Samsung EHS70 Earphones with Mic
(3.5 star rating)
While Samsung is more well-known for making cell phones and TVs, there is no denying that they are a major player in the global consumer electronics industry. From high definition LCD screens to tablets to Bluetooth headsets, Samsung has a very wide array of products in essentially every consumer electronics category. With the expanding popularity of smartphones, tablets and digital media players it was only natural that Samsung developed a line of in-ear headsets to pair with such devices.
Following up on our recent review of the Samsung EHS63 earphones, we take a look today at the next step up in the newly released Samsung in-ear headphone lineup – the Samsung EHS70 earphones with microphone. Marketed with the moniker "Massive Sound", the EHS70 is said to deliver more detailed high frequency reproduction along with a more modern, upscale design. We take a listen to find out whether the $79.99 EHS70 is a worthwhile in-ear headphone upgrade.
With a polished silver and black aluminum alloy exterior, the EHS70 certainly looks the part of a modern tech accessory. They look quite sleek and match well with a black cellphone or tablet. A small, flat rivet sits atop the housing with an etched Samsung logo. The design is certainly a step up from the typical plastic-fare earphones.
A straight-angle design means the EHS70 can be worn in typical under-the-ear fashion, or looped over the ear if that is your preferred style. Small metal filters are used to keep dust and earwax from getting lodged in the nozzle, which is also a nice upgrade over typical soft mesh filters.
The included inline remote control means it also can be used with a mobile phone for voice communication (such as an iPad or iPhone). The cable is 120cm (47 in.) long and included in the package is a cable shirt clip. Noticeably missing from the cable is a cable slider.
In the Box
|EHS70 Box||Overhead view|
Sound Performance Testing
The sound quality performance evaluation of the Samsung EHS70 earphones was carried out exclusively by listening to MP3s and FLAC music stored on my Sansa Clip+. I listened to a number MP3s with bit rates of 128kbps and 320kbps, as well as lossless audio tracks in FLAC and .wav format. A wide selection of classical, rock, alternative and hip-hop music was used in the evaluation.
After a burn-in period of about 50 hours, the EHS70 does indeed produce a cleaner, more detailed sound signature than the EHS63. It follows the same pattern of not being particularly impressive in any one aspect, but also not showing any major shortcomings. Utilizing balanced armature drivers, it is not surprising that the high frequencies are more pronounced with the EHS70 and your attention is drawn toward the upper end of the frequency spectrum. While most of the attention goes to the upper end, the highs are not overly energetic or bright and were thankfully not fatiguing to my ears. They blended well with the mids and were crisp and detailed, although they do occasionally come across as unbalanced. So I would not put the EHS70 quite on the same level of detail-oriented 'phones in this price range – for example the MEElec CC51 does a better job in this area.
Mids were well done and were more natural sounding than in the EHS63. Vocals and instrument separation were both impressive. I heard no mid-bass hump which also contributed to my impression that these are an even sounding set of earphones.
The bass is lean in terms of impact and quantity, not what I would expect based on the marketing label of “Massive Sound”. Bass-lovers will likely find the EHS70 lacking in this respect. However the bass was well controlled and never sounded muddy. The lowest levels of bass, also known as sub-bass, were not as impressive as other competing earphones in this price range – such as the Puresound ClarityOnes.
The soundstage of the EHS70 was slightly better than the average sub-$50 earphone, with a slighter better representation of depth and width. You won't be blown away by the openness of these earphones, but they are on par with competitors in this respect.
|Nozzle||In-line mic and 3.5mm plug|
Portability and Comfort
With the included leather covered carrying case, the EHS70 is easily portable. It is slightly heavier than the typical plastic earphones, but a few extra ounces makes no difference from a portability standpoint. The EHS70 microphone is quite similar to the EHS63 – it is serviceable but does pick up wind noise. I would not rely on it as my primary headset for hands-free phone calls but it suffices for occasional usage.
The EHS70 provides average comfort levels for long listening sessions. The straight angle nozzle sits firmly in the ear canal, and requires only a moderately deep insertion to achieve the optimal sound. It is not the most ergonomic design in the world, and I wouldn't want to wear these for more than an hour or so, but it works just fine for 30-45 minutes of listening.
Cable / Cord Noise
Cord noise, known as microphonics, was improved over the EHS63 but not entirely eliminated. The nylon sheath cable does a better job at reducing cable noise, and used in conjunction with the shirt clip it is not as much of a problem as with the EHS63. The sheathed cable also works well to keep the cable from getting tangled up, but the absence of a missing cable slider made cable noise rear its ugly head.
Samsung EHS70 Earphones with Mic
The $79-priced EHS70 is a fine step up from the EHS63 and certainly looks the part of a modern audio accessory for the tech-savvy consumer. Unfortunately the looks, and perhaps the nice leather carrying case, are the only highlights of this in-ear headphone. The sound quality is a bit better than the EHS63, but at a higher price point the EHS70 also has stiffer competition. The inline mic is a welcome feature, but it does not stand out as exceptional in day-to-day use. In fact, there is nothing that really stands out as extraordinary with the EHS70 – which by itself is not a problem but it sure makes them easy to get lost in the crowd of earphones in the $50-$100 price range.
Pros: Crisp highs; modern looks; leather carrying case.
Cons: Lean bass; moderate amount of cable noise.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5