Review: RadTech ProCable In Ear iPhone Headset
The unfortunate thing about the iPhone is that it doesn’t use a “standard” wired mobile phone headset connector. Apple chose their own arrangement for the pins to provide stereo audio capabilities, track/volume controls, and the microphone, while also allowing users to use their favorite set of headphones. Because of this, RadTech offers the ProCable In Ear iPhone Headset, a $25 third-party in-ear headset compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch.
Available in 5 colors (black, aluminum, pink, blue, and gold), the headset includes the items you’d expect with a standard iPhone-compatible headset—the actual earbuds themselves, a microphone, a button for playing/pausing music and answering calls, and a 3.5mm connector that will even fit the original iPhone’s awkward jack. The actual cables follow the growing trend of one-earbud-cable-loger-than-the-other, so that the wire that you snake one side around your neck and the cable that connects to the player is off-centered going down your chest. We really don’t prefer this or the “old” way that Apple still follows. Also included is a clip to attach to clothing.
RadTech has also added another feature, a “sound valve” that opens when the audio volume falls below 40 dB. This is designed for the earbuds to allow outside noise if you choose, or you can crank up the volume and forget the world. This is a somewhat unique idea, since many people find themselves turning down the volume or pausing the music if they’re stopped, and this takeover is completely automatic.
Only two sets of the replaceable ear cushions are included (large and small), but RadTech sells more if you want. The bottom-line is that if these don’t fit in your ear, you’re probably out of luck. If they do fit (which they should for most), then they’re very comfortable.
Features-wise, this headset is pretty good, but how about sound? We weren’t expecting much for the price, but they surprised us. They seem a bit bass-heavy and unless you play with your EQ settings, they do sound muffled. However, they are rather loud, much louder than the standard Apple-issued earbuds. The sound quality is not worse nor better than the Apple set, just different. We’ve seen numerous complaints over the Internet about lack of bass, and that tends to be caused mostly by the earbuds not sealing with the ear canal.
So, should you buy the ProCable In Ear iPhone Headset? If you’re looking for inexpensive headphones that include a microphone that work with the iPhone that don’t come in a box with an Apple logo, these may be for you. Otherwise, due to the lack of ear cushion options, good, but not great sound, and similarly-priced alternatives, we’d suggesting looking elsewhere.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The RadTech ProCable Headset is attractively priced, pleasantly-designed, but may not be for everyone, especially if you can live without an in-line microphone.
Pros: Cheap, good features
Cons: Sound quality dependent on fit, ear cushion sizes not the most accommodating, other options cheaper or similarly-priced