Koss Sparkplug headphones are unusable thanks to a goofy mute

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I wasn't expecting much from the Koss Sparkplug earbuds when I picked them up at a Radio Shack for twenty bucks. I'd broken my previous set of earbuds and needed a quick replacement. And they were the only earbuds this particular Radio Shack sold, if you can believe it.

They're horrible! They're ugly, for one, with strange little ridges. The sound quality is poor. (Although what can you expect for the price?) But the worst — what takes them from unfortunate low-end item to hilariously unusable — is the unnecessary in-line mute button.

I suppose a mute toggle can be handy, but not when it's a raised plastic button with such a low physical resistance that it often mutes and unmutes itself — or worse, mutes just one of the two channels — while I'm walking. Every time the mute button bounces against my clothing it activates. The only way I can reliably listen to music with this headphones while walking is to hold my MP3 player in my hand, keeping it above my waist to provide enough slack to keep the mute button away from my body. That works sometimes.

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