Geraldatwork, would you mind reporting back when your daughter recieves her phones, and tell us of the comparison between those and the Sharp HP-MD33S you mention? I would love to hear your opinion.

Posted by Mani on January 21, 2005 at 1:45 PM (PDT) Comment 21

I just ordered these, I hope they work well.

Posted by answerplease on January 22, 2005 at 4:44 PM (PDT) Comment 22

Are these earbuds good when you workout, especially on the treadmill or running?

Posted by PinayPoca on January 23, 2005 at 8:16 PM (PDT) Comment 23

I just received these and am very happy with them. The stock ear buds moved around too much and so the sound varied too wildly depending upon their ever changing position in my ear. I bought the iPod in ear phones but was disgusted both by their poor (uncomfortable) fit and crappy sound.
So far these are much better and even at $30 still $10 cheaper than the Apple in earphones.

Posted by tommers on January 26, 2005 at 7:12 AM (PDT) Comment 24

Is there a good carry case solution for these?

I have a pair of sony consumer grade wrap around your ear headphones and my #1 complaint is the tangle, no matter what i do...

i'd like to replace them with something more compact that has a carry case or winder...

Posted by Puck on January 26, 2005 at 11:32 AM (PDT) Comment 25

I've tried these, and I don't believe that they are superior to the ex71s. The ex71s have boomy bass, which is fine if you listen to electronic music (I generally don't, so they are not the earphones for me). Unfortunately, the opus has boomy mids, which hurts most music. Also, notice the vents. They are only semi-isolating earphones. I know this has been said before, but if you are looking for cheap headphones and are not worried about sound isolation, get the Koss ksc75s.

Posted by Questioner on January 26, 2005 at 2:09 PM (PDT) Comment 26

Actually, the opus are worth it if you are willing to use equalization. If you set the iPod to "Classical," the earphones become relatively balanced, and preferable to the eX71s. And I like the fact that I can hear more of the outside world. But without equalization, the opus earphones are pretty hopeless.

Posted by Questioner on January 26, 2005 at 7:56 PM (PDT) Comment 27

Didn't feel like they had the fullness that the buds my ipod came with, I was dissapointed. These are considered 'good low end' ear buds, but I expected more for $30. If you need a more comfy set get these, if you want comfy and quality, look elsewhere.

Posted by strickland on January 27, 2005 at 4:48 PM (PDT) Comment 28

Do NOT buy the Opus Earphones.

I listened to them today and the there is NO comparison with Sony's EX-70's, at least through an iPod. I switched between the two almost the entire day while at work and the amount of detail missing when using the Opus is rediculous.

These things are going up on ebay less than 12 hours after they arrived.

Posted by hpetridis on January 28, 2005 at 11:16 PM (PDT) Comment 29

Giving these earphones another chance with equalization has led me to agree with hpetridis. Ignore my previous post; even with equalization, they sound horrible. I am surprised that they got such a glowing review. They are not a good deal--they do not provide more audio for the dollar, and I would rather listen to the Apple pack-ins.

I am really surprised by this review. I believe that iPodlounge should live with earphones/headphones for a few days before making a determination.

Posted by Questioner on January 29, 2005 at 12:51 PM (PDT) Comment 30

how long did it take for you all to get your opuses?(if you ordered from their site?)

Posted by jTizzle on January 30, 2005 at 7:10 PM (PDT) Comment 31

"Geraldatwork, would you mind reporting back when your daughter recieves her phones, and tell us of the comparison between those and the Sharp HP-MD33S you mention? I would love to hear your opinion."

By Mani on Jan 21, 05 2:45 pm

My daughter received them last week and she likes them. She said they are much better than the "default" phones that come with the Pod. She said they are comfortable and stay in her ears when she works out. To answer another question they took about a week to arrive from order.

Posted by geraldatwork on January 31, 2005 at 7:19 AM (PDT) Comment 32

thanks geraldatwork

Posted by jTizzle on January 31, 2005 at 7:08 PM (PDT) Comment 33

Received my earbuds 10 days after order. I have had them for a day now and I have to disagree with the review. In my opinion the original buds that come with the ipod are much better sounding. A little pissed I dropped 30 on these . I guess my daughter will like them on her disney radio !

