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Review of the InEar SoundClip SC-1 In-Ear Earphones

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InEar SoundClip SC-1 In-Ear Earphones

Price: £144.99

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~ An Elliot Holmes Review ~

PROS

•    These earphones are very small so they’re easy to carry around and provide a good fit so long as you don’t have very narrow ear canals.

•    They handle high and mid frequencies very well so should be great for people who don’t want overpowering bass.

•    Comfort-wise they should let you listen quite happily for some time before fatigue sets in.

CONS

•    These are not really earphones for bass lovers as their focus sounds like it leans more towards brighter climbs.

•    While the fit is pretty decent they are a fairly standard shape so comfort will differ from person to person.

•    The high impedance could rule them out for users of lower output devices.

REVIEW

The SoundClip SC-1 earphones are a tiny set of earphones from German sound magicians InEar and on paper they seem to tick all the right boxes due to their wide frequency response, small size and level of comfort. Will this be a case of them being a best seller though or is it more a matter of being mindful to never judge a book by its cover?

There’s plenty going for the SC-1 earphones but what most people are likely to pick up on straight away is their demure size. Reading the specifications and looking at the earphones does make you wonder how something so small is capable of playing music to such a level, and from a single driver too. Well in practice they are admittedly a bit of a mixed bag and for everything the earphones do well there seems to be a slight trade off in something else which does tarnish them.

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The overall design of the SoundClip SC-1 earphones is reminiscent to some of the old a-JAYS range of earphones that we used to stock back in the day. They are very small and lightweight so are meant to fit comfortably in the ear while still maintaining a decent seal to keep the horrors of ambient noise from leaking in. However, if you have narrow ear-doorways like I do then you might not be in line for the most comfortable wearing experience. Don’t get me wrong, once I’d forced them in to my ears they did sit pretty well but weren’t as comfortable as they should have been and this did lead to a bit of early ear fatigue and soreness. Since this won’t be a problem for every user, more a select few lucky people, don’t let this put you off them too much unless you know that they’ll be an incredibly tight fit as in most cases they will fit just fine.

Assuming that they will fit your ears fine then you should get on with them very well since they don’t weigh a great deal and in conjunction with the light-weight cable you could most likely forget for a moment or two that you’ve got something sticking in your ear. Moreover, because they’re so light they don’t move around very much in the ear so are normally pretty good at keeping out background noise or being pulled in to unusual angles by the cable weight and causing discomfort.  Basically they’re inconspicuous in the ear and in my mind would be great for both general listening and also for running as they should stay put while you move around.

The overall sound of the SoundClip SC-1 earphones is for the most part decent and balanced. Despite these earphones only utilising a single dynamic driver they actually handle separation between frequencies quite decently. There is a slight lean in the sound towards the high and mid frequencies over bass so there is a somewhat loss of impact and punch with certain genres or tracks. If you don’t have a preference for a punchy sound and prefer a clearer or brighter sound then these would probably suit you but, not being a big bass sound lover myself, I do feel that considering the purported frequency range the bass level should be a lot more decent than what it actually is.

Moreover, despite these earphones being small and unobtrusive, and therefore should be ideal for using on the move with phones or standard DAPs, they have an astonishing impedance level of 45 ohms which is quite a lot – in fact it’s more than the triple driver StageDiver 3 earphones require and that’s a bit bizarre. This means that if you do want to use them with your phone then you’re going to most likely need to use them in conjunction with a portable headphone amp so you can ensure that enough driving power is being provided. Honestly I’m thrown by this specification as I just don’t understand how a small set of single driver earphones can require more driving power than a top-of-the-range set.

All-in-all while these earphones are a bit of a mixed bag they’d still be worth considering if you have a decent player to drive them from but don’t want to have massive earphones sticking out of your ears. Furthermore, they’d most likely be ideal for people who don’t want a high bass level as they sound like they’re geared more towards the subtle side of the sound spectrum.

Just think of them like those new confused Skittles – they taste nice but don’t expect to get the flavour which matches the colour.

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