequency response. at maximum volume, however, that response is challenged on deep bass tracks, distorting just slightly. the built-in iPhone controls use an older design than most current competitors and thus lack dedicated menu and track navigation buttons. the high quality of the audio performance is reason enough to consider the ClarityOne Earbuds, but in this general price range, there are other solid options with fewer limitations.

DesignWith an attractive, clean design, the ClarityOne Earbuds are metallic-colored, with semi-transparent silicon ear tips that offer a secure fit. each cylindrical earpiece features a small ClarityOne logo. the iPhone controls and microphone sit a few inches below the left ear, along the 48-inch cable’s transparent housing. a single button controls track navigation and phone calls. a rapid pressing of that button three times skips a track, while holding it down once plays, pauses, or answers a call. it works, but better iPhone controls with dedicated navigation buttons are available these days. the microphone provides intelligible call clarity, however. the controls also work with some Android and BlackBerry phones, but there’s no guarantee from ClarityOne that your specific model is compatible.

A zip-up, hard shell protective case with carabiner ships with the Earbuds. Three pairs of silicon ear tips in various sizes are also included. the earphones fit securely when you remain fairly stationary, but a rigorous run or workout might pull them from your ears, so they’re not ideal for the gym.

PerformanceOn tracks with deep bass, the ClarityOne Earbuds offer a generally strong performance, but is at times inconsistent at high volumes. for instance, the Knife’s “Silent Shout” typically separates the strong earphones from the weak, and the Earbuds have no distortion at maximum volume when playing back this challenging song. However, on another track, Thom Yorke’s “Cymbal rush,” which has more resonant lows but at different frequencies, the Earbuds do distort at maximum volume. the distortion is not intense, and it only occurs at the unsafe maximum volume level, but it’s worth noting because most mid-$100 earphones of high quality will not distort on either track. On instrumental selections, like John Adams’s “The Chairman Dances,” the mids and highs are crystal clear and never harsh, while the lows of the strings and larger percussion are robust. Excluding the minor distortion issues, this is a great pair of earphones for just about any genre of music.

Yet, the distortion can’t be completely ignored when a less expensive option like the excellent Shure SE215 ($119, 4 stars), an Editors’ Choice, not only lacks distortion but comes with handy extra features like a detachable, and thus replaceable, cable. for a little more money, but still under $200, another recent Editors’ Choice, the Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones ($179.95, 4.5 stars), offers not only wonderful audio performance, but modern iPhone controls with dedicated menu and track navigation buttons and a super-secure fit. If this price range is beyond your budget, there is hope. While you shouldn’t expect the same level of sonic performance, the significantly less-expensive AKG K 350 ($79.95. 4 stars) comes with full iPhone controls and a generally pleasing audio performance. for a debut, the ClarityOne Earbuds are impressive, but better iPhone controls and zero distortion would make them a more-appealing option. Regardless, if audio is your number one priority and you don’t plan on listening to deep bass tracks at maximum volume, this is a pair worthy of your consideration.

More Headphone Reviews:•   Logitech Wireless Headset•   ClarityOne Earbuds•   Etymotic ETY Kids 5•   Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset•   Turtle Beach Ear Force Z6A PC Gaming Headset•  more

ClarityOne Earbuds

Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headphones Review

December 3rd, 2011 master No comments

Review: Jabra Sport Bluetooth HeadphonesRating: Price: ~$96.87 at Amazon.com

Like many of you, I am always plugged in to my headphones. Sitting at my laptop working all day, I’ve either got a phone to my ear, or earbuds sitting in them. when Jabra announced the Jabra Sport, I thought this was the perfect item for me to try out.

After using these for the last week, I would say these headphones are very comfortable. as soon as you put them on, you forget that you are even wearing headphones. they stay in your ears well and do not feel loose. the freedom of having no wires attaching you to your phone, which would otherwise go flying when you walk away is amazing.

As one who has been using Shure headphones every day, I must say that the music quality on the Jabra Sport is mediocre. these will not be replacement headphones for any audiophile. That said, the music quality is not terrible, and if you’re using these while running at the gym, you may not notice the difference all that much with everything else going on around you.

Calls sound good on the headphones. I had doubts about the microphone being so far from your face, but I was quite impressed with it. Callers could hear me quite well in areas that had a decent amount of background noise. Hearing the call in both ears also makes it much easier to hear when you’re in a noisy surrounding.

One interesting thing I noticed, was that when placing calls while listening to music, the call would start off on the phone handset and switch over to the headset after 2 seconds. This wasn’t much of an issue but caused me to glance back at the phone to ensure I was still connected. This only occurred if music was playing at the time I placed the call, and in no other scenario I tried out.

Similar to other Jabra headsets, the Sport announces callers and informs you when the headset has been turned on or off, is in pairing mode, and allows for voice commands. these work fairly well, although I never completely trust voice commands, always double checking the screen to ensure it’s calling the right person.

Overall, these headphones are great for anyone who goes running outside or listens to music at the gym and wants freedom from wires and the ability to easily answer calls and switch back to their music afterwards, without taking a break from their workout. however, if you’re an audiophile, you may want to keep looking.

Jabra Sport Bluetooth Headphones Review