Macally TunePalPro Headphone Review

OVERVIEW:
The long awaited TunePalPros were released by Macally in late June and we got our hands on a set. The TPP is another set of headphones with an in-line microphone, meaning you can go from listening to music to taking a call in a simple push of a button. The microphone is housed in a control tab that allows you to control volume, play, pause, change tracks as well as answer and hang up the phone.
DESIGN:
Like many other Mac and iPod/iPhone focused accessories, Macally goes with white to better pair with your Apple music device. The look is great but we found some functional design flaws.
First, the in-line microphone and control tab would have been a little lower on the wire. Its perfect for the microphone, but in terms of reaching for the buttons to control volume, it is in a blind spot and feels a little too high on the headphone wire.

That can be considered a personal preference, but we have seen other sets that have those controls just a tab lower.
Second, the 3.5mm plug's housing feels a little weak and might not take continuous stress from pulling and tugging all that well. But time will tell. Third, the in-ear plugs make an odd and painful suction noise in our ears. Not root canal painful, but enough to be noted. This only comes when the plugs are initially placed in the ear and also when you press them further into your ear. They are not as snug in our ear as the HiFiTunes were and the memory foam ear bud part will take some work to fit well.

Obviously the microphone is compatible with most smartphones but was a pleasant surprise to see that the play and pause controls worked on my Blackberry Storm 2. The track and volume buttons yielded no response on the S2, but on iPod Touch and iPhone we tried, it was quick a precise.

HOW DID THEY SOUND?:

Call quality was a lot better on these, both sending an receiving audio was more clear than the HiFiTunes. Which is odd, these are more for music (based on the addition of in-line controls) compared to the HiFiTines which are more focused on the call quality. That makes the TunePalPros a little more dynamic and appeals to both music and hands-free call crowds.


The memory foam tipped buds were incredible at blocking out external noise. That kept good sound in, and bad sound out, a cheaper form of noise cancellation. You better practice reading lips because I missed the orders to go cut the grass because I was listening to Eminem's new album with these babies. Some times its good to go into your own little world.

I did eventually cut the grass and even though you don't see this mentioned in headphone reviews, these rocked on the lawnmower. They kept out the external noise and can be turned up loud without any quality loss or distortion.

One problem we had with the audio quality is that it was overly high. The treble was overpowering at times. Turn the bass all of the way up to counter act the highs produced by the TPP. Macally touted the bass the TPP can handle but we don't hear it. It can handle bass if you force the bass up from the souce, but out of the box and no EQ changes (same settings we tested HiFiTune) the highs were so strong they hurt.

One press of the play/pause button will play or pause the track. Two presses will skip forward one track and three presses will skip back one track. It would have been nice to have separate buttons for track controls, but that would make the existing buttons smaller (bad) or the in-line remote bigger (also bad).

UPDATE:
These also work with the new Macbook Pros and allow you to control iTunes tracks with volume, play/pause and skipping tracks back and forth.
FEATURES (from Macally's website):
- Control play, pause, adjust volume, skip tracks and answer or end calls with the integrated remote control
- Rich and deep bass output accentuates your favorite music
- Experience comfort and great sound quality with the In-Ear memory foam ear bud design, providing an impressive sound isolation
- Crystal clear microphone for hands-free conversations or voice recording
- Convenient travel pouch included

MSRP:

$39.99


GRADE:

We think that because these are dynamic and versatile, the TunePalPros could take the place of your phone headset and your earbud headphones. Great call audio and good music audio quality will be functional for many people.

The discomfort that some people feel with the in-ear pieces and the suction noise and the way it tugs on your ear can hurt.

Also the equalizer changes you have to make to counter act the highs can be annoying if you are trying to get it just right. Bass still is weaker than we would have liked.

The HiFi Tunes from Macally sounded better and felt better, but the call audio quality was not as good and there are no controls on the HiFis. So really, its a preference thing. Do you want controls and better call and microphone audio quality, or better comfort and music sound quality? Either way, Macally has you covered.

PROS:
+ Great at blocking out external sound
+ Call audio quality
+ Not bulky and lightweight

CONS:

- Fit in the ear can be (based on your ear) uncomfortable
- Need a little more bass

THESE ARE FOR...:
- On the go music lovers
- iPhone users that listen to music and make calls and want just one headphone for both
7.5/10
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