The headphone market is an odd one, with pricing being a shot in the dark. I recently ran a small competition on Twitter to price these headphones. The highest guess… nowhere close. So do you have to spend a small fortune on ‘phones to treat your ears or can budget headphones provide your ears with any joy?
Octone certainly think so and asked us to take a look at their Pro range – the succinctly titled “Octone IEM Pro In-Ear Monitor Earphones – Deep Bass Edition Professional Headphones”. The IEM are about £16 on Amazon, so it’s possible they share a definition of Pro with Apple – i.e.,better than iMovie.
In the box, you’ll find the IEMs, five pairs of soft silicone ear tips, a microfiber pouch and a huge carrying bag that is perhaps a little too large considering how dinky the headphones are. The IEMs are designed to loop over the back of your ears, jogging style, which is a little fiddly to pop into your ears.
Once you get them in however, you are in for a surprising treat as the sound quality is really good and Octone ensure us the IEMs are engineered for deep bass and smooth frequency response. After running the gamut of the LG mix CD – a heady mix of classical, rock, dance and dupstep – and the Octones held up well. They aren’t quite up to some of the higher-end headphones we’ve tested but are so much cheaper that I’d be hard pressed to not recommend them to someone on a budget.
They also make the Groove Buds Noise Isolating Hi-Fi Quality In Ear Earphone, which are about £8 on Amazon. If you can’t stretch to the IEMs then these are fine (although they do tend to be a bit “leaky” and would annoy anyone sitting next to you on the bus), but the IEMs are so much better for a relatively small sum more.
The Octone Pro is available from Amazon for less than £18
Speaker’s diameter & type : 10mm, moving coil (dynamic)
Diaphragm thickness & material: 6 micron, PET
Impedance:17.2 ohm ±15?
Sensitivty:90±3dB at 1KHz/1mW
Rated Input Power:10mW
Maximum Input Power:20mW
Plug:3.5mm, 24K gold-plated
Cord length & material:140cm, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) + aluminum shielding