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I originally got these headphones just for the spare earbuds; I'm quite happy with either the medium sized ones or the large ones, and found that the original replacements cost about the same as these headphones did; so decided it would be better to have an extra set with spare earbuds that I could use.
I used a two way headphone splitter, and plugged in my more expensive Sony MDR-EX500LP with Multi Layer Diaphragm (for High Resolution Sound) headphones, to get a side by side comparison. To my surprise (and a little bit of horror), these headphones sounded fairly similar. It even has a little raised dot to help you identify the right from left buds without having to look at them (ideal in the dark or in a hurry).
The major differences between this set and a more expensive pair, is the little extras; this only comes with a standard 1.2m cord and three ear buds (Small, Medium and Large). The more expensive sets may include a 0.5m main set with a 1m extension cord to allow you to choose the length you need, or headphone pouches, stuff like that. Also, the cord is pretty ugly... it's the "old" style of two cords moulded together, rather than the single cable.
If you can live with the basic looks and lack of little extras, these are a seriously good investment for the quality you're getting. They really do sound almost as good as headphones that I have that are five times the price. If you want something a little more aesthetically pleasing, you'd be well within your right to pay a little bit extra.
I got through loads of pairs of headphones and not even because they all break but I am constantly misplacing them or leaving them lying in cafes or on trains etc. and because I am now so used to having music or audio books playing when I am out walking or traveling on the train I hate to be without it so I nearly always end up having to buy myself another pair. I usually stick to cheap and cheerful ones though as I cannot even begin to think how much that I have spent on them over the years. I do have a couple of pairs which I spent a fair bit on but I usually save these for things like when I am travelling on planes and want to be assured of them keeping out all background noise and use the cheaper ones for everyday use.
The last pair that I bought myself was by Sony and the only reason that I chose them was because I had got to town in the car and had forgotten to bring some headphones from home and as I was by myself and going to be in town for a few hours I couldn't bear the thought of doing it without my music or listening to an audiobook so I popped into Tesco and found these headphones where they were on sale for £7 instead of their usual £10. The only other headphones that this small Tesco had were by a brand I didn't recognize and having had a few disappointments with cheap headphones that don't even work straight out of the packet I spent the extra couple of pounds on the Sony ones.
They only had red and purple ones in stock but they also come in black, white and blue and as I thought the purple was a bit feminine I bought the red which is a rather fetching bright shade of red which really stands out so probably not suitable for all the introverts out there. As I have never had that particular problem I was happy with the colour.
As with nearly every single pair of headphones in the world these came in a horrible and difficult to open packet which I eventually managed to open but it was a struggle with no knife or scissors. Once I was inside the packet and had the headphones out I was pleased with how they looked and also with how long the cable is. I hate short cables as I am 6 foot and I like to have my phone in my back pocket and sometimes with some headphones the cable is a little bit on the short side and when I have them connected to my phone and in my back pocket they can stretch too taught and pull the buds from my ears. Because the cable on these headphones is 1.2m I didn't have this problem with them.
The buds are made of silicone and inside the packet there is a choice of three different sizes which you can fit to the headphones so that you don't have to rely on the one size fits all philosophy some companies have as I find that my ear canal is clearly not designed to wear some of these standard sized buds. The medium ones that come with these were a really good fit though and fitted in my ear securely without feeling like they were either going to come loose with the slightest jolt or feel too tight either. Thy also attached to the headphones snugly and haven't fallen off yet which is something that I have found happens quite often with some cheaper brands of headphones.
The headphones are fairly comfortable to wear and even for prolonged periods of time they didn't hurt my ears. As they are also really lightweight they didn't feel heavy either in my ears even after wearing them for a couple of hours at a time.
I found that these are pretty good headphones for the money. You can definitely tell the difference between these and some more expensive ones but for most cases they are absolutely fine. Music sounds pretty good with them but it does have a slight tininess to it which is especially evident with some really strong bass tracks. For audio books they were great as the voice comes through clean and clear. I have worn them while watching movies on my tablet and again they are pretty good for this too with everything sounding good with the exception of perhaps some of the louder and bassier parts which don't sound as good as they might with some more expensive ones. However I would happily wear these for most occasions and would for instance be happy to wear them at the gym or out running or even just for watching BBC Iplayer in bed.
The only really discernible thing which most people will notice instantly between these and more expensive ones is that they aren't nearly as good at keeping out background noise. The first day I bought them and wore them there was a band playing in town and even though I had my music pretty loud I could still hear the band clearly which was a bit distracting. To be fair the band was playing really loudly but I know that my more expensive headphones wouldn't have let that amount of noise in. I have also used them on the train and again I did notice more background noise than I usually would with some other headphones so I probably wouldn't use these myself for the train again or take them with me on the plane when I want to keep out as much background noise as possible so I can relax. For the money I think these headphones do an admirable job and as they are considerably less expensive than some other brands I think the fact that they let in a bit of background noise is not that big of an issue and they are certainly better than loads of other headphones which are in this price bracket.