First off, let me say that i was astonished upon receiving these. I am so use to the blue and white boxes that when i got these, i realized it looked and felt more premium to the standard boxes and items.
The headphones come in a nice sleek black box with silver writing, inside, the headphones are staggered and placed in a foam core and at the bottom is a carrying case.
As you can see from the pictures you are looking at the left and right earbud, the lightning connector, at the center is the volume/play/mode button....more on that later.
These headphones boast a built in DAC processor that delivers 24-bit 48kHz high-resolution digital sound to 10mm drivers, it claims an ergonomic design that helps with noise isolation. They are IPX5 water resistant, have a reinforced cable tested to 10k+ bends. The lightning connector is 6mm thick and is MFI certified so these can be used on any device featuring a lightning connector without the need or worry about batteries or keeping them charged, just plug in and rock out to your tunes.....or podcast, whichever you prefer.
Upon initial unboxing you get the earbuds, carrying case, 3 sets of standard rubber ear tips and a pair of memory foam tips, you also get 3 sets of ear hooks so cater the fit and sound isolation to your needs, and last but not least a clip so you can clip the wire out of your way when wearing them. Standard with all Anker products is the Happy/unhappy card and user manual.
Premium feel, premium package
Builtin DAC converter
Nice selection of eartips and ear hooks to suite users fit and needs
Plug and play and easy to use
premium Carrying case
Poor in call connection
Earhooks do not lock into place so they tend to move around
Controller is a little bulky and the "+" does not have tactile click like the "-" does
No D-Ring with the case
On to testing...
I initially didnt have an iphone as I am an android user, but I am dedicated and went out and brought a Iphone 5c. I also have used this with an Iphone 7 to see if there was a difference in sound and it was negligible between the two, hence why I settled for the cheaper of the two. After playing with the eartips and earhooks I found the right fit for me, I used the medium tips and large earhooks.
Upon just plugging the headphones into the phone I was greeted by a little bell sound, similar to when you pair bluetooth headphones which let me know its connected without issues (I have heard some people had issues with these and connecting to the phone). I opened up spotify and searched Welcome to the Jungle, WOW I felt deaf and the volume was only half way. Turned down the volume a bit to a more manageable level and proceeded to Push this button on the side of the remote to cycle through the sound stages
The 3 sound stages are: Balance, Clear Voice, and super bass. going through the sound stages I found that clear voice is best left for phone calls as it tends to oversaturate the vocals and make them really screechy....then again Axels screaming will do that regardless
. Super bass has no grounds for this type of music although you can hear the punch from the drums. Balanced was the best mode for obvious reasons as it splits vocals,bass,treble and gives you more depth and sound stage to the music.
I next tested Beastie Boys Brass Monkey, one of my favorites as its all about that bass. These headphones handled the bass decently on balanced setting where the bass isnt overpowering. Once I switched the soundstage to super bass, I was brought to a smile instantly as the bass not only could be heard but somewhat felt. The 10mm Drivers really help here and gives you the best experience, although it may be too overpowering for some and best left on balanced for those folks.
I also tested these on a few phone calls to see how the sound quality was on both ends, I have to say this would be the downfall of these headpphones. On my end the callers voice was muddy, even with clear voice enabled I found the headphones picked up a lot of noise and was sensative to the wire moving about as I heard it in my ear as I walked and talked. The caller said I sounded like a robot at times and they also could hear feedback from the mic. I was hoping this was an isolated incident, but I had the same issue on two other calls. I ended up just unplugging them and taking the call the old fashion way.
As for my other cons, the earhooks always slid around so when trying to insert and lock them into your ear you have to make sure they didnt slide or move. as with most headphones if you do not get a good seal your music can suffer. Upon inspecting the earbuds its easy to see where there should be a spot to lock the earhooks into place, but its just not there. Users of the soundbuds surge will know what I am talking about in terms of the ear hooks locking into place. as you can see in the picture below theres a notch in the earhook but no raised surface for it to catch thus spinning around
There is also feedback from the cable, not sure if its not grounded properly or what but feedback can be heard when on phone calls. I did not experience feedback when listening to music.
All In all, I really enjoyed listening to music with these, just stay clear of taking or making phone calls and you will be golden. Once you find the right combination of eartips and earhooks to suite your needs these headphones will provide you with a great experience that not only isolates the noise but enhances the sounds and music passing through them. These pack right up and fit nicely into the carrying case for easy transport....I only wish they included a D-ring so I can clip it to my backpack and have them at arms reach if needed.
Overall I would rate these a 7 out of 10, mainly because the feedback and calling issues. I would recommend them strictly for music only. If the feedback and in call issues are ironed out then I would rate these higher.
Amazon link: SoundBuds Digital IE10