Customer Reviews

26
3.9 out of 5 stars
Scosche IEM856MD Reference In-Ear Monitors with tapLINE III Remote & Microphone (Black)
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingChange
Price:$109.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2011
First I have to disclose I've been a Scosche fan for a couple of years. Their customer service is very responsive to email inquiries making me feel they value me as a customer. As a matter of fact, my last three sets of Iphone/Ipad/Ipod earbuds have been Scosche and have replaced more expensive higher rated products in the same category. I liked my last set of Scosches so much, I purchased a second pair. See some of my earlier reviews on both Scosche and other earbuds.

When I first saw these had won product of the year at Macworld January 2011, I was very excited. I watched for weeks on the Scosche site but never saw them listed for sale. Same with Amazon. Weeks turned into months. Last September Amazon had them for sale at a pre-order price which was $147.00, a full $100.00 less than currently priced. I went ahead and placed my order.

When my new pair of Scosche IEM856MD arrived, I was impressed with the change Scosche made in the tangle free cords making them flat (think DR Drea) instead of their last design which a number of people complained about as making noise whenever you moved. Personally, I found the noise to be of minimal consequence, but with the new design, there was no noise of all.

I also liked the change in the angle of the plug, since on my Iphone, I carry it upside down while in the car, so I can keep the Iphone charging. There was also a change in the tapline remote. It comes with removable clip.

As I get older, my hearing is getting weaker, so whenever I use a new model of earbuds and they pick up new instruments from the same songs I've been listening to for decades, I'm not only pleased, I'm impressed. In this area the Scosche IEM856MD not only impressed me, they greatly impressed me. Usually while listening to my Iphone, I use the Loud setting on the equalizer, (like I said, my hearing isn't getting any younger) but with the Scosche IEM856MD there was no equalizer setting that didn't diminish the sound in one way or another. So I get the full sound without distortion.

So for sound alone I give these a five star rating.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2011
I've listen to several different headsets ranging from the Klipsch x10, s4i, Bose in ear and Dr. Dre beats. Out of all of them, only the Klipsch x10 can be compared to the Scoache iem856. The sound on the Scosche is on point. The mids and highs are outstanding. But what separates the Scosche from the others is the resonating bass. It's like having a subwoofer right in your ear. When the bass hits, it goes boooooommmmmm! The bass doesn't punch like Dr. Dre beats where it just goes boom boom. I like my bass to hit and fade out. My only complaint about the Scosche is that the earbuds are bigger than most. So if you have smaller ears, they might not fit well. I actually had to use the smallest ear flange to have the earbuds fit. These really resemble Dr. Dre beats.
You will not regret buying these.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2013
Bought these headphones (In-ear monitors) after a lot of research and careful study. I didn't find much documentation from consumer and pro reviews. I took a leap of faith based on Amazon reviews and manufacturer specs.

I'm so glad I did. In-ear monitors is an accurate description for these phones. I've mixed sound for many bands, both live and in studio. These phones replicate the sound in amazing detail and clarity. Low volume to loud volume, they do not disappoint.

Prior to these headphones I've owned Shure phones which were pretty good but shrill at high volume. The cord where it wraps around the ear tore after six years of rugged use. I have also owned Klipsch phones which had better clarity than the Shure phones but not as much low frequency representation. They cord fell apart after maybe six to eight weeks. Sounded good, fell apart and apparently this is a common problem.

Bottom line, these are the best headphones I own and I have a couple of more expensive over ear phones and I prefer these to those. I found myself listening to these while trying to get some chores done. I had to take them off because I wasn't able to work because the sound was so good that I was completely focused on the sound!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2012
I used a pair of generic $3 earbuds, a pair of $50 Sony earbuds, a pair of $200 Shure earbuds, and pretty much
they all sound about the same, some a little louder, some with more/less bass than others.

You have to try a pair of these earbuds to really hear a difference in the sound, to me it was like listening
to the songs I have heard over and over again as if I had heard them once again for the first time.

The instruments will sound different, you'll hear instruments that you didn't know where there before,
if the songs had defects in the first place, you'll hear those defects as well. The sound quality is
so far the best I have heard from all the earbuds I have owned and used in the past.

A warning: Don't use the stock silicon buds, they have no cushion and might make your inner ear hurt,
possibly because the tip where they are inserted is a little bit big and it brushes against the inside
of the ear through the thin silicon layer. I have normal size ears, and they made my ears hurt.
Instead I bough some soft foam replacements, problem solved! Now they are REALLY comfortable,
plus they also make the bass sound better, I use them for hours at end with no fatigue whatsoever.
I won't waste money buying cheaper lower quality earbuds in the future, it's better to save money
and buy high quality earbuds like these, it's worth it.

