First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Rubber and plastic construction ideal for sport, fairly comfortable, in-line volume control
- Poor quality bass and general sound quality, distortion at higher volume levels
The EB-500's design is ideal for sporting activities, but these headphones are let down by poor sound quality overall.
Price$ 16.95 (AUD)
The EB-500 headphones are TDK's latest model designed for sporting use. They feature an in-line volume control and are constructed of extra durable plastic and rubber, making them ideal for use when running or working out at a gym. Unfortunately, they suffer from below-average sound quality, including notable distortion at high volume levels.
Despite boasting "extra bass", the EB-500's bass is of poor quality. Very low frequencies are produced, but overall, the bass lacks detail -- subtle frequencies aren't audible. There is also a noticeable harshness in the high-range frequencies, making listening unpleasant. The sound lacks sharpness and crispness and when pushed to high volume levels, distortion levels are unbearable. Instrumental separation is also below average, as it's not easy to determine the distinction between audio sections. If you aren't fussed about quality, you won't be too disheartened, but obviously audiophiles should look elsewhere.
It's not all bad news though, as for their intended sporting use, the EB-500's are a surprisingly comfortable pair of ear buds. The soft plastic used in their construction sits nicely in your ear, and long listening sessions are quite comfortable. Further, the plastic finish works well when you are sweating; the ear buds remain in place during all activities. A small piece of rubber around the edge of each ear bud means they don't uncomfortably dig into your ears like many other headphones.
The EB-500 includes an in-line volume control, which comes in handy when working out. You can easily leave your music player in your pocket, and adjust the volume on the cord. Five small indents on the volume slider make it easy to move, even when your hands are sweaty.
Aesthetically the EB-500's may look cheap, but for their intended target market, they are appealing. Our blue, silver and white review unit looked perfect for the gym. The cable length of 1.5m is fair for most uses.
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