The headphones that come in the box when you get your iPhone are all well and good, in that they work at least. They're not really much kop though. What you need is a decent pair of buds, that still have the remote and microphone functions you'll need to operate the iPod aspect of your device. And that's exactly what Scosche has produced with the IDR655m earbuds.
The buds are of the in-ear variety and in the box you'll get six different sized silicone tips - small, medium and large in both single and dual flanged styles. Chances are then, that you're going to get some inserts that fit your lugholes nicely - the medium single flanged ones worked best for us.
The IDR655m buds come with Scosche's Tapline remote control, with its multi-function button (MFB) along with dual volume buttons. The MFB is pretty straightforward to get the hang of - one tap to play or pause, a double tap to skip forward, triple tap for previous track and so on. The MFB is also setup for the iPhone's multi-call features and a long hold will also activate the iOS voice control.
So, it's got a decent remote control, but hey - that's a feature you'd expect for some earbuds at a fraction of what you'd pay for the IDR655m. So what are you paying for then?
Well, it's the audio quality. Scosche claims that these buds are: “Increased Dynamic Range earphones that accurately reproduce brilliant highs, silky smooth mids and powerful bass for all musical genres. These audiophile grade earphones have been designed by audio enthusiasts for audio enthusiasts that want to get the most out of their music”.
So do they? In a word yes. The quality is clear as soon as you start playing your favourite tunes. The sound is rich, with a nice fluid feeling to it, plenty of definition and very little (if any) tinniness. There's very little distortion when music is played at loud levels. In fact, the big drum intro to Bloc Party's Banquet was handled very efficiently with a very crisp sound.
We tested how it handled bass using a few Kutt Calhoun tunes and we weren't disappointed. The bass was booming - so much so on full volume we could almost feel the vibration on the seat we were sitting on.
For acoustic tunes, we tested the IDR665m buds on a couple of Jack Johnson tunes. For a straight up acoustic-song like Banana Pancakes, with little bass, the sound was crisp and the mid-level vocals sounded good. However, Inaudible Melodies, which does have a heavy bass-line, suffered with vibration at high volume. Although this was improved slightly by altering the iPod's EQ settings, it didn't handle a mix of bass and treble levels as well as we would have liked.
Looks wise, these buds are very stylish. They have a minimal, silver and black finish and the cable is a 52-inch black, nylon covered one that makes a nice change from traditional cabling. In the box, you'll get a nice little brown leather pouch to keep your Scosche earbuds in - and there is also a crocodile clip to keep the microphone in place and reduce cable movement.
Overall, we were generally impressed by the IDR655m headphones. They performed as well as similar priced earbuds from the likes of Sony and Sennheiser and, when you consider you are also getting the Tapline remote functionalities as well, then you're looking at a good deal.
The most important feature of any earphones is how they perform in the sound department though, and these buds from Scosche performed well. Nearly all songs sounded as the music technicians would have intended - the only problems we encountered was that some acoustic songs did suffer with some vibration at loud levels when there was too much bass.
Overall, if you're looking for a high-quality replacement to the standard Apple offering, without paying more than your device is actually worth, then you could do worse than to consider the Scosche IDR655m earbuds.