Oy vey, here’s another in a long line of audio products I need to review. Thank God it’s a nice one, otherwise I’d go really batty. (There’s actually another one from the same manufacturer, and that review’s coming up soon.)
This time it’s the new Metropolitan Aluminum In-Ear Headphones with Remote/Mic, from id America. In a time when a lot of audio products come from Asia, Metropolitan further trumpets it’s made-in-the-USA vibe with a “BORN IN NEW YORK” statement on the packaging, along with a black-and-white artist’s rendition of the New York skyline. All right, at least that’s settled; it was made in the States.
Apparently the same careful thought went into its packaging as did the actual headphone itself. It comes in a box-within-a-box, and you pull out the inner one by cutting the seals and tugging with a bit of difficulty at it by a piece of ribbon snaking through the top end.
Once out, the inner box unfolds itself when you undo the magnetic catch and reveals the headphones, the memory-foam-covered black earcups and remote/mic embedded in a form-fitting felt-coated black plastic frame. Underneath it are three various-sized pairs of additional silicone ear tips, for when the memory foam tips are lost or need replacing.
The rest of the padded-fabric cable (made that way to resist kinks and tangles) snakes neatly under the plastic frame, and underneath that is a premium suede carrying pouch, and a thin instruction manual with nice pictures of the other colors the headset comes in: red, green, blue, pink and white, which you already know from the outside of the outermost box where they printed little pictures of the colored headsets.
They also have an exploded diagram of the headphones’s construction illustrated on the outside of the box, which essentially is like this: from the outside, the Memory Foam Ear Tips (for Optimal Seal), then a matte-finished front aluminum casing, a high-performance 10mm dynamic driver and high-definition micro acoustic filter, then finally the matte-finished aluminum back casing. Which is all meant to show how nicely this pair of headphones is constructed.
The gold-plated 3.5mm connecting plug is L-shaped and very slim and fetching, and allows me to connect the headset to my iPhone without having to remove my protective Element Case Vapor4 frame, which is very nice, because that sucker has a lot of screws you have to undo, and on the whole is a bothersome, inconvenient chore.
The remote/mic on the left part of the cable has a very simple manner to control. To use it as a phone mic, you simply have to press the single button once to answer, and press once again to hang up. Using it to control your music is just slightly more difficult: you press the button once to play or pause a song, twice to skip to the next one, and three times if you want to hear the previous song again. Simple, right?
In use, though, I found the Metropolitan just a bit too bassy for my tastes, although that may be because I use the home-theater-simulating A3D Player 7.1 rather than iTunes to play my music.
When I switched to the basic Apple program, it became better, but it was still a bit bassy. Listening to different kinds of music provided a similar experience: tight, reasonably bright highs, great mids and more than adequate bass. The soundstage is broad and evenly spaced, and quite loud for a pair of earphones. To their credit, the headsets didn’t warble or distort once at maximum volume, and they seemed to be able to take everything I could throw at it.
I found the Memory Foam ear tips did give me a tight, optimal seal, and saw no need to change to the provided silicone ones. I also found the fabric-covered cable just slightly too long, but it was manageable for the most part. I just simply liked the fact that I could connect the headset to my iPhone without taking off my restrictive case; that alone makes the Metropolitan a winner in my book.
The Metropolitan Aluminum In-Ear Headphones with Remote/Mic is available at all Beyond The Box, Digital Hub and Digital Walker branches.
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