PLANNING to buy earphones for less than £100? From a quartet of review sources – T3 magazine, Stuff magazine, The Independent and www.hifiheadphones.co.uk – here are the ones that made it to the top ten headphones/earphones lists.
No.4 in T3, but not featured in the Stuff list. Says T3: “There’s not much to dislike with the Nocs NS200. The only disadvantage is the retro cable, which tangles like a excited ferret on a lead, and the occasional lack of precision on the audio side. However, you’re at the bottom of the midrange scale here, so it seems churlish to pick holes.”
Phonak Audeo PFE 012
No.1 in the Stuff list, but not in the T3 list. Says Stuff: “The PFE 012s do about as good a job of satisfying disparate tastes as any in-ears we’ve tried.”
Says hifiheadphones.co.uk: “Contemporary music fans who want a seriously detailed earphone with an over-ear fit and change from £100, look no further. The top end sparkle and rich mids are complemented by excellent control over the bottom end. Expensive Balanced Armature technology raises them well above competitors in this price range.”
No.3 in the Stuff list, but not in the T3 list. Says Stuff: “These brilliant earbuds pack an awesome punch, excellent balance from treble to bass and loads of detail.”
No. 2 in The Independent list, but featuring in neither the T3 or Stuff lists. Says The Independent: “At the (slightly) cheaper end of a pricey gadget sector, Skullcandy earphones fit well with the extreme-sports audience. They offer heavy bass and a hard trebly noise.”
Ditto, no mention in either the T3 or Stuff lists, this set makes No. 3 in The Independent’s list. The paper says: “Having to grab hold of a bouncing earbud on a morning run is annoying. Philips’ Earhooks are customisable to the shape of your ear and feature comfy silicone caps.”
Klipsch S4i rugged
No.10 in The Independent’s list, which says: “The S4is may look like tiny hair-dryers but they’re plenty tough enough. Perhaps their key feature is the on-wire remote control.”
Says hifiheadphones.co.uk: “SoundMAGIC have pushed the boundaries of what can be expected from an entry level earphone with the SoundMAGIC PL11. The sound is a quantum leap up from the cheap earbuds supplied with most MP3 players, with warm deep bass and plenty of detail in the trebles.”
It adds: “In times past the Sennheiser CX300 was the first choice for entry level in-ear earphones, but the PL11 has just stolen that spot. Sound quality compares with earphones costing two or three times the price.”
Sennheiser CX 680i
No.10 in the Stuff list. And again, not in the T3 list. Says Stuff: “Light, comfy and great sounding – a worthy winner of our favourite training buds.”
Says hifiheadphones.co.uk: “The DTX101ie is a spectacular listening experience, surprising considering the compact dimensions, Beyer have done it again. A lightweight, well designed earphone with excellent build quality, as always great value at their price too.”
Says hifiheadphones.co.uk: “The sister headphone to the brilliant SoundMAGIC E10 [see above]. A truly value for money earphone, the SoundMAGIC E30 offers well balanced, accurate sound at a price that is hard to beat (RRP £39.99). The E30 has an in-ear monitor (IEM) design, which is normally reserved for much more expensive earphones (i.e. see earphones from Phonak, Westone, etc).
For a selection of top-rated earphones and headphones, visit the allmediascotland store.