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Ten of the best... noise-isolating earphones

Can't hear you...

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Genius HP-02 Live

Genius HP-02

We weren’t expecting much from another set of earphones that costs ten quid, but we have to admit that we were pleasantly surprised by the HP-02. The noise-isolation isn’t great – more like noise-muffling, really – but the sound the earphones produce is clear and full. There’s no shrillness on the higher frequencies, even with the volume turned up nice and high, and the bass is more solid than we’d expected from such a cheap set of ‘phones. We also liked the tear-drop shape of the earpieces, which allows them to sit comfortably in the ear without having to jam them in too hard. There may be more expensive models that produce better sound quality, but the Genius HP-02 is as good as you’ll get for a tenner.

Reg Rating 80%
Suggested Price £10 Find the best online price here
More Info Genius' HP-20 Live page

Etymotic hf2

Etymotic hf2

Like Apple’s In-Ear Headphones, Etymotic’s hf2 is a complete headset that consists of earphones, microphone and remote control so that you can use it to take calls on a mobile ‘phone as well as just listening to music. The audio quality and sound-isolating features are very good – as they should be at this price – although the ‘flanged’ earpieces provided with the hf2 need to be jammed pretty firmly into your ears and weren’t terribly comfortable. The advice to "moisten" them before insertion didn’t exactly thrill us either. Fortunately, Etymotic also include a set of soft foam earpieces that fitted us better. Our only complaint is that they still seem a little pricey compared to rivals such as the S-Jays.

Reg Rating 80%
Suggested Price £100
More Info Etymotic's hf2 page

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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