Music is fast becoming an essential part of everyday life for many of us . . . whether we need some big fat beats to get us pumped for the day ahead, or require some deep bassline action to drown out our fellow commuters or boring work colleagues/classmates, a smartphone or MP3 player is always within reach, and these things are useless without a quality pair of earphones to pipe the tunes through!
The standard earphones that come with most phones and music players are normally only good for listening to the top end of most tunes, and as soon as you introduce any sort of meatiness to the lower frequencies you lose the good stuff! So, you want to replace the crappy headphones that came with your phone, you want something that will do justice to your funk and your filth, but you don’t want to break the bank – well fear not, because we are here to test four of the best sets of in-ear earphones around, and they all cost less than £100! Bargain! Read on to see how these sets handle these four monster basslines!
SoundMagic E10 – RRP £39.99
Big beefy sound is chucked out of these respectably priced earphones – the Funk and Filth Re-Filth of Deadweight sounds pukka! Basslines that actually vibrate your ears without deafening you and proper crisp top ends demonstrate why this set recently won WhatHiFi’s award for best in-ear headphones under £40, when pitted against stiff competition from some big brands. Looks-wise the E10s are well designed and pretty easy on the eye, with a bit of hunting around online you can probably pick up a pair for around £30, it would be money well spent!
Best for: all-round value
Dre urBeats – RRP £79.99
The Beats set seems to channel most of its effort to the bottom end, as you would expect, giving a very enhanced bass feel. This does however seem to have a negative effect on the clarity and overall quality of sound, which is a problem I've noted with a lot of Beats products. They definitely look cool, but for this price you'd expect to be getting top notch sound all round, which you don't.
Best for: posers
Digital Silence DS-421D - £99.99
The Digital Silence pair may not have the looks that some of the others have, but the price-tag is justified by the seriously cool and effective technology that sets these guys aside from the rest. There's a little box of noise-cancelling magic halfway down the cord that, in communication with two tiny microphones on the back of the earpieces, works out how much noise there is around you and cancels out any potentially disturbing background noise (such as incessant chatter or aeroplane engine noise!). Add to this the fact that overall sound quality is very good and you can see why this pair is the most expensive of the lot. The Feature Cuts remix sounds awesome through these badboys!
Best for: those who have the extra money for a proper bit of technology
Goji Tinchy Stryder: On Cloud 9 - £22.49
They look pretty sweet, but don't immediately feel as though they have the build quality of the Beats or the E10s, but let's see how they sound. The bass is certainly big, this is definitely where Goji have applied their efforts in these but, similar to the Beats, it seems as though the effort spent to dial up the bottom end has resulted in compromises on sound in the mid and top range - Undertaker sounds pretty damn beastly through them though! There's not much between these and the urBeats, so I'd rather have these in my pocket along with an extra nifty rather than the Beats.
Best for: price
Standard issue iPhone earphones – free with device
So this is what we've been comparing against and, whilst they are fine for conducting a phone call or watching a movie, you really lose all the best bits of any bass music when you're listening using these. Compared to any of the other sets above the basslines are almost non-existent and without any sort of cushioning they don't feel as snug in your ear as the other pairs reviewed here. In short, if you've got a spare £40 I'd get a pair of E10s, if you can stretch to £100 and aren't fussed about not having the coolest looking pair then get the real deal with the Digital Silence earphones.
Cheers for reading, you can check out a couple of our other reviews here:
- Read our Funky Filthy SoundDock Roadtest here.
- Read our Funky Filthy Headphone Roadtest here.
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