Maximo iM 490 iMetal Isolation Earphone Review

Let’s face it, the earbuds that come in the box with most digital music players, including the iPod, either really suck or are just barely adequate. Maximo, with their iM 490 iMetal Isolation Earphones, offer a solution to this problem. The question I ask is, “Is it a worthwhile upgrade?” and I break this down into 3 basic questions: sound quality, comfort and durability.

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Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Maximo iM 490 iMetal Isolation Earphone is superb. One of the common problems with earbud headphones is that bass is weak. This one does the best of any I’ve heard. While it isn’t as good as a full size isolation headphone set, such as the ones I use for recording and mixing music, it does a fantastic job considering its size.

Another big plus is the isolation factor. It does block out external sound quite well. This is great if you’re trying to concentrate on work while sitting at your desk in your office. Just don’t wear them while walking around. You don’t want to be hit by a bus!


Another common problem with the average earbud is that it’s one-size-fits-all. Well, if you aren’t average this means that the bud won’t fit you comfortably and you won’t get the all-important snug fit. The Maximo iM490 iMetal Isolation Earphone comes with 3 different sizes of of eartips to insure a good fit for most people. It’s a nice thing that some companies leave out to cut costs.

Overall, I’m not a huge fan of earbuds due to the long term comfort, ie several hours of wear. However, these earbuds are more tolerable to me than others I’ve tried.


Nobody wants to spend a lot of cash on an aftermarket product if it isn’t going to hold up. While the Maximo iM 490 iMetal Isolation Earphone is new right now, it seems very well built and I expect it to hold up well. The metal casing shouldn’t get broken easily like black, white or faux silver metal plastic. The wire seems like it is attached well and should hold up to minor tugs easily. The gold plugs with metal covering also seem quite sturdy.

All in all, I give the Maximo iM 490 iMetal Isolation Earphone high marks.


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Comment by Michael Kwan
2008-05-27 19:13:53

I’ve been playing around with a set myself and they seem pretty comfortable. I love these in-ear isolation style headphones.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-27 19:31:45

Thanks for stopping by Michael,

I’ve just never gotten that used to wearing the in-ear phones from a comfort perspective. But, like I said, the Maximo’s are a cut above the others I’ve bought. I’ll still use my old reliable Sennheiser full sized headphones I use for recording when I can get away with it.

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