Let's get one thing out of the way: we love noise-cancelling earphones. In fact, our perfect world would have a pair given away with every copy of the Metro at train and tube stations.
So Jivo is already in our good books with its Sound Isolating Earphones, which come in either black or white. And while the name isn't likely to inspire poetry, it's certainly accurate enough. There is a certain amount of bravery involved in blasting out tunes from speakers placed right next to your eardrums, but we did our best and hardly a sound was heard by those around us.
Of course, in-ear headphones need to be comfortable. These come with three sets of different-sized rubber sleeves, and we found the small set to our liking. They proved reasonably comfortable when worn for extended periods, and stayed firmly in place while we moved around. We generally prefer foam to rubber as it's more flexible, but it's likely that one of these three sizes will fit most ears.
Another detail worth a mention is that the wire to the right earbud is longer than the one on the left, meaning the cable sits naturally to the left out of the way.
In use, the Jivo earbuds have pretty good grunt for the price. Given that they're most likely to be used in public, the fact that they favour lower frequencies isn't a problem. If acoustic clarity is what you want, you've probably heard of companies like Shure, and you also probably know what they charge for their products.
It's clear that Jivo had a specific market in mind when designing the Sound Isolating Earphones. While the discerning audiophile won't be blown away by the sound quality, for the commuter trying to escape the dredge of the daily sardine run, they do a good job.