Sony MDR-AS20J Ear-Hook Headphones - White Reviews
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Sony MDR-AS20J Ear-Hook Headphones - White

8 ratings (7 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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$49.95
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Nothing really special, but nothing really lacking either

Apr 11, 2010 (Updated Apr 11, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Stay on well, water/sweat resistant, sound is good enough, light

Cons:Not sure why hooks loop all the way around, sound could be a little better

The Bottom Line: Nice cheap set of earphones that stay on well.  They will probably work fine for most people who exercise, just don't expect stellar sound quality.


As I'm getting older, I'm starting to sweat more at the gym... yeah yeah TMI, but that's the main reason I went out shopping for some sport earphones.  The standard white iPod earphones get glitchy with sweat and they slide out of my ears very easily.  I didn't want to spend a fortune, espeically since it's pretty loud at the gym and I'm not hugely concerned about sound quality.  Also, I didn't want a pair with a band over the head or around the neck, but I did want clips around the ear since I jog a lot and I figure ear clips will hold on tight.  A lot of others rewiews of these earphones seemed pretty decent so I gave them a shot.

Design
These are the kind of earphones that just sit at the entrance of your ear canal.  This is great for outdoor activities since you can still hear some ambient sound.  Considering they aren't crammed into your ear canal, it still sounds very decent (more on sound quality below).  The earhooks are nice and light and rubbery so they don't slip very easily.  I'd say I have average size ears and they stay put pretty well.  I can yank down on the cord while they're in my ears and they still don't fall out.  Since the hooks go all the way around, it might take a little more effort to get them on compared to those "U-ish shaped" half hooks.  It's not a big deal, but I'm not sure what the advantages are of these hooks that go all the way around... for me, and the average person, the bottom part of the hooks probably don't touch your ears at all so why have them go all around?  But overall, they stay very well and sweat doesn't affect it much either due to the rubber.  Also, I wear glasses and these work pretty well with glasses too.

As for the cord, it's is a good length, they will reach your gym shorts pocket with slack, even if you're like 6'10".  The cord also has this clip so you can clip the wire to clothing to make sure it doesn't get in the way of your arms while you exercise.  The clip can be moved up and down along the cord.  Also, I'm not sure what you call it, but there is that little "washer" like thing that can be slid up and down the part of the cord that splits to the two individual earphones.  It's there to help prevent tangling of the earphones.  Just wanted to mention that because some of the cheaper earphones don't have this.

EDIT: I just found out my sister has the exact same earphones... unfortunately, they don't fit her ears as well.  The problem is that her ears are too "short.  The entrance to her canals are too close to the top of her ears so the hook/loop doesn't rest nicely in the groove between the top of her ear and her head, it just hovers over it.

Sound Quality
There really isn't anything much to write home about with these earphones.  They sound decent, about as good as you'd expect from a $20 set of earphones.  They're marginally better than the stock iPod earphones, but nothing dramatically better.  The bass response might be one of the first things you notice that is better, but that's not to say it's very boomy at all, considering they only have 13.5mm drivers.  The mids and highs are also just a smidge better in terms of clarity than the stock iPod set.  They get reasonably loud, I don't have to go anywhere near maximum volume with my iPod shuffle (2nd gen), but then again I didn't either with the stock iPod earphone.  That being said though, there is no question that they're better, but at the same time, nothing to wow you, espeically in loud environments like the gym.

Conclusion
This is a pretty short review, basically because there wasn't a whole lot that was exciting about these earphones.  I personally might do a little more shopping to find some with slightly more OOMPH in the sound quality department; as cheap as they are, part of me feels like $20 earphones can sound a little better.  However I repeat, I'm not out to get excellent sound either, I wholey understand you can only get sound that is "so good" at this price.  The design works quite well, though I still don't understand the whole "loop-hook" thing, maybe it's for people with bigger ears.  Regarless, they stay on securely and do what they're supposed to do.  For $20 though, it can't hurt to give them a try, and I'd say most people will be satisfied with them.  I'm wavering between giving these a 3 or 4 stars, mainly because there is nothing really exceiting about them.  If I could, I'd give them 3.5, but since I can't, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt stick with 4.


Recommend this product? Yes


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