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Apple In-Ear Headphones

Apple In-Ear Headphones (ADDIEM) Review

Apple In-Ear Headphones
Reviewed Dec 2009

Details: Apple’s ‘premium’ earphone; one of the cheapest dual-armature IEMs on the market
MSRP: $79.99 (discontinued)
Current Price: $50 from
Specs: Driver: Dual BA | Imp: 23 Ω | Sens: 109 dB | Freq: 5-21k Hz | Cable: 4.6’ I-plug w/mic & 3-button remote
Nozzle Size:4 mm | Preferred tips: Sony Hybrids, Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down

Accessories (2.5/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes) and plastic case
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The front parts of the housings are metal while the rear parts are plastic. Earphones feel well-put together but the cabling is thin and generic. Attention to detail is impressive – Filters can be removed for cleaning, L/R markings are easier to read than most, and the three sets of tips are labeled with their sizes
Isolation (2.5/5) – Average isolation; quite reasonable for my commute
Microphonics (4/5) – Slightly present when worn straight down; very low when worn over-the-ear
Comfort (4/5) – The housings are very small and light. The long stem makes it a little awkward to wear them cord-up but the fit is absolutely effortless cord-down

Sound (6.5/10) – The sound is analytical and highly detailed. The dual armatures can really dissect a piece of music into fine details and still manage to maintain coherency. The clarity is outstanding for the price and the whole signature is a bit relaxed. I really like the sound these put out – the treble and upper mids are very crisp, the bass is fairly tight and doesn’t creep up, and instrumental separation is good. The mids are nowhere near as liquid as those produced by the other budget BA phone in my possession – the Soundmagic PL50 – and soundstaging is pretty average. They might sound a little “thin” to some but that’s inherent to the signature – for an analytical signature on a budget I can’t find much fault with them.

Value (8/10) – The Apple In-Ear Headphones (ADDIEMs) are an excellent earphone to be had. They make a lot of the competition sound muddy and congested but at the same time aren’t cold enough in tone to turn off the average listener. The well-thought-out, tiny housings make these a pleasure to use and the functionality doesn’t lag far behind the ergonomics.

Pros: Nice design touches, very comfortable, some of the crispest sound to be had, iPhone controls may be handy for apple users
Cons: Included case can be a pain to use, hard to wear over-the-ear, may be bass-light for some





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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