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I've typically bought significantly cheaper earbuds. My usual set, a pair of Panasonics I'd bought off Amazon (approximately$15), doesn't usually need much tweaking on the EQ. Plugging these in, the bassline and percussion were usually kinda muddy, especially on Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix. I finally flattened the EQ and then lowered the midrange, then slightly elevated the bass and treble. That cleaned it up nicely.
The cymbals are very clear and crisp with these. Indeed, I'm hearing details with these which were lost with the Panasonics.
The significantly larger size, relative to the Panasonics, also takes some getting used to.
When I use it as a phone headset, I can definitely tell when I've got an LTE-based HD Voice connection vs a normal connection. The microphone quality on the Panasonics is better than this one. Really wish someone would come up with a replacement cable with multiple mics and some kind of beamforming, for a more-clear mic input. The mic isn't horrible but it does have room for improvement.
Overall, they take some getting used to, if you're upgrading from cheaper buds. But good audio quality for the price.
That’s the perfect positioning for these buds: they are indeed an upgrade from $15 generics.