Pros VERY good sound quality, stay put, don't create internal noises like earbuds can, great value!
Cons not the most attractive. let some ambient noise in (which can be good).
Summary Been looking for the perfect workout head/earphones for running on a treadmill. The industry has definitely shifted to in-canal earbuds for better sound quality and noise isolation effects...plus they look cooler. The problems I've encountered are:UPDATE: after some time I grew disappointed with the overall sound quality--ok, but lacked punch. Tried the Sennheiser PMX 100 and have not looked back. AMAZING! Block out treadmill sound better too. Get 'em!!!
1) Normal style earbuds don't stay in place while I'm running thus requiring CONSTANT repositioning (most non-active models)
2) Active models stay put well but sound crappy (tried Sony MDR-AS50G and Sennheiser MX 75 and returned due to insufficient sound quality)
3) High quality noise-isolating earbuds create such a seal that the internal sound of my breathing, feet pounding the treadmill, or the cord rustling slightly against my body interfere worse than the external noise of the treadmill!
I may not be an "audiophile", but I am a music LOVER (and former bassist in a rock cover band around town) and it is my humble opinion that reason 3 above probably limits ACTIVE users to "non-sealing" designs to get the better experience. I even purchased the Klipsch Custom 3's--that's how serious I was to find a solution to my work out/sound quality problem. Those sounded great but the shoe hitting the treadmill and the cord against my neck left me feeling like a was working out next to an airport--TERRIBLE swishing and thumping!! Even gave me a headache and could not enjoy the music through the noise. Better left to sit quietly and enjoy those bad boys.
CNET gave the much better review to the MDR-AS50G but I have to disagree. Even just sitting on my couch I find the MDR-AS30G to have a much richer sound across the board as far as music types and frequencies. I did have to adjust the EQ on my Walkman MP3 player to boost the bass, but no adjustment was able to help me enjoy the other models mentioned enough to keep them.
Hopefully the industry continues to pursue new solutions to the problem, but kuddos to Sony for developing an entire line of options! For me, these $30 phones are just the ticket for now, and I'm able to work out AND enjoy my music enough to get lost in it! Problem solved.
Updated on Jan 17, 2009
Pros Loud, nice and clear audio, extension cable supplied, easy to clean, single wire (no tangles).
Cons Uncomfortable (starts to hurt after half an hour or wearing), no covering at all so the whole world can hear what you're listening to even on the lowest volume and it slips off when running too fast. Not worth the money, basically.
Pros extension cable, light weight, snug, clear sound, sweatproof.
Cons The speakers could be smaller or a bit more aerodynamic. They make a lot of sound through the wind while riding fast on a bicycle or snowboarding.
Summary But them if you're looking for cheap sporty headphones that will last.