All Your Bass Are Belongs To Maximo!
As an in-ear headset, the iP-HS2 carries some pretty high expectations for great sound quality. For the most part, it did not disappoint, achieving the level of audio quality we are used to hearing from other in-ear buds. However, it was not always as big an improvement over the iP-HS1 as we thought it might be. Specifically:
Bass: In-ear earphones have the potential to produce very high-quality audio, especially in the bass category, so I must admit I was a little surprised to find that the bass output of the iP-HS2 is virtually identical to that of the iP-HS1. The iP-HS1 certainly does have a fairly strong bass that is a major improvement over Apple’s own headset, but the iP-HS2 doesn’t really improve that bass any further. 4.0/5.0
Treble: The iP-HS2 performed well in the treble test. Higher-pitched tones were recreated with a powerful level of emphasis that made vocals sound great. 5.0/5.0
Volume: Since it is an in-ear headset, the iP-HS2 has the potential to be a headset that can produce audio at a volume level that just might cause your whole brain to shatter. The headset makes good on this potential, and in fact when wearing the in-ear buds and listening to them, I was only able to get the volume slider on my iPhone to about 50% before it was already starting to become uncomfortably loud. You can, of course, turn them down as well, though, so you won’t have any problem getting sound that’s as loud, or as quiet, as you need. 5.0/5.0
Clarity: The clarity level of the iP-HS2 is outstanding. The headset produces the kind of high-resolution audio often associated with high-end, in-ear earbuds, reaching a level of detail that will jump out and strike you as impressive immediately, without you having to make an effort to notice it. This provides virtually optimal conditions for listening to those high-fidelity tracks you have stored on your iPhone, or for listening to a friend you are having an important conversation with. (No comment about your friend’s fidelity.) 5.0/5.0
Microphone: The iP-HS1’s condenser mic was a bit of a weak point, generating muffled sound that our call recipients sometimes had trouble understanding. Since the appearance and description of the iP-HS2’s microphone make it appear that it is essentially unchanged from its predecessor, I was concerned that the iP-HS2 would have similar problems. However, the headset surprised me in our tests, resulting in much clearer audio that was easy to understand. 4.5/5.0
The Maximo iP-HS2 is superior to Apple’s own iPhone headset in virtually every category, and in most ways, it surpasses the iP-HS1 as well. Pretty much anyone who owns an iPhone would like to get the best music fidelity possible from it, and the iP-HS2 will get you very close to that point, with the possible exception of its bass output. Thankfully, the iP-HS2 is a viable option for phone calls as well (these were a bit of a challenge with its predecessor, thanks to its microphone), so unless your biggest concern is to get the largest bass boost you can find, the iP-HS2 would make a great addition to your iPhone.