Posted by Lost_Packet on February 1, 2005 at 1:48 PM (PDT) Comment 34

Jeremy, you're killing me! I should have held off ordering these for a few more days (ordered them on 28 Jan, received them yesterday). Then over the weekend I saw the posts from 29-31 Jan and started to worry. I have to agree with Questioner, hpetridis, and Lost_Packet. These earbuds sound worse than the Apple pack-ins. It wasn't a matter of fit, because they fit very well, they just sound terrible. Everything is muffled; bass, mids, and treble. Similar to the Griffin Earjams (yes I was unfortunate to purchase those also), and you can read my post there too. I was looking for a low-cost (<$50) alternative to Apple's pack-ins when I work out. I'm worried about the Sony mdr-ex series from other posts. Guess I'll have to keep looking.

Posted by mele on February 2, 2005 at 6:31 AM (PDT) Comment 35

I would like to qualify my last post. I also own a pair of Shure e2c. Though I didn't expect these earbuds to compete with the Shures, I was at least hoping they would be better than the Apple pack-ins. The Shures are great for isoloation; perfect for airline and subway travel, dangerous for dodging traffic. I wanted semi-isolation (not total), something that would stay in my ears while running, be a little durable (hence my uneasiness with the Sony products), and sound better than the Apple pack-ins. I thought these would fit the bill. It fits the first two criteria, the jury is still out on the third, but definitely loses on the 4th.

Posted by mele on February 3, 2005 at 6:34 AM (PDT) Comment 36

Funny how objective sound can be. Being a professional musician (pianist and conductor) FIDELITY was what I was after. There are always sound devices and headphones for example that may make a piece of music sound better, but suffer when reproducing another piece or style of music. The Sonys and the Shures are a great example of that. The Sony EX-70s tend to sound very "crisp" by adding a lot of artificial high frequencies to the sound. Many folks like that, especially people whose ears have lost sensitivity to highs. The Shure e2c on the other hand sound like any other good headphone set out there with the "loudness" setting set to ON. Added highs and added bottom, which is fine if that is what one wants, but then again, I would rather be the one who chooses whether i want loudness or not. To make a long story short: Being used to High End sound equipment all my adult life, when I first got my iPod, with the Apple headphones, I blamed the digital and thin sound on the iPod. I tried my good Sennheiser HD265 which sounded amazing (they better for $250 cans) but being large, they sounded weak - too big for the iPod's amp I guess. I kept trying different in ear headphones,but nothing sounded real. Be it, either loud, or full of bottom, or full of crispness, but fake, until I tried these Yahbas on. I was drawn to them by the name (Opus means "work" in latin - it is a classical music term) and I thought someone designed them with classical musician's needs in mind. Whether this is true or not, these little and cheap wonders sound AWESOME. nothing spectacular where they shouldn't be. Just the music, the way it was recorded and produced. Powerfull, balanced, and so easy on the ear. Both physically (fit) and sound wise. I can listen to these for hours, without getting tired by those one or two frequency ranges where other headsets insist trying to acquire a sound personality of their own. Headphones should not have a sound personailty. they sould just play music the way it was meant to be heard. There are so many people involved and working hard between the moment a tone is played on an instrument and the moment it ends up on a CD, LP or whatever. These peple have great ears and they devoted their lives to good sounding music. All we need is sound equipment that reproduces sound faithfully. And this is what I found in these headphones, at an unbelievable price.

Posted by maestroX on February 3, 2005 at 9:26 PM (PDT) Comment 37

You can make your own Yahba Opus headphones. Remove speakers from clock radio, paint white, and shove em in your ear. What a piece of junk. Sounds like the musicians recorded in an afghan cave.

Posted by supafupa on February 4, 2005 at 6:18 AM (PDT) Comment 38

Just got these, and agree for the most part that they are NOT what I expected... I'm right back to my less than confortable Apple pack ins.

Question: Is there a "burn in" time recommended? For those of you who have had positive experiences, did this occur out of the box, or was there time for these to warm up?

Want to give these a chance before I send 'em back...


Posted by ccstra54 on February 4, 2005 at 10:55 AM (PDT) Comment 39

ccstra54: I burned mine for 48 hours thru an amp, like my e2c, however these showed no difference. Still sounds muddy compared to Apple pack-ins.

I also figured it may be because of the iPod itself playing in AAC format. So I popped a CD into my TEAC CD deck, Panasonic Portable CD player, and BOSE stereo system. I was greeted with the same muddy noise in each case.

I've also tried the Apple In-Ear earphones and were disappointed with those.

Posted by mele on February 4, 2005 at 12:15 PM (PDT) Comment 40

I plunked down $30 for these terrible sounding headphones after blowing through 5 pairs of factory ipod headphones. (Like another poster here, my left ear bud kept fuzzing out after a few hours -- on five different pairs -- any ideas??) Anyway, I feel like I completely wasted $30 I will never get back. Now, $30 is not breaking the bank, but still it feels awful to just throw away money. Two thumbs wayyyyyyyy down. I believed the main review over the user feedback, and that's a mistake I'll never make again. Listen to the users on this one and skip these muddy sounding ear buds.

