I’m always looking for good, affordable earbuds since I find that most of the ones I come across are either one or the other.  So I’m happy to discover the new Pocket earbuds (though they call them “headsets”) from Sweden’s Degauss Labs which are a pretty sweet deal starting at just $25.

For me, admittedly earbuds tend to be less about music and more about phone calls, or movie watching when the kids are heading to bed–I don’t need them listening to OITNB through the wall.

First off, you notice that the design of the earpiece is flat on one side (reminds me of a mid-century blowdryer; don’t ask) so it nests inside your ear but outside your ear canal. It takes a little getting used to, but once I did, I found them incredibly comfortable, even forgetting I still had them in my ears after a conference call. And I never say that about earbuds, which I generally want to get out as soon as possible.

Affordable earbuds that look great: Pocket Earphones by Degauss Labs

The audio is quite nice; clean and clear with voice calls, and very decent bass for music. It’s no Veoldyne vPulse, but then if you’re not a sound mixer or a sixteen-year-old trying to annoy everyone on the subway, then I think you’ll be perfectly happy with them.

The Pocket Earbuds come with a couple of silicone sleeves for fit, ideally if you’re going to use them for working out, though I admit they popped off immediately never to be seen again. I live without them and frankly, they fit just fine; you hardly need the sleeves when they’re not trying to size to your ear canal in the first place, though I probably wouldn’t recommend them for jogging or biking. I think they’re really best suited for airplane rides, phone calls–less active stuff.

I was perfectly fine with the single button universal headset for my own needs. But you can spend an extra 10 bucks for three-button microphones made to be specifically compatible with specs for iPhone, Android phones, or even Windows Phones.

Degauss Labs Headset Control Center app for Android

In fact, if you’re an Android user, you’re in luck: Degauss Labs also makes a Headset Control Center app that allows you to listen to music through dozens of services from Pandora to Spotify  plus offline services like Google Play Music, while also programming your headset to respond to your own custom click commands. Nifty.

The rest of us will just have to be satisfied with a nice pair of headphones with a sleek but not flashy look that still go strong after a few months of heavy use and travel.  I’ll take one pair for $25, Bob.

Find affordable  Pocket earbuds starting at $25, plus lots more styles, at the Degauss Labs site