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Review: One Good Earbud

My car doesn't have built-in Bluetooth, and I don't drive often enough to remember to keep a bluetooth headset or speaker charged up, so I end up using my iPhone's headset for hands-free operation while driving.

But I'm paranoid about being able to hear traffic and other noises, so I only keep one of the earbuds in my ear. (The Right one, it has the mic and volume controls.) That leaves the other bud dangling, where it gets caught up and generally just annoys me.

But recently I discovered One Good Earbud . It seems like an ideal solution. It's not just a headset with one side cut off (which I'd considered doing myself, believe me), it mixes the stereo audio into one ear so everything sounds right. (Less of an issue for phone calls, but important for music.) If I were a jogger or somesuch, I'd leap at the chance to have one ear uncovered yet still listen to my music this way.

But since my interest is for use in the car with an iPhone, I opted for the more expensive model that includes a microphone. At $26 you might wonder if it's worth it, but a few weeks of use, I'd say it is. I'm not entirely pleased, however, due to the following:

  • The headset's wire is sturdy, so it doesn't coil easily like Apple's headphone wiring. This is more than a tactile complaint; it means One Good Earphone doesn't pack as small or unwind as easily as I'd hoped.
  • The wire is also a little short. I'm a tall guy, and during use the wire just reaches to the front pocket of my pants with only a little bit of slack. When driving, the short length means I need to keep the phone on my body, not on the car's console.
  • It's a good thing the short wire keeps the iPhone nearby, as the only control on the mic is a pause button. There are no volume controls, and there's no way to trigger Siri from the headset. This is quite unfortunate.
  • The audio quality is quite good for one small earbud, but it's easy to overdrive the speaker until it sounds horrible. This is more of a downside than you might think because, again, there's no volume control on headset. You'll be reaching for your iPhone to adjust the volume instead.
Overall, I like using it better than dangling one of Apple's stock headsets. Given its few weaknesses and great benefits, you might find that it still works for you, too. For more details, see the company's website, but if you're a Prime member, it's better to order from Amazon and avoid the shipping charges.


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