Build quality and fit: I purchased one of these during the previous SD. It fits my eight year old daughter and my wife (wears XS). I wear an XXL hat (7 3/4) and it was tight. The "strap" that goes over the head is simply two roughly 3-4 mm plastic "straps" with three crosspieces. The only metal is in the wires and the speakers. The quality is alright but the design is cheap, and we were afraid of breaking it trying to put it on my head the first time. The lack of metal and the thin plastic means these would be easy to break, and are NOT for a child who is rough on head phones. Treated reasonable they wouldn't just break, but I would be scared to give them any rough handling.
Sound quality: We had purchased several different inexpensive head phones for my wife and daughter for when we are traveling, as they love books on tape and I do not. They also listen to popular music. I am comparing them right now, listening to Erin McKeown's Santa Cruz, Rammstein's Ich Will, Barber's Adagio for Strings, and Robert Mirabel The Story of Land track 2 which is a flute solo. Included are these headpones, AKG K130, Sony PIIQ, and Skullcandy Lowriders- all SD's in the last six months.
I am evaluating these for casual listening on a phone, MP3 player, etc. I do not have a blind testing rig where I can switch between any of the four instantly, and there could be a problem with fit, as none of them really fit me properly. Poor fit can easily overwhelm any differences in sound quality.
All four head phones did fine on the light Jazz piece by Erin Mckeown. Vocals, background, and the piano solo were fine. The Heavy Metal (Rammstein) was very different. These headphones were slightly weak in the base but when you had combined base with deep vocals sounded the best. The Skullcandy Lowriders had the weakest base and were definitely inadequate, the AKG C130's had solid though slightly muddy base, and the deep vocals were harder to understand when the you had heavy, driving base background. The Sony PIIQ sounded very similiar to the AKG C130's, except the base was even stronger.
Barber's Adagio for Strings (BBC 9/15/2011 memorial performance for 9/11) also provided some differences. These headphones were again the most crisp, though the bass was again slightly weak. The Sony PIIQ was definitely less crisp though overall frequency response was the best. The AKG C130's sounded best, fairly well balanced and acceptably crisp. The Skullcandy Lowriders sounded the weakest, and I think the reason is again they are lacking detail for the harmonic and reverberation aspects of the music, which are very prominent in this musical piece.
The Robert Mirabel flute solo was used for high frequency response. This set of headphones was crisp, but both the AKG C130's and the Sony PIIQ had better response. The Skullcandy Lowriders again came in last with similiar frequency response to these, but not as crisp. For casual listening I would probably go with any of these except the Skullcandy Lowriders. I use the AKG C130's for my Optimus T because they fold up into a small size and they have metal both attaching the ear pieces to the head band, and across the headband as well. I hope this helps someone considering these.
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