It’s become a modern-day love/hate story for the iPod generation: The ecstasy you feel when you finally get your mitts one of Apple’s sleek little devices, is immediately overcome by the disappointment of experiencing its below-par, bundled earphones.
The limitations of the standard-issue accessories are a much-vented source of frustration for consumers who have already splashed out a small fortune on the game-changing music gadgets. Despite their iconic design, the thin casing of the earphones produces a tinny, synthetic sound and often, excessive noise-leaking. The latter is particularly an issue for “shyPod” owners, who would prefer not to inflict their dubious music taste on others.
However, all this could be about to change with the release of Sony’s new range of MDR-EX300iP and MDR-E10iP inline, remote-controlled headsets, designed especially for iPods and iPhones. The two new additions will join Sony’s less advanced MDR-EX38iP model, which is already on sale, and Apple’s premium in-ear earphones, in an increasingly competitive market.
The headsets’ USP seems to be that there is something for everyone. Keep-fit fanatics will be impressed by the accessibility of commonly-used functions, which are conveniently nestled together on the mini remote. This neat option will hopefully make exercising to music a fumble-free experience. The device has buttons to play/pause, skip tracks and adjust volume. It also proves handy for iPod Shuffle users, as the remote includes a button to activate the gadget’s unique VoiceOver function, while for iPhone users, the earphones’ built-in microphone is designed for easily making hands-free calls.
As for sound quality, an impressive set of stats would appear to give it the edge over competitors. According to Sony, both models of the headset features a 13.5mm Neodymium driver unit that’s oriented vertically in the ear. This combination teams extra sensitivity with powerful bass and a wide, dynamic range. The MDR-EX300iP has a frequency response of 5-24,000 Hz and the MDR-E10iP has a response of 18-22,000 Hz.
If Sony really does deliver on all its promises with the MDR-EX300iP and MDR-E10iP models, iPod and iPhone users will, at long last, be able to enjoy a multi-faceted sound experience to match Apple’s renowned innovation. It’s taken a while, but Sony might have finally cracked it.
The MDR-EX300iP and MDR-E10iP headsets come in a variety of colours, and consumers can opt for either in-ear or over-the-ear styles. They are compatible with every generation of iPod and iPhone, and are available at all good electronic retailers from May.