I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of ear buds. I just can't get past something sticking inside my ear much less having to sit there and attempt to enjoy listening to some music or do some gaming with a distraction like that. There are certainly advantages to them however, such as their light weight and portability. And they don't make the top of your head sore after wearing them a few hours. However, I'm more than willing to put up with the inconveniences of a more traditional set of over-the-ear headphones with a nice, cushy padding than stick some rubber plug in my ear. But frankly I doubt my kids could survive without them. Between their iPods and Nintendo DS's they've practically got ear buds permanently implanted in their ears, particularly on any car ride lasting longer than ten minutes.
That being said, I found the Razer Moray+ probably one of the least intrusive of any set of ear buds I've tried yet. They share a similar design to other high-end sets such as those from Skullcandy and others, and my daughter concurs. The Razer Moray+ meets her particularly-stringent criteria for comfortability and worked perfectly with both her DSi and her brother's DS Lite. With the interchangeable sets of rubber surrounds the Moray+ offers a good fit for any size ear. They also sound very good, with a decent reproduction from most frequencies, although I found the lower bass notes to be somewhat distorted at higher volumes, particularly on explosions and impacts during gaming. But then it would be difficult for any such size speaker to reproduce. The microphone I found to be very sensitive to input, not just my voice but also any ambient noise in the room, including the TV or my kids talking ten feet away. Obviously the inline design is the least intrusive however it doesn't do much to cancel out other surrounding noise.
One other thing I found lacking was inline volume control. Obviously this would add to the bulk of the otherwise slim wiring, and in most cases would likely be redundant when the Moray+ is used in its intended environment. Using them with a portable MP3 player or game console, the user can simply adjust the volume right on the device itself. Even if used with a laptop there is typically some kind of hotkey for volume adjustment. But on a desktop PC, in the middle of a game, its inconvenient to ALT-TAB out every time you want to adjust the volume up or down.
I still think an over-the-ear set of headphones with a boom mic can't be beat for superior sound and comfort. But obviously they don't make for easy portability. So for those that need something to take with them on the road and don't mind the in-ear design, the Razer Moray+ make an excellent substitute. At almost $60 retail, they'll set you back roughly $20 more than the non-microphone Moray original, but compared to other competing products with the same quality and sound reproduction as these, that's a fair price to pay.
OCIA.net has awarded the Razer Moray+ Mobile Gaming Communicator our Silver Seal of Approval.