Like a high-tech bowl of black flat rice noodles, the a-Jays Four earphones are a tasty dish. Less than a hundred bucks, with minimalist style and great sound, these are as good as affordable headphones get.
It's probably not even mentioning how important it is to replace those crappy white earbuds that come with Apple products. It's the decision around what pair you should buy that's worth discussing, and the a-Jays Four earbuds are probably some of the best earbuds I've tried at the sub-$100 price point.
The most striking thing is their design - unlike traditional earbuds, the cable for the Fours is flat, like a strand of cooked fettucine. This simple design change makes so much of a difference to every aspect of the earphone - from getting tangled in your pocket to plugging in almost flush across the top of your iPhone 4. The in line microphone and controls are also relatively flat, making the whole package seem streamlined.
But the best part about the design is that it doesn't impact audio quality. There's a full range of sound through the Fours, with great bass, solid midrange and respectable high end as well. It honestly feels like you're listening to headphones from a higher price bracket.
As always, they're not quite perfect. The included ear bud sizes fit fine in one ear, but no matter which attachment I used, the right earbud refused to stay put. The remote control also feels a little too high to be comfortable for navigation. Sure, it's ideally placed to act as a microphone, but the buttons for volume and music feel just that little bit too close to your face.
But minor quibbles shouldn't distract anyone from opting for these as their portable earbuds. They're as good as you'll get for the price, and then some left over...