In general be careful with "cheap" knock offs, if you see these for "cheap", they might be low quality
imitations, I would buy only from reputable sellers, I have learned that the hard way in the past.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2012
I accidentally put these headphones through the wash a 2nd time. Once in October. Once in November. After giving them 24 hours to dry out, on both occasions they preformed perfectly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
These headphones are nothing short of amazing. The combination of both the Dynamic and Balanced Armature drivers makes the sound and bass off the charts awesome. Sound isolation works best with a pair of Complyfoam tips though. Almost makes me feel like I'm in a theater when I wear them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2014
Superb sound quality. Truly the best ear buds I have ever worn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2014
Let me start off by saying that I've only had these for a few days now. The first thing I did was try them out straight out of the box to see what they were like, then subjected them to a good 12 hour burn in before actually listening to them. So here is what I think of these earphones.

1. Packaging 9/10 - The packaging and accessories included are beyond reproach. There is always a sense of occasion with mid tier to high end audio gear, and these are no exception. The included accessories are quite generous, as the pair comes with many assortment of tips, cases and etc. There are more exciting pairs of earphones out there when it comes to packaging, such as the Sennheiser IE8. But these are well packaged and well sorted.

2. Build Quality 7/10 - This is where things take a step back. The build quality isn't bad, but you get the sense that these were built on a budget. I purchased a pair of Klipsch S3m at the same time, and honestly the Klipsch are better made. For example, I've observed that the length of the left and right earphone cable length from the Y connection are uneven, and one earphone is actually a few millimeters longer than the other. Then there is the feel. The cables don't feel quite as strong as other earphones I've encountered. Shure for example have incredibly thick and heavily reinforced cables that feel indestructible. Of course, such cables come at a price; weight. But the cables used on these aren't exactly light either. But they just don't feel as solid. Perhaps it's the kink? The quality isn't bad. It just isn't top notch.

3. The Sound 7/10 - Again, here is where things aren't all sunshine and rainbows. First off, these are a decent pair in terms of sound. Would these be able to justify a 249.99 msrp? I doubt it. How much you appreciate these then may depend on how much you pay for them. I didn't buy these here, but from another retailer who had them on sale. I've never owned a pair of hybrid dual driver earphones before so I jumped at the opportunity. I don't regret it, but I'm not floored by them either. The problem with multiple driver setups is that most manufacturers take a simple way out to solve the limitations of the balanced armature design. Simply by having more drivers, you bolster sound across the spectrum and end up with a pair that can overcome many weaknesses inherent of dynamic drivers. Most manufacturers don't bother designing hybrid driver earphones for a reason. The shortcoming of dynamic drivers have a straight forward solution as well; just design a better driver. We have had dynamics long enough at this point and so they can be had with relatively modest cost without compromising too much on sound quality. Balanced armatures on the other hand are tricky to pull off well. Even the best single BA designs suffer from draw backs in frequency response and tonal balance. I have listened to high end single BA setups before, such as the Klipsch X10, and wasn't impressed. I currently own 2 triple driver BA earphones, and the difference is night and day. But at the same time, I also own several dynamic driver earphones that are top performers. The problem with these earphones however, is that they are neither of these. They are not multiple BA and are not high-end dynamics either. Although they are capable of handling certain frequencies very well, it's when it comes to the crossover and tuning (and overall balance) where they stumble. The sound comes through as being slightly dark, certainly more so than my UE Triple.Fi 10 Pro. That is expected, but then these earphones have bright mids and highs as a result of the BAs handling those frequencies. The bass isn't stellar either (slightly anemic actually) as the earphones are driven by fairly small dynamic drivers that do a OK job of delivering lows, but are breathless when more demanding bass is needed. There are also certain frequencies that feel under represented, such as mid-highs and the really deep bass. These problems may have been avoided with the use of slightly better tuned BA drivers and a larger dynamic (and of course, of higher quality) but sadly, as I have said, they feel like they were built on a budget. Sound stage suffers as well, as the drivers don't seem to work as well together as expected. When you split frequencies among BA drivers as they do in multiple BA setups, it's not difficult to set frequencies for each driver to perfectly work in tandem with the others. With these, the execution is less than perfect. HOWEVER, one must remember the simple facts before judging these too harshly: single BA driver earphones typically go for a bit over 50 and reach as high as 300 dollars, while not sounding particularly good. Yes, there are few excellent single armature earphones out there, but they are few and certainly not cheap. Basically to achieve the kind of sound these earphones put out, despite its flaws, would cost north of 100 if you wanted a multi BA setup with at least 2 drivers. There are dynamics at this price range however that may do just as well if not better. So if you can pick these up for under 50 as I have, they make a compelling purchase. But not so if you consider contenders with dynamic drivers at the 80-120 dollar mark.

