IMetal Earphones & Headsets

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The iP-595 is a canalbud-style headset. Canalbuds essentially split the difference between traditional earbuds and true in-ear-canal ("canalphone") models. (See our for more details.) Since they fit partially in the ear canal, they block some external noise and form an acoustic seal that improves bass performance. However, they don't block as much sound as true in-ear-canal models, and, as with canalphones, getting a proper fit can be tricky, the cord can produce unwanted microphonic noise in a listener's ear, and using the headset function can be weird due to the of having ears plugged while talking.

The iP-595 is almost identical in design to the iP-HS5, featuring polished, alloy-metal earpieces, trim made of semi-translucent silicone and opaque plastic, and a cloth-wrapped cord. However, unlike the other Maximo models reviewed, the iP-595 is available only in "platinum white."

Maximo has also updated the cord material, which is now softer, more pliable, and less likely to kink--I'd heard complaints from some readers about kinking with the older cables. Another welcome change is the redesigned plastic strain relief on the headphone plug, which should make the iP-595 more durable. Maximo again includes a generous selection of accessories: small, medium, and large pairs of silicone eartips; a lanyard; an extension cable; a shirt clip; and a carrying case.

The iP-HS5's circular, one-button remote has been replaced in the iP-595 with an extruded, oval, three-button remote located at the cable split. This module has a rubber center button for controlling music playback and phone functions, along with smaller metal buttons above and below for volume control. The remote seems sturdy, although the play/pause button is not as responsive as its counterpart on the iP-HS5. The volume buttons, on the other hand, are quite responsive--I wish the play/pause button matched.

The inner ear is full of head wind, punk-rock ear drumming, and thin, angry cochleae looking for one good reason to start a fight with the vestibular nerve. Soothe this vital sensory system with today’s Groupon: for $15, one gets $50 worth of enhanced-definition iMetal earphones and headsets from Maximo Products. Free shipping is included in the cost of this Groupon. Maximo Products is a Washington-based audio accessory developer obsessively dedicated to providing quality sound products. Airborne iPod listeners can shut out engine noise and the chatter of talkative travelling companions with Maximo’s iM-590 enhanced-definition isolation earphones ($60), whose ergonomically-designed eartips snugly fit into even the most oddly shaped canals.

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