Yahba Opus Earphones | iLounge

Reviews

41

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 in atlanta on February 10, 2005 at 2:37 PM (PDT)

42

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 in Oklahoma City on February 18, 2005 at 8:53 PM (PDT)

43

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 in New York on February 28, 2005 at 3:48 AM (PDT)

44

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 in East Amherst, NY, USA on April 8, 2005 at 8:09 AM (PDT)

45

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 http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product;_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 in Baton Rouge, LA, USA on April 11, 2005 at 11:38 AM (PDT)

46

UPDATE: Today I went running with the Jabra ear-pieces for the first time... they did not move a bit in my ears. However, I did realize there are few musts that will make them fit and sound even better:

1. Make sure to push the bud all the way into the gel cap so that you do not have an excessively large chamber b/w the two; otherwise it may sound bit distorted/echo-ish.

2. You may want to position the buds in the cap so that the "stems" of the buds do not push the phones away from your outer ear... I found this to greatly enhance the fit.

3. Although I still prefer Jazz EQ, Treble Booster, Classical, Latin, and Off EQ settings will give you more bass (in that order).

And, on a lighter note, if you end up hating this idea, Radio Shack will let you return the caps as long as you save the packaging and the receipt. My friend returned a set, since I used the mediums and gave him the smalls I had leftover.

Posted by Sanjin in Baton Rouge, LA, USA on April 11, 2005 at 8:52 PM (PDT)

47

I bought the Yahba Opus headphones based on this review.

In my opinion these headphones don't come close to the performance of the Sony EX-71s I also have. I tried changing the EQ settings and everything still sounds muddy.

Even the standard set of Apple ear buds with the Griffin Ear Jams sounds better.

Posted by snowmac on April 12, 2005 at 5:17 PM (PDT)

48

Sold on all the rave reviews I've seen, as well as the store I bought them at, I have to say, they absolutely SUCK. Allthough comfortable, the sound is hollow, on the bright side, and very AM-RADIO like, as if one was listening to music in an empty warehouse. HORRID. They are going back. Now WHAT. UGH!!!

Posted by slipknotnyc on April 15, 2005 at 1:06 PM (PDT)

49

I feel like i just took 30 bucks and threw them in the trash.

These phones are for 14 year old kids who could care less about quality. I'm sure fiddycent sounds the same...

JUNK, JUNK, JUNK. Like an idiot, I bought them based on the review of the site; i should have just read the reader reports farther down. You are all right, these are a waste of money. Spend 10 bucks more and get the Sony's.

Posted by trigoe on May 2, 2005 at 6:46 AM (PDT)

50

does anyone know how long these cans take to deliver? i ordered them on sunday night and i havent received a confirmation or anything what happened?!

Posted by wumbo6 on June 8, 2005 at 6:24 PM (PDT)

51

Has anyone tried to return these, and if you have, how did you do it? I've emailed them two times and have not heard back.

Posted by rpscott on June 13, 2005 at 10:40 PM (PDT)

52

This is my second posting, I have tried to contact Yahba two times about returning them. NO CONTACT. These folks simply to not respond to any inquiries. I have learned this: if the webpage does not have any contact information outside of an email address [ie no snail mail address or phone number] do not buy from this seller~less than reputable.

Anyway, in regards to this product, I think they are completely horrible. How folks could suggest that their sound is good is beyond me. The sound is tinny, thin, poooooooooor base, and the highs are not even there. Ever listen to an ipod through a radio receiver and find the quality lacking? This gives you just an idea of how bad these yahbas are. I will say this, I have new appreciation for the shipped with ipod earbuds. I put the Yahbas and the stock apple earbuds on a y-splitter to compare the sound in both ears at the same time. Wow, that underscored how bad yahba is. Do not buy this product!

Posted by rpscott on June 24, 2005 at 9:55 AM (PDT)

53

I'd sure like to know where they can be found for "as little as $15". $20 was the best I could find.

Posted by timhood on July 24, 2005 at 9:51 PM (PDT)

54

They have a bit more bass than the factory earbuds that came with my shuffle, but they arent nearly as clean and do sound a bit muddy. I have to say that im disappointed.

They definitely are more comfortable, but i suggest you save your money and get something better. I guess i wont be happy till i can get me some Future Sonics.

Posted by Dihappy on July 26, 2005 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

55

I was very disappointed with these earphones. The sound quality is absolutely horrible. Bass is weak. Treble is awkward. Bad isolation.

There is no competition between these and the Sony MDR-EX71s I used to have. I bought these based on the iPodlounge review and I couldn't disagree more with it.

Please stay away from these!!! Don't make the same mistake I did. If you do decide to buy these, use them only as a backup when your better headphones fail. I bought another pair of the Sony MDR-EX71s. Sony still has the best price and sound quality if you don't feel like spending $100-$100,000,000 on a pair of earphones.

Posted by awc217 on August 7, 2005 at 2:46 PM (PDT)

56

I was amazed at how much I immediately hated these--as soon as I put them in today after receiving them. I remembered the glowing review above, which was pretty much the basis for ordering these. So I was shocked. I've been using the Panasonic RP-HJE50S earbuds, and the switch to these was beyond dramatic. The muddy description is appropriate; they have a cardboard-reverb sound that covers the mids and the lows. Not the improvement I was hoping for. I never fell in love with the Panasonics, but in comparison to the Yahbas, they now seem to be audiophile grade. It was a night-and-day difference in accuracy (and the Panasonics do have a harsh high end, in reality). The Yahbas do sound much better on an EQ that drops the mids like Classical or Jazz, but the sound is still messy. With EQ the sound is not immediately objectionable, but still has accuracy problems, especially during louder passages that have a full range of sound. Some people may find them okay with the adjustment. The comfort on them is good, and the fit for me seemed like they would stay on during workouts. Bummer on the sound. The moral is to read the comments, and not just the review.

Posted by thomaus on December 30, 2005 at 10:21 PM (PDT)

57

Does anyone know where to buy these in the UK?

Posted by PodPaul on February 3, 2006 at 2:50 PM (PDT)

58

+1 for these being a big dissapointment. I read the review above and bought a pair, and then afterwards saw the dissapointing reviews at the bottom. The sound isolation and comfort is good, but they really do sound muddy...anyone have luck returning these?

Posted by CletusTheDwarf on February 4, 2006 at 10:08 AM (PDT)

59

I actually found a pair on ebay UK (.co.uk) . I got for £9.99 which is around $15 and received next day.

The comfort is great and they look even cooler up close.

The Sound is good for the money,but not as good as the Soundwise or Sony.
They do take a few hours to burn in. So I will try them for a couple of days and see if the sound improves. I will let you know!

Posted by PodPaul on February 8, 2006 at 3:34 AM (PDT)

60

These guys absolutely suck. I ordered mine a month ago and have not gotten so much as a confirmation. The money is gone. I have contacted their CS via email several times and have gotten no reply what so ever. Don't do business with these guys or else you'll pay for it.

Posted by michaelangelo on March 23, 2006 at 5:53 PM (PDT)

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