iLuv describes the iLuv iEP515 as 'premium in-ear earphones', the £49 price tag actually puts them more in the 'affordable upgrade' category for iPod and iPhone owners who are looking for an alternative to Apple's own underwhelming earphones.

The iLuv iEP515 is a lightweight set of earphones, equipped with a three-button remote control and microphone. This lets you make phone calls and record memos and works with the iPhone's Voice Control and with the iPod shuffle's VoiceOver feature.

The iLuv iEP515 earphones can also work with an iPod or iPad, as well as being able to control iTunes running on a Mac.

iLuv iEP515 earphones

We like the iEP515 earphones as an alternative to Apple's own, but we don't luv 'em

The iLuv iEP515's audio quality is respectable for the price - nothing special, although the bass is pleasantly full-bodied. It's certainly better than the tinny sound you get from Apple's own earphones, though. The microphone works well too, and we had no trouble being heard when making calls on an iPhone.

However - as is the case with all in-ear earphones - it's very important to ensure the earpieces form a tight seal inside your ear - otherwise, the bass fades away quite noticeably. There are three sets of rubber earpieces, in three different sizes, included with the iLuv iEP515 earphones. We found it necessary to jam them quite firmly into our ears in order to get a tight seal for the best audio quality - you might have a different experience.

We had a couple of other small complaints, too. The earphone cables seem quite light and not particularly rugged, and they have a tendency to curl up and get tangled quite easily. And while the iLuv iEP515 earphones cost £39.99 on the Argos website, iLuv is selling them for $49.99 (about £31) on its US website. Which suggests that UK users are actually paying a slight premium for these 'premium' earphones.

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Etymotic mc3 headphones review

Sixth-generation Apple iPod nano review

Fourth-generation Apple iPod shuffle review

Apple iPhone 4 review

Apple iPad review

Headphone reviews

MP3 player reviews

iLuv iEP515: Specs

  • 3.5mm / Gold plated 'I' type / Stereo headphones
  • 1.3m cord
  • in-line remote controls music on iPad, iPhone or iPod
  • built-in microphone
  • supports VoiceOver feature on iPod shuffle 3rd and 4th generation
  • 3.5mm / Gold plated 'I' type / Stereo headphones
  • 1.3m cord
  • in-line remote controls music on iPad, iPhone or iPod
  • built-in microphone
  • supports VoiceOver feature on iPod shuffle 3rd and 4th generation

OUR VERDICT

There’s no single feature that really stands out, but the iLuv iEP515 earphones do provide a decent alternative to Apple’s standard iPod earphones. There are plenty of similar earphones available for the same price, but the iEP515 earphones are still worth considering if you can find them more cheaply online.

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