Once upon a time, getting a good pair of headphones meant spending a fair wedge of your cash. Audio preferences are very much a personal thing, but if you're less fussy and just want good sound at a reasonable price there are plenty of options out there now.
One name I've come across recently is Betron, a British brand that makes a variety of accessories, including headphones and earbuds. I snagged a pair of the HD1000 on-ear 'phones and have been blown away by how good they are. These are one of the most surprisingly good pairs of headphones I've ever used.
First, a few specs from the box for those who take interest in such things:
- Driver Unit: 40mm
- Impedance: 32ohms +- 15%
- Sensitivity: 108 =-3dB
- Frequency Response: 20-20Khz
- Max. Input Power: 100mW
- Cable Length: 1.7M
There are a couple of variants available of the HD1000, with and without audio controls. The one's "optimized for Samsung phones" work just fine with Windows 10 Mobile and allow volume adjustments along with play/pause on my Alcatel Idol 4S. The cable is braided as well as being fantastically long, connecting to both cups as opposed to just one.
While first glance might hint at some metal in the construction, that gold finish on the headphones is in fact just a plastic coating. The adjustment arms are metal, though, and the cups are trimmed in a not-too-tacky looking wood effect. It would have been easy to make an affordable pair of headphones look bland, but Betron thankfully made a product that stands out with some individual style.
You've got regular foam padding around the earpieces and on the headband which is plenty thick enough to provide lots of comfort, trimmed in a black leatherette finish. Visually, I think they're very attractive.
There is one pretty big flaw with the HD1000 that will affect some people, however. They don't have a large adjustment range, and on my not-exactly-tiny head I'm at the very limit and can just about wear them comfortably. If you do have a larger head, you'll perhaps find these uncomfortably tight. It's a shame, because they sound terrific.
Considering the price you get excellent volume and clarity, with bass that is plentiful but not overpowering. I listen to guitar heavy music, and found the audio extremely satisfying. Crisp, clear and powerful.
That's where the HD1000 surprised the most. I was looking for a low-cost pair of headphones specifically, but went into it knowing the risks. It's easy to land with shallow, tinny sound or ridiculous bass that tries to compensate, but not so with the HD1000. These headphones sound better than others I've spent much more on down the years.
If the headband adjustment wasn't so restrictive, these would be an instant recommendation. They're also attractively priced, and frequently available at a discount through Amazon. Without audio controls the regular price is £29.99 in the UK, with £10 on top for the remote. Alas, for the U.S.-based crowd, you won't find these on your side of the Atlantic just yet.
I picked them up on a recent Amazon Lightning Deal for just £15 — an incredible value. You even get a pretty good carry case thrown in! If you're looking for good sound at a low price, give the Betron HD1000 a look.
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