It seems cruel to follow the somewhat disappointing iPhone 3G launch last night with a peripheral that reminds you of it so quickly, but Sennheiser's swanky new buds may be just enough to cheer you up...
Promised to work with the iPhone, iPhone 3G and "nuclear powered iPhone too" (we're digging the sense of humour) 's the 'MM 50 iP' pair of earphones designed for both music and phone calls.
Expanding a scandalously under populated market segment, the model offers a creditable midrange upgrade to the acoustically shocking - though aesthetically pleasing - Apple earphones bundled with the iPhone. Vital to the whole deal is the integrated inline microphone which offers answer/end call features as well as controlling pause/skip music functions when not in a call.
Fitted with a 3.5mm jack, so they should work with most decent handsets, the MM 50 iP's are isolation based meaning they can shut out environmental noise allowing you to listen to your music at lower volumes and reduce the chances of tinnitus by 25. They also have a slim line plug so even though the iPhone 3G has gone flush your original will still work a treat too.
From a specs point of view the M 50 iP's are looking good as well with frequency response quoted as 18 - 22,000Hz, impedance at 16Ω and a sound pressure level of 106dB. As for the mic it offers a frequency response of 90 - 15,000Hz and omni-directional pick up meaning you don't have to hold it to your mouth and shout into it like so many passers-by I deeply want to hit educate.
SO try to forget the iPhone 3G is the update we all hoped to see with the UK launch back in November and not the model that turned up a full year on. Instead use £49.99 of the money you save to nab a pair of these...
Update 18.02.09: A new version has now hit available in white and works as a podcasting, VoIP, Skype & iChat headset with MacBooks. It will also play/pause iTunes tracks and can be used to operate audio note recording and music control on the 4G iPod nano. Nifty.