Readers of this blog will know that I spend way to much of my time listening to music and podcasts while on the move, whether sitting in the office, walking in the park, hitting the gym, or sitting on public transport, and so headphones are very important to me.
Look & feel
The iX-BT1 earphones from IXCC are quite light, weighing just 16g, but they are not the prettiest earphones to look at. Each earphone is connected to a near circular 1-2cm battery disc that sticks out of the ear and is made of a shiny black plastic, but these discs do provide easy access to the volume up and down buttons whilst in the ear. The pair of earphones are tied together with rubberised plastic cable.
The actual earphones themselves are a soundport design covered with matte rubber tips that offer a tight fit into the ear. The tight fit and light weight make them well suited for when you are out jogging or at the gym, but they do not feel as secure as some of the wingtip designs now favoured by some sports earphones manufacturers.
It is pretty straight forward to get the Bluetooth setup and paired with your smartphone – with Sudio sticking to the same simple setup routine of their other headphones. There are just three steps:
- Turn off the Bluetooth on the smartphone
- Press and hold the on/off button on the earphone remote until the light flashes quickly red and green (around five seconds)
- Switch on Bluetooth on the smartphone and select “iX-BT1” and connect
- Bluetooth Specification: V4.1+EDR
- Noise Reduction: CVC6.0
- Transmission Distance: 33 feet
- Radio Frequency: 2.401~2.482GHz
- IPX4 Waterproof Rating
- Charging Port: Micro USB
- Charging Time: 1-2h
- Battery: 80mAh
- Playback Time: Up to 8h
- Standby Time: >160h
When listening to podcasts, the voices come through clearly and accurately, but they are missing some bass with a little too much top-end in the mix when you are listening to music. If you want to use these mostly for calls and podcasts then they are great, but they are not so good if you want to listen to your favourite EDM track to get pumped down the gym.
As with most headphones in this price bracket, the iX-BT1 earphones do not support the AptX or AptX-HD codecs favoured by higher end headphones for the audio compression used over a Bluetooth connection.
I’ve used these on and off for the last week and found them to provide decent sound quality and call clarity with a surprisingly loud volume – I had the volume down at around 30% most the time.
The Bluetooth 4.1 tech means that signal drop outs were very rare indeed (I only had one in seven days), and the battery lasts for nearly eight hours.
The earphones are not the most comfortable I have ever worn, but they did fit pretty securely in my ears and didn’t fall out while working out at the gym.
At £16.99 the iX-BT1 earphones are a great budget option if you want to use them mostly to make/receive calls or listen to spoken-word podcasts. However, for those that spend more of their time listening to music, especially genres with more bass like EDM or Rock, then the lack of bass and high-end focused mix means they probably aren’t the best option.