Note: This review is part of a roundup of 11 canalbud headsets. Visit the roundup page for more information and comparative buying advice.
Macworld‘s editors and writers have made no secret of our love for Comply’s Comply Tips, comfortable foam eartips sold as aftermarket accessories for canalphones and canalbuds, but the company also makes its own headphones. The Comply NR-10 ( ) was a solid model in our in-ear-headphone roundup; the $100 Comply NR-10i is basically an iPhone-compatible headset version of the NR-10 for an additional $20.
Of course, since this headset is made by Comply, it includes two sizes of the company’s foam eartips. Unlike Comply’s aftermarket eartips, however, the included tips have threaded barrels that screw onto the earpieces for easy installation and a secure fit—I don’t expect these tips will come off in anyone’s ears, which can’t be said of the eartips for most models here. The tips are also longer than Comply’s other models, which may help or hinder their fit, depending on your ears. A zippered carrying pouch is also included.
The headphones themselves are plain, black plastic, with a small one-button remote/microphone module on the left side of the cord. I found the NR-10’s sound to be as nondescript as the design: with a good fit, frequencies seemed balanced, and initally I found the sound unobjectionable. However, in direct comparison to the Plantronics BackBeat Plus Mobile and Radius Atomic Bass, the sound lacked detail. On the other hand, the microphone was above average.
Considering that Comply tips are available for many of the other models here, I’d recommend taking advantage of the better value and performance of those models—although I’d love to see other models adopt the NR-10i’s threaded-eartip design.