What: Altec Lansing MZW100 Wireless Stereo earphones
At a glance: Bluetooth, rechargeable battery, in-line mic
Best buy: Rs 1,499 (white and blue; amazon.in); Rs 3,000 (black; snapdeal.com)
USP: Waterproof, sand-proof
Ever since Apple decided to retire the good old 3.5mm jack, the one category that came into mainstream prominence is the Bluetooth headset. And unless you’re willing to drop Rs15,000 (approx) on a set of AirPods, Bluetooth earphones are the way to go. And that goes even for those not looking to pick up the iPhone 7. Wires that come alive inside our bags and love tangling up are only too real.
The Altec Lansing has a wire too (and that’s not a bad thing), but only to connect the two earphones. Here’s looking at those considering AirPods. Hope you can keep them together.
What’s good: The build quality and appearance are standard-issue black rubber and plastic, with a little bit of plastic-y chrome thrown in. None of the shiny ceramic finish that looks great when unboxed, only to be full of smudges in a week. This pair doesn’t say classy, but it looks trustworthy. Something you’d take out on a jog in the drizzle even (it is waterproof and sand-proof, the packaging claims). The earbuds rest comfortably, with a little rubber appendage that keeps it snugly in place, even if you’re running or cycling.
The sound is more than acceptable for a budget set of earphones. The noise cancellation is near perfect (bye, bye, noisy workstation neighbours. You were saying?), the bass and treble come through with a solid thump.
What’s not: Here’s fair warning. Do not drive with these on. Yes, they receive calls, and switch back to music when needed, but you do not want the noise cancellation while driving down Western Express Highway. The clarity, especially with vocals, isn’t the best, but you’ll notice it only if you pit it against a higher priced product. However, calling was a bigger issue. While the sound comes in clear, it doesn’t seem to go out too well. It’s passable in a quiet room; and rather difficult when there’s ambient noise around. Let’s not get to traffic.
The little bar the buttons rest on is light and compact, and won’t bother you much. However, at the centre of the joining wire is a plastic collar of sorts that carries the branding, and claims to be made of “sporty gel”. We’re guessing that means it won’t irritate your skin. However, it does bob around and feel awkward if you’re running.
Verdict: At Rs 3,000, we reckon the device is quite well-priced. It’s sturdy, no-fuss with the pairing, and the sound more than passes muster. And it is something every set of earphones should be: waterproof.