Q:Electronics Earbuds Review

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Q:Electronics Earbuds
Reviewed Dec 2009

Details: noise-isolating IEM from Q:Electronics
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $14.99)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: N/A | Sens: N/A | Freq: N/A | Cable: 3.6’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down

Accessories (1/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (2.5/5) – Metal housings that are rather light and similar in style to the RE0s’; nice strain relief on 3.5mm plug, not so nice on housing entry. Cables are thin and have a bit of memory character
Isolation (3.5/5) – Surprisingly good with the stock silicone tips. I can see why these are marketed as ‘noise-isolating’
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Present when worn cable-down; very low otherwise
Comfort (3.5/5) – Typical for a straight-barrel IEM; housings are very light and insertion/removal is easy

Sound (3.3/10) – The sound signature is quite similar to that of the Skullcandy Ink’d buds but more refined overall. The impactful, ear-shaking bass that these put out makes the Skullcandys sound boring in comparison. As expected for the price the sound is lacking in dimensionality and smoothness – they sound slightly metallic and flat. The bass is also lacking in speed and control but on slower tracks it’s extremely pleasant. I wouldn’t recommend these for dense metal tracks but I enjoyed them very much for soft rock, pop, and hip-hop, especially with the low end equalized down 3-6 dB. Clarity and detail are quite good when the bass isn’t creeping up and the treble has a bit more liveliness than anything else for the price. For me these are a very good compromise between the signatures of the Ink’d buds and JVC Marshmallows and remind me of JVC’s higher-end HA-FX300.

Value (6.5/10) – The Q:Electronics IEMs are a competitive entry in the low-budget IEM category. The isolation is better than anything else in the price range and the sound is very tolerable. I like the rumbling bass on slower tracks and found these very enjoyable overall with a bit of equalization. For anyone looking for an isolating IEM that costs less than a good lunch, the Q:Elecs are the ticket.

Pros: Comfortable, above-average isolation, enjoyable sound
Cons: Poor bass control, gets overwhelmed with faster tracks


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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