Posted by folkboy on February 10, 2005 at 2:37 PM (PDT) Comment 41

I got the Opus earphones about 2 weeks ago.
From my experience and from reading these posts, I am wondering if there is a problem with the consistancy in making these earphones. Some people are saying they sound terrible, and some are saying they sound "muddy". And MaestoX says they sound awesome. Maybe they are just messing some of them up.
Mine sound amazingly crisp with great fidelity, Calssical music sounds great on these.
But mine have no Bass whatsoever. I have tried every equalization on the ipod, and in some songs, I can't even hear the lower and bass portions of the song. I currently am using Bass booster setting just to get some out of it.
I was really looking forward to these, and though the sound is crisp and clean, The sound is not full at all. I will be looking for different headphone soon.
Opus headphones for sale...Cheap!

Posted by livelarg on February 18, 2005 at 8:53 PM (PDT) Comment 42

Does anyone know how the Opus earphones compare with the Sony MDR-EX81. There is lots of comparison in this review to the 70/71 but not the newer 81, which by all acounts have better sound quality then the 70/71.

Posted by IvaHD on February 28, 2005 at 3:48 AM (PDT) Comment 43

Sorry that I haven't had a chance to respond to comments before now, but I've only just come across them.

Regrettably, and especially in low-end earphones, there may be differences from unit to unit and batch to batch that affect sound quality and overall user experience. Other than wildly varying subjective, individual opinions, that's the only possible explanation we'd have for the variation of thoughts here. And of course, more people are likely to write and complain than write about their positive experiences, so there's some of that skew going on here as well.

Regarding testing methodology: we gave the Opus phones a 24-hour continuous burn-in before testing sound quality. We compared them directly against a cluster of comparably priced phones, including (but not limited to) the MDR-EX71s and 81s, and found them not as good as the A-rated MDR-EX81s (which are at least twice if not four times the price, depending on where you shop), but very comparable to the EX71s.

To briefly explain our perspective on the 70s and 71s - first, our review of the 70's was written nearly three years ago, and substantially better sounding earbuds for the price have come along since then. Second, in our comparisons of the 70s and 71s, we found the bass in the 71s we tested to be truly overbearing, and preferred the sound of the 70s. And third, we found that a step up to the 81s (and successive pricing steps up to options such as Etymotics' ER-6s/ER-4s) yielded substantially better results.

Unfortunately, there's no reviewer on the planet who tests multiple pairs of any individual set of headphones and renders statistical evaluations of the quality of individual pairs versus the "average" or mean experience. And there's also no way to account for the huge variety of ear shapes, and differences in hearing, that are present in the population.

Consequently, the best that any publication can do is to render its opinion and then let its readers contribute theirs to provide other readers with a wider statistical sample - hopefully an accurate one, rather than a skewed one. That's what we try to do here. Thanks to all of you for being a part of the discussion.

(As a final note, please refrain in your comments from attacking other contributors' motives. People have different opinions. Live with it. We occasionally delete comments that go over the edge, and prefer not to have to do that.)

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on April 8, 2005 at 8:09 AM (PDT) Comment 44

I got mine when this review came out, but they died on me this weekend. I listen to my iPod about 3 hours per day on average, so you do the math.
I found the sound quality to be very good, but they were very uncomfortable. I fixed this issue by replacing the black rubber ear-piece with the ear-piece from Sony MDR-EX81's (these phones, on the other hand, were very comfortable, but would not stay in my ears and the sound volume was always so incredibly low). You can do the same, just not as pretty, with foam earplugs from your local drug store, but make sure to get the kind with a hole through the middle.
While looking for my next pair, I reverted to Apple pack-ins. Then yesterday I realized that the gel ear-piece from my friend's Jabra phone headset comes off and can be fitted to Apple earbuds. And OH MY GOD... the fit is INCREDIBLE and the earpieces actually ENHANCE the sound well beyond that of Opus phones. Best thing is you can get extra Jabra ear-pieces at Radio Shack;_id=43-2009
or Best Buy for $8.00. I like the fact that these caps isolate the sound at the level of outer ear, and deliver the sound to the inner ear via a small sound channel: this way you don't have a piece of rubber forced against your entire ear canal.
I think I'll stick with this for the time being b/c I personally like the sound; If you find it to have too much bass try switching the equilizer to Jazz.

Posted by Sanjin on April 11, 2005 at 11:38 AM (PDT) Comment 45
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