Everybody needs earphones for their various smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players, and most people want to replace the uncomfortable stock earphones with better-sounding, more comfortable earbuds. Maximo has provided The Gadgeteer with a couple of their earphones. We’ll be looking at both the iP-395 iMetal Isolation Earphones with Remote and Mic and the iP-595 iMetal Enhanced Definition Earphones with Remote and Mic in today’s review. Read on to learn if one of these is what you’re looking for.
iP-395 iMetal Isolation Earphones with Remote and Mic
- Frequency response: 18Hz-22KHz
- Sensitivity (1KHz, 0.1V): > 100dB
- Maximum SPL output: >120dB
- Microphone Sensitivity: 44dB +/-3 dB@1KHz
- Microphone Frequency response: 50Hz-20KHz
- Microphone impedance: 2.2K Ohm
The iP-395 earphones have a 49″ cable. They also come with a 25″ audio extension cable. All connectors are gold-plated 3.5mm plugs. There’s a clear plastic shirt clip that attaches to a plastic slider on the cables above the split. You’ll get three sets of ear tips, and I found the small tips fit most comfortably in my ears. Maximo called these ear tips “isolation” ear tips, but they look like standard tips to me. I found that I could still hear ambient noise when wearing them. The accessories also include a silver metallic-looking drawstring storage pouch and a couple of pamphlets.
Maximo says the iP-395 iMetal earbuds are designed for use with the latest iPhone, iPod, and iPad. They also work well with my MacBook Pro.
The bodies are made of a “light-weight metal alloy” that has a shiny chrome-like appearance on parts and a brushed aluminum appearance on other parts. The cables are round and coated with a black rubbery material. The metal balls at the base of the earbuds are stationary. I imagine they are designed to reinforce the cable attachment points.
The earbuds are branded with the Maximo name, and they are marked to identify left and right channels.
The iP-395 earbuds have 9mm neodymium drivers inside. Maximo states their frequency response is 18-22,000Hz. I listened to a variety of music, and I found the earbuds have a very pleasing sound. There’s a stronger bass end than I often hear with earbuds. Of course, I had good stereo separation with the iP-395s. I felt dizzy listening to Art Garfunkel’s “I Only Have Eyes” – my go-to test for separation. Guitars sounded clear, and voices were beautifully reproduced. I was able to listen comfortably with the small ear tips.
A 3-button remote is found at the cable split point. This remote is plastic with metal front and back covers. As worn, the top button raises volume, the middle button is the pause/play button, and the bottom button lowers volume.
The little silver ball located at the mid-point of the left cable is a high-definition condensing microphone. You can use this for voice control, recording voice notes to yourself, or for telephone calls on your iPhone. You use the 3-button remote to answer calls and adjust sound levels for the call. When a call came in, my music paused. According to the person I was talking with, my voice sounded clear. I also found the caller’s voice was clear and easy to understand through the earbuds. When the call ended, my music resumed right where it left off.
When the call came in, the music paused and I heard the phone’s ringtone through the earbuds. You might want to check the ringer volume level on your phone before you use these earbuds. I normally keep the ringer volume pegged so I can hear it even if it’s buried in the bottom of my purse. I was nearly deafened when the phone rang.
iP-595 iMetal Enhanced Definition Earphones with Remote and Mic
- Frequency response: 12HZ – 22KHz
- Sensitivity (1KHz, 0.1V): >100dB
- Maximum SPL output: >120dB
- Microphone sensitivity: 45db +/- 3dB @ 1KHz
- Microphone frequency response: 50Hz – 20KHz
- Connection: 3.5mm, 4-conductor
The iP-595 iMetal Enhanced Definition Earphones with Remote and Mic are part of Maximo’s award-winning 5-Series earphones. These earbuds have a 50.5″ cable, and they also have a 25″ audio extension cable. Again, all 3.5mm connectors are gold-plated. Maximo says the OFC (oxygen-free copper) cables used with the iP-595s maximize audio performance. Specifications say the earbuds come with 4 sets of proprietary ear tips, but I only had three sets in my package. These tips also looked like standard 2-tier ear tips to me. The second tier is like a little skirt that covers the earbud’s metal cylinder. Maximo says these ear tips provide “optimal noise isolation”, but I found I could hear ambient sounds. I again found the small tips fit my ears most comfortably.
The iP-595s also have the plastic shirt clip, and they also have a lanyard that attaches to the two ear cables to keep the earbuds around your neck even if you drop them out of your ears. Finally, the iP-595s have an upgraded carrying case. This little case seems a bit “wonky” to me. It’s off-square, and the mesh pouch inside is slanted. The case is softer than some of the earbud cases I’ve seen.
The construction of the earbuds is shiny, chrome-like metal and black plastic. The back of the earbud has a stylized M logo, and the round cable is wrapped with a black, rubbery material.
The earbuds are marked for right and left channels. There is no other branding on the earbuds.
The iP-595 earbuds also have 9mm neodymium drivers inside. Maximo states their frequency response is 12-22,000Hz. I again listened to a variety of music, and I found these earbuds have a bright sound with a little less bass than the iP-395s. Again, the stereo separation was great. Acoustic guitars were bright and clear, and I could even hear some string “whickers” I’d never noticed before in Boston’s “Hitch a Ride.” I had my husband listen with both sets, and he agreed with my assessment that the iP-395s have a heavier bass end and the iP-595s are brighter. He described the sound from the iP-595s as having more presence. It sounds more like you are “there” while the musician is playing when listening with the iP-595s.
The remote and the mic worked just as they did with the iP-395 earbuds.
Both the Maximo iP-395 iMetal Isolation Earphones with Remote and Mic and the Maximo iP-595 iMetal Enhanced Definition Earphones with Remote and Mic appear to be well-made. Both offer good sound, but you’ll probably be happier with the iP-395s if you prefer music with a big, thumping bass end. The iP-595s will be your choice if you prefer acoustic or live music. Both are very reasonably priced, so you won’t experience sticker shock with either pair. These may not satisfy the pickiest of audiophiles, but I think either pair will serve you well if you’re looking for comfortable earbuds with good sound at a moderate price.