Do you often listen to music on your Android smartphone? Then good headphones are a must. We tested the Etymotic mc2 in-ear headset and are very satisfied with it.
Apart from a very few low-cost androids, earphones are actually included with every smartphone. But the quality of the included earplugs leaves a lot to be desired, even with quite expensive smartphones. So a new pair is needed to fully enjoy music. We have the in-ear headset mc2 from Etymotic tested. It costs between 90 and 100 euros in various internet shops.
From the in-ear inventor
Etymotic claims to have invented the in-ear headphones. The company therefore has a great deal of experience in this area, and you can tell from the scope of delivery of the mc2. In addition to the actual headset and a black case, the packaging also contains three alternative in-ear plugs for the best possible wearing comfort and sound. In addition, the headphones are equipped with a dirt filter that is roughly the size of the head of a pin. There is also one copy of this filter in the etymotic box. The filter should be changed when the sound quality declines audibly. Depending on usage and ear hygiene, you can get by with the original filters for several years.
Also for Android
Etymotic offers the headset in two versions: the mc3 version for the iPhone and the mc2 version – which we present here – for Android and other smartphones. The mc2 headset has a microphone and a control button on the right cable. The button can be used to accept or initiate calls (depending on the manufacturer). With a double press, the audio player also jumps to the next track. Hold the button down for a long time, then Android starts the music player.
However, there are already major differences between the manufacturers and music programs. In our tests with five devices, the headset only worked correctly on the Galaxy Nexus, the Motorola Xoom and the Prada 3.0 by LG. On the Asus Transformer TF101, the button had no effect, on the Atrix 4G from Motorola, language selection always started when a button was pressed. This cannot be deactivated or switched off. After all, calls can be made via the headset, which is also a feature. With the Galaxy Nexus or the Prada Phone, on the other hand, you can only receive calls, not make them.
Etymotic will soon be offering the headset in a special box with the Android logo, but the headphones packaged there do not differ technically from the ones we tested, only in color (red and blue instead of black). A headset with a forward and back button is unlikely to be available for Android, as the function is not permanently implemented in Android and thus varies depending on the manufacturer.
Android smartphones and most tablets use a four-pin connector for audio accessories. This is the only way to solve the headset’s microphone function. You can recognize corresponding headsets by the three black rings on the plug.
The sound quality of in-ear headphones depends on the insoles used. As mentioned at the beginning, Etymotic includes four pairs, one of which is guaranteed to fit. Making a recommendation here would be like advising all readers to buy size 48 trousers. We decided on the mushroom-shaped attachments, just try out all of the inlays. For an additional charge of around 100 euros, you can also have a tailor-made insert (so-called otoplastic) made. This not only significantly reduces the noise level, but also increases wearing comfort significantly with the individual insert.
If the Etymotic attachments sit correctly in the ear, the headphones offer above-average audio quality with absolutely balanced highs and lows: you hear exactly the variety of sounds reproduced by the music player, the headset itself practically does not distort. Depending on your taste, you may have to tweak the equalizer to get above-average bass or more highs. Another advantage of the in-ear headphones: Thanks to the optimal shielding from outside noise, you can enjoy your music on the plane or in a noisy environment without having to turn up the volume too tight.
If you have an active disco or concert history and have already damaged your hearing several times, then you will probably not notice a difference between cheap and high-end headphones. But if you value good sound, then the 100 euros in the headset from Etymotic are well invested.
Awareness! provides outside noise
In-ear headphones are a very big source of danger because you can no longer hear outside noises when cycling or walking, for example, and are therefore practically deaf on the road. To solve this problem, the programmers at Etymotic have developed a special app that redirects outside noise via the microphone to the headphones. For example, you can hear the announcement from the loudspeaker during a train ride or the noise around you while jogging. How much of the outside noise is passed on via the headphones can be individually determined, including the level at which the microphone hits. The Android version of the app is currently in a closed beta phase. By the time the magazine is published, however, the plan should already be able to find it in Google Play.
- Product page: http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/mc2.html