It goes without saying that I carry A LOT of gadgets with me everywhere I go, and I’d prefer not to include several different accessories with me to be able to use them all any way I choose to. In my quest to personally find the best headphones to suit my needs, the good people at Turtle Beach sent me a pair of Ear Force M1 Ear Buds w/In-Line Mic.
In all honesty I find In Ear Buds to be uncomfortable, usually painful and annoying because they never stay put. So whenever I am sent In-Ear Buds I always pass them along to someone else immediately. This time I decided to do something different and give them a go.
When you first open the box you’ll notice these are not your average Ear Buds. What initially caught my attention was the durable braided cable. First glance made me feel like these would be indestructible and tangle free. The ear buds are all black with the exception of the silver Turtle beach logo on both the left and right ear bud with a thin silver strip, Turtle Beach and a small picture of a handset in silver on the in-line microphone and the gold-plated 3.5mm plug.
Sound and Quality
I was surprised at how amazingly clear the sound was. I made calls on both my iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S3 and was able to hold decent length conversation without having to ask the person on the other line to speak up or them continuously asking me to repeat myself. It may seem like not a big deal but sometimes I need to sneak a quick call to the house while I’m at my desk and trying to speak barely above a whisper and have the other party hear you is unheard of. I was able to accomplish just that. While listening to my iPod Touch 4th Gen I played Do You by Heather B – a very bass heavy (still sick) song, Jodeci’s Forever My Lady (Acoustic Mix) and a Gospel song with music played by a live band. All of which I was able to turn up to the highest level without distortion with excellent instrumentation. Thanks to the 10 mm drivers with neodymium magnets you get premium audio quality.
Fit and Functionality
The M1’s are designed to wrap around your ears and block out ambient noise and isolate noise to minimize distractions. Unlike any other ear bud I’ve tried previously I actually forgot I had them in 1/2 way through my day they were so weightless and noninvasive. I’m not sure if it’s solely because when you place the ear buds into your ear the wires are wrapped around your ear in a way that they conveniently go down the side of your neck. They headphones include 3 different size of ear gels S, M and L with the medium already installed. and comes with a small drawstring pouch to store them in when not in use.
I know that Turtle Beach designed the Ear Force M1’s to satisfy the needs of gamers on the go. To be completely honest gaming is the one thing I didn’t use them for yet. I did use to make calls and listen to music. In my experience almost every headset I use whether it’s bluetooth, over ear or in ear they are always Apple friendly. I can always mute, pause, fast forward, rewind and skip, but never use any of the same features on my Android devices. I was impressed that it wasn’t the case here. I could skip songs, pause, mute and answer/end calls with the same headphones. Having an accessory compatible with every device I carry with me is a definite first and couple that with the audio quality these are my new go to earphones.
The one con I did find is I can’t listen as loud as I wanted without sharing the party with my neighbor. Only missing one of my perfect headphone requirements isn’t a deal breaker for me right now. Plus in a world of $200+ ear phones with mediocre quality at best – the Ear Force M1’s price tag of $60 is well worth the purchase.