GadgeTell Review: OrigAudio Designears headphones

Sections: Audio, Headphones, Reviews

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Purveyor of ‘origami-inspired’ travel sized speakers and headphones, the award-winning OrigAudio releases this September, Designears, their newest addition to an already impressive product line. These over-the-ear style headphones are the company’s first headset model; a departure from their Fold and Play (as listed in Time magazine’s “50 Best Inventions of 2009″) and the expandable Volcano bass-boost and Doodle plug-in speakers. Cleverly conducted, OrigAudio promotes innovation in portable audio tailored by listeners themselves.

The leading attribute of Designears is their aesthetic capabilities and the uniqueness of their customizable options. Customers can upload any image they desire to have featured across each ear cup and headband, completing the style by choosing the color of the plastic casing.

“Designears headphones give consumers the opportunity to design and create a look catered exclusively to their style with the sound quality they crave,” says Public Relations Coordinator, Mike Szymczak. Using brilliant full-digital color printing, this makes being an active music enthusiast more creative and expressive than ever.

Literally upload any of your favorite artwork, photographs, graphics, logos, patterns, drawing– anything. Adding a border or text are attractive features too, as are the pre-made designs and patterns for more indecisive designers to choose from. OrigAudio acknowledges that everyone’s musical tastes are different and encourages each listener to represent themselves individually.

The test-pair OrigAudio graciously sent me to review features a rip-curl image of a wave on each ear, atop a clean, white casing. On the outside of the headband is a panoramic photo of California’s breathtaking shoreline at sunset– and at first glance, these headphones cannot be ignored. Visually, they catch your eye and seem inviting, and these peaceful images reflect how I optimally feel while listening to my music.

An initial thought is how beneficially lightweight these headphones are. Although I would prefer their plastic-on-plastic design to feel a bit sturdier, I can tell they will remain comfortable, deep into any B-side, barring the occasional mid-album discomfort.

Aside from the well-protective zipper carrying case that they’re packaged in, another neat supplement that Designears include is a single tangle-resistant chord with an in-line volume control wheel– you know, for that extra ‘push over the cliff.’ The 3.5 mm jack allows compatibility to any favorite audio device including lap tops, tablets, mp3 players and smart phones.

The Designears’ noise reduction technology amongst its full-stereo range of sounds makes for a powerful listening experience, though its limitations include a lack of nuance within the mid-range frequencies. Frankly, the mids seem washed out of the mix at times and while listening to a variety of genres through the headset, the lowest and most bass driven elements of the music overpowered the rest. The treble was audible in contrast to the bass plods, but overall leaving little spotlight for mid-range. Also, when you crank these headphones at high volume, a good deal of distortion can occur (found most frequently in loud rock music or bassy hip-hop songs.)

With its $69.99 price tag, its an investment worthwhile for nearly any music fan. Though I doubt anyone would take these into the studio realm or any other professional sound setting, this product performs superbly for the average music consumer. And with the infinite amount of possible images, Designears will make a delightful, personalized holiday gift for any loved one this winter.

OrigAudio takes an eco-friendly stance in the production and distribution of their products. This is most apparent some of in their other products, as the Fold and Play made from old newspapers, phone books and pizza boxes. This progressive minded business model is yet another distinction that the new company has from its competitors and its youthful, style-conscious and cutting edge designs impressively connect with the popular consumer market in a personalized fashion.

Be sure to check out their company website, to design and order your own pair of Designears or a pair for someone else in time for the holidays.

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