Multi-purpose ear buds & headphones.…
© 2015 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
In this age of mobile and game devices some form of earpiece almost always becomes a necessity. There’s the ear bud that slips over your ear with a
boom microphone and in-line control capsule. I’ve tested two inexpensive models, the Audio-Technica ATH-SPORT1iS ear bud and the KIDZ GEAR headset.
Audio Technica is a highly respected manufacturer of audio reproductive devices.
The ATH-SPORT1is is their entry into a low-priced consumer product geared towards the ever-expanding mobile market. It’s lightweight with a non-typical pivoting hinge for adjustable comfort. The sound transducer is angled and designed to supposedly provide a better in-ear fit. It’s IXP5 waterproof certified which allows it to be washed after use, but is not submersible. It comes in several active colors making it easy to locate. Flexible plastic ear tips are used with several spares being included. A clothing clip is provided to minimize cable movement in adverse conditions. It comes attached with a 3.5mm, 4 pole, phone plug. My general impression was disappointing, especially considering this is an Audio-Technica product. The ear placement process leaves much to be desired. The angled transducer seems to be more of a hindrance than a feature and the sound quality reproduced is tinny with no low end. The volume level needs to be limited to minimize distortion. However, the microphone produced a very acceptable quality. I would have to say there are better sounding devices out there at a similar or lower price point if the user intends to listen to music.
GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★
For more information go to: http://bit.ly/1GsWujE
KIDZ GEAR offers a traditional style headset with boom microphone in three colors. These headphones appear to be extremely durable as they are designed for the kids game market.
The earpieces are fully adjustable as is the boom microphone. The sound quality is excellent. The phone plug is also a 4-pole 3.5mm style, typical of what’s required for the smartphone and game market. Two optional adapters are available. One is a splitter allowing two headphones to be used together for music listening purposes as it features a 3.5mm 3 pole plug and two identical jacks. This however does not accommodate the microphone. The second is a 3.5mm, 4 pole adapter, which limits the sound volume level thus preventing hearing loss caused by exposure to constant high sound levels a very thoughtful and useful accessory especially for the youth market. An optional carry pouch is also available.
If you’re using the KIDZ GEAR with gaming devices for audio/visual purposes, this is a perfect fit and hard to beat for the money. For smartphone use this may be bulky when on the move, but fine for home or office use.
GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★
For more information go to: http://bit.ly/1HObZH5
(TIP: Both these earpieces would be suitable for your home wireless phone if it has a jack provided for this purpose. The problem would be that such phones typically use a 2.5mm, 3-pole jack therefore requiring an adapter or replacement of the existing plug. Caution, the wire strands are very fine making soldering of a new plug difficult. The use of headsets or ear buds can be very useful in this type of application. It certainly gives you freedom to move around and eliminates the hollow and annoying sound quality of a speakerphone.)
Graphic credits: Audio-Technica; KIDZ GEAR; Picgifs
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.