In what can only be considered a wise move in the current economic climate, Ultimate Ears is expanding its line of noise-isolating earphones to include a $49.99 pair, the MetroFi 170, and a $79.99 pair, the MetroFi 220. The new earbuds will replace the MetroFi 2, which were previously UE's cheapest set at $80. The company is also offering smartphone-compatible models with microphones built into the cables. These versions, the MetroFi 170vi and the MetroFi220vi, will sell for $59.99 and $89.99, respectively. I'd say that 10-buck increase for call-answering capability is as easy to … Read more
Fitness-friendly headphones come in a variety of shapes and styles--from earclip to behind-the-neck--and finding a pair that stays put on your head while you're active can take some trial and error. Once you get past fit issues, you may find yourself wanting some more advanced features, and built-in Bluetooth technology often tops that list, as it eliminates the need for cumbersome wires tethering you to your MP3 player.
The latest pair of active-style earphones to hit the market is Sony's DR-BT160 Wireless Stereo Headset, which comes in two models: the $130 BT160AS, which includes just the headphones, and … Read more
After shelling out $100 or more for a new MP3 player, dropping more of your hard-earned cash on a pair of headphones may not appeal to you--especially given that a working pair is generally packaged with the device. However, that stock set isn't doing you any favors in the sound (or comfort) department, which is why we always recommend upgrading, even if it's only to $15 earbuds.
Or you could aim a little higher and pick up a set of JLab's JBuds J2 earphones, which carry an suggested retail price of $80 but list for $30 on … Read more
If you can't get on board with the extra-long earpieces of Monster's Beats by Dr. Dre Tour earphones, perhaps the new Turbine In-Ear Speakers are more your style. The earpieces on these aren't the tiniest I've come across, but they're compact enough to fit into my small ears comfortably. And in true Monster fashion, the Turbine earphones have a nice, sleek look going for them. Each earbud is encased in a "black chrome" all-metal housing, which gives the set a sturdy feel and fashionable look. I also dig on the thin, color-coded ring … Read more
If you're the type to go gaga over the cute and kitschy, TrueBlue Wireless has the headphones for you. Ironically, they aren't wireless and they don't contain anything approaching advanced technology. Rather, they are $4 earbuds suitable for replacing your stock pair with something a little more...interesting. I'm talking about the Candeez Earphones, and you can find them in a variety of campy flavors. See below.
In marketing materials for its new $150 in-ear headphones, Monster headlines its package with the question, "The world's best-sounding earphones?" I'm not sure if we should take this as a declaration or an actual question, but so far the answer from Amazon reviewers and some blogs is a pretty stiff "no."
To be fair, some blogs have reviewed the Turbines favorably. It's also worth noting that Amazon reviews can be written by anyone, including PR reps from other manufacturers (not that we're accusing anybody of anything). But it's rare that you … Read more
Fashion-forward designs have recently been making quite a bit of headway in the headphone space. It doesn't take much effort to find a pair that matches your MP3 player or can be coordinated by outfit, although manufacturers with true eye for design take things a step further. Take Monster Cable's Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones, a super stylish set of cans announced at CES 2008. The company is now adding to the fashionable line with the Tour In-Ear Headphones, an ultraportable set that sports the signature red and black coloring. This $150 pair once again proves that hip … Read more
Noise-canceling headphones can cost a pretty penny, which is why we always perk up when a company brings a budget-friendly option into the fray. Such is the case with the Sony MDR-NC7 Noise Canceling headphones, a $40 pair with stylish looks and handy features. These 'phones are neither the most comfortable nor the best at antinoise creation, but sound quality is passable and the design is compact. Frequent fliers with an aversion to earbuds and limited funds may want to consider them. Read the Sony MDR-NC7 review.
These days, looking for budget-friendly tech is more imperative than ever. It's surprisingly easy to break the bank on headphones--this seemingly innocuous gadget is often more expensive than the MP3 player you're pairing it with. Comfort, sound, and style are all important considerations when picking out new 'phones, but you needn't spend an arm and a leg. In fact, headphones are one of the few pieces of technology that are relatively timeless, meaning an older model can save you dough while still providing an excellent listening experience.
To help you sort through the seemingly endless array of … Read more
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That has to be one of our favorite expressions here at CNET, and the hearing professionals who head up Westone clearly abide by it. In 2006, we got our hands on the company's only two pairs of consumer earphones--the UM1 and the UM2--both of which received high marks for their good looks, comfortable fit, and excellent sound quality. Rather than toy with two winning products, the company has added a third headphone to the lineup, the ultrahigh-end Westone 3 True Fit Earphones ($399). These super sweet-sounding headphones are pricey … Read more