We tested two models from Skullcandy, the 50/50s and the Fix. These 50/50s, the cheaper of the two, are sort of half way between in-ear headphones and traditional earbuds, and they provide decent sound for a decent pricetag ($40).
The 11mm drivers provide a richer audio experience than other buds under $50, but they’ve got other issues. The seal is tight enough that you can turn the volume down a few notches and save your eardrums, but an almost constant low-level buzzing persists as soon as the buds are plugged in.
The remote’s a mixed bag, too: in-line volume controls give just the right level of responsiveness and the mic picks up your voice just fine, but the person on the other end sounds like they’re calling from across the country.
The best thing they have going for them is their level of isolation. For listening anywhere with a significant amount of background noise, the sealed fit is superior. The 50/50s come with three sizes of silicone tips, and the smalls provided a snug and comfortable fit even for my small ear canals. The construction is sturdier than most in this range, as well.