Despite the runaway success of the iPod and iPhone, there’s always been a small gotcha associated with Apple’s all-conquering personal music player and smartphone – their headphones. This has encouraged third-party manufacturers to step up and provide alternatives to the white, fall-out-of-your-ears standard ‘phones that ship with each product.
Radiopaq’s Flex earphones are designed for sporty types, and feature bendy rubber silicone/industrial plastic hooks that go over the top of each ear to help hold the in-ear buds in place.
The result is a comfy ride for your ears with a genuine sense of security – that the buds won’t pop out as you pound down the road (or running machine) – and a good fit, thanks to the three different sizes of removable ear cushions’ that are included.
The 1.2m cable (which you can shorten) is designed to go over your back, so you can exercise without the cable getting in the way. But while we liked the overall cable length, adjustability and freedom of movement, we also found that the ‘phones tangled in a second, like fishing line.
The headphones also feature a built-in mic, allowing you to take calls on your iPhone. In a neat touch, they fade out your music when a call comes in, and fade it back up when you hang up. These are the same controls and features that Apple offers on its standard headphones (£26.00) and in-ear alternatives (£66.00).
In addition, the ‘phones come with a combo switch which you can use to start iTunes, pause tracks, advance one track at a time, or raise and lower the volume. Very handy.
We had no complaints about the Flex’s audio performance, either – crisp treble and powerful bass (given their size), that’s perfect for modern music, yet offers enough colour to cope with classical music too.