Years ago, when I was young and serious about my music, I had a pair of Etymotic Research isolating ear buds. They were fantastic, but delicate, and I wound up severing one of the earbud cables in a hinge.
Recently, I was given an iPod Nano (Multi-Touch) has a gift, which rekindled my interest in music. The subway is very noisy, and the standard-issue earbuds don't hack it. I also have an iPhone 4, so I need earbuds with a microphone.
After searching through Amazon reviews, I settled on these JVC Marshmallows. The price point is a little lower than I was willing to go, but at the same time, I no longer need high-end audio reproduction. Anything better than the standard earbuds would be acceptable, but isolation is key.
I've had these for about a month, and I'm very satisfied with the performance and quality of these earbuds. The isolation is at a good level. I don't feel completely cut off from my surroundings, but I can hear the music clearly, even in the noisiest sections of the train tunnels. I also listen to language-learning audio files, and these can be heard without issue over external noise.
I wasn't sure how I felt about the "marshmallow" aspect of these earbuds. Aesthetically, they are better than I expected. The soft foam has been sealed externally, so that when they are relaxed they look like solid plastic, rather than the rough, porous look of earplugs made from similar material. They also fit very well, especially compared to the standard earbuds that would constantly pop out of my ear when I was walking.
The microphone seems to work fine. I've tested it on the voice recorder and Skype. It's a little quiet when resting against my shoulder, but I could obviously hold it close to my mouth if needed.
The remote control function works great on both the Iphone 4 and Ipod Nano. On the Nano I get spoken announcements of the song's artist and title.
- one click, pause / unpause
- two clicks, next track
- two clicks from pause, artist and title of next track
- three clicks, previous track
- three clicks from pause, artist and title of previous track
I also noted that many reviewers of other earbuds complained about noise from the cord rubbing against something as they walked. I have not experienced that at all with these earbuds.
These earbuds are great for anyone who wants decent sound quality and a built in microphone.