Earphones. Now that the MP3 fully dominates we are seeing more and more products associated with them. As a result earphones are being manufactured by a countless number of companies in an attempt to capture even a fraction of the MP3 accessory market. Although I’ve never heard of Maximo, they reached out and asked us to review their iM-590 earbuds. I happily obliged.
The first thing I noticed about the 590’s was they were very feature intensive. They sport a cord clip, several rubberized inserts, a 2 foot extension cable, an airline dual plug adapter, a 2.5mm adapter, and a circular carrying case that holds the inserts and lets you wrap the cable around the inside. Out of the box the 590’s should have most any scenario covered, minus the 6.3mm adapter.
The clip while functional was a bit ‘chintz’ and a bit too small and slippery for my liking. Either way a clip is a dire necessity and it does work to provide adequate slack. The cord is comprised of a braided fabric that is slightly malleable and lends itself to crimping, especially at the base of the input jack. I would have preferred the cord to have been a little thicker as it still falls into some of the rubber/plastic trappings. It does have a nice feel, though and is lightweight.
The box states that the 590’s are Enhanced Definition Isolation Earphones. Listening to them as I write this review, I can still hear incoming messages in iChat on my computer, but I cannot hear my dog’s toenails scraping against the hardwood floors upstairs. I use earphones for about 30 hours a week when riding my bike or working out at the gym, so active travel and exercise scenarios are my main testing grounds. The 590’s dealt with wind noise well due to its tiny design and the farther you jam them in your ears the more sound they blocked out. That leads me to my main problem with the 590’s. None of the inserts fit me very well and they needed constant adjustment. They seemed to fit better for a moment if I rotated them, but eventually they would slide out. Sitting still they stay in fine, as they are right now. So to reiterate, they’re not great for exercise and moving around, but good for fixed postures and sitting still.
On to the good stuff. The sound of the 590’s is a well rounded spectrum that did well with the majority of my MP3’s. I listen to mostly high production value metal and the 590’s didn’t leave me hanging. They did not distort when cranked and presented better bass than expected. Never shrill, the 590’s had buttery smooth mids and highs. So if you don’t buy (i.e steal) your music you’re probably going to end up with a collection of MP3’s of varying bit rate and as a rate varying sound quality. The 590’s feel like they are tailored to this type of digital soundscape and really shine in the audio reproduction department.
So, even though they don’t really work for my type of lifestyle (e.g bike riding, running), I can wholly recommend the Maximo iM-590’s to anyone looking for high quality sounding earphones for under $50. I see so many suckers with crap earphones (I’m not going to mention any one company name) out and about, and I just chalk it up to them not caring about sound quality. What would I do if I didn’t care about sound?
- Exemplary sound
- Lightweight and Small
- Lot’s o’ features
- Not good in active scenarios
- Clip could be better
- Cord crimps too easy
Buy it here for $44!