Rumors are swirling right now that the iPhone may not be long for the 3.5mm headphone jack, but that doesn’t mean the long-standing technology is dead. Because of this, there are a plethora of great and/or cheap earbuds out there for pumping your favorite music or podcast into your ear holes. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out a great sounding, and surprisingly affordable pair of in-ear headphones (earbuds) that will bring out your best!
The Emie Devil Horns ($19.99 on Amazon) are simple, cool, and quality. These noise-isolating earbuds offer full-range sound, powerful bass (how often can you say that about earbuds?), and a great look in two colors – red and blue.
The Devil Horns, with their obvious naming, are designed to look like little horns, giving you a “devilish” appearance. Surprisingly, though, is that the little speaker enclosure and horn are actually constructed out of aluminum, instead of plastic like many of their competitors. This gives the earbuds a little heft, leaving them feeling secure in your ears, and aiding in the sound quality being directed into your ears.
The included rubber tips come in a few sizes, which I found very comfortable, even after listening for multiple hours (which is a lot more than I can say about the Apple EarPods, and many other earbuds). It is important to note that the ear tips should fit relatively snug inside your ear, as to create a seal, helping to block outside noise.
On the topic of outside noise, the Devil Horns are advertised as noise-isolation earbuds. In my testing, this was relatively true in moderate volume environments, like a coffee shop or office. When testing at the gym, the Devil Horns did a decent job blocking out the background music and murmurs of people talking, but the high-pitched clang of weights still cut through. When mowing the lawn, I did run into issues with the Devil Horns failing to block out enough background noise to be usable, and switched to a pair of over-ear headphones. All of this is to say, they perform well in the situations where it would make sense, and are ill-equipped for handling high volume external sounds.
As far as listening to music goes, the Devil Horns do a great job of reproducing the sounds I find in my best headphones. They offer accurate highs, tight, full bass, and clear mids, making them great for listening to music of all genres. Thanks to the in-ear tips, the volume of the Devil Horns is also quite good. Listening at 30-40% volume, I was able to pick out the faintest of sounds, and at 80-90% volume, the earbuds managed to retain quality sound and avoid distortion or degradation.
The cable for the Devil Horns is a point of contention for me. I find tangled headphone cables to be infuriating, and these managed to consistently frustrate me in getting tangled on themselves. The included carrying case (which looks like a little devil head when stored) managed to reduce tangling, but was very challenging to accurate wrap, and required a minor acrobatic maneuver (or, at the very least, a spotter) to successfully re-holster the earbuds and have them look “cool.”
In the end, though, I found the attached cable management was sufficient for holding the cable together and keeping it untangled in my bag, while I left the carry case at home. The cable also includes a “zipper” which is helpful for keeping the wire to each ear managed and reduce the likelihood of catching it on things as you work (come on, we’ve all done it). Above the zipper, on the left, is a microphone and play/pause controller, which works on iOS (I did not test on Android). In my tests, people on the other end of the call could hear me clearly, but as is common with in-line microphones, they do pickup room noise.
The Emie Devil Horn earbuds sound great, look awesome, and are comfortable to wear for extended periods. Combined with their excellent price, and it’s hard to find significant fault. In the short-list of complaints, the microphone doesn’t eliminate room noise, and the cable had a tendency to tangle if not coiled in the included case or tied off correctly. Fortunately, the pros vastly outweigh the cons, and leaving these an excellent option for anyone seeking a better pair of in-ear headphones.
- Great sound
- Comfortable to wear
- Quality build
- Cool, unique design
- In-line play/pause
- Microphone quality
- Cable tends to tangle (when not in use)