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Great-sounding headphones that don’t cost an arm and a leg are kind of like aliens--you’re pretty sure they’re out there somewhere, but they’re really hard to find. Yamaha’s EPH-30 earbuds should come packaged like a flying saucer--they offer a terrific listening experience at an affordable price.
For the price, Yamaha’s EPH-30 earbuds offer great sound quality and comfort. They’re also easy to insert and remove, making them great for first-time users of in-ear ‘buds.
Great sound at a good price.
Since they’re in-ear models, they provide some sound isolation, which gives you better audio at lower volumes, and fortunately, the EPH-30s come packaged with three pairs of rubber eartips in small, medium, and large sizes. Apple design purists will appreciate that the ’buds come in white or black. They easily slide into place, and if you get weirded out by sticking things in your ear canals, the Yamahas go in much shallower than many in-ear models. In addition to providing a comfortable, secure fit, the design dampens ambient noise and improves bass response--both key ingredients for a good listening experience.
One of the biggest complaints we hear about budget headphones is that bass is often weak. But for their price, we were very happy with the boom of these earbuds. Beats are tight without that muddy, underwater quality that so often comes with inexpensive headphones. In fact, some users might feel that the bass is too heavy, but for most fans of rock, hip-hop, and other beat-based genres, the boom will be a welcome punch in the ear. Midrange is clean, and the Yamaha’s had no problem with details like the crisp hi-hats in Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” or the Sparkletts water bottle in The Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No,” although the EPH-30s are probably best enjoyed with pop music than more delicate classical pieces, where some of the finest detail was lost.
The build quality of the EPH-30s is strong, but as with most in-ear ’buds, the thin wires can transmit loud noises to your ears if you’re using them while active--even walking down the street. Beyond the spare earpads, Yamaha doesn’t include any extras, but you should be buying earbuds based on sound quality, not whether there’s a cool little zip case in the box.