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80 of 86 found the following review helpful:
Highly recommended. Apr 04, 2003
By Shawn Kresal
Try as I might, I simply can't find headphones that match these for comfort, price, and performance. My data:
- the wireless over-ear models like MDRIF330RK have too much electrical and RF interference
- The Sony MDR-EX70LP can't be worn for hours at a stretch (the funky ear rubber covers are to blame)
- The street style Sony MDR-G57G don't have the low end response that these do.
I'm continuously blown away by how well these stack up against other models way out of its price range.
This wouldn't be an unbiased review without some shortcomings:
- they are easily jarred loose with lots of bodily movement (good for desk jockeys and rollerblading, not running)
- they don't come with extra foam ear covers. Lose one and they're worthless.
38 of 40 found the following review helpful:
Best headphones for under 10 bucks Apr 15, 2006
I don't know what those bad reviews are talking about. These headphones are simply the best ones I've had so far. After a horrible experience with Koss P4 headphones, I decided to look for other headphones under 10 bucks. I came across these in a local store one day and decided to try them out. It was a wonderful surprise to hear good bass response as well as feel a comfortable fit.
1) Great bass which doesn't block out the treble/mid range and isn't muddy at all
2) Good fit, with or without the foam padding. I prefer it without the padding, since it just slips in and doesn't fall out.
3) Good case to protect the cord, etc. Kept it safe in my backpack.
However, there are of course somethings that could be improved, but aren't that bad:
1) Short cord, but I've learned to deal with it and either hold my mp3 player or put it in a closer pocket.
2) Does get unconfortable after about an hour - other reviewers have explained that the headphone isn't circular in shape, but is a bit pointed on one corner. This may help it stay in the ear, but annoys me after a while.
Sadly, after about 6 months of use the connection at the plug seemed to have broken a wire and the left earphone stopped working. But at under $10 I plan to buy them again.
67 of 85 found the following review helpful:
Great Earbuds! Feb 22, 2004
SONY's Fontopia Ear Bud Headphones provide a wide range of natural sound. They have a sleek black and silver finish, a Y-shaped cord that is a little over three feet long, and an L-shaped Stereo Mini Plug. The ultra compact headphones fit snugly, and comfortably, inside the ear, eliminating the need for a headband. The MDR-E818LPs come with slip-on ear pads. These are in a small plastic pouch hidden behind the cardboard insert in the clear packaging. Be careful when you first open the container, as it would be easy to throw out the ear pads by mistake.
These particular headphones would be especially good for movement -- such as while jogging, mowing the lawn, running, or lifting weights. They only weigh 5 grams. After a few minutes, you will scarcely notice you are wearing them. The Silent Cap on the ear buds stops sound leakage, so you're less likely to disturb someone sitting next to you while you enjoy your music. I use these with my laptop if someone else in the room is watching TV, or sometimes when I take my laptop out to a cafe, eatery, or Starbucks
The MDR-E818LPs use Neodymium Magnets for powerful bass, and clear treble in a compact design. Neodymium is far more powerful than conventional Samarium Cobalt or Aluminum Magnets, two other kinds of magnets commonly used in the production of headphones and other personal electronics. Neodymium is also common in the production of bass amps, boat speakers, car audio products, computer hard drives, flat panel speakers, game systems, microphones, motorcycle parts, mp3 jukebox players, and travel speakers, in addition to headphones.
Neodymium is not just some marketing tag invented by SONY either, I did some research on the internet and found out it is actually a rare earth metal, and can be found on the Periodic Table of Elements (60Nd). Neodymium is a component of didymium used for coloring glass to make welder's goggles, Neodymium salts are used as a colorant for enamel paints, Neodymium is also used to color glass in delicate shades ranging from pure violet through wine-red and warm gray, and Neodymium is also used in doped glass lasers. Neodymium is also used in electric switches, lense filters, junkyard magnets, phone receivers, refrigerator magnets, magnetic or non-magnetic screwdrivers, and a host of other everyday products you wouldn't suspect. Considering it is a "rare" earth metal, I'm surprised that it's used in so many products.
