SoundCtrl Wishlist for the new iPhone 5 Earbuds

By Jason Epstein

As iPhones have gone through their different iterations over the last 5 years, they’ve transformed more and more from phones with apps and music players into audio-visual hubs of activity for everything from identifying constellations to streaming live video. So why don’t Apple-branded earbuds come close to matching the quality of the Apple products fans adore so much? Even though the earbuds themselves have been updated a handful of times over the years, we’re still not seeing any marked improvements. But with the imminent launch of the iPhone 5, that could change.

Yes, Apple may just be on the path to rectifying this, because according to Mac Rumors, a Vietnamese site called has posted a video depicting newly designed headphones for the soon-to-be-released iPhone 5. “All factors, such as design, quality, finishing materials, fabricated wire [and] plastic body [lead] to the conclusion this is genuine and not counterfeit headphones,” states Tinhte in the post (with translation by MacRumors).

So let’s go through the short list of things we hope these earbuds have improved upon:

Sound quality – Anything is better than the low to mid-range performance of Apple’s iconic, yet sub-par earbuds, right? Better acoustic isolation and solid bass would be big pluses here.

Comfort – Even with the pillowy little headphone covers that come with these, they’re still uncomfortable – painful even, and prone to falling out. Sure, everyone’s ear canal has a different shape, but take a cue from Klipsch, Apple and give us something that fits smoothly and snugly.

The iPhone 5 earbuds seem to have a slightly smaller form-factor. The speaker grills also peek out of the sides in addition to the front. Whether these design alterations allow better in-ear grip, and overall sound quality and comfort remains to be seen. There has been no official statement yet regarding the redesigned earbuds, but they look to be legit.

After these bad boys are released and run their course over the new few years, can we be so bold as to hope for in-ear monitor-type headphones with a gold 1/8″ adapter? They’d be more comfortable, provide better sound isolation and better sound quality as well. And come on Apple, don’t charge us a premium. I mean, with your public stock being the most valuable of all time, we’re sure you can afford to dip into that earbud profit margin.