Ear Force M1
Price: $60, turtlebeach.com
(Tested on a PS Vita and iPhone 4)
No one ever mentions ear buds when talking about gaming headphones but with the increasing popularity of mobile games, the thought of using a smaller device makes a lot more sense. Not everyone wants to plug a big 'ol pair of nerd cans into a tiny iPhone just to get the best sound out of the new iOS version of Mass Effect.
Turtle Beach is offering a more subtle approach with their Ear Force M1 gaming headphones. The 10mm driver ear buds look plain; sort of like a grab a pair of something-somethings on the way to the airport gate but in this case, looks are deceiving.
Music on the Ear Force M1s sounds amazing. Bass is punchy without distortion and the highs get way up there but don't sound tinny. Sound for sound, these are on par with other higher priced, "higher end" buds.
If you're using a phone or tablet device that can make and/or receive calls. the integrated mic comes in handy as you don't have to worry about fumbling around and unplugging to catch the call. You've got the standard button to answer and end calls.
Games sound exactly like how you'd want them to. There's lots of depth and effects sound isolated. Everything doesn't sound like one mashed together sound file. Bullets fired in the distance sound like it and a kick to the face gives the sonic impact you'd expect.
The trouble with a lot of ear buds is that they tend to not stay in the ears. All it takes a hearty yawn and they shoot out of both sides of your head like smoke from an angry cartoon character. The M1 buds stayed in place quite well and the gel plugs worked wonders for blocking out afternoon traffic.
The Ear Force M1 headphones are one of those types of devices that you never really know you need it until you have it. Then, you wonder how you went as long as you did without it. The sound quality is amazing and the affordable price makes it even more so. You'd be hard pressed to find a pair of buds with a built-in mic sounding this good in this price range.
Want a pair of your own Ear Force M1 headphones? You're in luck. Complex is giving away a pair.
Here's how you can win:
1. Retweet the following on Twitter (we suggest copy & paste): "Why Turtle Beach headphones are amazing: http://cmplx.it/HPObGx. RT now for your chance to win a pair #turtlebeach #heareverything"
We'll choose one winner out of the retweets. Good luck!