Other brands of bass amps, boat speakers, car audio products, computer hard drives, flat panel speakers, game systems, headphones, microphones, motorcycle parts, mp3 jukebox players, and travel speakers also make use of Neodymium, such as: Altec Lansing, Apple, Audio Technica, Boston Acoustic, Coby, Creative, Directed, Dynaudio Acoustics, Hitachi, JBL, Kenwood, Koss, Labtec, Microsoft, Morel, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Polk, Sennheiser, Skylon, Stanton, Tech 21, and others. It's not like this feature is unique to SONY.
Neodymium Magnets are apparently the strongest that can be found. I couldn't find a really technically proficient explanation as to why Neodymium produces better sound, but after a little research, I'll accept that as fact.
These SONY Fontopia Headphones were Made in Korea. If you need to exchange them, they can be replaced through the SONY Parts Center in Kansas City, Missouri. SONY has a toll-free line for frequently asked questions. Dial 1-800-222-7669 if you need to know more about their products. If SONY can't answer your question over the phone, you can always write them at their SONY Direct Response Center in Fort Myers, Florida.
I'd just like to point out that these headphones are actually a replacement for an older pair of ear buds from SONY that I can no longer find, and as such were purchased from FYE for only $8.99. They are the best little pair of cheap ear buds you are likely to encounter.
Product Type: Headphones
Features: Silver-plated plug, L-shaped plug
Form Factor: Ear-bud
Frequency Response: 16 - 22,000Hz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Power handling capacity: 50mW
Recommended Use: Portable Audio
Weight: 5 grams
Amount Paid (US$): 8.99
16 of 19 found the following review helpful:
Comparing Five Low-Cost Earbuds Mar 07, 2010
By Michael Dimock
As a regular I-Pod user, I've never been that unhappy with the standard Apple I-Pod earbuds -- they don't sit terribly well in the ear, but I find the sound and design to be adequate. I've wondered if there is a low-cost alternative, and my wife doesn't like them because they are too big and uncomfortable.
Here is a review of five low-priced alternatives bought on Amazon in March 2010. The story in a nutshell -- all the $8-$10 earbuds are a slight step up from the Apple buds, all the $6 earbuds are a big step down.
JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds (Black) (paid ten dollars) (Four stars)
Positives: Good sound, decent comfort, long cord
Negatives: Too long cord, no "slider"
A very solid sound -- much like the Apple buds. These are a great low-cost in-ear alternative to the Apple buds. The sound balance is similar to the Apple's, but a bit crisper and clearer, perhaps due more to the in-ear design than the actual technology. The JBuds ship with three sizes of silicone ear-inserts for different size ears, though I personally find the fit to be awkward and a bit slippery (see SkullCandy review below). A 54" cord was the longest of the ones I tested, and arguably too long. Also, there is no "slider" on the cord to hold the buds together when you are storing them (A very nice feature of the standard Apple buds and others).
Skullcandy INK'D Earbuds (White) (paid ten dollars) (Four stars)
Positives: Great bass, very comfortable, long cord
Negatives: Too much bass, line-rustle noise in cord
How it is possible to get so much bass into a tiny and cheap earbud I cannot imagine, but there it is. Really impressive, but it's actually a bit too much bass -- the balance is off. If you are listening to bass heavy music, it's overwhelming -- I had to try to adjust the EQ on the I-Pod to bring it down, and even then a bit too heavy. The sound is not mushy or distorted, just like the equalizer is shifted too much. These in-ears come with three sizes of silicone ear-inserts for different size ears, and I find the fit to be great. A long 52" cord, with a "slider" to hold the buds together when storing. A BIG concern -- there's a fair amount of cord-noise that rides in the line -- if the cord is brushing against your shirt or jacket when moving, you hear the rustling right in your ear. I've had worse cases of this in the past, but it is very noticeable in these, and makes them less ideal for walking or moving situations. (Is this a problem with all in-ear buds that have a snug fit?)
