Today I wanted to talk about my favorite pair of earbuds for $10 or less, the FiiO EM3. I’m always a fan of any audio product that delivers a lot of sound and comfort for your money and these earbuds are really nice example of that.
Now currently these cost about $10, but you can click below to see what the updated lowest price is.
So included with these earbuds are some foam covers, which do take a bit of effort to slide on, but once on they stay put. Just remember that you’ll want to take a little extra care when you’re putting these covers on as they can tear.
Then regarding the design these are an earbud design which means they aren’t inserted into your ears the way earphones are, rather they just rest on the outside. The benefit of this design is that these are often more comfortable to use compared to earphones, but the downside is they provide very little noise isolation which means you’ll be able to easily hear any noises around you, even while music is playing.
Feature wise these do include an include an inline mic which you can use for phone calls.
The build quality isn’t super tough but it’s not cheap either. You have a reinforced 90 degree angled plug and there’s even a bit of extra protection where the cable leaves the earbud.
Now the comfort of these is amazing and it’s one of my favorite parts about the earbuds. I find these extremely comfortable to wear as I can wear them all day long without a problem. They actually disappear so that I don’t even notice I’m wearing them until a tug on the cable reminds me they’re in my ears.
Now there’s actually two ways to wear these, which can affect the comfort. You can use these with the foam covers or without. The benefit of the foam covers is that they do make a difference in helping these to stay put in your ears, and personally I find them more comfortable feeling this way as well. But, If you don’t like the feeling of the foam covers, these still work just fine. However, just be aware they can can fall out of your ear a bit easier, like if there’s any slight tugging on the cable.
Regarding the sound quality, these sound surprisingly good, especially considering how inexpensive they are. What I love, is that you actually get a hifi type of sound that’s actually quite satisfying to listen to.
The low-end however, is the weakest part of this sound signature. The sub-bass and deeper bass notes are what’s noticeably missing from these, even though that is to be expected. And while there is a bit of mid bass, these are very light on the bass overall. So if you’re after or expecting a full or satisfying bass response, you’ll probably be disappointed.
However, because these do such a good job with the mids and highs, they are still quite enjoyable and pleasing to listen to. Vocals come through with great clarity and the treble is a bit laid back which makes these great for long listening sessions.
What I found interesting is that because these are giving you a taste of a hifi type sound, contemporary music is still fun to listen to. So even though the bass is a bit lacking, music is still presented with enough detail and energy to make songs quite engaging.
So overall, you have sound signature that’s light on bass, slightly forward in the mids and a touch laid back in the treble. And while these certainly sound great with all genres of music, they do sound best with tracks of music that don’t require a strong bass presence to sound good.
COMPARISON TO OTHER EARBUDS OR EARPHONES
Now comparing these to the stock Apple earpods…
REASONS TO CONSIDER SOMETHING ELSE
Now, even though you can’t beat the sound quality of these for the money, there are a few reasons you might not want to get these.
First, if you’re not a fan of the way earbuds sit in your ears, then you probably won’t find these any different in that regard.
Also, if you’re after good noise isolation then these wouldn’t be a great choice as you’re still able to hear a fair amount of environmental noise around you. For example, these aren’t ideal to use in noisier places like a subway where you’ll have to really turn up the volume to be able to hear your music.
Finally, if you primarily listen to music that depends on a good, strong bass response to sound engaging to listen to then these might not be for you as they are light on bass.
But otherwise, the strengths of these earbuds is that they deliver a lot of sound quality and comfort for the money. As you’re probably aware, there are plenty of cheap earbuds or earphones that sound cheap, but these are low cost earbuds that actually sound quite good.
So whether you’re looking for a pair of earbuds to replace the stock earbuds that came with your phone or maybe you’re looking for a nice but inexpensive gift to give someone. Either way, you’ll definitely feel like you’re getting more than your money’s worth with these earbuds.