There can't be many headphones in the £10-£30 bracket more deserving of a poor review than these (increasingly popular on the streets of London, or so I've noticed recently), so I thought I'd give them their due … CONSTRUCTION: 2 / 5 ‘Plasticky' doesn't even begin to describe the poor build-quality of these cans. They feel like something you'd happily entrust to a child as their first pair, knowing that if they got broken, your wallet wouldn't shed too many tears. Yes, they're very light (about the only thing they've got going for them), but robust is never a word you could apply to these phones. The headband is fashioned from a horrible, thick plastic with precious little give in it, and on closer inspection, doesn't even colour match with the arms that extend off of each side. Worse still are the numbered ‘inner arms' that slide in and out of the headband to allow adjustment for different head sizes. The plastic here is of the sort used to make the novelties one might expect to find in a Kinder Surprise. As for the couplings – including their shallow ear cushions – think ‘cheap'. That's exactly how these look and feel. Which leads me onto the biggest and most baffling disappointment of all: the cord. For home use, 3m is about right for many. Yet I've seen these phones being used portably by countless people, and what puzzles me is why? The covering is a kind of powdery, rubberised affair, and is ridiculously thick, relatively inflexible and teeth-grindingly microphonic! People using these on the go must hear as much of the contact between cord and clothing as they do of their music. All in all, a very poor design decision, terminated in a 3.5mm plug with screw thread for the 6.4mm attachment. COMFORT: 2 / 5 The head pressure on these phones doesn't seem all that bad when you first slip them on. In all of about 60 seconds, however, you realise it's actually quite uncomfortable. Nothing seems to feel natural about wearing these cans: the woefully shallow ear cushions are not very cushioning at all; the top of the headband bears down on your skull in much the same way as a Helix school ruler would if you sellotaped one across the top of your head – you really feel the plastic squeezing on your bonce – and the whole thing simply feels wrong! It is possible to get these cans to stay in something approaching a comfortable position, but it feels like a compromise rather than something you can enjoy. SOUND: 1.5 / 5 What do these cans sound like? In a word, abysmal. To be fair, they sound only marginally better than they look, but that's not really saying a great deal. All detail is smudged, right across the range; the only time you get anything nearing clarity or precision is when sound in the higher frequencies shoots through, but even then, the reproduction is still poor. The best way to describe how these cans sound is to imagine the following: you're in a cheap hotel room, and the guy in the next room has an MP3 player with passive travel speakers. If you can picture what that would sound like to YOU through the wall, then you've got some idea how these awful these cans really are. And that's with all genres of music that I've tried them with. If all you care about is very muddy, deep-but-flabby bass response and not a lot else, these are your cans. But EQ colouration is something you'll definitely want here, rather than to be avoided! AMBIENT ATTENUATION: 2.5 / 5 They're not bad at blocking out some surrounding noise, but neither are they very good. That's about all you can say, as the cord's microphonic properties just about wipe out any attenuating benefits you might otherwise get with these. POWER CONSUMPTION: 4 / 5 About the only thing these phones are is energy efficient. They're fairly low impendence, have more than enough sensitivity and won't drain your Walkman batteries … or the National Grid. Not that this makes them anywhere near worth recommending. VALUE: 1.5 / 5 It seems needless to say that I don't think these phones are very good value at all. If you just want something that makes a noise, I'd sooner suggest buying a small, yappy dog than wasting your cash on these appalling cans.