Ifa thin hero
  • Best of Year 2013
  • Editors' Choice

Frends Ella b Review

The bold and the beautiful

8.0 score Tested by Experts
  • The Frends Ella B is better than 89% of the headphones we tested.
  • It is better than 83% of the in-ear headphones we have tested.
  • This product is scored relative to other headphones we've tested. Learn more.
# of headphones Product Score This graph shows the Frends Ella B’s score compared to other headphones we tested.


Finally, more glittering goods for disciples of decadence. When the Ella b (MSRP $99.99) by Frends arrived at my office last week, I did a double take: Are these headphones? Earrings? I immediately swept the little beauties into the lab.

That's right, Frends, waify supermodels and their sun-kissed bosoms can't save you now. The golden-maned gals on your homepage may seduce lady shoppers, but they can't melt the hearts of our stone-cold robots. Only stellar performance can do that.

Audio Quality

A beauty with good guts

In the lab, the dainty looking Ella b turned out to have the heart of a bass-boosting lion. Studio listeners and audiophiles will want to graze in flatter pastures, but the average consumer should have a blast with these earbuds—literally. Talk about booming bass.

Instruments like guitars, pianos, snare drums, and the rest aren't lost in the big-bass bash.

The consumer headphone market has shown an appetite for big bass, and the Ella b serves it up in piles. These in-ears also over-emphasize portions of the middle and high range—to the point that I found myself turning my music down a bit because cymbal crashes and high vocals bothered my ears. In fact, some will find that these headphones are actually a bit too loud overall. In any event, frequencies are balanced in such a way that instruments like guitars, pianos, snare drums, and the rest aren't lost in the big-bass bash. I'll end the discussion on a key point: since mid and high notes are boosted in order to keep up with the loud bass, songs without much bass can sound grating—so just bear that in mind.

As far as the bad news goes, there isn't much. Apart from the fact that music consistently favors the right speaker, making sound slightly louder in the right ear, there just isn't much to hem and haw over.

Testing ended on happy notes: The Ella b did an excellent job blocking outside noises, and it barely leaked any sound at all.


Features & Handling


Mirror, mirror...

The Frends Ella b put up a valiant fight in our audio lab, proving that they're more than just a pretty case. These in-ears don't have what it takes to steal an audiophile's heart, but lots of shoppers don't want flat, studio-quality sound; many desire sound like what the Ella b produces—massive low notes with mids and highs that break through the bassy fray.

Is the Ella b the fairest of them all? Not in terms of price. Shoppers can find comparable sound for less with a bit of comparison shopping; but given the quality sound and the dazzling design, $99.99 does not at all seem like an unreasonable asking price for this product. In fact, it's hard to think of something better than the Ella b for anyone searching for quality, fashionable earbuds—especially if you can find them marked down.

Reviewed.com In Your Inbox

Sign up to get the latest news and reviews via email

Thanks for signing up!

News and Features


Samsung Pumps Up Its Home Audio

Bother the neighbors with this loud lineup.


Audio-Technica Releases Nine New Headphones at CES 2014

Headphone giant Audio-Technica brings the goods with new over-ears, gaming headsets, and more.


Kickstarter Success Rocki Makes Waves at CES

Perfectly good speakers at home? Want multi-room wireless control? Give Rocki a look.


ClearView Audio Showcases Transparent 2.1 Speaker

Speakers meant to be heard, not seen


Live From Monster's CES 2014 Press Conference

We're live-updating the Monster Press conference as it unfolds.


Sol Republic Launches Relays In-Ear Headphones

A new universal fit device highlights the first new headphones to hit CES.

Headphones customonepro screws

2013 Best of Year Headphone Awards

We spent countless hours in the audio lab this year. All for you.

Sennheiser momentums 110 2

Interview with Sennheiser CEO Daniel Sennheiser, IFA Berlin 2013 (Video)

The boss (co-boss, really) speaks candidly about challengers Beats and Monster.