After dropping a few hundred dollars on an iPod or iPhone, then raiding the App Store for all the great tower-defense games, it’s hard to come up with the scratch to drop on decent earbuds. And even if you do have deep enough pockets, it’s difficult for some folks to go hog wild and buy $100 earbuds that’ll eventually end up forgotten in the pocket of your hoodie and take a ride in the washing machine. Ouch! Of course there are tons of inexpensive earbuds overflowing from the shelves of your local gadget emporium, but most of those end up sounding like you stole your great grandfather’s transistor radio, shrunk it down with some sort of shrink-a-fying ray, and shoved it in your ears. Tinny sound with absolutely no bass.
Decent sound for a Jackson!
Altec Lansing hopes to break the cheap-sounding curse of under-$20 earbuds with its Muzx Mesh earbuds. These low-cost earbuds are light, and with the included small, medium, and large earbud tips, it’s easy to find a snug and comfortable fit. Some of the heavier earbuds on the market tend to pop out of our ears with the slightest tug--like a small breeze or a butterfly landing on the cord. But in our tests, the Muzx stayed well-seated.
But of course, this lack of heft also means we’re not rocking the deepest bass on the market. The thump was acceptable while listening to rock tunes. But on our deep bass tracks, it became apparent that we wouldn’t be counting on these to pick up the lower range on our favorite Roland 808–driven hip-hop jams.
The high end was sharp (some might say a bit too sharp). Guitars and cymbals came through crisp and clear. In fact, for $20, we were happy with the low-end audio trade-off. These earbuds can’t compare with the $100 earbuds out there, but they definitely give those other ‘buds a run for their money. If you do have high-end earbuds at home, these are a great second pair for working out when you’re concerned about destroying your spendier pair.
Our biggest gripe with the Muzx has to do with the nearly invisible R and L letters on the earbuds themselves. The only way they could be more difficult to see is if they were removed entirely--and getting the orientation correct is important since the Muzx are, y’know, in-ear headphones. We found ourselves having to stare at them intently every time we wanted to use them.
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The Muzx earbuds offer a good dollars-to-quality ratio. They make a great second pair for when you want to keep your expensive earbuds safe.
COMPANY: Altec Lansing
REQUIREMENTS: iPod or other audio device with 3.5mm jack
Good sound for inexpensive earbuds. Comfortable.
Deep bass struggles. Hard to tell the difference between the left and right 'buds.