Advanced In-ear Wired Control Headphone (EL115)
Distributed by D.LAB Dezign Laboratories
Just because the headphone jack is under attack doesn’t mean that you should give up on earbuds. It’s hard to beat the convenience of the best earbuds since you can roll them up and stuff them back into your pocket. You don’t get that kind of utility from over-ears. While the AirPods are convenient, they don’t sound nearly as good.
If you’re going to be monitoring or mixing (or doing any kind of professional work really) with audio, a pair of in-ears with a flat response might be a worthy investment to make. And if you want accuracy, look no further than the EL115 in-ears.
The EL115 headphones are true in-ears, so if you don’t like putting things in your ears these might not be for you. But if you can get past that you’ll get some really good noise isolation, and that’s especially true with the EL115. The slim housing lets you wear these comfortably so you can aim sound straight down your ear canal and with the right ear tips, you won’t hear much outside noise when playing music.
The housings are made of a smooth aluminum, so they’re durable enough to be tossed in your pocket without getting beat up. The aluminum build is also super handy when removing filters or cleaning the stem, as it’s less likely to break when compared to the plastic of the previous version. From here to the tips the earphones have a thin braided cable that doesn’t feel quite as durable, but definitely looks nice and held up to the stress of everyday use.
The EL115 deliver a snug fit and a well-balanced, fun and energetic sound. With an updated 10mm dynamic driver and a silver-plated copper cable, they’re great value for money too. Sound is warm and there’s decent depth to the bass, which is topped with a clear and crisp low to high range. It’s also worth noting that their moderately high sensitivity (90dB) means that the EL115 can still deliver plenty of volume.
Functionality is kept simple with a remote and mic on the cable for the left earphone. It’s a easy to use 3 button job, so it should work with Apple and Android smartphones, giving you (1) Answer/Hang or Play/Pause and (2) Volume Increase/ Decrease (3) Next Song/ Last Song. Given the price, it’s hard to find fault with these excellent budget buds.
It’s definitely a particular kind of sound and while I personally love it (hence the sound quality score), your mileage may vary. Bass kicks in “L.E.S” by Childish Gambino are there, but that’s about as much as you can say about them. There’s no real oomph, which to be fair isn’t the point of accurate headphones.
Vocals are also nicely blended in with the instruments in the mid-range, but there is a very slight bump just to give them a little extra push. But just like the bass, these sound pretty flat. Great for my kind of work, but if you’re just listening casually these might not do it for you.
Unlike other headphones I’ve reviewed, these don’t claim to go up to 20kHz. Instead they drop off at about 16-17kHz and you can tell. Cymbals and hi-hats sound nice and detailed, without ever becoming harsh. I personally found these great for listening to Jazz. The brushes in “Festive Minor” by Chet Baker have a beautiful amount of detail. You can hear the bristles hitting the snare drum if you listen closely enough.