Creative HS-930i review
Creative's HS-930i are earphones with a built-in microphone designed for use with the iPhone, although they will still work with other audio sources and can even be used as a headset with your computer.
The HS-930i's inline remote control and mic are small and unobtrusive. Like other iPhone-compatible remotes, there's only one button. Pressing it once pauses music, pressing it twice skips forwards to the next track and pressing it three times skips back to the previous track. If you receive an incoming call, pressing the button once answers the call and automatically pauses music.
It sounds fiddly, but it works well enough once you've gotten used to it. On the iPod Touch, which lacks a built-in mic, the HS-930i's mic allows it to work with apps that require a microphone, such as Skype or Shazam. Cleverly, an included adaptor allows the HS-930i to be plugged into the sound input and output ports on your computer so it can be used as a headset for programs such as Skype.
We were also surprised by the HS-930i's effectiveness at blocking out background noise. Three sizes of sleeves are included to ensure that the earplugs fit snugly in anyone's ears. Although nowhere near as effective as other dedicated noise isolation earplugs we've heard, we were still able to use the HS-930is to listen to acoustic tracks in a noisy Tube carriage and hear details that would otherwise have been indiscernible.
Audio quality was generally good. Several music genres from electronic music to pop, classical, R&B and jazz sounded clear, undistorted and detailed. Jazz and classical music didn't sound quite as warm and rich as we would have liked though and we noticed some slight distortion at the high end in pop tracks. The bass wasn't as thumping as other earphones we've heard, but it was still satisfyingly deep.
The headset isn't cheap at £90, but it's the best iPhone-compatible set we've seen. For even better noise isolation, we'd recommend the Creative EP-3NC earphones, but these don't have an iPhone remote built-in, so you'll need a separate one, such as the Griffin SmartTalk.