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Review Price £79.99

The Blackbox i10 noise-cancelling earphones are one of the uncommon products we get through the TrustedReviews doors that leave us wondering "why hasn't someone thought of this before?" It's entirely possible that there's a good reason no-one else has thought to power a pair of noise-cancelling earphones over Apple's proprietary dock connector, but it certainly sounds like a good idea in principle.

There is one big caveat to the Blackbox i10 earphones' modus operandi, in that they'll only work with an iPod or iPhone. And, in fact, with an iPhone you'll get a lovely error message saying that these aren't intended for use with one; although ignoring that hasn't caused our untimely death so it's probably safe to do so. Using the dock connector's audio output also makes the on-device volume controls non-functional, but there's an in-line volume control to solve that problem, which also has a push-to-hear button that mutes your music and lets you listen to what's going on around you.

The microphones which the i10 earphones use to pick up on external sound are built into the earpieces themselves, which makes them pretty bulky. Nonetheless, they fit comfortably into the ear, and remain comfortable even after extended use. Placing the microphones in the earbuds works well, as the noise being cancelled is what you’d have actually heard.

As well as the i10 earphones themselves Blackbox also supplies a hard carrying case which will also fit your iPod. While there's some merit in offering your earphones and player a bit of pretection while crammed into a bag, it's unlikely that most buyers will do anything bit discard this 'added value' accessory, making it a little bit pointless. A smaller soft case for just the headphones themselves would've been a safer bet.

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Chris Beach

August 21, 2010, 1:01 pm

The dock and controls with a normal 3.5mm jack could have been more useful. With a lot of higher end earphones coming in two parts any ways. I could easily have put my shure's into this.


August 21, 2010, 2:39 pm

The biggest trick these miss is that they don't seem to offer a mic or controls to handle voice call (which makes sense as it seems they are designed for iPod rather than iPhones). I could see something as an alternative to my bulky Bose, but only if they handle calls as well as music.

An iPhone version doing this and without the annoying message would be great.

Even better if, as suggested by cjb110, the noise cancelling mic was moved from the speakers to the remote control, allowing to plug in any headphones (ie better ones!)


August 27, 2010, 9:52 pm

How much battery life do they suck out of your iPod? Surely that's the whole point of a battery.

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