Maxell’s Metallics are a neatly designed pair of compact, bullet-shaped earphones with aluminium housing that look far smarter than we'd expect for £13. They’re also comfortable to wear and feel secure, even though they aren’t designed to loop over the backs of your ears like many modern in-ear pairs.
Their sound is surprisingly well balanced. There was a fairly resonant bass, advertised as a 'heavy bass sound', but it wasn't so powerful as to drown out higher notes. Mid-tones, particularly in complex passages could sound slightly muted compared to our favourite reference earphones, but the latter are all significantly more expensive than the Metallics. Meanwhile, high notes were clear and distinct without being too harsh.
Their overall sound was pleasingly neutral, making it easy to hear your music as the artist intended. The earphones aren’t the loudest around, but they chuck out a reasonable volume, too.
The Metallics don’t come with many extras – just the usual selection of small, medium and large silicone ear tips. There’s no bag or carrying case and no extra adaptors. The 1.2m cable has a standard rubber coating and has the usual 3.5mm stereo plug on the end, but the metal earphone casings feel more durable than most. We were pleased to find that – although fitting them was a bit of a squeeze – the earphones are compatible with Comply T400 sound isolating ear tips, which you can buy separately at around £12 for three pairs. Fitting the tips blocked out unwanted ambient noise, but also helped to emphasise the earphones’ defined bass.
The earphones have an impedance of 16 ohms, making them ideal for use with MP3 players, and a stated frequency response of 20-20,000KHz. Despite their rather ordinary specification and low price, the Metallics sound great. Their audio quality isn’t the most detailed around, but it’s very well balanced, making them a great Budget Buy.
|3.5mm stereo jack plug