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article imageReview: Inateck BH1105M — resonant earphones for budget buyers

By James Walker     Oct 31, 2016 in Technology
Inateck has followed up its original pair of wooden earphones with an improved version offering noise isolation and a built-in microphone. As well as looking and sounding good, the earphones are environmentally friendly and priced competitively.
The BH1105M is an incremental upgrade of the original BH1105 I reviewed earlier this year. Inateck sent along the new version for a comparison of what's changed, along with their new Bluetooth speaker and Bluetooth adapter.
The improvements over the first-generation model are evident from the outset. The packaging is now better designed, using Inateck's new minimalist box graphics. A linen carrying bag is also supplied, helping you keep your earphones safe while on the move. Given Inateck's usual commitment to accessories, the lack of a carry pouch was conspicuous on the original BH1105. It's good to see one be included with the new model.
The BH1105M has the same zebra-wood ear-tips as its predecessor. Inateck says that using wood improves the acoustic performance of the headset. While I can't verify how much impact the wood makes, the 8mm drivers do produce a well-rounded output. Bass has a good resonance without muting the mids or highs. The zebra wood certainly looks striking too, although some people may prefer less visible earbuds.
Inateck BH1105M noise-isolating earphones
Inateck BH1105M noise-isolating earphones
Inateck
The BH1105M suits my style of listening. In my testing over the past couple of weeks, I've found its sound to be full of a warm resonance that adds an extra sense of depth to music. It's particularly evident in classical pieces, evoking a rich vibrancy. Quality does gradually degrade the more the volume is increased. For a typical listener, the BH1105M is likely to satisfy as a high-end headset.
Aside from audio quality, Inateck has added some new features to the BH1105M. Notably, an inline control button has been attached to the earphone's cable so you can control playback without reaching for your phone. The unit also houses an integrated microphone so it's possible to make calls while wearing the earphones. It's a welcome addition that should broaden the appeal of the series.
Inateck BH1105M noise-isolating earphones
Inateck BH1105M noise-isolating earphones
Inateck
The BH1105M is also capable of isolating external noises, keeping you immersed in your music by preventing background sounds from leaking in. In my experience, it's sufficient in quieter environments. While wearing the headset, the conversations of people around you are muted, and ambient sounds are largely blocked out. Its performance quickly diminishes as you enter noisier areas though.
The final feature addition is the inclusion of Inateck's smart hearing protection technology. The earphones are able to optimise their output for the best possible sound frequencies to minimise hearing damage. Inateck says it's based on scientific testing to determine the frequencies that commonly cause hearing loss.
The frequency response of the headset has been improved and optimised to minimise the amount of power change in each section. Inateck said that this prevents the sound from becoming either too harsh or too low. In turn, the effect helps to protect against hearing damage that can occur after prolonged use.
With a warm and rich output, integrated noise isolation technology and hearing loss prevention capabilities, the BH1105M is a well-equipped headset that offers high-end audio. Its zebra wood ear-tips suggest quality and are supported by sound to suit. Inateck has also worked to make the earphones environmentally friendly, building the headset, carry pouch and packaging from sustainable materials.
Inateck BH1105M noise-isolating earphones
Inateck BH1105M noise-isolating earphones
Inateck
The Inateck BH1105M is currently retailing at $15.99 in the U.S. and £15.99 in the U.K.. A promotion available by clicking Amazon's "Redeem" button in the U.K. will reduce the cost to £9.99. U.S. readers can enter the code "O23PBALV" at the checkout to purchase the BH1105M for just $7.99. Without these promotions, the BH1105M is a good value headset. Each of these options is an exceptional deal for people seeking a pair of resonant earphones on a budget.
Verdict:
Inateck has expanded its original wooden earphones with noise isolation technology, an integrated microphone and an inline controller. The result is as striking a design as before with resonant sound that exudes a rich warmth. Quality can suffer at higher volumes though and the zebra wood may not appeal to all.
Pros:
- Rich, warm sound
- Competitive pricing
Cons:
- Sound can be muffled at mid to high volumes
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