Apple In Ear Headphones – Review

On April 8, 2009

Prior to buying the Apple in ear headphones I spent almost a year and a half sending back faulty vModa Vibes. When their new design only lasted me two weeks I knew I was in the market for another option. I wanted something in the similar price range with good sound quality. Since the Apple offering was actually cheaper I decided to order a pair.

First, I will not describe myself as an audiofile, but I do prefer headphones with a nice sound and a higher quality than included buds. I know there are options at a much higher sound quality, but $100 is a lot for me to spend so I tend to not go over that limit. I was happy to find that these buds seem far nicer than the $79 price tag.


In The Box

Of course the Apple packaging for the headphones is attractive and functional. The included triangular protective box to be nice but may take a couple of tries to get the winding process down so that the lid easily closes though. It is worth it though since keeping the headphones in the box prevents tangling as well as provide full protection.




Apple also includes two replacement stainless steel mesh caps. Having removable and replaceable mesh caps should add to the life of the product not only because of the protection but also the ability to keep it clean. You do not want those dual drivers clogged up! There are three sizes of silicone ear tips included along with an attractive case to hold the unused tips. All in all, for $79 you get a nice package of goodies with your headphones.

Comfort and Use

The medium size ear tips are installed by default. These were the perfect size for me. At first glance the tips look large and you will notice that the silicone is very soft and plyable. This makes for an amazing fit for my ears which results in my not getting ear fatigue with this product. I have always had that problem before. The design of the tips not only makes them soft and comfortable in my ears, but they also make a nice seal. This seal does not make them noise-cancelling but does block out ambient noise. This also helps the fullness of the sound by keeping all of the waves in your ears. In fact, you can tell when you have them seated perfectly because when you pull them out you can feel a light pop of the seal releasing. I use these when I run and have never had any discomfort or problems with them falling out. Overall, I really like the fit of these headphones.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Apple in ears is where some people’s opinions might change. Some people like a lot of bass, some like crisp highs, some are into a lot of mids. I did the heavy bass thing in the early 90s so huge amounts of bass are no longer my thing. I like a very balanced sound with crisp highs, smooths mids, and full bass. It took me several days to get used to and appreciate the sound quality. There is a difference in sound with the dual drivers.




First of all, you will not get booming bass with these. My other headphones had more bass, but I have come to the conclusion that their sound was more "muddy." The Apple offering has a very clean sound. It is like you have to get used to listening to stereo speakers in your ears as opposed to headphones. I was not sure I liked that until after a few days of use after which I began to appreciate the clean balanced sound. The highs are crisp and very clear. No hissing. The mids are nice and smoothe and the bass balances the sound out nicely. If I could change anything about the sound quality it would be a little more and deeper bass. Just a small amount more. I did play with the EQ settings and found that rock or no EQ is where I acheived the best sounds.

Call Quality

A great feature of these headphones is the ability to make and receive calls. This is a must have option for any headphones I use with my iPhone and another reason why I had to replace my Vibes. Now, this product comes with a feature that is unusable with the iPhone in the volume button. This has been discussed all over the Internet as to if they work with the iPhone or why the volume does not work, etc… Just note that even though these have a volume button, that feature will not work on current iphone’s. What does work is the middle click button. This button will answer and end calls as well as play, pause, and advance to the next song in iPod mode. Basically it has the exact same functionality as all other iPhone compatible buds with the ability to maybe work the volume on the next iPhone version. The call quality is very nice. The incoming caller is crisp and easy to understand. The microphone does an excellent job pickin up your voice even while on the move. Everyone I have been on a call with has said my voice was clear and full. Now that I am writing the review maybe I should quit asking! I do prefer to pull the left bud out while on the phone. It keeps me from speaking too loudly. Basically, for phone calls, these are about as good as I have used.


Other than the minor bass issue, the only other thing I would change about this product is the cord. The cord is fairly thick and rubbery. I have not yet had any durability issues, but they do tangle easy. My biggest complaint with with them is the fact that they are noisy. When I work out and they move and are a bit noisy. I would much prefer a woven cord like the some of the vModas have. This is not a huge issue especially if you do not workout and should not be a deal breaker by any means.

In Short

If you like a full stereo sound I recommend the Apple In Ear headphones for you. Both sound quality and call quality are excellent and Apple design is definitely present.

Quick Take:

Value: Very high for sub $100 headphones
Sound and call quality. Apple design.
Needs a bit more bass. Cord.
Would I buy again?
Most definetly