In-ear headphones are not my favorite, but the SteelSeries Flux In-Ear Pro Headset ($49.99/$129.99) has a tangle resistant, top-of-ear design that works better than most others I have tried. Once you get these lightweight earphones situated comfortably, they will fill your head with an immersive, full-bodied sound that many in-ear headphones just can't muster. However, the trick really is getting them to seat in your ear properly. Good thing plenty of tip options are provided in the kit.
The Flux models come in two flavors: A standard model. which does not include adapters, and offers 6 mm adaptive drivers, and the Pro model, which I will review in this post. I tested the Pro model on both iPhone, iPad, and PC, and in the case of my PC, I had to reboot to get the mic to work (just an FYI). In all cases the sound was stellar. The headphones can be worn with wires positioned up and over your ear (a set of rubberized guides can be used to better secure them), or just hanging like any normal pair of in-ear sets you have used. The throat mic/control bud can start and stop tracks on your iPhone, mute the mic, or answer calls.
No volume control is available on the mic, which would have been a nice addition. The flat ribbon-like rubber cable is long enough to be used in most situations, and is effective at stopping cable knots when jammed into a bag or a pocket (which is all too common with the thin white Apple earphone cable). The included mobile/PC adapters will let you connect up to either your PC or your handset, with full headset functionality. Also included is a handy, zippered carrying case.
The Pro series has what is described on the SteelSeries website as balanced armature technology that produces well-balanced and rich sound production. Armature does not require external air to conduct sound, allowing very tiny drivers to be used. If a decent seal to the ear cavity is achieved, you will probably be happy (as I was) with the overall quality of tones, though bass boost is still a challenge for tiny drivers in most headsets (these included). A set of variously sized memory foam and rubberized tips come with the headset, and the memory foam worked best in my case. It is a bit annoying to have to pinch the memory foam tips down and insert them into the ear canal (like a typical sound-dampening earplug), but it helped the sound dramatically (which was a bit tinny with the rubber tips). Various sizes are provided, and more can be had on the Flux web site.
- Good sound quality
- Non-tangling cable design
- Requires effective in-ear positioning for best performance
The verdict is simple in this case. Great sounding in-ear headset that is flexible enough to be used with phone or PC, and not get tangled into knots in your bag. The mic could have better controls, but overall these headphones are of superior quality and design. I recommend them, so go grab them at the links above.