iPod earphones offer style, status and the dynamic sound range usually only found in circum-aural (around the ear) headphones. What makes these headphones, which come standard with the purchase of any iPod or iPhone, premium quality isn't just the Apple brand name or the $30 price tag. Many of the materials which go into making a pair of iPod earphones are specially designed to work better with the iPod.
iPod headphones have many features which work best with the iPod interface, but some materials are used just because they are the best of what is around. This is why Apple used neodymium magnets in the construction of their headphones. Neodymium is much more magnetic than a ferrite magnet of the same size and does a much better job of capturing the acoustics of a performance without loss. This means that you can get premium dynamic sound from your iPod ear buds that would formerly have only been achievable through circum-aural headphones. Since their inception, many other companies (such as Bose and iFrogz) have used similar methods and materials to create similar sound in ear bud and ear canal format.
Oxygen-Free Electrolysis Copper Wire
Copper wiring has been the standard connection from head phone to plug for years. The indicator of quality is the manufacturing quality of the copper wire. Oxygen free copper wire which has been constructed by electrolysis is considered an above average grade for headphones and has been used in the making of iPod headphones to deliver premium quality sound. The use of oxygen free copper wire ensures a faster transfer time (copper is one of the best conductors) and ensures a greater amount of data can be transferred without loss. This means the sound quality of your music may actually depend more on the quality of your MP3 file than the headphones.
Nickel Plated Plug
The nickel plated plug is a standard connection and joins to a female connection in the iPod which is also nickel plated. While gold plated plugs are considered to transfer more and superior sound quality when connected to a portable device, the idea behind the iPod headphones is that when connected to an iPod, connecting the same metals during transfer ensures optimum sound since the signal is not jumping different kinds of metal. The lack of gold plating also helps to reduce the cost in manufacturing and to the customer.