I finally dropped a few bucks to grab some new headphones, the Sony MDR-EX36V EX Earbud Headphones. I use headphones quite a bit due to work these days. I work in a noisy office environment which can be very distracting when trying to be creative or focus on a project so listening to music is my way to escape into another world more suitable for a creative mind set. The OEM ear buds that came with my iPhone weren't horrible but, they sure weren't up to my listening standards for sound quality and offered little to no noise isolation requiring higher volumes to compensate.
If anyone really pays attention to trends in marketing and products we are pitched by retailers, you will no doubt see the trend in making things more visually stimulating to the eye or adding a touch of "bling" as noted in the hip-hop culture. The con to this is simple, looks can be deceiving and often those "bling" looking items are really cheaper in quality than they might first appear. I seen this trend coming a long time ago.
So when shopping for new headphones, I was quick to dismiss the "Gummies" and the "Skullcandy" headphones as anything worthy of audiophile sound. Having worked in the audio design field in my younger years (car audio installer), I am a little more picky about my sound than most I imagine. I love a nice smooth high range sound with a crisp midrange not lacking in bass response. Many cheap headphones cannot fill this need. I still recall a pair of JVC noice isolating headphones I bought about a few months back. I returned them for refund after 3 days of use. I couldn't deal with the thin sound that was a little harsh and lack mid-bass response.
I had been using a pair of Sony ear buds previously that weren't bad for the price of $10. They were the older style however and not of the "noise isolating" type that fit more snugly in the ear canal like most modern versions and thus required more volume. So, I had a feeling that Sony brand would probably suit my tastes regarding sound quality better than most of the other brands in the same price range and that inspired the purchase of the Sony MDR-EX36V Headphones.
The package itself included a cloth carrying bag, 2 additional sets of rubber ear pieces that were one size smaller and one size larger than the already mounted pieces to help with fitting. Also included was a plastic piece for adjusting the slack of the wires while wearing them. The splitting point on the wires contain a small plastic piece that can be used to adjust volume level with attenuation of the input signal (does not adjust the volume of actual player on the unit). The mini-plug is gold plated and angles back to 90 degrees for the wire leads coming off.
Now for my rating. I would have to say these little buds are really nice. They have great sound for the price. I got mine for $29.99 at Best Buy but have seen them cheaper at Amazon.com, however. The bass isn't dominating but its present and mid bass has good attack. The highs are clear and not nearly as harsh as many other headphones on the market but they are not the silkiest of smooth highs either found on more expensive models. The fit for myself, with the middle size ear pieces, was nearly perfect. The noise isolation is adequate blocking most external noise but not all. They are also comfortable which is really important if you use the headphones many hours a day like myself. I highly recommend this item for anyone interested in sound more than looks.