Finding replacement earphones with an inline microphone for your iPhone can be a frustrating process, especially since the selection can get expensive quickly. ifrogz is targeting the budget conscious buyer with its EarPollution Luxe microbud with microphone earphones, and they add a splash of color to your iPhone, too.
The ifrogz earphones are designed to sit in your ears and include three sizes of silicone inserts to better fit your ears. The cone-shaped inserts are soft and pliable, and tend to fit comfortably while blocking out a surprising amount of outside noise.
Since these earphones are noise blocking and not noise canceling, don't expect all of the sounds around you to go away. Even still, they did a great job of cutting down noise-related distractions so you don't have to crank up the volume too much when listening to music in noisy surroundings.
The EarPollution Luxe earphones are available in several colors designed to match the company's Luxe iPhone cases. That's a nice touch for users that already have an ifrogz case, or just want to add a little splash of color to their iPhone.
The EarPollution earphones match the Luxe cases.
It doesn't matter how nice your earphones look if the sound quality is poor, and the EarPollution Luxe holds up nicely for music playback. The audio sounded clear, even with my traditional test album, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. The bass was a bit heavy, but the audio didn't distort -- a pleasant surprise for US$25 earphones.
For phone calls, however, the audio quality didn't hold up as well. Ever test call I received sounded tinny, but understandable, and sometimes the audio level seemed a little too low. The inline mic picked up lots of surrounding noise, and I usually had to hold it to my mouth to be heard.
That said, I never experienced a phone call where I couldn't hear what was being said, or couldn't be understood when I was speaking.
The jack plug is designed to fit the iPhone as well as RIM's BlackBerry and sports a narrow and straight cover that fits well even with bulky cases. The plug, however, sticks out from your iPhone about an inch. That wasn't an issue for me, but people looking to keep their iPhone as low profile as possible might not like the jack plug sticking out so far.
The Bottom Line
The EarPollution Luxe microbud with microphone earphones offer nice sound quality at a great price point, and the multiple color options make it easy to add a little extra color to your iPhone. The audio quality for phone calls, however, isn't quite so good. Despite that limitation, this is a great option for the iPhone owner that listens to a lot of music and occasionally makes calls.