Pros Cloth cord seems very durable and tangle-resistant; tips fasten tightly and fit ear good; very nice sound.
Cons Not nearly enough bass.
Summary I just got these in yesterday, so this is a "first-impression" review, but I'm so far incredibly pleased with these. I upgraded to these after my Sony MDR-EX71SL/WK started shorting out after over two years. The first thing I noticed is how much thicker the tips are than the flimsy rubber ones on my Sony's (aside: this was a MAJOR consideration for me, as the 2 different sets of Sony earphones I've had BOTH had a problem with the tips staying on the earphone when I'd put them in my pocket or something. I was constantly losing tips.) The AL326s have a much thicker tip, but are also designed a lot better to stay on the earphone. I like that I have to actually wiggle and work them onto and off of the earphone. Plus, with the way they're designed, it looks like it keeps more of the sound in the channel so that it reaches your ear. It comes with 3 tips, plus a set of dual-flange tips which are currently spoiling me. I love the dual-flange design. I do support work for a call center, to blocking out external noise is a huge factor, and the dual-flange tips do a phenomenal job of that. I tried one of the regular tips in one ear, and a dual in the other, and I could tell a difference. However, the regular tips have a really great fit and sound, too. I also like the cloth cord. I love that I can pull my headphones out of my pocket after class and not have to untangle a knot. The included case is also really great. It's not too small for the phones, nor too big to carry in your pocket, and holds both the phones and the extra tips without a problem (although a pocket for the extra tips would be nice, but now I'm just being picky.) The AL326s definitely have a better sound than the Sony's, but BEWARE that they're very bass-light. I noticed it immediately listening to Jack Johnson's "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing", where the bass line absolutely (and unexpectedly) booms in my car (06 Accord factory speakers), but is lacking through the headphones. Currently listening to the studio version of "Crush" by Dave Matthews Band, which is very bass-driven, and I could use a lot more. In fact, I'm taking away half a star from 4 stars because of this alone. I suppose it's a personal preference as to how much bass you like, but also think people who are gonna go through the trouble of researching earphones before they buy them are gonna want more than this. Overall, though, the sound is very nice. I can pick out all the different layers and lines in the song, and nothing is particularly overwhelming. All the instruments/vocals are crisp and clear and the harmonies come across very nicely.I think my problem with the bass may have been mostly user error. I got fed up with the lack of bass on Kanye's "Late Registration", so I tried some tricks to get a better fit (thanks to a CNET article) and it made a pretty noticable difference. It's still not that thumping bass that some people might want, but it's a LOT better. If I could, I'd add a star to my review.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend these to anyone who wants a great sound for an affordable price, with the caveat emptor that you may not be satisfied with the bass. For me, it's not a dealbreaker, but if everything else about these weren't so good, it would be.
Updated on Apr 6, 2009
Pros The sound is very very good...the bass, which I feared would be inadequate, was great...really a fine product and couldn't be happier
Cons The only draw back is the sound in your ear of the cable as it rubs along your clothes..can be annoying especially if you are moving about and the music is soft...would I buy these again knowing this..YES
Summary I just bought these headphones and I am really glad I did...they perform far above my expectations....great value...would I recommend them?...absolutely
I give 4 1/2 stars and not 5 because of the sound of the cable as it touches something..really an outstanding product for the money
Pros Grasping at straws here, but...earbuds are comfortable and come with 3 sets of silicon tips. You'll find a good fit that keeps outside noise at a minimum. Cloth covered cords seem durable. But...
Cons I'm a bass player and I love bass, but not like this. Bass IS thumpy, but inarticulate. Mid-range is VERY thin. Highs were exaggerated, fatiguing my ears after 2-3 songs. Cord rubbing against clothes is pretty loud. Unnatural, "canned" soundstaging.
Summary If you like your bass F-A-T, but simple, these might do well for you. Dance, electronica and some hip hop might sound good - If the bass pitches don't move much and overall sound is pretty simple. Lack of midrange was shockingly bad. Some songs with important piano lines or low guitar parts fell way into the background. The high range stuff was terribly exaggerated, so cymbals seemed to "hiss" instead of ring out. Snare drum hits were louder than they should've been. My ears grew fatigued after 2 or 3 songs. Classic jazz was unlistenable as bass was boomy and muddy, piano was almost absent and cymbal work was way too upfront. In fact, anything acoustic just sounded weird. Classical music suffered too. The lack of mids made much of it lose richness. Some reviews say cloth-covered cord only makes a little bit of noise, but I found it distracting at all but the loudest volumes.
So if you listen to music without too many layered parts, with bass lines that remain fairly simple, these may make you happy. Otherwise, you'd do better to look elsewhere and find a more natural sound.
Pros Awesome frequency response. With a good sound card they have incredible bass. The multiple ear buds it comes with allow you to make them fit your ear comfortably.
Cons The fabric covered cord can be noisy if you use these while you're moving around a lot.
Summary For the money you simply cannot beat these.
Pros I got these thinking they'd replace some skull candies that broke after only a few months of use. The sound was great, bass more than what I expected, and they stayed in pretty well. The cord rubbing sound bothered me at first but I got used it.
Cons I went with these thinking they'd withstand years of normal use since it has the cloth cord and all. I was wrong. The sound started going out in one ear and you have to wiggle the cord next to the plug to get it work again.
Summary Waste of money. Don't go with these expecting that they'll hold up very long.