Etymotic Research ety8

Superb sound but earphones look clunky

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Our Verdict

The aesthetics left us cold, which is a shame because the sound quality is fantastic


  • Excellent sound quality


  • The earphones look daft

These weird-looking contraptions are Bluetooth earphones, comprising two earpieces and a transmitter that plugs into the bottom of your iPod. You can pair the 'phones with other Bluetooth devices (but there's no microphone so it's pointless hooking it up to a mobile phone).

Setting up the earphones is easy with an iPod - and no syncing is necessary. Simply select the track you want, press pause, insert the transmitter, then press play on either the iPod or the right earpiece and away you go. The transmitter works up to a range of around 15 feet.

The controls on the earpiece include play/pause, which is also on/off, plus volume and forward and back track buttons. Sound quality is excellent.

The only drawback is that you look pretty odd wearing these large rectangular chunks of plastic in your ears. They're reminiscent of those giant earrings worn next to enormous shoulderpads in the mid-80s. Any takers?