* Prices may differ from that shown
Keeping myself amused on a 9.5-hour flight to Vancouver required headphones, for both music and the in-flight movies. Knowing the set provided by the airline weren't going to be great, I decided I really needed a set of noise-reducing earphones, to block out as much of the engine drone as possible so my not-too-great hearing would actually be able to make sense of the movie dialogue!
Alas such things tend to be expensive so when I spotted this iLuv product (in an eye-catching funky indigo-like colour; available shades should suit any taste!) beside the checkout in Currys I figured that (a) at £7.99 there was no way they'd be any good, and (b) at that price I could afford to take the risk, and at least have a backup if my others didn't show up in time (which they didn't, so phew for impulse buys!). As a bonus, they fit more easily into my hand luggage than big 'cans'!
I was initially unsure about the foam-pad-like bits on the ear bud but from the first use I realised how much more comfortable they made these headphones compared to the (awful!) hard plastic iPod-standard ones. A couple of spare foam bits are included in the packaging, which is good 'cos they aren't the most securely fixed of items (although mine are still attached just fine!).
These aren't sold explicitly as noise-cancelling, but those foam bits do rather a good job for the price - given that a 'proper' set can cost £30-odd quid for a cheap (!) pair I'm actually rather impressed with my bargain option! To experiment, I tried the provided over-headset on the plane, and couldn't hear a word of the movie; with these it wasn't crystal clear (still fighting a bit with the engine noise) but I could easily follow the dialogue.
I've noticed the noise-blocking more in the office (open-plan, so yes we do all sit listening to music during work!). I've taken to wearing the iLuvs only lightly 'in' my ear, which lets me hear both the music and the important stuff going on around me (like, "cuppa?"!). Then, when it gets too noisy or I really need to concentrate more, I push the buds in slightly further (as I imagine they're supposed to be worn) and lo - I can barely hear the raucous phone call from the next desk at all! I have no feedback that I'm leaking noise outwards, but I tend not to listen to anything very loudly anyway.
In terms of general sound quality, I must confess that my standards are pretty low - I've been wearing those ones that came with my iPod and managing fine! However these do provide a slightly better quality, at least at my preferred low-medium volumes and for the treble. Serious base fans might want to look for something more sophisticated.
A slightly oddly positioned (halfway down the rather long wire) inline volume control takes the form of a small plastic wheel, so your device can stay in your pocket if you wish. It's got a decent sensitivity, never blasting my eardrums unintentionally - although I do occasionally forget to turn it up at all and spend time checking the adaptor is clicked in properly! That 3.5mm socket is compatible with your normal mobile music devices (and British Airways 747s!).
So overall, I'm rather delighted with my little just-in-case impulse buy! If you're looking for an inexpensive and comfortable upgrade from those 'freebie' ones, these are very well recommended!
I have these earphones in white, to replace another set from sony which broke. The good thing about these earphones is that they fit into other MP3 players other than ipods, they fit into my sony MP3 fine.
The wires on the headphones seem strong, I have a habit of biting them and havn't managed to bite through them yet. They also hold a volume changer, which is handy if my mp3 player is hidden in my pocket or bag, because it's always within reach.
The earphones go deep into your ears, and come with a selection of rubber things that you can change according to the size of your ears and the best fit. I have found though, trying each of the sizes, they still seem to fall out occasionally, whichever size I use.
The sound quality of the earphones is decent, and because they are stuck right in your ear they tend to block out outside noise.