Altec Lansing MZX606 Muzx Ultra noise-isolating earbuds review

“My Music, My Style, My DNA”

Introduction

We all now know by this point what the guys at Altec Lansing are known for… sound systems. And with the dawn of the iPod-dominated music market, it is only logical for them to adapt with their speaker docks. But that’s not really the reason why one would purchase an iPod or any portable multimedia player for that matter. It’s for having your music with you all the time, and the best way for that experience is through headphones/earphones/earbuds that would satisfy that, which brings back us to Altec Lansing. Does their recent offering, the MZX606 Muzx Ultra Noise-Isolating Earphones (well technically they’re earbuds, but that’s how they’re packaged), stand up to the success of their docks and deliver the portable punch the music-lover in you always wanted? Stick to the following review to find out.


Unboxing & Presentation

So what does it have in store when we crack open its packaging? Upon unboxing, the earbuds come in a clear plastic tray where it is laid down in a very presentable fashion. Other accessories include a simple black pouch that allows you to store the $100 earbuds, your mandatory instruction brochure and two other pairs of attachable buds — a small tip and another with a dual-flange attachment, the regular one is attached by default.

The buds itself is generally black with gold highlights all over, matching the box it comes with.

Features
• Professional sound engineering from single balanced armature technology
• Unique cord design minimizes friction noise
• SnugFit™ design for extreme comfort, delivers superior passive noise isolation
• 8-piece fit kit with silicone tips for any ear (small, medium, large, and dual-flange)
• Inline remote and mic allows you to control compatible iPhone, iPod, and iPad models
• Compatible with other MP3 players
• Soft carry case included
• Spring loaded
• PVC suede
Being labelled as “Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad”, a key feature of accessories compatible to the aforementioned gadgets – the Inline Microphone/Remote – is naturally included. This will allow you to use it as a microphone for recording stuff as well as for responding to calls. As pictured above, you can receive calls, put calls on hold, fast-forward your current listening track, skip to the next track and most importantly – to increase/decrease the playback volume — all without having to touch your gadget.
Specifications
Neodymium Drivers: 10 mm
Noise Isolation: 16 dB
Input Sensitivity: 100 dB SPL/mW @ 1 kHz
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Cable Length: 46”/1.2 m
Input Connector: 3.5 mm, gold-plated
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Review
So right after we received this pair, we immediately plugged it to our iPods/iPhones to loosen things up. And right there and then that there is something missing in the bass department. We tried changing the equalizer settings on the players to compensate and we still didn’t get that “bass requirement” some music genres have. Even if the listener isn’t a bass-junkie like some of us, one would still notice that particular lack in punch.
As to where this pair of earbuds lack (that lower end of the frequency spectrum), it definitely picks up on the mids and highs as they’re great in delivering those mid-range and trebles that typically benefit techno pieces, as well as those with lots of cymbals clashing. However, if we’re to talk about earphones, we would definitely want something that covers from the lows to the mids and finally to the highs. With the Muzx not having that sufficient low-frequency response, that would turn off some.
Then let’s get to the Inline Remote/Microphone that makes this one iPod/iPhone/iPad friendly. When you strap-in these plugs, you’ll notice that the remote is strapped just right, below your chin. This is probably a design consideration to that it will be closer to your lips when you answer calls, making it clearer to the other party. As for the myriad of controls that these little buttons perform, they work as it should and we didn’t have problems with it — you just have to remember how many times you need to press one button to perform one function and another combination to do another one.
Finally, there’s the cable. At your typical length of 1.2 meters, it can easily get into tangles and sadly, the Muzx cable isn’t tangle-proof unlike this pair. This might not be a problem to most people but tangles increase the chances of cable stress that can lead to malfunctions.
Final Thoughts
To be honest, with the Muzx Ultra costing at $100, we don’t think that you’re getting your money’s worth. Yes it is from Altec Lansing but that’s about it. Looks like if they’re to carry on their working formula from their speakers/docks, then they should work harder. We’re not saying that it’s bad. You have your Inline Microphone/Remote working like wonders, then the earbuds themselves are good, although lacking in the bass department. It’s just that you can get similar accessories that would perform to your delight better at a lower price point. So if you’re eyeing on this pair, try comparing it first to the others in the market then decide.

If you want to grab one, Amazon lists Altec Lansing MZX606 Muzx for $99.95.

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