- Review Price: £20.00
Back in October I looked at the PlayGear Stealth headphones from Logitech. These were in-ear headphones, aimed at the PSP market, but they performed well with audio players too. Although the Stealths lacked bass, they did offer exceptional value for money. Now I have the Creative EP-630 headphones in front of me, which are similar to the Stealths in many ways, but carry a significantly higher price tag. The question is whether the EP-630s are worth the extra cash.
Like the Stealths, the EP-630s are in-ear headphones – they don’t just sit in your ears, they push right into your ear. There are two major advantages to this type of design, first up is that they don’t tend to fall out of your ears when you’re jogging like standard ear-bud type headphones do. But more important is that with the headphones pushed deep into your ears, you cut out almost all the background noise. If you’ve ever travelled on the London Underground using standard headphones you’ll be aware that you can hardly hear your music over the sound of the train. You’ll have no such problems with the EP-630s – no matter how loud things might get on the train, you’ll be able to hear your music and you won’t even have to crank the volume up to the top to do so.
Despite similarities, the EP-603s are a cut above the Stealths when it comes to design, so you can see where some of that extra money is going. The headphones themselves are very small and have an attractive rounded finish to them. The black and silver detailing makes them ideal for anyone with a PSP or black MP3 player.
I complained about the cable length on the Stealths and I found them pulling sometimes with my iPod in my trouser pocket. Thankfully Creative hasn’t been quite so stingy and the 1.25m cable length is long enough not to pull at the headphones, but short enough not to get in the way while you’re out and about.
You get three sets of rubbers for the headphones, so you should be able to find a set the fits your ears comfortably. I found that the smallest set were perfect, and I was able to use the EP-630s for several hours without my ears aching. Headphones like this do take a bit of getting used to though, since you feel a kind of pressure at first, like you’re under water, but if you can get past that you’ll never look back.
Sound quality from these little babies is superb. Whereas the Stealths provided clear sound while cutting out most of the background noise, the EP-630s produce a far fuller sound envelope. The bass that was lacking from the Stealths is here in abundance, but there’s no muffling of the higher frequencies as a result. Since using these headphones I’ve found that I have my iPod set to a far lower volume setting – the background noise is almost non existent, while the music feels like it’s being injected straight into my brain.
Even when I’m using these headphones with my Sony PSP or Nintendo DS, the results are first rate. But coupled with my black iPod nano, it’s a match made in heaven – I get great sound quality, matching black finish and everything’s small enough to fit snugly in my trouser pocket.
As I mentioned earlier the EP-630s cost a fair bit more than the Stealths, but to be fair that’s more a testament to how cheap the Stealths are, rather than the Creative EP-630s being expensive. At £19.99, the EP-630s are worth every penny and you’re not likely to find a better set of in-ear headphones for this kind of money.
The Creative EP-630s are the best in-ear headphones that I’ve ever used. At just under £20, they’re not the cheapest you can get, but if you’re looking for a good upgrade to the bundled headphones that came with your MP3 player, check these out.