With a list price of $35 and a street price around $30, the Bagis earphones deliver surprising sound quality, an elegant physical design, and rugged overall construction. For an urban traveler, fitness fan, or anyone who wants a musically satisfying earphone, the Bagis are an exceedingly cost-effective choice.
- 9mm handmade drivers.
- Special “snap construction” neck connection.
- Comes with remote-compatible stereo plug for i-Phone, Blackberry, HTC, etc.
- Has adapter cable for standard stereo MP3 players.
- Includes 3 sizes of ear tips
Ergonomic Highlights and Lowlights
Although the Bagis lack a travel case, they can be carried in a unique way when not inserted in your ears—by design the left and right earpiece housings snap together so the Bagis can be turned into a necklace of sorts. The snap system also serves a second, and in my eyes, even more useful function: you can easily identify the left from the right bud since the right is the “male” side while the left is the “female’ one. Even in a locked coal cellar at midnight you can tell which earpiece is right and which earpiece is left by feel alone. I like that.
With only three differently sized tips, all of similar design, the Bagis doesn’t offer the range of fit options you’ll find from Shure or Etymotic, but I found the largest tips did a good job of sealing my outer ear canal and providing decent isolation. The isolating qualities of the Urbanears are not quite as effective as the Sure SE215 or Etymotic ER4P, and while Urbanears supplies no isolation specifications, my ballpark guess on their isolation is around 20 db. Near the end of the review period I looked through my extensive tip stash and found a pair of soft eartips that were slightly larger than the largest ones supplied by Urbanears, which gave me a slightly more secure fit. With these tips it took a quite a bit of downward force to unseat them. There was a sonic tradeoff, however; the third-party ear-tips boosted the mid-bass by several decibels.
The Bagis ‘phones are designed to be worn with their signal cables dropping straight down from your ears. I tried to use them with the cables routed up and around the tops of my ears and down my back, but they didn’t stay seated in my ears and the mute button on the cable was impossible to use. If you have to run the cables behind your ears, the Bagis won’t be your first choice.
Even the Bagis cabling shows an attention to ergonomic detail not usually found in $30 earphones; the first fourteen inches of cable before the left and right junction utilizes a different cover material. This rubberized surface was made to slide easily to minimize any microphonics from rubbing against your shirt collar or neck. After the junction the cable covering changes to a rugged cloth that will withstand abrasion and physical trauma better than the rubber covering. The 47” cable length was long enough to reach an MP3 player even if located in a hip or back pocket.