IEM856md review

The Scosche earphones we’ve reviewed in the past have been pretty good for buds aimed at the lower end of the market. However, Scoshe’s new IEM856md earphones with TapLine III remote and mic are a definite move up to the higher league.

For a start, they cost over £200, which puts them in a different category to other Scosche models and those of its rival headphone makers.

Instead of the thin cables used by most headphones, the IEM856md uses thick cables that look a bit like flat Japanese noodles. Half-way along the cable is a chunky remote control unit with three buttons for controlling your music playback. Along the right-hand cable is a little black bead that houses a separate microphone for making phone calls. Even the bulbous earpieces are larger than normal.

The IEM856md’s thick cables are quite rugged and a lot less prone to getting tangled than some earphones we’ve tested. They also prevent some of the noise interference that other in-ear models suffer from when you move around and they rub on your clothes – this is especially frustrating if you are using them in the gym. The in-ear canalbud earpieces sit very comfortably and form a good seal, which is essential if you’re to get good sound reproduction.

The thick, rugged cables are less prone to getting tangled

And once you fix those earbuds in your ears you’ll forget how they look, anyway, as they sound terrific. The IEM856md produced a warm, textured sound that picked out plenty of detail on some of Queen’s old multi-layered epics. The earphones backed it up with bass that was full and firm, without overwhelming the higher frequencies.

The TapLine III controls let you operate all music functions with a single tap and the integrated microphone worked well, allowing for clear calls.

OUR VERDICT

The IEM856md earphones, which will be available this summer, combine impressive sound quality with rugged, yet comfortable design. Daunting price tag aside, they will appeal to discerning music fans who require a high-quality set of headphones that can handle a bit of rough treatment.

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