In-ear headphones hovering around the $60-80 range are often the most popular candidate for people wanting to replace sub-standard stock earbuds, so Padacs has taken a shot at this market, specifically for iPad, iPhone and iPod owners. Enter the Padacs Aksent, a pair of in-ear headphones including volume play/pause and volume control buttons and a microphone, priced at $69.95AUD. These earphones are a great step up from the stock Apple earbuds and will no doubt satisfy anyone looking for a decent upgrade.
These earphones are encased in a very stylish looking chrome shell, and the foam tips’ black colour complements it nicely. The symmetrical cable is also black and has a rubbery texture, similar to that of the Sennheiser CX300s. This cable is not specifically tangle proof, but it does relatively well at keeping tangles to a minimum. The 3.5mm stereo jack features a slim profile, so owners of iPhones/iPods with cases can rest easy that the plug will fit. The other major feature of this model is the buttons and microphone attached to a black housing that lies directly before the wire splits into two.
The sound quality of these earphones is great for the price range, delivering rich sounds through its drivers and directly into the ear canal. The earphones produce a powerful but rich bass, while the treble is still clear and is not distorted. For those who don’t enjoy big bass, these might have too much of a punch behind them, but for most the sound is a clear overall blend that produces excellent sounds with almost all music types. It should be noted that for good bass response, it’s essential that the foam tips provide a good sound seal to achieve the best sound. The included tips should be a comfortable fit for most, and the best way to insert the earphones is to compress the foam, place it in the ear and allow the foam to expand to the shape of your ear.
There’s one thing that I should clarify, although most people probably wouldn’t mind this. The ‘volume control’ is a slider, and rather than directly changing the iPod’s volume, it lets you change between 0% to whatever volume your iPod is currently set at. This isn’t as accurate as having two individual buttons like the Apple earbuds, but in return it makes it much simpler to change the volume. For me, this wasn’t an issue, and the main button I used was the pause button. Like the Apple headphones, double clicking this button will change to the next song, which is a feature I absolutely love. The ‘remote’ is quite large, but this will only be a problem if you plan on using these while going for a run.
The Padacs Aksent earphones are a highly recommendable pair of earphones, and while the remote design could use some tweaking, for the price the sound quality will not fail to impress. Included is also a small carry bag, plus a shirt clip to keep the cable from moving excessively. If they sound like a pair to suit you, check out the link below to see the item’s web page.