I’ve become spoiled. I have reviewed numerous excellent headsets over the past year and a half, and in the process I’ve got used to the high end sound of really good buds. It was in fact, the inability to use anything but the stock Apple earbuds that prompted me to return the new Shuffle I bought in exchange for a Nano. (Although as Larry pointed out, adapters that solve this issue are on the horizon.) As a result, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the Radius Atomic Bass Aluminum Earphones for iPhone W/ Built-in Mic that were sent to me for review.
Sure they looked great, but at a retail price of just $49.99 they were priced far below any of the headsets I have been using lately. So how did they hold up? Let’s take a look.
Designed for maximum fidelity sound, in-ear noise isolation, and ergonomic perfection so comfortable not even OJ could deny Radius Atomic Bass Earphones fit like a glove. Is the bass really atomic, you ask? Scientifically, no. But it is shockingly potent at any volume. If you love it loud, consider listening in a controlled environment until you become accustomed to the Atomic Bass earphones performance. Atomic Bass earphones are for those who care about excellent sound. Even those seeking validation from others by confessing they overpaid for a pair of inferior earphones will recognize, albeit silently, that Atomic Bass earphones sound better. Those folks have other issues to deal with.
The headphones come simply boxed with just the headphones and small, medium and large silicon caps to fit a variety of ears. There is no case included, which is not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but I have found the inclusion of a simple case or pouch to be a nice addition when dealing with something so delicate.
These are nice looking buds with either a clean silver or a dark black look and a light, but sturdy, feel.
The in-line mic is standard-looking fare that sounds good enough.. not great, but good enough. It is positioned an appropriate distance down one of the buds.
The cord is a generous 120 cm long. This however, is a mixed blessing since the cord is long enough to provide lots of flexibility and comfort, but so long and light that it is easily tangled. I definitely prefer the slightly heavier, rubberized cord, on the Etymotic hf2s, as they don’t get tangled at all. Then again, these buds are priced in entirely different range.
I was surprised by just how incredibly comfortable the buds were. This was my first time using earbuds that have a right angle between the main part of the bud and the silicon cap that fits into the ear canal, and I was amazed by them! They stayed in without any threat of falling out, and when I wore them while lying down, they didn’t press uncomfortably into my ear the way many buds do. After a time in fact, I literally forgot I was wearing them. That is how comfortable they are!
The real test of earbuds is however, the sound. The Radius Atomic Bass Earphones for iPhone W/ Built-in Mic held their own here, as well. Overall the sound was good– not spectacular, but good, and so long at you picked the right size silicon cap for your ear the extra base was obvious.
To test them I listened to the same song with various buds. This was what I found.
The Radius Atomic Bass Silver Aluminum Earphones for iPhone W/ Built-in Mic sound much better than the stock Apple buds. The most significant differences being the comfort of the buds and the richness of the sound. The Radius buds blow the Apple buds away and provide a much fuller sound!
They didn’t fare quite as well when compared to the Etymotic hf2s, however. The hf2’s, my headset of choice, offer a far greater depth of sound and an equal level of comfort. Then again, the hf2s cost more than three times as much. Were I not comparing the buds in question to these high end earbuds, I would have been more than happy to keep using them on a daily basis.
In short, the Radius headset has really impressed me in an overall sense, and for the money, has all but knocked my socks off. If you are in the position to get a pair of Etymotic hf2s or Ultimate Ears… do it! If however, you want a significant upgrade from the stock earbuds that came with your iPhone for less than $50… these have you covered!
What I Like
Good Sound, especially for the money
Lots of bass
What Needs Improvement
They retail for an MSRP of $49.99.