I’ve been looking for a decent cheap set of earbuds that don’t sound horrible and will allow me try them to see if I really like the in ear style buds.
A few months ago I purchased a set of Meego brand ear buds that were on sale at Amazon for 15 dollars. Needless to say they were awful sounding. The made every type of music, even country, sound like hardcore deep bass rap. The amount of bass is already ratcheted up on any earbud, but those were all bass and no highs. Needless to say they were quickly returned to amazon.
So I was skeptical when Groupon had a set of JLabs Audio J4 earbuds on sale for $19. I also had a coupon for ten dollars off, so after shipping was added in I figured I can’t go wrong for $12.
The J4’s are what JLabs considers their tougher versions of their earbuds. The cans of the buds are aluminum and the wire is a tangle resistant flat cable that they say is Kevlar reinforced. We will have to take their word for it, but I can say that the cable material feels well made. It doesn’t hold the coiled up shape when you take them out and does not tangle. The points where the cables enter the earbud cans are heavily reinforced as is the end of the cord where the plug is located.
The earbuds also come with a carrying case, which is pretty nice. The material is heavy and well constructed and even the zipper feels heavy and of good quality.
I’m not saying I am an audiophile by any means. I also don’t expect a cheap set of earbuds to sound as good as ones that are many times more expensive. But I have to admit, these sound pretty good. They have good bass, but not overly powerful. The highs come through clear and mid-range sounds perfect. I use these to listen to podcasts as much as music and they don’t muck up the voices and make it unbearable to listen. The stereo imaging of the pair is great. It makes it seems like the voices are right in the center of your head.
In the end they seem to have a neutral audio profile. Unlike the Meego headphones I purchase earlier that ruined everything with massive bass, these have a profile that doesn’t get in the way and allows the equalizer to do what it does. For me personally, this is exactly what I want.
Included in the carrying case is a bag with 6 different types of silicone tips. This means you can pretty much find a set that will fit comfortably and block out outside noise. I found that the material is nice and soft and fit much better than other brands tips. They have not only “christmas tree” style tips but also single baffle ones. For me, the christmas tree type fit better and I actually use two different sizes between each ear.
For a cheap set of earbuds, these are a pretty good buy. If you were like me and want to try out earbuds to see if you will like something crammed in your ear, these are a good set to try. My only regret in purchasing them is that I wish I had got the version with the iPhone mic and controls on the cord.
More Information: http://www.jlabaudio.com/