Amazing sound quality inexpensive earbuds

I'd like to share my experience with quality earbuds for my Galaxy S3. I read reviews of many headphones looking for something reasonable and when I almost pulled trigger on $150 Yamaha EPH-100 I found this review of LG Quadbeat SE (also known as HSS-F420): (a lot of earbuds reviewed there)

Just look how clean waterfall diagram is. I ordered them from that is Korean company located in Seoul. I got them within a week and am absolutely amazed with the sound not to mention that they costed me $21 ($29 with shipping). I used Paypal but they also accept credit card. Not only that sound is clean transparent and very, very dynamic with beautiful midrange, but also comfort is great. I ordered second pair for my wife and just got confirmation that it was shipped. Yamaha might be good as well but it is 16ohm - minimum recommended for S3. LG Quadbeat SE is 24 ohm. I also have AKG K271 mkII and this LG earbud is pretty close. Be sure it is SE version since they make another regular Quadbeats. SE version has red logo on the back of each earbud. I hope this might be of use to anybody looking for high quality earbuds.
Thanks for tip. If it was anyone else I would think this is a shameless plug. But coming from you whom I respect this is quite an endorsement. I will give them a try.
Tgrisham, Thanks for the trust. The only drawback I found initially was difficulty to slide them into ear canal, since tips are very soft. Now it is much better since a little of skin oil (or wax) got on the rubbery part. I also use this earbud with Fiio E07K portable amp and it makes it slightly better. If you won't find them great I hope you'll find them at least decent for $29 total. Tell me what you think. Here is the link to black one I got:

They also sell white version but black cable looks better to me. There is a microphone/button on the cable that works with Galaxy S3 (Android) but I'm not sure it would function with IPhone.
I have ordered them and in fact got three pair. One for me and one for each of my sons, age 20 and 26. Its safer to drive with earbuds in and two hands on the wheel, and if they don't like them I will have an extra pair. I am a frugal "audiophile", if there is such an animal! This would be the cheapest earphone I own, the others being Senn 600 and Ultimate Ear in-ear monitors. Why not??
I thought $80 or so for the Klipsch S4 I use and some newer similarvKlipschmodels going for similar price at deep discount was a good deal, but that is even better! The Klipsch are quite good and I recall seeing very good measurement charts for those as well.
thanks Kijanki

I ordered a pair now need a device to play files!

(something I have been thinking about for quite a while)

I ordered a pair of the SE model. They look great for the price if any thing else! I wonder what type of wire they use? Just kidding!
Nice find. Thank you. My son has a baby and another on the way. He'll appreciate them.
"And a baby on the way..."! I love it! I had a son with colic. Boy I could have used these then!!
My Thanks too Kijanki

I ordered a pair for myself to see how they do. I have some B&O earphones from years ago and I'm not liking their sound after listening to various AKG headphones. I tried the refurbed Monster Turbine headphones for $40 and they fell apart quickly after I just dropped them on my desk. I hope these LG are more durable.
I just hope you guys won't kill me if I'm wrong.
we do not even know where you live...

I guess there's not much to lose after all, :D
Will someone please comment about how they sound! Always appreciate tips on low cost/hi value gear so "Thanks" to Kijanki.
Have you read the OP's opening comment?
"Tell me what you think."

"I just hope you guys wont't kill me if I'm wrong."

Csontos - I guess I could have been clearer. OP- K definitely thinks these are
great. Was responding more to the OP's later posts that certainly ask for
confirmation. Lot's of subsequent 2nd party posts about having purchased the
earbuds (your own, for example). Not so many with 2nd opinions or details
about SQ. If I've missed any of that, let me know.
have not listened to them yet, just wanted others to know it may take a few weeks to get them (from Korea) as I was getting a bit concerned

overall an easy purchase experience

I look forward to hearing them...
Didn't mean to be confrontational. I have just received them and boy are you in trouble, Kijanki! Just kidding:) I'm not an ear bud/phone guy so I can't give an educated opinion except to say they're better than the $3.00 ones I bought on a jet headed to Calgary recently. Great mid/top end, lacking at the bottom- typical of ear buds I suppose. My son's assessment will be more useful. I'm driving to Toronto tomorrow so I'll get his take on them.
Csontos, I was afraid of that. Give them time. Bottom is fuller and stronger with original double rubber pieces. I found that smaller piece reduces bass expanding midrange. I still believe it is great bargain for $29 total. As for typical $3 earbuds - I have few of them including one that came with Samsung Galaxy S3. All of them lack dynamics, are laid back and sound just opposite to vivid - muffled.
I agree with everything you've said. They need to be firmly planted, though. Otherwise, you might as well use the 3.00 ones. They do sound good. I wouldn't apologize.
I have found with my Klipsch earbuds that firm seating and
tight seal is key for good extended and dynamic earbud sound.
Same might be true for the LGs. Try different shape buds if
provided and see.
They come with three sizes, same shape.
THe other thing with earbuds is that the snug firm fit is key to optimal sound. Same buds may not fit all ears, just like each needs different size shoes. The best ear buds may not sound good if the fit is not right and vice versa.
Csontos, One that is installed has different shape. It is longer and has grove in the middle. That's the one with more bass (if you want it).
I'm examining them right now. You're right. I hadn't noticed it initially. The installed ones are not the grooved ones on mine. The slim ones are.

Another adventure!
That's strange. I got two pairs and both came with groved pieces installed. They even show unopened box here:
I got two pairs also, both unopened. The other pair does have the grooved ones installed. Oh well, I guess someone wasn't quite awake.
mine has grooved installed and 2 pair solid in the bag
Philjolet, what do you think? Average, Great, Bad? Was I wrong?

