Want to take your tunes outside with you, but don’t feel like sharing? While BOOM’s excellent Urchin speaker provides water- and shock-resistant music for groups, their Spooners headphones let you keep the party solo while still shaking off dust, water, and a pretty bruising amount of abuse.
Part of the Ready 4 Anything (R4A) collection, these earbuds offer a crucial blend of function, form, and a great visual pun just for good measure.
What’s in a Name?
BOOM is on to something with their naming scheme (that, or I’m just really easily amused), as the moniker for these earbuds comes quite literally from their magnetic nesting design. The earbud posts form complementary convex/concave spoon shapes which you just stick together together to form a spindle around which the cable wraps, though you’ll never get it looking quite as neat as the product photos. A handy clip lets you secure the end of the cable, so you can easily avoid tangled and damaged cords—great for throwing them in a bag or pocket when you’re running out the door. With water, dust, and shock protection, you can take these running, biking, skateboarding, or, as pictured below, hiking (the outdoors really seems to be a natural habitat for the Spooners).
If the earbuds themselves look large, that’s because they are. If you’re worried that they’ll fall out of your ears or be uncomfortable (as I was upon unboxing), don’t be. The included silicone ear tips lock comfortably into position outside the ear canal, so you get the added benefit of a larger driver without the discomfort of a hard plastic disk rammed in your ear. I found them comfortable to use for a full work day, without that bruised ear feeling by five o’clock. The ear tips provide a very stable fit as well, so the Spooners make great workout headphones. I tested them during both cardio and strength training sessions; the fit never slipped and the durable design meant no worries about sweat or impacts.
It’s no secret I like BOOM’s headphones (their Commander series is still one of my daily go-to headphones), and the Spooners do not disappoint in the sound department even though they’re less expensive. Their size provides a level of sonic performance I’ve never found in earbuds, though, like all headphones of this type, they aren’t very bass heavy since they don’t make a seal in the ear canal. Unlike most earbuds, however, they do reproduce the bass that’s present in your music thanks to the large drivers, so the sound is never tinny nor hollow. To make a fair comparison, I reused my test tracks from the Commander review:
- Coyote Kisses, Coyote Anthem HARD: With a multilayered bass, great mid drums, and audio sprites up in the high ranges, this track really makes headphones work. The Spooners provided enough bass to prevent the mids/highs from being overpowering, while excellent detail reproduction really lets individual drum hits stand out.
- Baba O’Riley: The ultimate clarity test, and the Spooners nailed it. The incredible rolling synth opening is blissfully disorienting, as it should be, while vocals are warm and and clear.
- Beethoven: Something tells me BOOM doesn’t really imagine many of their listeners rocking Beethoven at a skate park, but if you did you wouldn’t be disappointed. While their very open design lets in a lot of external noise, the Spooners still hit every note with perfection, and orchestral music’s instrumental bass lines are very well reproduced (would Beethoven, being deaf, have favored more electronic bass if he were composing today?). Vocal soloists were easily distinguishable from the background orchestra, even in the raucous final moments when you’re not really sure where all the sound is coming from, highlighting BOOM’s incredible clarity in headphones.
The Spooners feature an inline remote and mic, so you can take calls and control playback on Apple devices. Call quality is actually a little better than the Commanders, as the mic is closer up the wire. The silicone ear tips are infinitely adjustable, which is good, but are also very easy to pop off, which can be bad (I actually twisted my head once and the earbud popped out of the tip, which remained firmly in my ear). If you plan to use those tips I recommend you stow them separately or use a small carrying pouch before throwing these in a backpack as they will come off.
Provides: Earbud audio reproduction with iPod/iPhone remote and microphone
Colors: White/Blue, Red/Grey, or Black/Charcoal
Developer: BOOM Movement
Minimum Requirements: Any audio source with a 1/8″ headphone jack. Remote functionality should work on most recent model Apple products.
Availability: Out Now