Macally HiFi Tune Hands-Free Headset

OVERVIEW:
In-ear headphones that don't hurt. Sounds revolutionary, but for Macally, its a necessity with the HiFi Tune Hands-Free Headset. Its a dual-threat pairing of talk and rockout, a hands-free headset that doubles as a very good set of "earbuds."

Plus, you get a faux leather pouch to carry them in. An added bonus.

STYLE:
Ehh, they look okay. But really on such a small canvas, what more can they do? I was originally thrown off by the threaded wire as opposed to the traditional rubber covering, but the lightweight feel makes up for it.

The actual in-ear headphone part is a stylishly-crafted metal alloy that screams "I'm not some cheap pair of headphones you find next to the gum at the store."

Many people seem to have an issue with the longer left headphone cord. Its longer so the in-ear part doesn't pull on your ears and so the mic isn't choking. At least what I have noticed after using the OEM RIM headset compared to these.

DURABILITY:
I have also noticed that people say that the cord is flimsy and will sever after two months. Although I can see it, what are you doing to these things? I agree that the connections from wire to plug/in-ear piece seem a little weak, but break or rip out, I don't see it.

It would take something (that most other headphones wouldn't survive) to ruin the HiFi Tune. Again, haven't had them for that two months yet, but we will update you IF something happens.

HOW DO THEY SOUND?:

The HiFiTune's main purpose – as a headset for the iPhone or other mobile phones (we tested on two different Blackberry Storm 2s)– is let down by its below average call quality. My mom said I sounded distant, while still understandable I sounded like I was in the other room.

I thought that because the in-wire mic hangs quite low that the call audio would be less "boomy," bassy and not as harsh on the ears and thus easier to decipher. That was true, but the trade off is that it sounds almost as if the mic is slightly covered. I tried calling my girlfriend while she wore the HiFi Tune and heard the same issue, it is a faint hollow sound.

The in-wire mic unit includes a clicker button so you can pick up and end calls, and it also controls the iPhone's iPod, by clicking a number of times. It doesn't do anything with the Storm 2 except pick up and hang up.

You can also use the headphones on the latest unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros, so you can use this headset to control iTunes and the microphone for iChat and Skype calls. The button is "clicky" and gives you good feedback by feeling the click.

These are designed for phones. No iPod or music controls. Macally answers that with the release of the TunePal Pro later this month.

Now, as headphones they rock. Music comes out of those babies like none other. I HATED IN-EAR HEADPHONES. Hated them because they hurt and sounded like someone was trying to sway me from enjoying music.

But these have changed my outlook. I got used to carrying around over-the-ear cans so I can have full range and comfort. These will not totally replace them for me but will find their way into the rotation more often than any other set. Turn them up and they can hang with the big boys.

Bass is not overpowering, you aren't looking for that if you are considering these. Its the range and mids that stand out here. Everything stays within a good, strong and enjoyable range. The bass won't drop out and the treble won't make you bleed. The HiFi Tune shows dynamic ability for being so small and just $50.

COMFORT:
The in-ear cups fit nicely in ear, and isolate a fair amount of ambient noise. Again I hated in-ear headphones before, but these I will continue to use.

They're very light and the three sizes of cups mean that they can be adjusted to fit all ear sizes and thus increase the chance at comfort.

Features:
-Precision crafted premium metal alloy
-Sculpted sound chamber for serious music enthusiasts
-Rich and deep bass output accentuates your favorite music
-Natural, lifelike sound reproduction with exceptional fullness, range and clarity -Crystal clear microphone with 1 click answer/hang up button, which also functions as Play/Pause button for iPhone music
-6 extra pairs of black or gray ultra-soft silicon fittings in three sizes (S,M,L) to provide comfortable, quick and secure fit
-Durable, light weight fabric cable -In-ear design provides isolation from external noise and comfort
-Carrying Case protects your HiFiTune in style
-3.5mm jack designed to work with both iPhone 3G and first generation iPhones


MSRP:
US $49.99


GRADE:
I like them. Simple as that. I used to use Bluetooth head sets for a while until I realized that battery would never be full when I needed it to be. My fault, but the wired was easier and more reliable.

The out-of-the-box headset from RIM for the Storm 2 is good. The mic on that is better than the HiFi Tune. But they hurt and sounded like crap compared to this Macally's headset. The six pairs of new and varying sized ear pieces make them even more comfortable and customizable.

Call (sending) quality was an issue. We could hear the called very well, but the person on the other end complained that the microphone made us sound distant. Also, they knot up very easily if you aren't careful.

Sennheiser makes some similar products but durability seems to be an issue with many of them. A classic version of pay more and get less. Shure makes a horribly overpriced version that some say lacks comfort.

We feel that the HiFi Tune is a good mix of all of those for the price. You will find these online for $38-$48 bucks and thats a good deal for what you are getting. A good mic with great in-ear headphone audio quality. Headphones first, headset second. Portability makes these good for running and walking with your smartphone.


8/10
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