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Product Reviews

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  1.  Good.


    For the cash, these do the job. The microphone is very clear, easily adjustable and versatile; the option to detach it when it's not in use is a nice touch. The headset itself is very comfortable: the head and ear cushions are all in the right place and effective.
    The headset's main flaw is sound quality for music. This headset is not ideal for listening to music - bass is boomy and overpowering, though the effects of this can be minimised with some serious EQ tweaking from within your media player. However, when it comes to gaming, this extra bass power is a major plus: explosions and other in-game sounds as well as speech are given incredible depth and power as a result, helping to immerse the player.
    The other main flaw is sound positioning within games. For example, I sometimes cannot tell if footsteps I hear in-game (the game in question here is CounterStrike: Source) are in front of me or behind, and am forced to rely on the calls of my team-mates; though somehow only occasionally a problem, this has been the cause of my death a couple of times where it could otherwise have been avoided so it deserves a mention!
    A third problem is that the headset cable looks and feels a little flimsy. These have lasted a year now, so I don't know if I've just taken really good care of mine or if this appearance is deceptive, but worth a mention. A friend of mine reports that he gets through one of these headsets every two months.
    However, these minor gripes aside, I think these are worth a look at least. They're great value for money; perfect for the gamer on a budget.

  2.  Good value, reasonable sound.


    I recently got these to replace my ageing iPod touch 'phones, and the increase in quality is immediately clear. As I'm a music student, I needed high quality and good noise reduction for listening to classical music on the move; thus, I thought this in-ear solution from Sony would be the best choice for my 20 quid price limit (I repeat: I'm a student!).
    Well, for the cash, these headphones are very good. The noise reduction is incredible - these things are more effective than most earplugs I've tried! You can walk down a busy road and be totally unaware of passing traffic. I must say, however, that since buying these ear-phones I've had several close calls with said traffic whilst crossing the road because of this!
    The sound quality is okay. It's very reasonable for the price-tag, but in the scheme of things is quite low on the scale. The very highest-pitched sounds - cymbal crashes, especially - are tinny and lack any depth whatsoever. The bass is fantastic - as one would expect from "X-Bass" earphones - but is sometimes slightly overpowering, so much that I had to adjust my iPod's equaliser to accommodate. However, they're versatile 'phones and I've found that they produce an acceptable sound playing all of my music: Classical, Jazz, Rock, Electronic, and Metal.
    As for comfort... could be better. The three different-sized ear buds provided with these 'phones will accommodate almost all ears, though even with the best fitting ones you'll sometimes find that movement causes them to slip out. You wouldn't want to by these for jogging, certainly. Also, because the ear-buds fit so snugly inside the ears, it is possible to hear the rubbing of the wire/bud with every step - this is a small gripe but is sometimes distracting when listening to music on the move.

    In all, a very good buy. I'd recommend these phones to somebody on a tight budget: in this price bracket, you simply won't find anything better. However, if you've got a bit of cash to spend and you're somebody who really values professional-quality sound; or you intend to use these 'phones whilst doing something active (ie. jogging, gym, etc.), I'd look elsewhere.

  3.  Brilliant!


    I was totally blown away by the sheer quality and depth of sound this little black ball could produce. It's incredible how something so small (and cheap!) - powered by a long-life (several hours), USB-rechargeable battery - can act as a functional portable speaker.
    Of course, in the scheme of things, the sound isn't all that. This won't act as a replacement for proper speakers... but it's a vast improvement over - say - your average phone or laptop, or an iTouch.
    I've since bought about 6 of these for various birthdays and last Christmas - they make for a very versatile gift! - and everyone I've since spoken to has found them useful.

    The only thing I would say is that you shouldn't buy more than one for one person: the whole "production of stereo through linking several X-Mi speakers" doesn't actually seem to happen, in my experience. The times I've tried it, I noticed only a very slight increase in volume and quality; this increase was reduced the more speakers we added to the chain, up until about number 4 where the change became unnoticeable.

    But for 14 quid, this is an absolute steal. If you're even slightly interested - get one. You really won't be disappointed.