An audiophile I am not. Though I grew up surrounded by Gibson and Epiphone instruments, Fender tube amps, stack upon stack of vinyl records, Shure microphones in a house practically wallpapered in sheet music, I never inherited my mother and father’s musical gifts. Fortunately, my dad’s electronic equipment did not go entirely to waste on me—the gold standard for headphones for me has to be the Sony MDR-V6. Their comfort, durability, and sound quality are likely unsurpassable for the money, even twenty-nine years after their introduction (they’re as old as I am!). Though they are my primary headphones for enjoying music at home, studio monitor headphones aren’t exactly appropriate in the workplace.
It is surprising how much I actually use earbuds in the lab. Training procedures are often submitted to us in video format—considering that I share a cube with another person, a pair of headphones is a good idea. Not surprisingly, I like listening to music, watching videos, and listening to the news during an incubation step in my assays. The incessant humming of instruments easily drowns out any sound coming from my company’s HP EliteBook (no fault of HP’s….the instruments are really just that loud). Now, the ThinkPad 57Y4488 headphones actually weren’t my first earbuds that I used at the work place. For nearly five years, I relied on some earbuds that came with my iPod. For the most part, they did their job, but let’s face it: They’re not particularly comfortable and sound is dull. Mine were also used to the point that they’re turning gray from grime and cracking along the earpads.
When considering headphones for work, I was looking for three qualities: Comfort, decent sound, and an external microphone (Skype is an important part of my life!). Oh, and I wanted them to be inexpensive. At $20, the package Lenovo put together is quite impressive. The earbuds come with three pairs of silicone tips (SML) to ensure an optimal fit, and these are far more comfortable than the old pair I was using. The sound quality is impressive for headphones at this price (MDR-V6’s they are not), and I can even detect bass, notably absent in other pairs I have used. Equally important, the headphones isolate me from the distraction of the outside noises, though I’m unsure how much of this is due to their noise cancellation capabilities and not the excellent seal the silicone tips provide. Though the headphones are optimized for such devices as the ThinkPad Tablet 2, allowing the user to seamlessly transition between music and calls, the Y-jack adapter allows both the microphone and headphones to be used simultaneously on a standard desktop and notebook—as an aside, I thought it was pretty nifty that Lenovo color coded the microphone and audio plugs for us Lenovo PC users (green plugs into green and red into red…no looking at tiny symbols!). I have had several opportunities to Skype with them and the callers on the other end have commented that the audio is both louder and clearer than any calls I have made with the internal microphone. Lenovo was also kind enough to include a drawstring vinyl pouch…I discovered its utility today, when the pouch fell out of my pocket in the rain. Don’t worry! They’re fine.
All right…so let’s conclude. If you need a pair of earbuds that offer good sound and bass, an in-line microphone, and great comfort, the Lenovo Y57Y4488 can’t be beat at $19.99 (often much less with a discount). For full specs and ordering click here .
About Gregory Costa
Gregory Costa is a decent biologist, mediocre writer, terrible formatter, but true Lenovo enthusiast, who admires the use of their products in both the academic and industrial setting...when he's not busy delighting himself in science, nature, or his OkCupid profile.