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Amazon Basics, though still a relatively new in house brand, has become quite prolific – they now make a variety of products and have become a sort of microcosm of the entire Amazon store itself. Many of these products are highly reviewed and now top various best-sellers lists, one reason likely being that they’re often very inexpensive. It’s interesting to see how Amazon’s own brand stacks up against the competition, which is why I immediately acquired a pair of their budget earbuds.
Packaging and inclusions are pretty bare bones, but a hard cardboard box with bubble foam is better protection than you normally see with cheap ~$10 earbuds. At least you can be about as sure as possible they won’t break while shipping.
Included with the headphones:
- two sets of different sized silicone replacement tips
- warning pamphlet to not throw away electronic waste
The fit is not great. I personally really like to feel some pressure that forms a very solid seal and was not able to achieve that despite trying a variety of different replacement tips, both what was included and separate. I lost some seal pressure and bass when I smiled or otherwise moved my jaw around. I felt like I wanted to be able to push the buds in further and couldn’t, which is a pet peeve of mine.
the nozzles have an elliptical shape – I see this on budget earbuds sometimes and I’m not a fan because it makes compatibility with potential replacement tips much less reliable. The shallow nozzles coupled with the non-contoured buds often causes fit issues in my experience.
The cable is pretty good for the bare minimum $10 price-point, but still somewhat thin and flimsy by overall standards. There are some noticeable microphonics, but actually less so than I normally see with the typically thin and flimsy cables that come with ultra cheap earbuds. It’s a little on the short side at ~5 feet.
The plug support is a little small, but it all feels reasonably sturdy, and plugged into all my devices without any issues.
Pretty basic/standard looking 1 button mic with all the basic functions you’d expect.
Sound And Performance
The Amazon Basics earbuds sound OK. Certainly passable for basic use and for the minimal price, but not without shortcomings.
There’s a lack of clarity and the overall sound is narrow – thing seemed stacked on top of each other which probably exacerbates the lack of clarity.
There’s also a noticeable boxy/cupping sensation coupled with significant sibilance, particularly so with percussive instruments.
All in all the sound is just a little thin, like a radio that just can’t quite dial in 100% on a signal.
Any major issues:
None that I could find within the first few hours of use and testing – these earbuds are adequately functional.
Sound signature/response curve:
Pretty bassy overall, which is fairly common for budget and/or underperformant earbuds. The mids are significantly recessed, and so are the highs but to a lesser degree.
Bass extension is quite good, they were able to get down and hit low notes I usually test. Still a little lack of clarity but not overly muddy or blatant upward bleeding. I did notice some fairly quick onset fatigue.
They got plenty loud and I was able to easily achieve comfortable listening volume on all my devices.
Pretty good, I’d put it around medium, should be fine for basic commuter use.
Amazon Basics budget electronics come with a one year warranty which is about as good coverage as you’re ever going to get at the ~$10 price-point.
Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
If you’re looking for a reasonably passable pair of earbuds for as cheap as possible, the Amazon Basics earbuds are a fine choice. I do think there are other ultra budget earbuds that sound slightly better, but, the Amazon Basics cable is actually pretty good compared to the normally flimsy and tangly messes you get from others.
A more general issue is that the $10 price-point is currently a bit awkward for earbuds, because for not that much more money, the options open up vastly and there are products that sound much better. $20 is the current sweet spot for budget earbuds in my opinion – check out the links below for more information. But, I do still understand the appeal of an ultra cheap option that you’re not going to stress over if you lose or break it.