Sony MDR-E818LP Fontopia Ear-Bud Headphones with Acoustic Twin Turbo Circuit (paid eight dollars) (Three stars)
Positives: Good sound
Negatives: Even bigger than Apple buds, poor packaging, short cord
To my ear, the Sony's had the best sound of the five low-cost buds I tried -- a solid step up from the Apple buds, for people who don't like the in-ear style of bud. But a note of caution -- these are slightly *bigger* than Apple earbuds, even without the foam covering. In my ear, the foam cover makes them comfortable enough, but they are rather large. At the same time, the Sony Fontopia has an unusually short 40" cord (even shorter than the Apple 45" that bothers some people), but it's plenty long for typical uses (walking, etc.). There is no "slider" to hold the earbuds together when storing, which is a feature I like on the Apple buds. I have one big beef with these though -- the earbuds have a thin foam cover over the speaker that helps it hold in your ear more firmly and comfortably. I have no problem with that, but you have to put the foam pads on yourself, and it's very difficult. I ended up tearing one of them before I could even try them out. It's very frustrating to buy a new product that breaks before you can even use it. These deserve four start on performance, but gotta ding them on the design and packaging.
Panasonic RP-HV21Portable EarDrops Earbud Headphones (Black) (paid six-dollars) (one star)
Negatives: Huge earbud, terrible sound
I liked the look of these when I got them out of the package, but they are a bigger and worse alternative to the standard Apple earbuds. A very "tinny" and shallow sound compared with others at the same price point. They're too big for comfort in my ear, though that's always a personal consideration -- these Panasonics are larger than the Apple buds and equally hard surface.These Panasonics are about the same size as the Sony MDR-E818LP Fontopia earbuds, but those have a foam pad that helps hold them in and provide a little comfort. the "Clip" feature on these (the two buds can clip together, or clip to clothing or cords when not in use) is nice, but doesn't override all the performance downsides. I'm tossing them -- way worse than the basic Apple buds.
Coby CVE92 Isolation Stereo Earphones (paid six dollars) (one-star)
Negatives: terrible sound
These are cheap and I like the packaging (just in a plastic ziplock, not clamshells and fluff), but the performance is simply substandard for the pricerange, These Coby's have a very muffled sound, and don't come with different size silicone ear inserts (most people know these really aren't one-size-fits-all). I'm tossing them -- way worse than the basic Apple buds.
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Good Earbuds for the Portables Dec 28, 2006
I bought these earbuds for my CD player (at the time) because the ones I had before died on the right side. They were a pair of RCA behind the neck headphones I bought at Family Dollar for very cheap. I would buy another pair but now I have an iPod and want to buy mostly earbuds and clip headphones that are more portable. I was planning on buying a pair of Philips earbuds at Target because (I thought) these were dead on the right side and I dislike the iPod earbuds, but when I plugged these into my iPod they worked fine. After a break-in session they sound even better.
Well, they are only ten bucks, so what can you expect? Not a ton, not a surround soundstage and great, powerful sound, but maybe something that has at least average sound, are comfortable, and will last a decent amount of time. And thatt's mostly what I got with these earbuds.
They don't have stellar sound (that for some reason a ton of reviews rave about), but they have decent sound that's good enough for the money. Not a lot of bass, but some pairs at this price have barely any bass. The mids on this pair are emphazised (but not by a lot, props to Sony). And they do have a good, clean sound to them, so even if you are unhappy with the low end of these earbuds you at least have a good upper end.
For other aspects of the earbuds, they are very comfortable and fit much better than the Apple earbuds, but feel better with the pads. I have already lost the pads but still fit fine and are still comfortable for long periods of time. Also, these are some durable headphones so far, and after a half-year of use they still put up nicely.
Overall, not a bad pair of esrbuds for portables. Already got a better pair? Keep these for some useful back-ups. They don't have amazing sound, but are comfortable and last long enough to make them worth the price. 4 stars.
NOTE: These are the case-less version of the MDRE828LP earbuds. If you want a case for a barely steeper price, check out the MDRE828LP earbuds instead of these, but if you want a money-saver, buy these.
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