Consumer Reports tests non-isolating headphones

Just about everyone seems to be wearing headphones these days. Non-isolating headphones are especially good for joggers. They don't have a seal between the earpieces and your ears, so you can hear outside sounds as well as your music. Consumer Reports just tested 10 non-isolating headphones.

EarHeros, claims to be the "world's most elite earpiece" and has a price tag to match: $150! But when testers assessed this "elite" set, they has the worst sound of any headphones Consumer Reports tested. The bass is lacking, and it's a little bit harsh sounding. In fact, despite being the highest-priced non-isolating headphones tested, the EarHeros are the lowest-rated, with an overall score of just six out of 100.

There are many non-isolating headphones that provide full-range audio, which lets you hear bass, midrange, and treble pretty much the way they are supposed to be heard.

Apple's basic EarPods rated much higher, and at $30 cost far less. For even better sound, Consumer Reports recommends the Bose IE2 headphones. You'll get very good audio, and at $100, they are still less expensive than the EarHeros.

If you're looking for headphones to use inside and want noise-canceling ones that block out other sounds, you'll have to spend more. Consumer Reports recommends Beats Executive from Beats by Dr. Dre. They have an over-the-ear design and deliver excellent sound quality and very good noise reduction for $300.

Problem Solvers Update:

The Problem Solvers contacted EarHeros for their response to the Consumer Reports rating. Owner Matt Murphy, a practicing audiologist, said his product was originally designed for law enforcement. "Our biggest client is secret service.", Murphy say by phone. "We don't tell people it's comparable base to other headphones."

Murphy said his company is disappointed to hear that Consumer Reports has given their product a poor rating. In an email response, Murphy wrote:

"Our product was designed originally for the law enforcement community and we have many happy customers. We know that the earphones lack bass but it is not because the speakers don't have the bass. It is because the ear canal is left open and the bass response bleeds out. The focus of our product is SAFETY and comfort so the user can listen to their device and still maintain complete situation awareness to dangers around them. "

Murphy added that EarHeros has thousands of satisfied customers who seem to think the trade-off is acceptable.