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Curve Headset by Sentry from DD’s Discount, Cheap

These are shaped like Apple earpod headsets, but with a rubberized surface, and in different colors. The audio is mediocre, with a thin bass, but the microphone is quite loud. The mic hangs a little bit low, so be careful about dragging it across your clothes.

All in all, a decent super-cheap headset. I’ve paid more for worse, unfortunately.

Update: the connector is flaky. It might be a broken wire, or a bad plug. This didn’t last long.

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Skullcandy Simple Headphones Blue, Skullcandy Ink’d Headset from Ross, Cheap

These were $4 for a pair, and I thought I was getting a headset, but it’s just headphones. Headphones with no mic! Arrgh. I had to go and buy a headset. Fortunately, it was cheap, and these are good. They come with two sizes of silicone plugs, so you can get a comfortable fit. The audio quality is solid, with a nice bass.

Generally, I’ve had good luck with Skullcandy brand headphones. The audio is good. The build quality is pretty good – not as good as Apple and other higher-end products, but solid. The price is fairly high, if you don’t get this kind of closeout.

This was a $5 pair, and is the best headset I’ve had in this price range. Key features:

  • good mic, and not too sensitive (too sensitive turns out to be a problem because it pick up noise)
  • decent wire that doesn’t break
  • low price as usual