Review: Sony's PIIQ Exhale Earbuds

Sony's Exhale earbuds, or "the bass masq" as Sony calls them, are part of Sony's PIIQ line of headphones.  They have 13.5mm drivers and the gas mask design is supposed to boost bass and the our music comes through the little holes in the "mouth pieces".

Sony lists the features as:

  • Bass booster earpiece for distinct bass sound and a snug fit.
  • Neodynmium magnets deliver clear and powerful sound.
  • Cord slider to prevent tangled cords.
When I first saw these I was really intrigued by their design and the color options.  I chose the "green" earbuds, but you can't see the green part of the earbuds in the picture.  You cans ee all of the color options on the SonyStyle website:

While I liked the design I thought they would be uncomfortable or fall out of my ears a little too easily.  This turned out to be quite the opposite.  I find them to be comfortable and they stay in my ears while jogging.  The size is perfect for my ears.  Your mileage may vary.

These earbuds sound really good.  I've said it before, I'm not very picky about how my music sounds.  I won't tolerate low quality sound, but I'm not a huge fan of big expensive headphones, especially for jogging.  For exercising these are great.  The voices on podcasts sound natural and music sounds great.  The bass was my only problem when I first plugged them in.  I hurt my ears because I used the same Zune volume and EQ settings with these as I used with my old Zune Premium earbuds.  I had to turn the volume down a little bit and set the EQ from "none" to "Rock" for music.

Speaking of the Zune Premium earbuds, these sound a lot better and are easier on my ears.  I never really liked having the earbuds in my ear and if sweat got on them they would begin to slip out.  To be fair, my dog got a hold of them last year and may have damaged them, but, at the time, I noticed no difference in them.  I can confidently say these are my favorite pair of earbuds  have ever owned.  I also own a pair of padded Sony noise canceling headphones that I sue for travel and with my PC.  I think those sound better, but they have the added benefit of blocking background noise.

They cost $14.99 making them an easy choice if you're in the market for new earbuds.  I don't think I could have asked for a better price.  I wanted something cheap and I think these are great earbuds for the price.

These aren't the greatest earbuds on the market, but they really deliver a lot for $14.99.  You may not find them as comfortable as I do, but any headphone style is subject to personal preference.

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Jessica C. said...

Thanks for the review, its great to hear another opinion, plus they sound like good earphones! If you're interested, they are on sale now on amazon for $8 with free shipping. Cheers!

ladyleeloo said...

I'm looking at them on Catch of the Day (we shop with them all the time) for $4.95! I'll check out some more reviews first. Thanks for the write-up!