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Acoustic Research HP1030 Earbuds

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Review of the Acoustic Research HP1030 Earbuds, made by Acoustic Research

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)


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These earbuds fit with reasonable comfort, and come with six sets of rubber tips. Nobody should have any problem getting a snug, comfortable fit with these. They also come with a handsome, soft-sided, zippered case. A nice touch, especially if you want to travel with spare rubber tips.

I've owned many earbuds, over the years. This is one of the few that doesn't have the tangling cord problem. Kudos to Acoustic Research! This particular problem sometimes makes knots that are inordinately difficult to undo and the repeated annoyance can become quite frustrating. As an electrical engineer, I can tell you that Acoustic Research solved this issue the same way Samsung did. Instead of going cheap on the cord so that it tangles and/or breaks, they used a suitably thick cord.

Not only that, there are two strain reliefs in the cord. I've seen many sets that don't have even one. So, this is a product designed to tolerate the occasional "Oops" where the cord snags on something as you walk past or your MP3 player suddenly takes a tumble.

Wrapping the cord around your MP3 player does reduce the tangling problem, but it also shortens the life of the cord. So it's not really a solution. It's good to see that this manufacturer actually cared that users have things to do in life other than untangle earbud cords. They also seem to care that people don't like forking over money to replace earbuds they bought recently.

I generally do not listen to music (the content adds little or nothing to my character, knowledge, or value as a human being), and don't use my MP3 player for that. What I use my MP3 player for is the brainbuilding experience of listening to nonfiction audio books, and the experience has the effect of continually being in university. But instead of sitting through classroom lectures, I learn while doing housework, yardwork, and driving down the highway (among other activities). Famous fitness guru Bill Phillips listens to audio books while on his recumbent bike.

Because I don't listen to music and because I respect my inner ear parts (I've had them for a long time and have grown fond of them), the sound coming to them from my MP3 player is at normal conversation level. So I didn't crank the volume to max to test for distortion. That is not, to me, a relevant test. The earphones perform well for their intended use.

With any earbuds, the issue of sound quality must be addressed in a review. For me, it's a matter of clearly delivering voice. I compared these earbuds to another model during my review evaluation, and these did slightly better.



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