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I know what you're thinking. £20 headphones: they aren't exactly going to blow you away. But heck, they do. These are quite possibly the best headphones you could buy for under £50, let alone under £20, I was honestly absolutely amazed by the quality of these cans. I got them for about £20 from play.com, and after a somewhat eventful delivery process, they finally arrived about 2 weeks late. (i hasten to add - this was of no fault to the manufacturer or play.com, just the couriers...) I have heard that it is a good idea to effectively 'knock in' your headphones by leaving them playing a piece of music with good diverse range of bass and tenor etc. So i gave it a try, leaving them with Will.I.Am's 'I've got a feeling' playing at medium volume on continuous repeat for the course of the night. The following morning, i took them out for a test drive. These cans are a really comfy fit, with soft but supportive pads round the ears which really help to isolate the sound and block out ambient noise. (background noise) While these don't claim to deliver the standard of noise cancellation that cans like Bose quiet comfort produce, they still do a pretty decent job, meaning that you can relax and focus on the music without the noisy drone of angry motorists disturbing you while you soak up the gentle tones of Beethoven's 5th.
The overall look and feel of these cans does leave room for improvement, as while they are lightweight and sleek in design, the nature of their design, combined with their weight means they do not last long. In fact, mine broke after 2 months. (admittedly, they got stepped on, but they were starting to break)
The other downside regarding their design is the fact that they are not portable. They do not fold so they are very likely to get broken in a bag or handbag.
Another bad point is the enormously long 3 meter cable. This is designed so that you can sit on the sofa or in bed and watch tv/dvd etc, on headphones, but when it comes to travelling with them,it is a bit of a hassle.
And they are not very loud. They are not quiet, just not as loud as i would like...
But when you hear the sound quality, it packs such an almighty punch that it will lave you reeling in shock for days. The bass is beautifully deep and rich, and the mid tones are crisp and clear. (the bass isn't a big thumping ear shaker, but a rich thud, which i prefer, as it leaves the music quality unscathed)The overall sound quality of these is, for the price of £20,absolutely phenomenal. These are not the best headphones in the world. But for under £30? Yes. If you need headphones for under £30, even for under £50, these are the ones for you. But if you need portable headphones, i would consider something else.