Costly Headphone Disappoints

Just about everyone seems to be wearing headphones these days. Ones called non-isolating headphones are especially good for joggers.

They don’t have a seal between the earpieces and your ears, so you can hear outside sounds as well as your music. Consumer Reports tested 10 costing between 30 and 150 dollars.

Listening to music while she runs helps keep Lisa Eggert Litvin going.

“It’s the boredom factor in the run, and the music really helps with that.” Litvin said.

Like most people, she runs near car traffic, bikers, and other runners, so Lisa chooses her headphones carefully.

“The music distracts you, and depending on which headphones you’re wearing, you may not be hearing anything.” Litvin said.

Consumer Reports just tested non-isolating headphones that let you hear outside sounds as well as your music.

One set, EarHeros, claims to be the “world’s most elite earpiece,” and has a price tag to match — 150 dollars!

But when testers assessed this “elite” set, they had the worst sound of any headphones Consumer Reports has tested.

“The bass is lacking. It’s a little bit harsh sounding.” said Ferretti.

In fact, despite being the highest-priced non-isolating headphones tested, the EarHeros were the lowest-rated, with an overall score of just six out of 100.

Maurice Wynn of Consumer Reports says, “There are many non-isolating headphones that provide full-range audio, that let you hear bass, midrange, and treble, pretty much the way they’re supposed to be heard.”

Consumer Reports found other headphones that performed much better in the tests.

In fact, Apple’s basic EarPods rated much higher, and at 30 dollars cost far less.

But if sound quality is most important to you, Consumer Reports recommends the
Bose I-E-2 headphones. You’ll get very good sound, and at 100 dollars, they are still less expensive than the EarHeros.

If you’re looking for headphones to use inside and want
noise-canceling ones that block out other sounds, you’ll have to spend more. Consumer Reports recommends Beats Executive from Beats by Dr. Dre. They have an over-the-ear design and deliver excellent sound quality and very good noise reduction for 300 dollars.


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