4. Value 9/10 - I gave these a 9 out of 10 for value simply because these are not completely satisfying in terms of performance. I got these for under 50 and at that price, it is certainly better than many earphones at that price range. However, there are others as well that can offer a pleasant listening experience for less or equal money. No matter how cheap a pair of earphones are, if they don't sound just so, they may always leave you wondering why you bought them. These are not bad enough to make me regret buying them, but as I have said, they don't offer anything stellar either.

Conclusion: While not a bad pair, and certainly decent sounding, they lack the brand cachet or the performance to demand a price tag north of 200 dollars. The hybrid driver setup is supposed to eliminate the weaknesses of the BA and dynamic drivers by combining their strengths. However, they failed to overcome the weaknesses of these designs when the execution is less than perfect. The sound signature is darker, warmer sounding thanks to the dynamics, but they're not good enough to really handle the bass properly. Then there are the BAs that are less than ideally tuned. Sound stage is very narrow as a result. With time, if Scosche is willing to keep at it, they may one day perfect their hybrid design. But like the similarly named Porsche 911, it may take some persistence before that odd layout finally pay dividends. If you're in the market for a pair of earphones that offer strong value, and can afford to spend slightly beyond 100 dollars, look elsewhere for either dual BA setups or an excellent dynamic. Forget the hype behind these designs; it's too early for these to be that good. They're like the Bose Triport acoustics. Overrated and with poor execution, seemingly pointless. But if you can pick these up for under 50, then you may be pleasantly surprised by what you get without the buyer's remorse.

PS: If you're someone who have been longing for that stock bud upgrade, these are a nice buy for under 50. If you own earphones from reputable brands that cost over 200 dollars, you may find them to be less worth the purchase.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2013
These headphones are probably the best I have ever owned, and I own quite a few. The frequency range at which they are able to produce audio is excellent both on paper and to your ears. I listen to various genres of music, from Rap to Metal to Mexican music, and they are outstanding with every single one with no distortion even at high volume. The High, Mid, and Low frequencies are all produced clearly. I feel like I am listening to my favorite music for the first time, as I can hear instruments I could not hear before. Lyrics and rhymes are much more audible too. I can actually keep up with what BIg Pun is rapping about. I believe this is the way artists intended their music to be heard.

Before I bought them I read the reviews and all, except one, stated how strong the presence of bass is with these earphones. And I agree with everybody. The bass is strong, clear, and not boomy or overpowering. To test how strong and clear the bass is I played a song by Tupac Called "Voilent" from his 2Pacalypse Now album. This song has long low bass, and therefore use it to test and adjust subwoofers and EQs. Blasting "Violent" at high volume made these earphones perform phenomenally, so phenomenally in fact that I could almost feel them vibrate inside my ears, however I could still hear all the other frequencies clearly. So clearly in fact that I picked up a background instrument I never really heard before. Bass is reproduced so well that it kind of mimics the bass produced by a high end fine tuned subwoofer.

Keep in mind that in order for these earphones to produce their astonishing sound, you must use the proper sized ear bud in order seal in the sound to the ear canal. Otherwise you will not experience their full potential, just like another reviewer who gave it one star. I don't think he used the correct sized ear bud. Also earphones need to be broken in just like regular speakers. I Just got these a few days ago and, they already sound this amazing! Imagine how good they will sound when they are fully broken in.

So if you are in the market for some really good earphones and are a music lover like me, I highly recommend these. Spend a little more and disappointment will not show its ugly face. Trust me, you will fall in love with your music all over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2014
First off, These are good sounding headphones. They are a little better sounding than my original IDR600's. But unlike my 600's these have a rather robust design. You're thinking "Oh, that's good." It's not though. The "flat" wire, built in three button controls and mic all add up to ear buds that are too heavy to stay in your ears. Now, it comes with a clip that snaps on the button controls, but it's hard to find a good place to hook it to. Clip it on your shirt collar and you have the wires between the clip and buds standing in your face. So if your not wearing a shirt with a breast pocket theres nowhere to use the clip. Also, with my 600's I was able to get a better "seal" in my ears. (None of the provide or any previous Silicone "inserts" were any better.)
Bottom line: For the price these are mighty disappointing ear buds.
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