First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
TDK EB 900 in-ear headphones
TDK's in-ear headphones have reasonable sound quality and great passive noise cancellation
- Foam ear-tips block almost all outside noise, decent sound quality that responds well to equalisation
- Unequalised sound can sound slightly flat and muffled, no clip for headphone cable
If you have an MP3 player capable of custom audio equalisation, TDK's EB 900 in-ear headphones come into their own. Passive noise cancellation is near-perfect when using the foam ear-tips, and even unequalised sound quality is acceptable. For the price, TDK's EB 900 in-ear headphones are a quality product.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
TDK’s EB 900 headphones have an in-ear design with a foam tip that moulds itself to your ear canal, offering excellent passive noise cancellation. These in-ear headphones can produce reasonable sound quality but require custom equalisation to really shine.
Without any equalisation from our Apple iPhone 3GS, the TDK EB 900 ear-buds tended to sound slightly flat. They still performed competently, with mid-range and bass tones represented well at moderate and higher volumes. Treble seemed slightly muffed when compared to other frequencies.
When switching on treble-boosting equalisation, the TDK EB 900 ear-buds take on a different character. Crisp, bright treble tones backed up by competent mid-range and punchy bass notes give the TDK EB 900 in-ear headphones a pleasant, musical character. We didn't notice any distortion at extremely high volumes, suggesting that these headphones have plenty of headroom.
The soundstage isn't especially expansive, which may annoy those who prefer some stereo separation in their music. Music from different channels is audible, but due to the earphones' intra-aural nature, sounds with only a slight bias to one side are hard to distinguish.
The 'Comply' foam ear-tips supplied with the TDK EB 900 in-ear headphones may take a little getting used to, but once they are properly inserted they expand to fill the ear canal and block out almost all outside noise. This allows you to listen at lower overall volumes, protecting your hearing.
The 1.2m headphone cord is fabric-covered, with a Y-shaped neck split. Microphonics from the cord are not particularly bad, but we would have liked a clip for the cable to secure it. A leatherette case and three different pairs of silicon ear-tips are included in the sales package (we preferred the near-perfect seal provided by the foam tips).
We were expecting the TDK EB 900 in-ear headphones to have a price tag north of $100, but a street price of little more than $60 is impressive. Sound quality isn't exceptional, but if you value good passive noise cancellation and can tailor your audio a little with equalisation, give the TDK EB 900 in-ear headphones some consideration.
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