I am still seeking a music device and have been dragging my feet a bit

will report back eventually

Do they work on a MP3 player/Discman or only on a smartphone?
Milpai, I don't know. Impedance (24ohm) should be OK but loudness depends on the particular player. I don't have Discman to try.
Amazon now has Klipsch s4 buds for just over $30. I thought these a good value at $80 prior when I bought them a year or two back.

Sounds like its a buyers market for good ear buds these days.
Mapman, you cannot go wrong with AKG K3003 and it is on sale right now for only $1300 (and it is not made of gold)
Wow! NEver saw those AKGs! I would like to hear those and compare to the Klipsch.

The Klipsch S4s originally retailed for over $200 or so I think I recall.

Ear buds are mass market products used by many. That is good for audiophiles seeking good sound for not much.

Earbuds are a great place IMHO to establish a reference for how recordings actually sound prior to investing in speakers and all that goes with it, including having to deal with room acoustics.

Earbud's job is highly optimized. Closest proximity to your hearing sensors takes a lot of variables out of the equation for good sound, making getting it a lot easier and cheaper. You need a good transducer with flat response. Also a tight seal in the ear to provide optimal acoustics.

Headphone/earphone-centric web sites compile and publish detailed measurement charts facilitating quantitative comparisons of hundreds of product options. It is much easier to both on paper and in practice to assess and compare earbuds than say high end audio speakers.

Earbuds are inherently highly efficient. Demand on amplifier is low on the grand scale of things in that not much power is required to produce good bass. Source quality becomes more apparent in that many other variables downstream are not in the picture as with a home audio system.

Of course,you need speakers in a room then to translate the sound into something that resembles what you would hear were you listening live. Room acoustics and many other factors that keep us all buzzing on and on then become part of the secret sauce.
I just got a pair of the 420's from Korea and am burning them in, out of box pretty average. Seems the midrange is there but they need tamed on highs and bass hopefully opens up. For $30 they seem nice so far.
I can say it is critical to install the right rubbers for your ears, mine came with the 2 layer rubber installed but after trying all 3 provided the single large pad took bass to entire new level.
I needed to work the rubber pieces to find the one that would fit the ear properly. They sound average until you get them to fit right. The midrange is really the strength here. The bass is there but you may have to work for it. Pretty clean and open sound for $25 but I don't find them as comfortable as I would like.
Chandliz, Largest pieces are a little too large for my ears but give good bass. The only problem is that mid-bass is recessed and replaced with stronger midrange. Split rubbers give fuller sound - decent with Galaxy S3 but much cleaner with Fiio E07K fed by USB from the same Galaxy S3.
Jp1208, It amazes me that piece of rubber changes sound that much. Smallest rubber kills the bass, split one expands mid-bass making midrange a little congested while largest rubber extends the bass and opens midrange. I agree with Chandliz that highs need some taming but it might come with time. It feels very tight at first but doesn't cause discomfort. Amount of bass is a very personal thing in headphones. I can correct it in my phone or headphone amp. What cannot be corrected are resonances that these earbuds seems to be free of. Waterfall diagram shows them to be free of resonances (aluminum body?) except for one resonance at about 20kHz.
"The midrange is really the strength here. The bass is there but you may have to work for it."

That may be typical with all earbuds from what I have seen in that the tight seal is critical for the bass (ie to "pressurize" the ear fully). A tight seal also tends to work away from optimal comfort. That is the common dilemma with earbuds I would say. Resloving it with the right combo of tight seal and comfort is the key. There may be third party products of different shapes, materials and construction that might be tried with any particular set towards this end. YEs, even earbuds benefit from tweaks, though they are of a different nature than those needed for home audio systems.
Turned up, I find the largest ones to have the best all round balance from top to bottom. Plenty of bottom end with those. Best upper bass/lower mid transition. I also don't find the top too hot with the large ones but I do with the others. Well worth the cost.
A hotter sounding than desired top end might well accompany a poor seal that defeats bass potential.
Mapman, Yamaha EPH-100 might be the answer since it seals better by being pushed deeper into ear canal (rubber has to splits). Yamaha claims that smaller driver closer to eardrum produces sound without side reflections making it cleaner. It has good reviews but comes with only one rubber piece that is not available separately. Once it is gone $150 might be gone.
Sure but I had all three well planted and settled. I think they're designed to incorporate resonance built in to the buds. Hence the differences in response.
Csontos, I'm also leaning toward largest piece that I tried again after Chadnliz post. I'm happy you like it.
Realize of course that all ears are shaped differently. The piece that fits one best is likely to not fit another best. Its like fitting a pair of shoes for both function and comfort. See how many shoe designs and sizes are out there? As a result, no one piece is inherently better or worse than another. Some may just flat out s---, like a pair of cheap shoes.
I like the ones with the split and I have them seated nicely now. The first part of the split sits in the canal and the second part is a little bigger which seals the canal. I've never seen a design like this before but it works very well once I figured out how they fit my ear. They are pretty amazing for this price!
Mapman, That's true but pieces here are extremely soft (thin rubber hollow inside) and don't put a lot of pressure.
With stock attached pads (split pads) the sound was flat on bass, shrill on top, the small pads did not fit my ear well enough to really give much serious thought but sound was unremarkable. I even installed other pads that worked great on some Maxell buds that sound great for mowing on the tractor (low bar of performance but the blow away stock Apple buds). The large pads fit snug and just opened everything up, bass is great, mids are the sweetspot and highs after 30hrs are taming down a tad. The highs are not fatigueing but could be better.
For the price this is a case study in being way too critical IMO. Thanks a bunch for putting these buds on the radar, never would have discovered them without your help.
* I am not as of yet listeninv to these with any external pre or amp, I am purchasing a Fios. Cheers
The key is to not collapse it against the inner sleeve so as to keep it floating.