Maybe I am just a misfit (aren’t all entrepreneurs) but the new Apple Earpods ($29), albeit much better than the previous rendition of standard earphones that come with many Apple music products, still do not fit snug enough in my ear to run with them, nor deliver a well-balanced tonal range to displace the Bose MIE2 (granted: priced at $100 more).
I listened for 5 minutes to different songs on my favorite playlist and quickly recognized the new Apple Earpods, albeit resting comfortably in my ears, still sound tinny with virtually no depth in the bass. The clarity in the highs was phenomenal, only to be matched by a lack of finesse in the lower regions.
While not a bad set of earphones at all for the casual listener, the purported 3 years of research Apple pumped into it have not yielded a set of earphones that stops your search for headphones to make the music on your Apple device come to life.
Apple positioned the earphones uniquely by boasting about a design that started with the ears, rather than the speakers. Yet, I recommend the next version to start with the brain and how it interprets music.
The Apple Earpods are an improvement over the previous version and a nice complement to budget conscious listeners, but they do not deliver the innovation nor the performance to displace a wide selection of premium in-or-over the ear headphones.
With the introduction of the new Apple Earpods, premium headphone providers have nothing to fear. And listeners who enjoy premium sound should keep looking for the quality that matches their more demanding expectations.