Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Headphones: Altec Lansing

Once in a while I stray from photography to discuss hard drives or headphones or music or whatever strikes my fancy. Today is another one of those days.

In my quest for the perfect pair of sub-$50 earbuds, I came across the MHP216 Muzx earbuds by Altec Lansing. I think I paid $25 for them at Wal Mart.

They look ridiculous. Let me make it clear that the "large brilliant crystal" is NOT why I bought these headphones. I hadn't ever tried anything by Altec and I figured I might as well. I didn't read any reviews or do any research before my purchase - I blindly grabbed from the rack at Wal Mart (which didn't have much in the way of selection).

Turns out that was a mistake.

Here's why.

At first I was fairly pleased with them. After a night of playing randomly through my music to start the burn in, I put them through my completely arbitrary tests; playing a variety of music and determining whether it sounds good or not. They performed about as well as a pair of $25 earbuds could be expected to perform. BUT, after less than 2 months of everyday use, they broke. The glue holding the two pieces of each earpiece together simply fell apart. Kaput.

Looking through Amazon, I found that this has happened to others as well. The sound was pretty good, the isolation was decent, but when construction quality is that terrible - there's just nothing I can do. I won't be buying any cheap Altec Lansing buds in the future. In fact, I've already purchased my replacement pair from Amazon - the "JBuds J3 Micro Atomic In-Ear Earphones." According to user reviews, these do a pretty good job as long as they are burned in first.

If these new Atomic buds can stand my abuse, I'll be sure to do a post on them as well. Of course, if they flop tragically I'll end up doing the same thing.