These are iSkin‘s new entry-level pair of earphones called the earTones. Stylish, affordable, but are they worth buying? Are they a better alternative over Apple’s standard iPod earphones? Check out the review of these earphones, released just a few months ago, after the break!
The iSkin earTones are specifically designed for the iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and BlackBerry. However, these headphones are compatible with virtually every music playing device because they have a 3.5mm headphone jack. This headphone jack is large and obtrusive, though, and can become really aggravating. Each earbud has a flexible neck design, called FlexFit, that is made out of silicone. As a result, the pair is very bendable and has a high curvature.
The earTones have significant resemblance to Apple’s standard iPod earphones. They are both similarly sized and shaped, but the earTones look more stylish. They have a glossy look that is offered in a wide range of color combinations: purple and white, blue and white, black and white, black and red, pink and black, and black on black. A majority of the color choices were chosen to match the design of various iSkin cases and accessories.
There is an integrated remote control and microphone that allows you to control music and video playback, adjust volume levels, and use voice commands. You can also use this remote control to start or end a call if you’re using an iPhone, BlackBerry, or certain other smartphones. This remote control and microphone duo is treated with antimicrobial protection. This protective coating, called Microban, inhibits the growth of odor-, fungus- and stain-causing bacteria.
In the middle of the pair’s rubber-coated cable is an adjustable Y-split. I’ve found these type of splits to be much more convenient because you can adjust the cable lengths to your liking and reduce any tangling that might occur otherwise. This split isn’t unnecessarily large and is branded with a miniature iSkin logo.
BASS: When I first tried out the earTones, I was rather disappointed because of the little amount of bass. I thoroughly enjoy music when it is loud and backed by a significant amount of bass. When there is an insufficient amount of bass, I become extremely bored of my music. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, rap, rock, heavy metal, or other thumping genres, then you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. Score: ★
MIDS and HIGHS: This pair, however, does make up some ground with the clarity that it delivers through its mids and highs. Despite there being little to no bass, the music is almost “high definition” sounding as iSkin describes it; the clarity of the music is excellent. These headphones sound acceptable if you’re listening to country, electronic, trance, dance, and most pop songs. These are also a good choice for listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Score: ★★★★ (respectively)
MICROPHONICS: When you’re playing music, you can’t hear any interference or noises from the cables. For example, if you were running and the cables rubbed against your shirt, you won’t hear it. When music is playing at a low volume, you can hear only some of this cable thump if something rubs up against the cable above the Y-split (closer to the earbuds themselves). Score: ★★★★½
NOISE ISOLATION: These headphones were not intended to provide any isolation against outside noises, so it is only appropriate to leave this section scoreless. Score: N/A
Overall, these headphones have audio quality that you’ll find tasteful only if it caters to the music genres that you listen to. They’re not the best earphones that I have ever listened to, but they’re certainly not the worst. Keep in mind that these are only an entry-level pair of headphones.
I haven’t had any issues so far with these earphones, but the design of the pair does show some potential for issues down the road. They’re not the most high-end pair of headphones available, so they’re definitely going to be made out of not the most high-end materials. The cables are almost identical in length and size to that of Apple’s iPod earphones, which are notoriously known as earphones that are prone to break after time.
I’m also unsure about the flexible neck design of these earphones, as the cables could break or come loose inside. On the other hand, there’s a sturdy, hard plastic stem near the bottom of each earbud which should alleviate most stressing or yanking of the cables. So far, so good.
I have no complaints with regards to these headphones comfortability. They have a nice, soft fit and don’t fall out of my ears when I’m running or laying down. They have a comfort level and fit that is similar to Apple’s standard iPod earphones. Furthermore, they remain comfortable after prolonged periods of use. The pair is very lightweight and therefore does not put too much pressure on your ears. They’re not the most comfortable pair of earphones that I’ve ever worn, but they’re a good competitor.
The earTones retail for $39.99† plus shipping on their iSkin product page. There’s standard shipping available to most parts of the United States and Canada for a flat rate of $6.99. There’s also international shipping available which will vary in price depending on your country of residence. Even with the shipping costs tacked on, the earTones are still reasonably priced for the entry-level pair that they are.
When I first used iSkin’s earTones earphones, I was rather disappointed with their sound. I didn’t feel that they held up to iSkin’s promise of high quality sound and I certainly wasn’t going to use them over my regular Apple iPod earphones. Over time, however, I eventually grew accustomed to these pair with an understanding that they aren’t primarily designed for people who like bass-heavy music like me.
These earphones are designed with clarity in mind, which they do an excellent job of delivering. While I wouldn’t say that these earphones are highly recommendable, they’re certainly worth taking a look at. The earTones might cater to you with their reasonable price and stylish design. Don’t forget to check out other iSkin product reviews such as the Vu case for iPad and the many more to follow!
† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Overall scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
Thanks to Tiffany at Max Borges Agency for the review sample.