Maximo's iMetal iM-290 stereo earbud headphones claim to provide $100 sound at a $30 price, and after listening to them, I suppose that’s accurate. They sound better than any other earbud headphone I’ve ever listened to, however, there are a number of issues with the product that prevent it from being a fully satisfying experience.
Let’s face it, earbud headphones are never going to sound as good as speakers or more traditional headphones. I like to hear my music loud, but I’m always reluctant to pump up the volume too high when the sound is going directly into my ear. So, you’re already working at a disadvantage with the earbuds. These headphones do sound about as good as you’re going to get with earbuds though; the sound is clear and satisfying, and is much better than the headphones that came with my iPod.
I did have a few problems: I use earbud headphones when I’m taking my iPod on the go, and need to keep it in my pocket. So, the ideal earbud headphone should be durable. I was a bit disappointed when one of the headphones started to fall apart less than a week after I got them. The headphones are held together by what’s essentially a heavy-duty rubber band. This fell off, which exposed the wires and connections holding the headphone in place. I was able to put it back on, but it will occasionally come off again, and that’s an annoyance.
The other issue might be more my fault than the product itself, but it’s near impossible for me to get the left headphone to stay in my ear if I’m moving. I like to have the headphones on when walking, but the left one constantly falls out. I’m not sure how much of this is my ear and how much is the headphone itself, but it’s been an issue for me.
If you’re looking for earbud headphones for more sedentary use, these are a great choice, but if you’re taking them on the go, you’re likely to run into some issues. They sound great, but the construction doesn’t quite make it.