Noise Cancelling, sweat proof Sport In-Ear Headphones from iClever. Quality product brings smooth sound to comfortable in-ear headphones.
I have really begun to enjoy music again, specifically music from my childhood. Modern music seems to be mostly noise, without much substance or story. I grew up on Golden Oldies, Classic Rock, Country, War songs and multiple other genres of music. My dad had a large stereo cabinet with a cassette deck, turntable, receiver and a few rather large speakers. Additionally, he had a large set of headphones that I remember very clearly. You may remember the style, large ear cuffs and a curled cord similar to that on old corded phones. Even though we are now in 2016, the standard desires of audiophiles persist. No matter if you choose on-ear, over-ear or in-ear style headphones, sound and comfort remain the top differentiating factors.
If you ask someone to name a headphone brand, they may say Beats, Bose and maybe even state Klipsch, Skullcandy or a few other brands. Sites like Amazon, with their review system, have allowed for other companies tech to be mentioned and showcased. It is through this system that I was exposed to multiple devices from the iClever line from Hisgadget. This company went from an utterly unknown name to one that I trust and really enjoy.
We have all been taught to not judge a book by its cover. When it comes to iClever gear, this motto usually holds true. The brand packaging design is rather weak, having a simple cardboard box with metallic lettering. The box is 4 3/4″ by 3 9/16″ by 1 3/4″ tall. The front of the box shows red metallic wording “iClever,” but does not detail any further information about the contents. There is no documentation, there is no diagram, you have nothing else except a white sticker on the back with IC BTH07. The back of the box also displays the standard product label logos and “Made in China.”
Lifting the top of the box away, you start to see my meaning above. The first thing you see is a white cardboard backing with the lime green on black headphones, with “iClever” written in white on the left ear piece. Removing the device from the cardboard, you will notice that sharp contrast of the 22″ lime green cord and the two black ear pieces. The color palette gives provides a sporty feel, which seems to be the aim of the device. There is plenty of cord to run in front of your neck or behind it. At 0.6 ounces, you will hardly even notice the headphones are present.
Beneath the cardboard, you will find the accessories: two pairs of ear buds, both medium and large, a 20″ USB A to USB micro charging cable and a small pamphlet instruction manual. With the use of charging hubs and multiple USB charging ports, longer cables are really not necessary. Thus, the included 20″ charging cable is an acceptable length. The manual is acceptably written, yet really unnecessary. Located on the right earpiece, is a green rectangle. Depress this for two seconds and you will hear “Power on,” there will be a pause and “connecting.” Navigate to settings on your smart device, move to Bluetooth and select the IC-BTH07. The same female voice will then announce “device connected.” The manual details the button layout on page 2. The MFB (multifunction button) is the green bar. Located beneath the right earpiece are the volume up/down button and the microphone. On the left earpiece, you have the USB micro charging socket posteriorly and you have the indicator light underneath.
Page three provides some of the most useful tech information. The device thankfully utilizes Bluetooth 4.1, with some of the common BT profiles HFP, A2DP, HSP, AVRCP. If you have not had the pleasure of reviewing the Bluetooth Wikipedia page, I would highly recommend it. This will detail the origin of the Bluetooth name and the progression of the tech with time. The standard 10m distance has remained relatively unchanged. The main differences are in the rate/quality of connection and the power savings. The device charges in about 2 hours and provides you with 7 hours of playback time, which is more than adequate. You will be alerted to the need to charge by the female voice noting “battery low.” While charging, you will notice the convenient red LED light indicator. When finished, the LED will illuminate green. It has an auto-off feature, if not utilized within five minutes. The manual further details music playback, phone conversation, and FAQ/solutions.
All of the above details would matter little if the actual device was a dud. Luckily, iClever tends to deliver on their products. The single flange, stereo, earbuds rest snugly inside the ear canal, resting very comfortably and securely. I really like that the control panel is at the ear opening and not dangling beneath the ear. When the control module is beneath the ear, I find that this tends to pull downwards on the headphones, pulling the device from my ears. The single flange modules fit the ears nicely, with some compression to allow for a custom fit. Remember, there are 2 extra included tips that you may choose from. Each of the ear pieces also has ear hooks, providing a second layer of support. Whether enjoying a nice run, a jog on the treadmill or another vigorous activity, you will be hard pressed to lose these in your routine. I love this feature, likely more than any other for these headphones. The cord is not too heavy, the entire product is about nineteen paperclips, in weight, and is hardly noticed during activity. The ear bud tips are angled very nicely, providing a great set of earbuds. These are some of the more comfortable in-ear phones that I have been able to review. Personally, they are markedly more comfortable than the Apple EarPods, providing minimal ear canal fatigue.
Now that the comfort of the headphones has been discussed, we can discuss the sound. First, these are stereo as proven by “Bohemian Rhapsody” and audiocheck.net Stereo Perception and Sound localization “Original Binaural Recording.” Be prepared to look behind you (you must use headphones for this). Utilizing audiocheck.net, I was able to hear from 20Hz to 15kHz (my upper limit of hearing). Next, I turn to a few good bass selections such as “Why So Serious, The Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme.” Between three and four minutes, the song is very heavy on bass and lower Hz sounds. A few other good selections include the opening to the Attack of the Clones as the ship enters into the planet and the Gladiator Soundtrack. Having been an instrumentalist in school, playing Euphonium, I have really enjoyed movie Soundtracks. My favorite soundtracks are Braveheart, Far and Away, and Gladiator. These showcase the mid range and the immersive sound as a contrast to the above heavier bass. The other typical test songs I utilize include “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by meatloaf, “Hotel California” by the Eagles and “Piano Man” and “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel. Couple this quality sound with noise reduction and you have a quality pair of in-ear headphones.
This set of headphones really does deliver quality sound, comfort, and a great charge to battery ratio. The longest I sat with these in my ears was about 3 hours, listening to an audible book. I was able to lay on my side and rest comfortably while listening. Personally, this is about as good as you can expect from in-ear style headphones. I was able to jog, to run and to jump while maintaining good positioning of the headphones. The stereo effect is quite evident with the above test and “Take me home Country Roads” by John Denver. I was comfortably listening to music just between 1/2 and 3/4 sound. The buttons beneath the right ear piece are very responsive. Short presses change the volume and long presses change the track. Pressing the MFB (green) button will pause the sound. Incoming calls work okay. You can hear the caller great, but there are some ambient noises that are picked up. I like the proximity of the microphone to your head. I feel that this is actually done quite well. I wish that the product packaging was a focus for the company. I would rate the product at 5 minus/5. I certainly hope that you give iClever a nod as I have not yet been disappointed.
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